The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) held a global vaccine forum commemorating its 20th anniversary, at the Plaza Hotel in downtown Seoul, Wednesday.
|IVI Director General Jerome H. Kim answers questions during a press conference held at the global vaccine forum.|
IVI, headquartered in Seoul, is an international nonprofit organization that focuses on discovering, developing and delivering safe, effective and affordable vaccines for global public health especially developing countries.
Various government and private entities, including the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Samsung Foundation, support the institute.
“IVI would like to extend its gratitude to donors, partners and other supporters that have stood by the institute since its establishment 20 years ago,” IVI Director General Jerome H. Kim said. IVI is working with partners in Korea, Asia and around the world to accelerate the research and development of essential vaccines, Kim added.
Under its mission, IVI has developed Shanchol, the first inexpensive oral cholera vaccine, which the World Health Organization (WHO) referred to as a "game-changer" in the fight against cholera.
Through the development of the cholera vaccine, WHO has secured a stockpile of a global cholera vaccine to prepare for a health crisis and has vaccinated more than 16 million people in 18 countries.
As their next goal, the IVI is also developing a second vaccine to treat typhoid fever, jointly with SK Chemicals, a Korean pharmaceutical company, until 2020.
At a press conference during the forum, Kim expressed his hopes that more countries would be interested in supporting IVI. “The IVI is currently partnered with 35 countries and the WHO,” said Kim. “However, none of the G7 countries, such as U.S. Japan, U.K., and Germany, have partnered with the institution.”
With the support from the existing partner countries, including Korea, India, and Sweden, the institution believes that a G7 nation partnering with IVI is possible, Kim added.
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