NEW CANAAN, CT —Recent highly publicized vaccine shortages have cast a shadow over the otherwise enormous success of vaccines as a tool for disease prevention around the world. Vaccines have been the cornerstone of public health for the past 50 years and shortages have shaken public confidence and exposed real vulnerabilities in the current system of vaccines production. A new publication of the Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin), Feasible Solutions to Global Vaccine Shortages, addresses a set of issues that may hold the key to remedying the threats of vaccine shortages.

A precipitous decline in the number of manufacturers in the 1990s was amplified by sudden regulatory decisions, heightened liability concerns, and a relatively low return on investment for vaccine producers. Sabin convened the 10th Annual Vaccine Colloquium at Cold Spring Harbor in the fall of 2003 to bring together key players to address key related issues, namely stockpiling, financing, advocacy, and regulatory harmonization. Each issue received thorough consideration by the group of global experts representing the medical and public health communities, U.S. and international governments, international agencies, non-governmental organizations, academia, and the manufacturing sector.

“The complexities and pitfalls challenging the stability of vaccine supply are much better understood following the in-depth analysis and guidance shared by this group,” said H.R. Shepherd, chairman of the Sabin Vaccine Institute. Edited by Gloria Parkinson, Feasible Solutions to Global Vaccine Shortages is the latest in a series of colloquia proceedings that the Sabin Vaccine Institute has published in order to generate discussion on critical topics related to vaccines.

Review copies of this proceedings publication are available upon request.