Vaccine Global Access a priority as DCVMN Annual Conference concludes

The 16th AGM and Annual Conference of the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network (DCVMN) came to a close today after four days of productive interactions between more than 300 stakeholders.

Co-hosted by the Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute (QSMI) of the Thai Red Cross Society and BioNet-Asia, the conference gathered an unprecedented number of participants comprising vaccines manufacturers, private and public research organizations, public health and not-for-profit ONG's, suppliers and government officials.

When interviewed on the role of the Thai Ministry of Public Health with the current challenges of developing vaccines for global health Dr. Supamit Chunsuttiwat, Senior Expert in Preventive Medicine, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand indicated that: " The Ministry of Public Health is not only providing vaccines and vaccination to the people especially children, it develops comprehensive policies in consultation with other countries, and through the Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it ensures the proper development, production and registration of quality vaccines for the country. Another important role of the Ministry is to provide support to the growing Thai vaccine production."

Dr. Supamit also stressed that: "we will need at least regional collaboration to secure vaccine supply for the region. Some countries are getting more self-reliant like Indonesia and Vietnam, and through regional planning and coordination, we might be able to produce sufficient vaccines and be able to supply some vaccines for the whole region."

The organizers were particularly pleased with the good collaborating spirit transpiring from the various panels and interactive sessions as well as by the quality of the presentations and the breadth of topics covered.

Dr. Jerome Kim, Director General, International Vaccine Institute (IVI) explained how IVI contributes to Vaccine Global Access. "IVI's mission is to discover, develop and deliver safe, affordable, effective vaccines for global health".

Dr. Kim illustrated the role that IVI takes in vaccine global access: "The oral cholera vaccine was used this year in 3 campaigns. The first in Ethiopia, the second in Malawi in the setting of an epidemic, and then in in Nepal, where the government of Korea and several significant private donors in Korea contributed funding to do emergency vaccination campaigns in Nepal to prevent cholera, and we were able to do a very effective campaign, 95% uptake in the second dose of vaccine in these earthquake-stricken districts. So increasingly working internationally for certain vaccines is a critical part of what we do."

Beyond key lectures and panel discussion, the conference also offered training workshops organized by the World Health Organization and industry leading suppliers. It was also the opportunity for attendants to visit state-of-the-art vaccine manufacturing facilities at QSMI and BioNet-Asia.

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