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Vaccines Critical To Preventing Diseases, Staving Off AMR

Project Syndicate: Vaccinating Against Superbugs
Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust

“…[D]espite vaccines’ effectiveness in the fight against [antimicrobial resistance (AMR)], we are not taking full advantage of them. … [T]here is an urgent need to increase uptake of vaccines that are already available … and to develop new ones. For existing vaccines, the top priority should be to ensure universal access, which will require a huge expansion in international coordination. … [V]accines are also needed to prevent … diseases in the first place. To accomplish that goal — and stave off AMR in the process — significantly more money must be spent on vaccine research and development. … Although more needs to be done to strengthen R&D pipelines for new diagnostic tools and antibiotics to treat drug-resistant infections, similar attention must be devoted to vaccine discovery, development, and uptake. … When health professionals have the right tools to tackle AMR, millions of lives around the world will be saved. And when effective vaccines are deployed widely, superbugs will cease being so menacing” (11/15).