Rio de Janeiro, 22nd October 2019 – On the occasion of the 20th Annual General Meeting of the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network (DCVMN), held on Brazil, WHO Director General, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, addressed the delegates by video. He highlighted that “vaccines are one of the most accessible and cost-effective tools in the history of healthcare. Smallpox has been eradicated, polio is on the brink, and millions of lives have been saved from measles, meningitis and other diseases thanks to vaccines.” However, many children are missing out vaccination and preventable diseases are still a major cause of illness and death. Low and middleincome countries have been slower in adopting vaccines than high-income countries, and one of the barriers has been the lack of resources and regulatory systems.
The DCVMN members have made a vital contribution to increasing the quality, availability and affordability of vaccines. There are now over 70 WHO prequalified vaccines from DCVMN members, including rotavirus, yellow fever, cholera and more, he mentioned.
He added that “our next challenge is to use collaborative ways to translate these vaccines availability into national licences for use in countries. Low resources, heavy workload and untrained staff in many countries mean that vaccines take longer to reach children.” He thanked DCVMN and all its Partners, Gavi, UNICEF, BMGF and others, for their support and commitment. “Together we can overcome the barriers we face, and ensure that all children enjoy the lifesaving power of vaccines” he concluded.