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The Children’s Vaccine Initiative: Continuing Activities: A Summary of Two Workshops Held September 12–13 and October 25–26, 1994 BRINGING CLARITY TO THE CVI “VISION” The CVI was launched 5 years ago at the World Summit for Children in New York City. The goal of the CVI is to harness new technologies to advance the immunization of children. A specific, long-range aim is the development of an “ideal” pediatric vaccine. This vaccine would be given orally near birth in a single dose, be heat stable, contain multiple antigens, be effective against diseases not currently targeted, and be affordable. Although its fundamental objective has not changed, the CVI has evolved over time. Early on, for example, CVI planners recognized the need to broaden the scope of the initiative. As a result, the CVI is addressing not only the development of new and improved vaccines, but also such issues as vaccine quality control and global vaccine supply. More recently, two ideas have emerged that are helping to guide much of what the CVI does. The first is that DTP vaccine should serve as the “platform” upon which scientists build multicomponent combination vaccines; the second is that efforts to improve immunization need to take into account regional differences in populations, disease epidemiology, and technical expertise. In 1994, the World Health Organization (WHO) underwent a major restructuring, in large part to meet the needs of the CVI. A key result was the creation of the Global Program on Vaccines, which now oversees the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), the Programme for Vaccine Development, and WHO’s vaccine supply and quality-control operations. Although the director of the Global Program on Vaccines serves as the executive secretary of the CVI, the CVI remains independent of this new entity. As before, a committee composed of representatives of the five founding organizations36 provides the CVI with direct governance. Perhaps most important, the WHO reorganization has clarified the CVI’s mission: Through the efforts of its various advisory bodies, the CVI will help guide those working to develop improved children’s vaccines; implementation of this vision will be left to others—individuals, institutions, and governments. 36 The founders of the CVI are the Rockefeller Foundation, the United Nations Development Program, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Bank, and the WHO.
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