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Vaccine Development: The Race Against the Clock

September 21, 2015
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Seth Berkley is an epidemiologist along with being the CEO of Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance. Gavi is a global health organization that protects lives by improving access to vaccines in developing countries. In this TED Talk, Berkley discusses the risk and fear of Ebola along with the marketing incentives behind creating vaccines. Berkley compares Ebola with the flu, Dengue Fever and Measles. While these other viruses have caused many more deaths, Berkley says that Ebola has still stolen all of the headlines this last year, and the fear that comes with it. Something about Ebola deeply scares and fascinates people more than other diseases. Why is that? Well, people have a fear that they "might have it someday." People see Ebola as a virus that has an ability to defy modern medicine; but does it really? Ebola has been known about since 1976, so why is there no vaccine for it? Well, as sad as it is to say, the people who are most at risk are also the ones least able to pay for the vaccine. This leaves little marketing incentives since vaccine development is complicated and expensive. The creation of a vaccine isn't a matter of lacking modern medicine, but rather, the lack of desire to put resources behind it (as well as securing a for-sure profit in the industry). In order to learn more about this problem, watch the TED session below.
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