Key Lessons for Vaccine Introductions

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Mark Rice | The Financial Review | 16 January 2018

The Financial Review has given some welcome attention to the controversy about the possibly premature roll-out of the dengue fever vaccine Dengvaxia in the Philippines (“Vaccine backlash,” January 12).  

Fortunately, the people and government of the Philippines seem to be focusing their outrage on the management of the Dengvaxia introduction, rather turning against vaccines in general.  Globally, widespread child vaccinations save millions of lives per year, and it is essential that the currently approved vaccines are available to all children, and that new and improved vaccines are developed.

The experience of the Philippines with Dengvaxia may discourage investment in new vaccines and also slow down the adoption of existing vaccines.  To counter this prospect, it is important to learn the correct lessons about the rapid introduction of a just-approved vaccine, rather than to hold back the widespread use of safe and effective vaccines.

Mark Rice

Sunnybank, Qld

Originally published in The Financial Review 16 Jan, 2018