WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 7, 2005 – The Albert B. Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin), a leader in promoting the development and use of safe and effective vaccines to prevent disease, announced receipt of a grant of $150,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the sponsorship of a vaccine policy colloquium to be held at Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, New York, October 19-21, 2005. The Sabin will use this grant to convene a meeting of international public health, government, and industry experts on the “Introduction and Sustainable Use of Vaccines in Developing Countries.”
For each of the past 11 years the Institute has organized a high-level meeting where experts consider a vaccine policy issue of global importance. Subjects will include developing country challenges for long-term immunization programs, vaccine financing, vaccine supply, political commitment, and how best to coordinate the working relationships and responsibilities among the myriad of programs that provide assistance.
“The Sabin Vaccine Institute provides a unique forum, bringing together international leaders and subject-matter experts to discuss and make recommendations on important vaccine policy issues,” said Dean Mason, Sabin president. “We believe this year’s topic is of great relevance. Vaccination programs that can be sustained over a long period of time will be essential to the health and well being of generation after generation of children in developing countries. We are grateful to the Gates Foundation for enabling this effort. The stakes, in terms of life quality and human suffering, are most significant.”
A planning team has begun the in-depth analysis of issues that will take center stage at the colloquium and is conducting a survey of experts in the field to identify the issues that are most critical regarding access by developing countries to vaccines. Approximately 30-35 participants will assemble for the colloquium. It will be chaired by Kevin Reilly, an expert on vaccine production and marketing, and Francisco F. Songane, MD, MPH, MSc, former Mozambican minister of health.
“It is unacceptable that millions of children in developing countries die each year because they weren’t immunized,” said Steve Landry, senior program officer for Global Health Strategies at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We are pleased to support the Sabin Institute’s vaccine policy colloquium, which will address some of the most important obstacles to expanding access to lifesaving vaccines.”
About the Albert B. Sabin Vaccine Institute
The mission of the Albert B. Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) is to realize the enormous potential of vaccines to control and to eradicate disease by developing new vaccines and better delivery systems and to promote increased use of currently available vaccines. Pursuing the legacy of renowned vaccinologist and statesman Dr. Albert B. Sabin, the Institute facilitates the exchange of ideas for solutions to emerging and ancient diseases, from hookworm to cancer. By helping to unlock the vast potential of vaccines, Sabin is working to ensure that the diseases that threaten the world today will be only history lessons for future generations.