Views And Reviews

Vaccination alone will not halt the next global pandemic

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j2864 (Published 13 June 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j2864
  1. Allen G Ross, professor, tropical medicine and infectious diseases
  1. Griffith University, Queensland, Australia
  1. a.ross{at}griffith.edu.au

A combination of strategies is needed to save lives

A $1bn (£787m; €892m) initiative was launched in January 2017 with the aim of having vaccines ready in order to prevent the next global pandemic. The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) was launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, with $460m in backing from Germany, Japan, Norway, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Wellcome Trust.123 The organisation expects to raise the full $1bn that it needs for the next five years by the end of this year.123 Moreover, CEPI has selected three pathogens on which to focus their initial vaccination efforts.123

The vaccines for these pathogens, however, are in the very early stages of development (preclinical stage) and it may take decades before they are ready for use in an epidemic.2 Despite Bill Gates’s claim that DNA/RNA vaccines (third generation vaccines) can serve as a “vaccine pipeline,” none is currently approved by the …

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