Heat Stable Vaccines Could Save Lives, Money
April 26, 2017
Health care workers in low-income nations often have to deliver vaccines on rugged footpaths, via motorcycle or over river crossings. On top of this, vaccines need to be kept refrigerated or they may degrade and become useless, which can make getting vaccines to mothers and children that need them challenging.
That’s why researchers at Doctors Without Borders and the HERMES Logistics Team of the Global Obesity Prevention Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center at Carnegie Mellon University carried out the first computer simulation of the health and economic impacts of introducing heat-stable vaccines in India and in Benin and Niger in Africa. The simulation offered good news. Not only would vaccines that don’t require refrigeration help increase vaccination rates in these countries, the cost savings of decreased spoilage and improved health would more than cover the cost of making the vaccines stable, even at twice or three times the current cost per dose.