COVID-19 vaccine systems: a template for other health goals
The vaccine infrastructure created for COVID-19 should be maintained for other illnesses, says health-policy expert.
Developing a global adult-vaccination program out of the infrastructure built for COVID-19 would be as profound a legacy for public health as the creation of the United Nations out of the ruins of the second world war was for international relations, says Sir John Bell, former president of Britain’s Academy of Medical Sciences.
“COVID-19 has cost millions of lives and exposed weaknesses in public health care. We have a moral responsibility to learn from it, act and save others,” he wrote in The Economist.
“In the past, it was impossible to imagine a global adult-vaccination programme. Today it is realistic. This is because the pandemic has accelerated advances in vaccine development, manufacturing and delivery, as well as the build-out of technology systems, health centres and trained staff.”
This infrastructure should now be applied to other adult vaccines and injectable medication, he argues.
“Vaccine technology has progressed dramatically. A new generation of tools will soon be available to tackle many of the most dangerous pathogens in the world.”
These medical tools will be effective not only against infectious diseases, but long-acting injectable therapies will also be available against cardiometabolic diseases such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, he said.