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Hope for 20 new vaccines

10th June 2011

Scientists believe that over the next 10 years there is potential to develop 20 new or improved vaccines.

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However, writing in The Lancet, the research team indicates that crucial factors include sufficient funding and trust and confidence in the vaccines with AIDS and malaria vaccines a key area for research.

They said: “We must also consider vaccines beyond classic infections, such as insulin-dependent diabetes, cancers and degenerative diseases.

“We need to find the requisite funds for the research and development of about 20 improved or novel vaccines in the next decade or beyond.

“This call to action comes at a crucial time. In some communities, recent declines in vaccine uptake provide a stark reminder that public confidence and trust in immunisation is fragile and requires attention.”

The idea for a series of papers looking at future research was Professor Richard Moxon’s from Oxford University.

“Considering the unambiguous and beneficial track record of immunisation, it is perhaps surprising that the public aren’t always comfortable with it,” he said.

He said that safety issues were important and that there was little awareness of many of the diseases that have been prevented by vaccines, such as polio and whooping cough.

The researchers want to see a united approach in the development of vaccines with developing countries to also share the cost of vaccination programmes.

“Most developing countries accord too low a priority to health in their budgets,” they said.

“They must be persuaded to take more of the burden themselves on behalf of their poorer citizens.”

 

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