Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

WHO/IVB/05.14

Group A streptococcal vaccine develpment: current status and issues of relevance to less developed countries.

This is one of a series of papers that review the clinical importance of group A streptococcal diseases, possible control strategies, prevention by vaccination and a possible role of WHO. In light of the current lack of a clear strategy for primary prevention of GAS infections, there is a place for a safe, effective, affordable and practical GAS vaccine. Based on the epidemiology of GAS diseases in less developed countries, there is concern that the vaccine most advanced in development - a multivalent, type-specific vaccine - may not provide sufficient and long-lasting protection in countries with higly endemic GAS diseases. The review advocates for an assessment of the efficacy GAS vaccines ain less develoed country settings, for oversight and coordination of GAS vaccine development activities, and that a vaccine is made available for the prevention of GAS diseases in less developed countries.

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