We are pleased to share a joint statement issued by Dr. Joris Vandeputte, President of the International Alliance for Biological Standardization (IABS) and Dr. Jerome Kim, Director General of IVI on the implications of vaccine platform technologies for global public health.
COVID SHOWS PREPAREDNESS IS MARATHON
By Joris Vandeputte, President of the International Alliance for Biological Standardization (IABS) & Jerome Kim, Director General of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI)
In early 2020, the world anxiously hoped for vaccines to avert the disastrous COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, at that time, basic and applied research had delivered vaccine platform technologies which enabled an unprecedented rapid reaction and COVID-19 vaccines became available within less than one year. Immediate and sizeable government investment did the rest.
The platform technologies, mRNA and Adeno vectors, were the result of decades of hard work by researchers who overcame skepticism and despite all pitfalls, continued generating knowledge. Thanks and congratulations to all who contributed to this scientific achievement!
Unfortunately, it is almost certain that future pandemics will occur again, and no one can know where, when and which type of virus or infectious agent will be the cause. From COVID-19 vaccine development, we learned that no avenue should be disregarded, and we must continue to invest in all types of vaccine platform technologies whether RNA, DNA, fungal production of antigens, new types of subunits or whole virus and any other emergent technologies.
Most importantly, to assure global access to vaccines, we should share our research and development as well as production efforts between North/South/East/West to maximize our chances of success. Platform technologies, which now have shown their high potential, will facilitate better public health impact with adapted global regulations, expanded global logistics in place (thanks to COVAX and GAVI), as well as such essential logistics like rubber stops, vials, and needle disposal methods.
As COVID-19 has shown, the cost of investment in platform technologies is minute compared with the losses and human disasters that a pandemic can provoke.