Source: XINHUA | 2012-8-6 | ONLINE EDITION
GENEVA, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- The GAVI Alliance, formerly the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, hopes to work with China to supply vaccines to countries in need soon, said its CEO Seth Berkley on Monday.
Berkley told Xinhua in an exclusive interview before his planned trip to China that the World Health Organization (WHO) certified China's national regulatory agency (the State Food and Drug Administration) last year, and that China-produced vaccine against Japanese encephalitis is currently reviewed by WHO for pre-qualification.
"We expect that to happen soon," he said.
Berkley said the majority of places GAVI purchases vaccines from were in the developing world, such as India.
By doing this, the organization, which is a public-private partnership focused on saving children's lives and protecting people's health by increasing access to immunization in developing countries, has managed to reduce the price of the vaccines and also ensure the security.
"If you only have one or two suppliers, you can have problems of quality control. We want to have a health vaccine market with many different suppliers," Berkley said, adding that quality control was the "incredibly important priority" for GAVI.
Pre-qualification by UN agencies, routine checks by vaccine manufacturers, supervision of national regulatory system and checks conducted by vaccine importing countries form a multiple-system to ensure the security of vaccines.
He said he would discuss with Chinese government officials about this issue during his visit to Beijing in September. He will also meet with leaders of some Chinese vaccine manufacturing companies to develop potential future partners.
Berkley also said China and GAVI might enjoy more cooperation in providing vaccines in Africa.
Until now, China is a recipient country of GAVI. In 2002, GAVI and China started a partnership that lasted until December 2010 to combat Hepatitis B.
Today less than one percent of children under five are chronic carriers of the disease, compared to 10 percent at the start of the project.