In a village in the West African country of Burkina Faso, a woman transports a new vaccine against meningitis A on her motorbike.
A new fund aims to encourage ideas that improve delivery of new vaccines
The next decade promises to be one of unprecedented growth for immunization programs as new vaccines are developed and introduced in communities. Like vaccines before them, these new products bring the potential to curtail disease. They also bring new challenges in delivering potentially lifesaving vaccines effectively.
To overcome problems in delivery of vaccines, immunization programs once kept large stocks of vaccine on hand and planned for relatively high rates of vaccine loss. Many new vaccines, however, are more expensive than older, more established products, making their loss especially costly to programs. They require expanded storage capacity and must be delivered to new target groups.
The fund will provide grants for creative approaches to vaccine supply systems in low- and middle-income countries.
With these challenges, however, come opportunities to examine the systems that deliver vaccines and to seek out new approaches. The Immunization Innovation Fund from Project Optimize, a joint project of PATH and the World Health Organization, aims to encourage researchers and immunization professionals to find innovative ways to improve vaccine delivery systems.
Grants for innovative approaches
In its initial phase, the Immunization Innovation Fund will provide grants of up to US$25,000 for one-year projects that seek to develop creative approaches to address the challenges facing vaccine supply systems in low- and middle-income countries. The second phase, set for 2012, will provide larger grants to the most promising of the projects funded in the first round.
The fund will provide grants for creative approaches to vaccine supply systems in low- and middle-income countries. More information will be available in the coming weeks.
Photo: PATH/Gabe Bienczycki.