21. September 2011 12:47
Sanofi Pasteur is donating a vaccine strain used for polio eradication to the World Health Organization (WHO) to produce oral polio vaccines (OPV).
The vaccines division of Sanofi is providing the original viral seed which is used to produce large volumes of OPV against the type 3 virus.
Olivier Charmeil, President and CEO of Sanofi Pasteur, says the donation is a “logical next step” in the division’s “unconditional support to OPV producers”.
Since its inception in 1988 by WHO, Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UNICEF, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative reduced the number of polio cases across the globe by 99%.
Sanofi Pasteur has supported the Initiative for the last three decades and recently responded to a request from UNICEF by committing to provide 400 million doses of OPV for use in developing countries. The donation saw the amount of doses provided by Sanofi Pasteur exceed five billion doses of OPV to UNICEF.
“Sanofi Pasteur is a leading contributor to the fight against polio and committed supporter of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative," added Sanofi Pasteur’s President.
WHO will now be in full control of the storage of the vaccine strain and its distribution to vaccine producers across the globe.