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In their joint statement, the G-8 leaders noted: “For a large number of (infectious) these diseases, there are still no effective drugs, vaccines or other treatment available for the majority of the population in less developed countries. The situation is especially acute in the least developed countries, particularly in Africa where governments and their people face limited access to prevention and essential health-care information, inadequate capacity of healthcare systems, the shortage and significant outflow of qualified health workers, resource constraints, and often inadequate nutrition, clean water, and sanitation.”

Underscoring the tragic dimensions of the crisis is the number of deaths that are preventable or treatable by vaccines. As the Global Health Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has noted, “Each year, 27 million children do not receive basic vaccines, and 2 million people die of vaccine-preventable diseases.”

Who will answer the call to help put together an effective global strategy that would accelerate the development, production, delivery, and risk management of life-saving vaccines?

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