A pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, says cervical cancer may become the first cancer to be eliminated with a vaccine.
In a statement signed by the company and in commemoration of the World Immunisation Week, Medical Director, Sub-Saharan Africa, Pfizer, Kodjo Soroh, said there was a need to invest in vaccine research and development.
He said, “Vaccines underpin our global health security by preventing and controlling over 30 infectious diseases, reducing unnecessary hospitalizations, and controlling infectious disease outbreaks.
“We should not forget that they are one of the world’s most powerful and cost-effective public health tools available and have successfully helped to eradicate, eliminate, and manage many deadly infectious diseases.
“Smallpox has been eradicated and polio is nearly gone. Cervical cancer could become the first cancer to be eliminated.”
“Vaccines also play a critical role in combating antimicrobial resistance, they can reduce antibiotic use by preventing bacterial infections in the first place, such as with the pneumococcal and meningococcal vaccines, and can also prevent viral infections such as flu, which can provoke secondary infections requiring antibiotics.”
He added that by channelling resources to vaccines, many people will be saved from life-threatening illnesses.
Soroh said, “Today, more than at any time in history, people are benefiting from safe and effective vaccines to prevent infections and diseases. These injections have protected people of all ages, from newborns to seniors.”
“However, our work is not done. Many viruses and bacteria still present a serious health risk, and so we continue to focus on research and development in new areas, with the goal of adding more approved vaccines to tackle pathogens.”