Overview of the global vaccine ecosystem
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INTRODUCTION: Vaccination is an effective, relatively inexpensive, and easy to deliver approach to combating infectious diseases. Widespread vaccination of children has led to the eradication of smallpox and allowed for regional elimination or control of diseases like polio, measles, mumps, tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough. But, as we learned from efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, a successful global vaccination program must overcome several hurdles. Failure at any stage can limit vaccine uptake and disease control. AREAS COVERED: In this review, we break down the vaccine journey from research and development to delivery into several steps. We also list all the important international organizations trying to support this ecosystem. Then we identify the role of each of these organizations in supporting each of the necessary steps for a successful vaccination program. EXPERT OPINION: The bottlenecks in vaccination can be different for different countries, based on their income and geography. Policy makers need to identify the weaknesses of this ecosystem in different regions of the world and make sure there is adequate global and local support to fill the gaps in the system.
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