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Swedish Agency for Research Cooperation with Developing Countries. Prospects for public health benefits in developing countries from new vaccines against enteric infections



Swedish Agency for Research Cooperation with Developing Countries. Prospects for public health benefits in developing countries from new vaccines against enteric infections



Journal of Infectious Diseases 163(3): 503-506



The symposium participants concluded that vaccines with even moderate efficacy can be highly useful to prevent large numbers of severe illness episodes and deaths and that the decision of whether to initiate a vaccine program should be based on measures or estimates of public health effectiveness rather than only on protective efficacy. Studies of protective efficacy are of course critical to establish the vaccine's biologic activity, but additional aspects of public health effectiveness are also crucial in making these decisions. First-generation vaccines are available against typhoid, cholera, and soon rotavirus diarrhea, and vaccines against enterotoxigenic E. coli diarrhea and shigellosis are under development. The problems related to enteric diseases are enormous; the vaccines may soon be produced at low cost and promise to be relatively more easy to distribute than most previous vaccines. The number of illnesses and deaths averted from vaccine programs are potentially great. Pilot programs using the new vaccines should urgently be considered in areas where the disease burden is high, and steps should be taken to monitor effectiveness of the intervention in these programs. Such studies of vaccine effectiveness and costs in a "real world" situation are an essential step of the research process and should be used to guide the organization of larger-scale programs. Finally, many of the necessary research and development activities relevant to public health vaccinology must address country-specific problems. Developing countries should consider the role of vaccine-related research among the priorities for their essential national health research and build the necessary capabilities in applied and basic medical sciences and in the social sciences.

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Accession: 041510308

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PMID: 1671681


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