Lessons From Ebola Highlight ‘Vital Centrality Of Vaccines’ As Tool For Disease Prevention, Control

Thomson Reuters Foundation: New partnerships needed after Ebola’s hard lessons
J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president and director, and Chris Millard, program manager and research associate, both at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Global Health Policy Center

“…[W]hile today the epidemic has been largely contained, Ebola taught us three powerful lessons about the vital importance of vaccines. First, not having a vaccine at the ready when a pathogen strikes creates huge vulnerabilities and imposes tremendous costs. … Second, scrambling to accelerate vaccine development in the middle of a storm is expensive and no way to conduct business. … Third, Ebola created a new consensus among the global health community: we have to do better. … Recognizing these challenges, the formal launch of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) earlier this year is particularly promising. By forging partnerships among governments, the private sector, foundations, regulators, and international organizations in advance of an infectious disease outbreak, CEPI hopes to create a platform for rapid epidemic vaccine development. … CEPI also seeks to build institutional capabilities and technical platforms between key players that can be rapidly scaled up and deployed to respond to unknown pathogenic threats when they arise in the future. … [O]ut of [the Ebola] tragedy emerged a new consciousness of the vital centrality of vaccines as a tool for prevention and containment, and a determined consensus to change and expedite the way we go about developing vaccines for the most dangerous of pathogens. That is progress” (4/25).

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