History Shows U.S.-Russia Vaccine Science Diplomacy Could Help Ease Present-Day Tensions

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases: Russian-United States vaccine science diplomacy: Preserving the legacy
Peter J. Hotez, editor in chief of PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

“…Could Cold War lessons in [vaccine diplomacy] ease today’s escalating tensions between the U.S. and Russian governments? … [E]xtraordinary opportunities remain to meld our scientific activities to eliminate the world’s major neglected and emerging diseases. … A joint U.S.-Russian initiative to develop new neglected disease vaccines is an achievable goal and one that could begin through the nonprofit Sabin Vaccine Institute, which has already launched similar U.S.-led initiatives with Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Malaysia. Since the 1950s, joint U.S.-Russian cooperation has shown a dual track record of improving both foreign relations and scientific collaborations. Vaccine science diplomacy is not a panacea for heightened tensions between the U.S. and Russia, but the approach has proven valuable for promoting joint humanitarian efforts while simultaneously producing life-saving vaccines” (5/25).