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Origins of the Children's Vaccine Initiative: The political foundations

By William Muraskin


The Children's Vaccine Initiative (CVI) was founded in 1990/91 as a means to revolutionize the way that vaccines were developed for the South. The system for the creation of vaccines was a dis-articulated one in which basic research, product development and delivery were handled by different, often insufficiently linked groups. The public sector was deeply involved in research and delivery but not the vital product development area. That area was left to the private sector which was increasingly driven by the needs to maximize profits. Potential vaccines for diseases found in the South, where a hard currency market was limited, were often left undeveloped. The CVI was designed to change that situation. The CVI hoped to exploit the discoveries of biotechnology and produce not only new and improved vaccines, but ultimately to work towards a single multi-antigen vaccine given near birth that would immunize children for life. This article deals with the events that directly led to the creation of the CVI, and to the political problems caused by organizational and national rivalries that the new venture faced from its inception.CVI vaccines UNICEF WHO

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