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Media Advisory

Cutting-edge Science on New Vaccines: Global Forum to Cover Latest Developments, Key Challenges

Geneva—Major breakthroughs are occurring in the development of new vaccines. There are about 20 vaccines currently in use; an equivalent number of new or improved vaccines is anticipated within the next ten years. Several of these are already licensed or at an advanced stage of development.

In the coming years, it is highly likely that countries will be faced with an unprecedented array of new vaccines for introduction. These vaccines will be a relatively inexpensive health intervention with a significant public health impact; however, they will cost more than vaccines in current use. WHO Member States last month adopted a resolution on a new Global Immunization Vision and Strategy, an important component of which is introducing new vaccines. It is in this context that the following meeting, to which media are invited, will be held.

WHAT: The Sixth Annual Global Vaccine Research Forum

WHEN: 12-15 June 2005

WHERE: Hotel Pestana Bahia, Salvador da Bahia, Brazil

WHO: About 200 top vaccine researchers, scientists and public health experts from around the world will participate. The Forum is co-hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) Initiative for Vaccine Research and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI).

PURPOSE: To disseminate information to all partners and interested parties in the world of vaccine research. To discuss vaccine policy and implementation. To provide expert advice on vaccine research and development projects. To exchange views on research agendas. To monitor progress of GAVI-funded Accelerated Development and Introduction Plans for new vaccines.

NEWS CONFERENCE: Wednesday, 15 June at 11:30 at Hotel Pestana Bahia. The news conference will be followed by a light lunch with conference panellists and chairpersons of the Forum sessions.

SUBJECTS: Among the subjects covered in the Forum are:

  • Prospects for new vaccines against pandemic avian influenza;
  • The case for vaccines for neglected tropical diseases;
  • Acceleration of life-saving rotavirus, pneumococcal and meningitis vaccines;
  • Lessons learned from the recent introduction of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine and current challenges;
  • Current needs for and status of development of vaccines for diarrhoeal diseases such as Shigella, ETEC (enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli), typhoid fever, cholera and rotavirus and challenges;
  • Results of latest clinical trials and future plans for candidate malaria and tuberculosis vaccines;
  • The role of public-private partnerships in vaccine research, development and introduction;
  • Ethical considerations related to the provision of care and treatment in vaccine trials the Latin American and Caribbean perspective; and
  • Highlights of recent WHO activities in research and development of new vaccines.

For further information, please contact , Information Officer, WHO Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, Geneva: Tel.: (+41 22) 791 2535; Mobile: +41 79 477 1738; Fax: (+41 22) 791 4227.

The agenda of the GVRF can be found at:

A WHO Fact Sheet entitled Development of New Vaccines, April 2005, is available at:

All WHO Media Releases, Fact Sheets and Features as well as other information on this subject can be obtained on Internet on the WHO home page:

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