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Research and Development as the answer to vaccine shortages and low coverage

Rio de Janeiro, 22nd October 2019 - The Brazilian Minister of Health, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, addressed the delegates of the 20th DCVMN Annual General Meeting, affirming that vaccines represent a global public good, considering that their benefits are universal across countries, people and generations. He mentioned the challenges imposed by the reemergence of vaccine preventable diseases, due to low vaccination coverage, shortages of vaccines, vaccine hesitancy, anti-vaccination lobbying and the spreading of disinformation.

Following an outbreak of measles in 2018 in the north, Brazil lost its measles-free status. He reiterated the Brazilian commitment to increasing vaccination coverage through nationwide immunization, involving government entities and private companies. This month, the Ministry of Health released R$ 206 million for states and municipalities to expand immunization coverage, control outbreaks and interrupt measles transmission and other vaccine preventable diseases across the country. In addition, Brazil is a strategic player in the global strategy to Eliminate Yellow Fever Epidemics1 (EYE, 2017 – 2026). This EYE initiative, coordinated by WHO, is a global movement which aims to address the risks of a yellow fever epidemic and stem the reemergence of the disease. Between 2019 and 2020, Bio-Manguinhos has committed to providing 23 million doses of yellow fever vaccine to PAHO and UNICEF.

Recognizing the need to invest in research and development for vaccines in a sustainable manner, the Ministry of Health intends to support national production capacity by expanding the facilities of Bio-Manguinhos and Butantan Institute through public-private financing. The development of dengue vaccines by Butantan Institute and schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis, Zika and meningitis C vaccines by Fiocruz and the validation of vaccine candidates against leprosy, tuberculosis and chikungunya, among others, illustrate ongoing international partnerships.

More information also at https://anba.com.br/en/fiocruz-to-resume-yellow-fever-vaccine-exports/

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