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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Gut Feeling

Vaccination is one of the most efficient and cost-effective medical interventions that exist. Being healthy is the most important thing in life, and preventing illness is something to strive for. Diarrhoeal diseases, respiratory infections, malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis are infectious diseases that globally harvest the most casualties, with the deaths of over 1 million children under the age of five caused by diarrhoea-contracted diseases alone every year.

Vaccination has made an enormous contribution to global health. Immunisation saves 2-3 million deaths every year from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and measles. However, an additional 1.5 million deaths could be avoided if global vaccination coverage improves. Despite these successes, approximately 7 million children still die each year, and about a half of these mortalities are caused by infections, which could be prevented by vaccination.

Several aspects of health economics should be considered for vaccines. The benefits of vaccination extend beyond prevention of specific diseases in individuals, enabling a rich, multifaceted harvest for societies and nations. It also makes good economic sense and meets the need to care for the weakest members of society. Reducing global child mortality rates by facilitating universal access to safe vaccines of proven efficacy is a moral obligation for the international community as a human right exists for every individual to have the opportunity to live a fuller, healthier life.

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Björn Sjöstrand is the founder and Chief Executive Officer at Scandinavian Biopharma. He has extensive experience in the vaccine industry and has held many executive positions in Swedish and international companies. Björn has held positions including Chief Executive Officer of SBL Vaccines, Chief Executive Officer at Berna Biotech AG, Chief Business Officer at Crucell NV, Non-Executive Director at European Vaccine Manufacturers and a member of the Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunisation. He also holds several board positions in both private and public companies and has been an advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
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Björn Sjöstrand
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