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Facilitating the development of urgently required combination vaccines.

Lancet Global Health 2024 April 16
The essence of a vaccine lies in its ability to elicit a set of immune responses specifically directed at a particular pathogen. Accordingly, vaccines were historically designed, developed, registered, recommended, procured, and administered as monopathogen formulations. Nonetheless, the control and elimination of an astonishing number of diseases was realised only after several once-separate vaccines were provided as combinations. Unfortunately, the current superabundance of recommended and pipeline vaccines is now at odds with the number of acceptable vaccine administrations and feasible health-care visits for vaccine recipients and health-care providers. Yet, few new combinations are in development because, in addition to the scientific and manufacturing hurdles intrinsic to coformulation, developers face a gauntlet of regulatory, policy, and commercialisation obstacles in a milieu still largely designed for monopathogen vaccines. We argue here that national policy makers and public health agencies should prospectively identify and advocate for the development of new multipathogen combination vaccines, and suggest ways to accelerate the regulatory pathways to licensure of combinations and other concrete, innovative steps to mitigate current obstacles.

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