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Major Donors Should Consider Funding For Potential Malaria Vaccine

When the results of a large clinical trial testing the effectiveness of the RTS,S malaria vaccine among children in Africa are made available later this year, “it will be time to start discussing what to do with the vaccine,” Orin Levine, executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins University, writes in a Huffington Post opinion piece. “If the vaccine is safe and effective, one of the most important questions will be how to pay for it … and even though Andrew Witty, the CEO of the vaccine’s manufacturer, GSK, has promised to price the vaccine at a point just above its production cost, this price may still end up being too high for many malaria-affected countries to pay for it,” he writes.

“While we can’t yet predict the vaccine’s effectiveness, we can reliably predict that … the ambiguity around financing will be a major, predictable and avoidable barrier to access,” Levine writes, noting that the world’s major donors will be gathered this week in New York at the U.N. General Assembly meeting. “Maybe they can find the time to get together, take this simple decision and do their part to be prepared for whatever news comes from breaking the code in the malaria trial,” he concludes (9/18).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.