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Am J Law Med. 2009;35(2-3):311-22.

New vaccines for developing countries: will it be feast or famine?

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Comprehensive Family Immunization Project, Pan American Health Organization, Washington, D.C., USA.


The Revolving Fund of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has an almost 30 year track record of providing access to essential vaccines for the entire population of Latin America and the Caribbean region. The activities of the PAHO Revolving Fund, coupled with the provision of high-quality technical assistance, were crucial to the successful control, elimination, or eradication of most of the region's great childhood killers, including measles and polio. Today, however, the Revolving Fund faces new challenges in the form of procuring a new generation of vaccines for human papillomavirus infection, rotavirus, and pneumococcal disease, which are priced orders of magnitude higher than the traditional childhood vaccines. The high cost of these essential new vaccines may require the PAHO Revolving Fund to establish innovative financial mechanisms for procuring these products at prices affordable for national immunization programs in Latin America and the Caribbean. The alternative, namely to bypass the Revolving Fund, could severely threaten the health of the region, especially Latin America's poorest people.

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