FDA: Vaccines a Critical Tool in Protecting and Promoting Public Health

Yesterday, Dr. Karen Midthun of the FDA wrote about the important role of vaccines in promoting public health:

Vaccines are a critical tool in protecting and promoting the public health in the U.S. and around the world. The risks from childhood diseases like measles, mumps and polio have been greatly reduced, or in the case of polio, eliminated in the U.S. Vaccines are one of the great public health success stories of the 20th century.

Dr. Midlun reports that HHS has just released a progress report on the implementation of their National Vaccine Plan: The plan has five goals:

  • Develop new and improved vaccines
  • Enhance the vaccine safety system
  • Support communications to enhance informed vaccine decision-making
  • Ensure a stable supply of, access to, and better use of recommended vaccines in the United States
  • Increase global prevention of death and disease through safe and effective vaccination.

Dr. Midlun concludes:

We at FDA are very proud of the work we do to ensure the safety, effectiveness, and availability of vaccines for the United States. The activities highlighted in the report offer a glimpse into this important work being done at FDA and across the Department – work that lies at the heart of our public health mission.

At the 2014 BIO International Convention in San Diego this June, we’ll have an entire Specialty Forum dedicated to Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics, which will examine the latest developments in preventive and therapeutic vaccines, as well as national policies and financing mechanisms that affect global business opportunities in this field.  The Forum includes panels on novel vaccines for cancers and neglected infectious diseases as well as new research using immunology techniques to develop treatments.  Panelists include CEO’s and leaders of multi-national, biotechnology and emerging market vaccine developers and manufacturers as well as key partners, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the European Commission.

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