“One way to stretch ex­ist­ing stores could be by ad­min­is­ter­ing a frac­tional dose (one-fifth of the usual dose), which has also been shown to pro­tect against yel­low fever”

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

One key prob­lem is cost. In 2013, the yel­low fever vac­cine cost $0.82 per dose in Africa – a price that most de­vel­op­ing coun­tries can­not af­ford. A 2015 re­port by Médecins Sans Fron­tières showed that the vac­cine is now al­most 70 times more ex­pen­sive than it was in 2001.

Mak­ing mat­ters worse, even if coun­tries have the money, there are se­ri­ous sup­ply con­straints. Sene­gal’s Pas­teur In­sti­tute of Dakar, one of only four fa­cil­i­ties in the world pro­duc­ing yel­low fever vac­cines, man­u­fac­tures about ten mil­lion doses per year, and the man­u­fac­tur­ing process is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to scale up. More­over, the Pas­teur In­sti­tute is about to close down for a five-month ren­o­va­tion, dur­ing which it will be un­able to pro­duce more vac­cine.

For­tu­nately, the sit­u­a­tion is set to im­prove. The Pas­teur In­sti­tute is con­struct­ing a new fa­cil­ity about 30 kilo­me­ters from Dakar, in Di­amnia­dio, that is ex­pected to triple pro­duc­tion by 2019. An­other yel­low fever vac­cine man­u­fac­turer, Sanofi Pas­teur in France, is also ex­pand­ing its man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pac­ity. (The other two man­u­fac­tur­ers are based in Brazil and Rus­sia.)

For now, how­ever, sup­plies are tight. One way to stretch ex­ist­ing stores could be by ad­min­is­ter­ing a frac­tional dose (one-fifth of the usual dose), which has also been shown to pro­tect against yel­low fever.

But even that may not be enough if the virus spreads fur­ther. And, un­for­tu­nately, the high den­sity of Aedes

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