Several major vaccine announcements were made on March 2, at a conference on the President's Millennium Vaccine Initiative in the White House:
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) will invest $10 million this year to help fund the development of six HIV vaccine candidates for developing countries. IAVI, funded by foundations and governments, establishes partnerships with industry using a "social venture capital" approach: in return for investment, IAVI secures rights to ensure that a successful vaccine will be available to developing countries at a reasonable price.
Pharmaceutical corporations announced donations of millions of doses of existing vaccines to developing countries; four major companies promised to speed research and development of vaccines for AIDS and malaria, which currently have no vaccines. Also, Clinton has proposed a billion-dollar tax credit over ten years to speed development of vaccines for HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria, and a $50 million contribution for a global vaccine bank.
The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases released The Jordan Report 2000, on the state of development of vaccines for many diseases; 8 pages of the 173-page report summarize the current status of several current approaches to an AIDS vaccine, but other sections are also relevant. The Jordan Report 2000 is available at www.niaid.nih.gov; more information on NIAID's role in AIDS vaccines is at http://www.niaid.nih.gov/aidsvaccine.
The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) is a major government/industry/foundation alliance to get existing and new vaccines to poor countries. According to GAVI, vaccines save about three million children's lives every year -- but almost three million other children die each year because they were not vaccinated. For more information, see http://www.vaccinealliance.org.
New vaccine bills introduced in Congress: On March 1 Senator John Kerry (D., Massachusetts) and two others introduced the Vaccines for the New Millennium Act of 2000 in the Senate, and Representative Nancy Pelosi (D., San Francisco) and nine others introduced it in the House. [Rep. Pelosi had previously introduced the Lifesaving Vaccine Technology Act of 1999 to provide a tax credit for research and development of vaccines for HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria; President Clinton had instead proposed a fund to purchase these vaccines after they were developed, which incidentally would not cost the government money now. The new Kerry/Pelosi bill combines several ideas and includes both approaches.]
ISSN # 1052-4207
Copyright 2000 by John S. James. Permission granted for noncommercial reproduction, provided that our address and phone number are included if more than short quotations are used.
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