OutpacingPandemics

Vaccines are an essential weapon in fighting disease outbreaks. But how does the time taken to develop vaccines compare to the speed and frequency of outbreaks? And how can we do it better?

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Outbreaks

Disease outbreaks are fast, frequent and unpredictable.

Vaccine development

The vaccines to fight them are slow and difficult to develop.

Timeline Timeline Oval Ebola scenario Oval Flu pandemic scenario Vaccines A new type of vaccine

Ebola outbreak, Guinea, 2014–15

If we could have introduced a vaccine more quickly after the WHO declared an outbreak, how many lives could have been saved?

What if we introduced the vaccine after:

Actual 30 weeks 22 weeks 6 weeks
Number of deaths

Total deaths averted: 0

Fast-moving pandemic

A hypothetical flu-like pandemic could spread very quickly and, without a vaccine, could result in 30m deaths in 12 months – the same as the population of Malaysia. How many lives could be saved with a speedily deployed vaccine?

What if we restrict travel by 50% or introduce the vaccine after:

Number of deaths

Total deaths averted: 0

Winning the race

How vaccine innovation could outpace the spread of global diseases

Code

and sequence the new DNA/RNA vaccine

Code

Code

Researcher analyzes material from the outbreak pathogen and purifies the genetic material.

Genetic material is sequenced and code uploaded to the cloud.

Enables researchers everywhere to work on developing DNA/RNA vaccines.

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Validate

the vaccine to ensure safety and efficacy

Validate

Validate

Standardized methods of vaccine production and past studies with the same vaccine platform could accelerate the evaluation of vaccines.

This ensures they are quickly evaluated, reviewed and approved.

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Produce

enough of the vaccine as and when you need to

Produce

Produce

Standardized production methods could mean the rapid development of a vaccine stockpile.

This would play a critical role protecting first responders and interrupting virus transmission in the general population.

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Distribute

the vaccine to outpace pandemics

Distribute

Distribute

Accelerating vaccine development is only part of the approach to global health security. It also requires:

  • strong surveillance systems to identify emerging pathogens.
  • fast and accurate diagnostic tests of new cases.
  • emergency operation centers to co-ordinate an effective response.
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Adapt

by updating production with the genetic sequence

Adapt

Adapt

If standardized "plug-and-play" vaccines platforms are created, researchers could build assembly-line plants around the world to develop them.

Production costs could drop dramatically as companies and governments wouldn't need to invest in new plants for each new vaccine.

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In the next decade, new vaccines could be created in a matter of weeks or months rather than years

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Sources

Various, including the National Center for Biotechnology Information, WHO, CDC, New World Encyclopedia, George C. Kohn, 'Encyclopedia of Plague and Pestilence: From Ancient Times to the Present' (2008) and History of Vaccines.

Notes

Methodology:

  1. The visualization shows only a selection of outbreaks and is not intended to be comprehensive for the time period.
  2. We have shown approximate death tolls where this data is available.
  3. For the purposes of this visualization, all HIV/AIDS cases since 1981 have been considered as part of one sustained epidemic.
  4. Transmission is defined as follows:
    1. National: an outbreak that is confined to one country.
    2. Regional: an outbreak that crosses country borders but is contained within one region.
    3. Global: an outbreak that crosses multiple regions.
  5. Vaccine development years covers when the vaccine was initially tested (indicates the year when a vaccine candidate was first tested in humans) to a safe and effective vaccine (indicates the year when a safe and effective vaccine was approved for broad use. Some vaccines deemed safe and effective may still have challenges related to universal affordability and accessibility).

Sources

Model prepared by: M. Ajelli, L. Fumanelli, S.Merler, A. Pastore, N.Samay, N. E. Dean, I.M. Longini Jr., M. E. Halloran and A. Vespignani at the Center for Inference and Dynamics of Infectious Diseases (CIDID), Bruno Kessler Foundation, Northeastern University, University of Florida and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Papers:

  1. Merler et al. (2016) Containing Ebola at the Source with Ring Vaccination. PLoS Negl. Trop. Dis. 10(11).
  2. Ajelli et al. (2016) Spatiotemporal dynamics of the Ebola epidemic in Guinea and implications for vaccination and disease elimination: a computational modeling analysis, BMC Medicine 14:30.
  3. Henao-Restrepo, et al. (2015) Efficacy of a recombinant live VSV-vectored vaccine expressing Ebola surface glycoprotein: Interim results from the Guinea ring vaccination cluster-randomized trial. The Lancet 38, 857–866.

Notes

Methodology:

  1. Stochastic agent-based model at the level of a single household that integrates detailed data on Guinean demography, hospitals, Ebola treatment units, contact tracing, and safe burial interventions.
  2. Data from the WHO and the Guinean Ministry of Health.
  3. Vaccine scenarios assume vaccine stockpile and distribution availability in all location in Guinea at the considered vaccination starting date of the scenario.
  4. May deaths only include up 17th May and not the full month.

Sources

Model prepared by: Hao Hu, Edward Wenger and Philip Eckhoff at the Institute for Disease Modeling using EMOD.

Notes

Methodology:

  1. The demographics in the simulations cover the entire world in 1-degree grid, and grids are connected with a global flight network. We use a simple SEIR model to represent the dynamics of a flu-like pandemic. The simulations assume a constant Basic Productive Number (R0) = 2.1 (infection period = 7 days), and case fatality rate = 0.6%. Vaccination campaign (80% take and 65% coverage) start around 6 weeks, 22 weeks, and 30 weeks after the initial outbreak in West Africa.
  2. According to the World Bank, Malaysia's population in 2015 was 30,331,007.