This is the second post in a blog mini-series from the Dengue Vaccine Initiative about the collaborative work being done to ensure future access to dengue vaccines in developing nations.

In the first post of the Dengue Vaccine Initiative’s (DVI) mini-blog series, we told you that a dengue vaccine could be made available as early as 2015. This is exciting news. However, vaccines traditionally have taken twenty years or more to be widely introduced to markets in the developing world. If the same pattern were followed for dengue, those most in need of a vaccine will be the last to receive it. Leveraging the strengths of each of its coalition members, DVI is working with developing countries to lay the groundwork to launch dengue vaccines once they are licensed through public sector vaccination programs. Today’s post will highlight the crucial role that the International Vaccine Institute(IVI), a DVI coalition member, plays in planning for introduction.

IVI is an international organization established under treaty, with the WHO and 40 countries as signatories to its charter. Based in Seoul, Korea, IVI’s mission is to combat infectious diseases through innovation in vaccine design, development and introduction, addressing the needs of people in developing countries. Included in IVI’s accomplishments is the development of multi-country, multidisciplinary programs to accelerate the development and introduction of vaccines against cholera, Shigella, and typhoid fever.

IVI serves as the lead agency for DVI. IVI’s primary programmatic function within DVI is to spearhead the acquisition and application of sound evidence about the global and national dengue disease burden- including both the burden on human health and the economy. IVI will synthesize local evidence from three focal countries (Colombia, Thailand and Vietnam) to create individualized vaccine introduction cases. Using country-specific data from field studies in the three countries, the introduction cases will include: a) an assessment of the national dengue disease and economic burden, b) an estimate of the amount of vaccine required over time (“demand forecast”), and c) the impact, cost, and cost-effectiveness of specific dengue vaccine introduction scenarios developed in consultation with government officials. The demand forecasts will provide estimated timeframes for vaccine introduction and achievement of peak coverage. In a fourth country, Brazil, IVI is collaborating on a cost of outbreak study and working in a joint Ministry of Health/DVI Working Group to develop an operational plan for dengue vaccine introduction and use.

The evidence generated by IVI studies is essential to ensuring that governments can make informed policy decisions. Such information is critical to guaranteeing a government commitment that rationally prioritizes dengue within the health agenda. It is hoped that the experiences of the four countries will greatly influence the tempo of wider vaccine roll-out in other countries.

Be sure to check back next week as we profile another DVI consortium member.

DVI conducts various forms of research, such as this focus group study at a field site in Colombia, to generate evidence on the need for dengue vaccines.