August 21, 2023 – ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar – The International Vaccine Institute (IVI), an international organization with a mission to discover, develop, and deliver safe, effective, and affordable vaccines for global health, and the Madagascar Institute for Vaccine Research (MIVR) at the University of Antanararivo held a ceremony today to launch a mass vaccination campaign against typhoid in the Arivonimamo and Antananarivo-Atsimondrano districts of Madagascar.
This campaign is a component of the Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine Introduction in Madagascar (TyMA) project, which seeks to evaluate the real-world effectiveness of Vi-CRM197 (trade name TYPHIBEV, manufactured by Biologicals E Limited), a typhoid conjugate vaccine (TCV) pre-qualified by the World Health Organization, in a high-burden setting as a step toward integrating the vaccine into routine vaccination programs in Madagascar. The campaign aims to provide a single dose of Vi-CRM197 to approximately 60,000 children between 9 months and 16 years of age.
Dr. Florian Marks, Deputy Director General at IVI and Principal Investigator of the TyMA project, said: “We are thrilled to launch this vaccination campaign to protect children against typhoid with our long-time collaborators at the University of Antanararivo, a pivotal step in our work with the Government of Madagascar to introduce typhoid conjugate vaccine into the national immunization program. IVI’s multinational typhoid fever surveillance studies have shown high rates of typhoid in pre-school children in sub-Saharan Africa, including Madagascar, and we strongly believe preventive vaccination will have a significant impact in reducing this burden, especially with the rise of antimicrobial resistance.”
Prof. Raphael Rakotozandrindrainy, Head of MIVR, University of Antananarivo, and Site Principal Investigator, said: “This typhoid conjugate vaccine campaign is the culmination of a 12-year research collaboration between IVI and MIVR to understand the burden of typhoid fever in Madagascar and bolster clinical surveillance. The campaign will not only protect nearly 60,000 children in Arivonimamo and Antananarivo-Atsimondrano districts but help build an evidence-based case to register TCV in Madagascar. We are grateful for the support of the Ministry of Health in the effort to introduce TCV and look forward to the day all Malagasy infants and children are protected against typhoid.”
The TyMA TCV campaign follows more than a decade of typhoid fever surveillance in Madagascar and other sub-Saharan African countries through IVI’s Typhoid Fever Surveillance in Africa (TSAP) and Severe Typhoid in Africa (SETA) programs, which yielded unprecedented data on the burden of disease in the region.
In 2019, Prof. Young-Chul Sung of Pohang University of Science and Technology made a personal donation to IVI through the Korea Support Committee for IVI earmarked to fund vaccination projects in low-income countries. This donation funds the TyMA project, and Prof. Sung attended the campaign launch in Antananarivo.
Prof. Young-Chul Sung said, “It has always been my intention that my contribution to IVI would advance efforts to protect children around the world from vaccine-preventable infectious diseases. I am truly honored to attend today’s ceremony and witness years of scientific research and collaboration come together to launch a vaccination campaign that will impact the lives of an entire generation of children in Madagascar. I congratulate colleagues at IVI and the University of Antananarivo on reaching this milestone.”
In addition to generating safety and effectiveness data of Vi-CRM197 specific to a defined population and setting, the TyMA study aims to assess the impact of vaccination on antibiotic use (AMU) and consumption between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. With AMU driving the development and spread of bacterial infections resistant to antimicrobial treatments—or, antimicrobial resistance (AMR), this study posits that disease prevention through vaccination may be a safe and effective measure to reduce AMU and AMR.
Aerie Em, Global Communications & Advocacy Manager
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