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August 11, 1999

Children's Vaccine InitiativeThe Politics of International Health: The Children's Vaccine Initiative and the Struggle to Develop Vaccines for the Third World

Author Affiliations

Copyright 1999 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1999American Medical Association

JAMA. 1999;282(6):594. doi:10.1001/jama.282.6.594-JBK0811-5-1

William Muraskin has written an informative and useful, if somewhat overdramatic, description and analysis of the background and first five years' accomplishments of the Children's Vaccine Initiative (CVI). In light of the tremendous potential of the biotechnology revolution, the CVI was formed to stimulate and coordinate the activities of the various players in the vaccine enterprise to develop and introduce new and improved vaccines throughout the world.

The ultimate vision was of a polyvalent vaccine, which could be administered orally at birth and provide lifelong protection against the full range of vaccine-preventable diseases. Shorter-term objectives included improving existing vaccines and developing combinations that could reduce the number of injections needed. The players, who had an uneven record of working together, included basic scientists, vaccine manufacturers, public health officials at national and international levels, and multinational agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the World Bank (WB).