‘Amazing Progress’ On Vaccine Development, Delivery, But More Can Be Accomplished

“I recently returned from a trip to Vellore, in southern India, where I had a chance to observe first-hand the clinical trials for a new vaccine that could prevent nearly 100,000 child deaths a year in India from rotavirus,” Trevor Mundel, president of global health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, writes in the foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog. “I also had the opportunity to meet with scientists at Bharat Biotech Ltd., an Indian biotech company in Hyderabad that developed and is manufacturing the vaccine in partnership with the Indian government and other partners, including the Gates Foundation,” he notes, adding, “Bharat’s rotavirus vaccine represents an important step forward in the maturation of India’s scientific research and vaccine manufacturing capabilities. And it’s a reminder of the amazing progress we have made over the last 50 years developing and delivering vaccines — the most powerful and cost-effective health solutions of all time.” Mundel continues, “[W]e must continue to work together — industry, governments, and non-profits — to accelerate the development of vaccines for diseases that continue to impose such a huge burden on people in developing countries” (8/19).