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Accelerating Vaccination

By Brian W. Simpson

In a bid to rapidly roll out pneumococcal vaccines needed by children in developing countries, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) awarded the School a $30 million grant in February. 

The funds will be provided by GAVI’s financing arm, The Vaccine Fund (which was founded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation).

The Accelerated Development and Introduction Plan (ADIP) team at the School will use the funds to dramatically cut up to 10 years from the time between vaccines’ availability in developed countries and their use in the world’s poorest countries. For example, almost 15 years after the U.S. introduction of the Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) vaccine, less than 10 percent of children in the developing world receive it, says Orin Levine, PhD ’94, an associate in International Health. 

The ADIP team, directed by Levine, will research vaccine effectiveness, communicate with key decision makers in countries where the vaccines are needed, and work with manufacturers to ensure an affordable supply of vaccine.