Ray Of Hope To End Tuberculosis, As TB Vaccine Community Deliberate To Shorten Development Time
The Tuberculosis vaccine community, is presently deliberating on how to fast track the development of TB vaccine.
The Deputy Executive Director, Stop TB Partnership Secretariat Geneva, Dr. Suvanand Sahu made this known at the 33rd Stop TB Partnership virtual Board Meeting.
Reaching the WHO End TB Strategy targets of a 95% reduction in TB mortality and a 90% reduction in TB incidence, worldwide, by 2035, experts say will require a new vaccine that is effective at preventing adult tuberculosis.
The Deputy Executive Director said so far the research on TB vaccine had led to 14 candidate vaccines which were under different phrases of trials.
“Just like any other diseases TB vaccine trial are very lengthy trials going up to 15years.” he said.
“However this COVID pandemic has taught many lessons, one of the lessons is how can we fast track the development of vaccines from 15years.”
According to him, ” Yesterday researchers presented to the Stop TB board some ideas on, how to shorten vaccine research and development time for Tb, learning from the experience of COVID.”
“One other thing that we have learnt is financing we have seen how countries financed for COVID19 vaccine, even purchased COVID vaccine with some advance purchase mechanism , even before the research was completed.”
Dr. Suvanand Sahu said there was need to bring such innovation into TB to get a faster timeline for the vaccine.
On his part, the Senior Disease Coordinator at Global Fund, Dr. Eliud Wandwalo said Global Fund would invest about 500 million dollars over the next three years to fight Tuberculosis (TB) in 11 other African countries including Nigeria.
“The 10 other countries include; Cameroon, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia.”
“Global Fund is committed to the eradication of TB around the world hence its decision to invest 12.7 billion dollars around the world in low and middle income countries to fight TB, malaria and HIV .”
“Health systems are overstretched due to the unprecedented global health emergency, leading to serious restrictions in access to TB diagnosis, treatment, and prevention services.” he observed.