| NEWS RELEASE|
International Vaccine Institute
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|IVI to hold annual BOT meeting in Kolkata, India|
|Special Seminar to highlight strategy to speed up new vaccine introduction|
KOLKATA, SEOUL-- The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) will hold its annual meeting of the Board of Trustees (BOT) at the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) in Kolkata, India from March 6-8. The IVI, based in Seoul, Korea, is the world’s only international organization devoted exclusively to research on new vaccines for children in developing countries.
The IVI is holding the BOT meeting outside of Korea for the second time in its 10-year history, after the first in Mozambique in 2005. The Board is meeting in Kolkata to acknowledge the successful collaboration between the IVI and NICED, one of the world’s great centers of expertise in research on diarrheal diseases. Over the past four years NICED and IVI scientists have worked together in impoverished areas of Kolkata on several important projects to accelerate the introduction of new typhoid and cholera vaccines.
The IVI Board meeting in Kolkata will feature a Special Seminar commemorating the IVI’s 10th anniversary and the achievements from the NICED-IVI collaboration, scheduled for Thursday. The IVI is hosting the public seminar in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and NICED to inform the public health and vaccine science communities in India about its activities. The seminar, entitled “New Vaccines for Improving Health and Economic Development in Developing Countries,” will highlight IVI’s global strategy and efforts to speed up the development and introduction of new vaccines in the developing world.
The Board this year will officially ratify two countries, the United Arab Emirates and Spain, as new Signatories to the IVI charter, which brings the number of Signatories to 40, including the World Health Organization.
This meeting comes at a time when IVI Director-General, Dr. John Clemens, starts his term of three years on the GAVI Alliance Board. This attests to expanding partnerships between the IVI and GAVI, a global coalition of WHO, UNICEF, the World Bank, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as countries and a growing community concerned with vaccines.
The IVI, which began as an initiative of the United Nations, commemorates its 10th anniversary this year. Now a freestanding international organization, the Institute has become one of the world’s leading centers of vaccine research, and has made major contributions to global health.
The IVI is developing new vaccines in its laboratories in Seoul, and is accelerating introduction of new as well as underused vaccines by conducting research in 22 developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Currently, the IVI is working on new vaccines against diarrhea, meningitis, pneumonia, dengue, and Japanese encephalitis--diseases that annually claim the lives of over 3 million children living in the developing world.
In Kolkata, NICED and IVI have created a field site for population-based studies among over 100,000 residents as part of the IVI’s ‘Diseases of the Most Impoverished’, a program of research supported by the Gates Foundation. Two major vaccine trials have been conducted recently at the IVI-NICED field site: an effectiveness trial of Vi vaccine against typhoid fever in 38,000 individuals and a Phase III double-blinded randomized controlled trial of a killed oral cholera vaccine in 70,000 individuals.
Besides the field evaluations of these vaccines, IVI and NICED have also conducted socio-behavioral, epidemiologic and economic studies aimed at providing rational evidence to policy makers about the magnitude of these diseases, their economic consequences and the effectiveness of current methods for their prevention and control. Dr. SK Bhattacharya, Director of NICED, said “The collaborative work between NICED and the IVI is critical to assure that evidence-based decisions about whether to introduce typhoid and cholera vaccines into the public health arena are made.”
Dr. Clemens commented “The legacy of this work will extend beyond our current research on cholera and typhoid vaccines,” adding that “This study site is already being considered for future studies of several other vaccines.”
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI), based in Seoul, Korea, is the world’s only international organization devoted exclusively to developing and introducing new and improved vaccines to protect the world’s poorest people, especially children in developing countries. Established in 1997 as an initiative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the IVI is an independent international organization under the Vienna Convention, which is governed by the 22-member Board. The Board, which is currently chaired by Prof. Ragnar Norrby of Sweden, includes six ex-officio seats including two each named by the host country, and WHO, one each by UNDP and the GAVI Alliance, as well as five seats represented by Signatory countries. Other members of the Board are elected among leading vaccinologists from around the world in their individual capacities. The Institute Support Council (ISC), comprising representatives of Signatories and other supporters of the IVI, meet in conjunction with the annual BOT. The ISC, chaired by Prof. Nay Htun at United Nations University of Peace, seeks to enhance the IVI’s global visibility and partnerships, and to mobilize funding for its research, while advising the Board and the Institute on priorities and policies.
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|IVI CONTACT :
||Tae Kyung Byun (Public Awareness / Advocacy Officer)
82-2-881-1159 Cellular: 011-9773-6071
IVI, SNU Research Park, San 4-8, Bongcheon 7-dong, Gwanak-gu, Seoul, South Korea, 151-818
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