Published on September 13, 2013 at 8:34 AM
Dr Marie-Pierre Préziosi, Director of the MVP, said: “The quality of the work and results presented here is unprecedented. We now have impressive evidence in hand that this vaccine stops transmission of meningitis A. Over 100 million people have already been vaccinated. They are protected themselves and they protect others against disease. We have a real opportunity over the next few years to make meningitis A epidemics a thing of the past.”
Steve Davis, PATH President and CEO, said: “This landmark study is further evidence of what a success story this public private partnership has become in the arena of global health. When we began this project in 2001, we knew that developing the vaccine was only half the battle. It required intense work to meet rigorous regulatory and technical requirements; to test the vaccine’s safety and efficacy; and to strengthen the countries’ capacity to administer it for the long haul. We are deeply grateful for all the institutions and the individuals who have made this vision a reality.”
Dr Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele, Director of the WHO Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, said: “This is an extremely encouraging signal for those countries that have yet to introduce the vaccine. We are not even half-way done with introducing this revolutionary new vaccine across the meningitis belt of Africa, yet we already have extraordinary results.”
Dr Keith Klugman, Director of the Pneumonia programme at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said: “This is a triumph for collaborative partnerships in public health to assist those with the least resources to receive a much needed vaccine. In order to assure the people living in the meningitis belt that the vaccine effectiveness remains high, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is pursuing opportunities to partner with affected countries to develop a surveillance program so that future vaccine requirements can be evaluated and updated.”
The authors say several more years of surveillance are needed to establish how long the vaccine remains effective in preventing epidemics and whether other groups of meningococci replace the ousted serogroup A meningococcus.