Vaccines are essential health resources

Vaccines: Saving Lives, Changing the World, Giving Hope

09.11.13 | By John Castellani

To say that vaccines have changed the world for the better is a dramatic understatement. Vaccines have helped us to eradicate smallpox. They’ve helped to dramatically reduce the scourge of polio around the globe. They’ve prevented and controlled once deadly viruses like measles, rubella, influenzas and a host of other infectious and communicable conditions.  They are giving us new preventative and therapeutic tools to use in the fight against some cancers and other diseases.

Vaccines, in short, are essential public health resources that have both helped save millions of lives round the world and are giving hope to millions for a healthier future.

They are also complicated medicines that can take years to research and develop, and they present unique challenges when it comes to providing access and educating the public about their use.    

That is why PhRMA and its partners – the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Nurses Association, Malaria No More, the National Association of School Nurses and the American Osteopathic Association are today honoring some amazing men and women with this year’s Research & Hope Awards.

The honorees are impressive: A team from GlaxoSmithKline that has dedicated 30 years to develop a malaria vaccine for children in sub-Saharan Africa; Dr. Douglas Lowy and Dr. John Schiller from the National Cancer Institute, who worked for two decades to discover the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine to help fight cervical cancer; and Dr. Linda Fu and colleagues at Children’s National Medical Center, who have helped improve immunization rates for at-risk children in DC and are now working to extend their success nationally.

At the core, each of our awardees have a deep-rooted, collaborative commitment to advancing science, asking and answering incredibly difficult questions, and finding pathways to help improve public health. This mindset is indicative of so many dedicated researchers throughout the biopharmaceutical ecosystem. In today’s hectic pace, it’s important to occasionally step back and celebrate our collective accomplishments and the exciting future of medical innovation. This is the purpose of the Research & Hope Awards. 

For more information: Read the Vaccines in Development Report and visit the Research & Hope Awards page.

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