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Vaccine technologies for 3rd world

Posted May 04 2012 5:27pm

The nations which constitute the 3rd world group are not in a very comfortable position with regard to many basic facilities including health care and medical technology.

Many of the ordinary facilities that are considered to be common place and even considered to be a necessity in the developed nations are still considered to be a luxury in the 3rd world nations.

Things have definitely changed and improved for the better over the years. Yet basic facilities and necessities like health care, vaccination and medical technology are all still in the very nascent stage, even while the rest of the developed world is heralding the 11th year of the 21st century.

Year 2005 and an open invitation by Bill Gates:

In the year 2005, Bill Gates did make an odd proposal to the scientists and researchers of the world.  He offered an open invitation to these highly qualified and reputed folks to put their brains together and work towards a common aim. This common aim was to create or invent or discover effective methods of vaccination for many of the diseases that were yet not preventable. The major diseases topping this list were the much dreaded killer disease- Acquired Immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and malaria.

Issues with current method of vaccine administration:

He also requested them to find some viable solution to deal with the fact that the majority of the vaccines had to be administered via needles and syringes; which is obviously a painful process and deters many people from getting themselves or their children vaccinated.

Issues with current method of vaccine storage:

Many of the vaccines require being stored in refrigerators and ice packs. This is another hazard waiting to happen, because most of the developing and 3rd world nations experience frequent power outages and also may not have the proper refrigeration facilities. 

Outcome of these issues:

All these factors only make the existing health care and vaccination scenario more worser for the 3rd world nations. There are only about a handful of vaccines that are available to the 3rd world nations, and even those that are available are subjected to various kinds of issues and problems as mentioned above. All this contributes towards more incidences of diseases, failure of vaccine protection and consequent sickness, disability or death of the affected people.

The economic impact of these factors cannot be overlooked and mounting costs on providing treatment to these affected folks only makes the already poor nations, poorer.

The current scenario of research results achieved:

What Bill Gates expected to achieve was a ground breaking research that would create special vaccines, which did not need any thermal stabilization or temperature adjustments. But even as we have reached 2011, nothing seems to be happening much on this front.

Another issue with developing thermo stable vaccines is largely based on the cost factor. There seems to be no point in developing a highly expensive and extravagant method of creating thermo stable vaccines for the benefit of the 3rd world, because if they did not have the financial resources to support this development, what use would it be to them? Again the vaccination scenario would be back to square one, and would only mean loss of time, effort and funds on such an expensive project.

Current research results in vaccine thermo stabilization techniques:

  • Research is still being carried out to develop 2 techniques that help in administering vaccines without the need for prior refrigeration.

  • The first method is by using Nano particles. This method attempts to bond the vaccine molecules with nano particles. Once this is done, the layer of skin within the nostrils can easily absorb the vaccine in to the blood and from there in to the system.

  • This nano particle attachment method of vaccines works quite well for vaccines like Hepatitis B and flu vaccines and is being still tested for other vaccines like pneumonia vaccine

  • These nano particles are in what Dr. Baker illustrated as a “proprietary formulation of mayonnaise” with its base formed by soybean oil. The vaccine is introduced within the nano oil particles, which shield it from temperature alterations and germs.

  • The 2nd method is a rather complex one, and attempts to blend the genes which determine the proteins of the malarial parasite, onto a “genetic backbone” from vaccines that are used to counter small pox and a chimpanzee virus.

  • This method is a dry method and the vaccine if created by using such a method, does not require any packaging in bottles. Rather it could be simply dried on filter paper.

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