UM vac­cine cen­ter awarded $36.9M grant

Baltimore Sun - - AROUND THE REGION -

The Univer­sity of Mary­land School of Medicine Cen­ter for Vac­cine De­vel­op­ment has been awarded a $36.9 mil­lion grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foun­da­tion to pro­mote vac­cines for typhoid fever, which kills a quar­ter­mil­lion peo­ple a year world­wide. The money will go to­ward the Typhoid Vac­cine Ac­cel­er­a­tion Con­sor­tium, a part­ner­ship with the Ox­ford Vac­cine Group at the Univer­sity of Ox­ford and PATH, a global health or­ga­ni­za­tion based in Seat­tle. The groups will work with gov­ern­ments and pol­i­cy­mak­ers to in­tro­duce vac­cines in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries with high lev­els of typhoid in hopes of re­duc­ing the health and eco­nomic con­se­quences of the dis­ease. Typhoid vac­cines are un­der­used in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries. Typhoid fever is spread by con­tam­i­nated food and wa­ter. Symp­toms in­clude last­ing high fevers, weak­ness, stom­ach pains, headache and loss of ap­petite, ac­cord­ing to the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol. It can also lead to in­ter­nal bleed­ing and death. Dense pop­u­la­tion and poor san­i­ta­tion and wa­ter qual­ity can cre­ate an environment where typhoid can eas­ily spread. “Typhoid fever dis­pro­por­tion­ately im­pacts chil­dren and poor pop­u­la­tions,” Dr. Kath­leen Neuzil, direc­tor of Cen­ter for Vac­cine De­vel­op­ment, said in a state­ment. “We look for­ward to work­ing with part­ners to cat­alyze ac­tion against this sig­nif­i­cant pub­lic health prob­lem.”

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