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Researchers Hope to Create 20 New Vaccines in Next Decade

They’re calling it the “Decade of Vaccines”.

Researchers writing in The Lancet say there is the potential to develop twenty vaccines in the next decade, as well as improve existing vaccines.

Their goal is to not only develop vaccinations for numerous diseases, such as leprosy, AIDS, and malaria, but to also make vaccinations for children a global priority, most especially for third world countries where diseases such as whooping cough and polio still wreak havoc.

"We need to find the requisite funds for the research and development of about twenty improved or novel vaccines in the next decade or beyond,” said the researchers.
According to these researchers and scientists, funding is critical—but so is trust and confidence in vaccines.

 “It is perhaps surprising that the public aren't always comfortable with immunization,” said Professor Richard Moxon Oxford University. "This call to action comes at a crucial time. In some communities, recent declines in vaccine uptake provide a stark reminder that public confidence and trust in immunisation is fragile and requires attention."

One such reminder was the recent outbreak of measles in Hennepin County, Minnesota, when an unvaccinated two-year contracted the disease after a trip to Kenya; the child lived in a neighborhood of Somalia descendents who were wary of vaccinating their children.

"It's complex. Perhaps one of the things that's most important is that vaccines are given to healthy people—often children,” stated Moxon. “Safety issues loom very large because there's very little awareness of many of the diseases that have been prevented by vaccines, such as polio and whooping cough."

Moxon was the brain behind the series of papers looking at the future of vaccine research.

The researchers are focusing on vaccinations such as AIDS and malaria, which they recognize as vaccines at the top of the list, but they are also looking to create vaccines for other diseases which may still be causing large health issues around the world.

 "We must also consider vaccines beyond classic infections, such as insulin-dependent diabetes, cancers and degenerative diseases,” said the scientists.

Moxon reported that he believed an AIDS vaccine is still many years away, but there is hope for an effective malaria vaccine within the next five years.

Maxon and fellow authors are issuing a “call to action” to developing countries and requesting that these nations shoulder more of the responsibility for financing vaccination programs.

"Most developing countries accord too low a priority to health in their budgets,” said Moxon. “They must be persuaded to take more of the burden themselves on behalf of their poorer citizens.”

Funding is critical and is still being debated for the Decade of Vaccines.

Further Reading
Recommendations for routine use of seasonal influenza vaccine in children have been updated, according to an American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement published online Sept. 2 in Pediatrics
Updated National Vaccine Plan will provide policy and scientific direction designed to prevent infectious diseases and reduce adverse reactions to vaccines.
The vaccine approved by the FDA for the upcoming flu season contains the same three virus strains as last year.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has released updated adult vaccination recommendations for 2013; these recommendations have been published online Jan. 28 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Studies show that even moderately effective rotavirus vaccines can save millions of lives annually.
Larry Pickering, MD, described immunization as a great public health triumph and talked of how the US maintains high vaccination rates.
The prevalence of undervaccination in children is increasing with time, with about half of children undervaccinated before the age of 2 years, and these children have different patterns of health care utilization, according to a study published online Jan. 21 in JAMA Pediatrics.
More Reading