Editor(s): O. Hernell Annales Nestlé Vol.66 / 2,  2008

  • Editorial

    Author(s): The Editorial Committee

    Second to clean drinking water, vaccination has become the most effective public health measure for the control of infectious diseases. The successful eradication of smallpox 3 decades ago naturally led to the optimistic view that childhood diseases could also be eradicated by vaccination. Indeed, there is good hope that some infectious diseases, e.g., polio and measles, may soon be eradicated. On the other hand, there are still some 3 million people, mostly infants and children ! 5 years of age living in developing countries, that die each year from diseases that are preventable by vaccines. This frustration must be balanced against the fact that new vaccines are continuously being developed and proven safe and are used with high efficacy in high-income countries. Disappointingly, we have also learned that experiences from high-income countries may not necessarily be directly applicable to low-income countries. The vaccines most needed are partly different, immune responses may vary and monetary resources and infrastructure are substantial obstacles for the implementation of the vaccine programs needed. For these reasons, this issue of Annales Nestlé is devoted to vaccines in a broader sense and using a global perspective.

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