Humanity has made extraordinary progress in the fight against infectious diseases due in large part to vaccines. Despite their widespread availability in developed countries, the world’s poor do not have equal access and continue to be burdened significantly by vaccine-preventable diseases.
The Center for Vaccine Equity (CVE) was founded in 2011 to provide all people–regardless of socioeconomic status–with equal access to vaccines and to reduce the burden of vaccine-preventable diseases.
Our work focuses on increasing access to vaccines against cholera and influenza, and supporting the Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategy.
In addition to our deep scientific expertise in vaccines, we play vital convening roles in bringing our partners together. We host regular meetings to address technical, scientific, and resource challenges to polio eradication, cholera prevention and control, and access to influenza vaccine in developing countries.
Cholera Prevention and Control
CVE serves as the secretariat for the Coalition for Cholera Prevention and Control that was established in 2012 with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Coalition consists of 75 organizations and individuals, including countries threatened by the disease, who work to reduce the burden of cholera and end deaths from the disease globally.
The Coalition has developed a comprehensive integrated strategy that is being used as a framework to fight the disease globally. The strategy blends traditional approaches – disease detection, diagnosis, and treatment; safe drinking water, proper disposal of human waste, and hygiene (WaSH) – with appropriate use of recently developed oral cholera vaccines.
Influenza Pandemic Preparedness
Robust seasonal influenza immunization programs are vital to pandemic preparedness. Through the Partnership for Influenza Vaccine Introduction (PIVI) we work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help low- and middle-income countries expand seasonal influenza vaccination programs to protect high-risk groups, including pregnant women and healthcare workers.
To date, PIVI has facilitated the donation of more than 1.5 million seasonal influenza vaccines to four countries and is exploring providing assistance to additional countries.
We are working with the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other partners to support polio eradication. Our projects focus on the introduction of safer polio vaccines and addressing barriers to eradication. They include:
Assisting with the introduction of injectable inactivated polio vaccine into routine immunization schedules;
Supporting the “switch” in 156 countries simultaneously to a safer oral polio vaccine;
Serving as secretariat for the Polio Antivirals Initiative to address the issues of immune-deficient people who excrete poliovirus after exposure to the live oral vaccine and controlling potential outbreaks after eradication;
Conducting a global surveillance study to identify immune-deficient patients excreting poliovirus; and
Serving as secretariat for the National Certification Committee charged with validation of U.S. compliance with global standards for containment of poliovirus to reduce the potential for reintroduction of the virus.
Voices for Vaccines
In some developed countries, misinformation about the safety of vaccines has threatened progress made against vaccine-preventable diseases. Most recently, outbreaks of measles in the United States have occurred because some children have not received routine immunizations.
The Task Force project, Voices for Vaccines, addresses questions about vaccines. The project is led by scientists and concerned parents who provide accessible, science-based information about vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases. The project accepts no funding from governments or vaccine companies.