Oxford Emergent Tuberculosis Consortium presents at Power of Vaccines event
Stoten said that while there has been major progress made in the attempt to replace the Bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine, late stage trials are expensive and the cause cannot afford to lose momentum with so much at stake, the British Medical Journal reports.
"Low disease incidence rates dictate that efficacy trials must recruit large numbers of people with long periods of follow up," Stoten said, according to the British Medical Journal. "Affordability will be a key issue (and) continued public funding support is vital."
The BCG vaccine is widely used, with more than 100 million doses annually, but according to Stoten, the vaccine only has variable efficacy against pulmonary disease, is less effective near the equator for an unknown reason and cannot be given to those who are HIV positive. He noted, however, that several promising BCG replacements are in the pipeline.
Aaron Oxley, the executive director of Results UK, also spoke at the event, emphasizing the importance of funding in the battle against TB.
"If we're serious about ending AIDS and TB, we're going to need new vaccines; and if we don't continue to fund the current pipeline hundreds of millions of dollars of previous investment-and millions of lives-will be lost," Oxley said, according to the British Medical Journal.
The symposium was hosted by the U.K. Consortium on AIDS and International Development.