November 4, 2021

AQUITY supports The TB Vaccine Advocacy Roadmap (TB Vax ARM)

AQUITY Global joins The TB Vaccine Advocacy Roadmap (TB Vax ARM) coalition. The TB Vaccine Advocacy Roadmap (TB Vax ARM) represents a global coalition of TB stakeholders, including TB survivors, civil society organizations, and scientific non-profits, invested in TB vaccine advocacy and research. We have come together to deliver an open letter the G20 Health and Finance Ministers, signed by TB survivors and over 50 organisations around the world, with a call for them to fulfil their commitments to fund TB vaccine research.

We call upon our leaders to uphold global commitments to End TB by 2030 by ensuring an annual investment of US$1 billion to deliver a fully funded and financed TB vaccine pipeline by 2023 to make new TB vaccines possible as early as 2025.

TB diagnostics and therapeutics fall far short of what people with TB need. Each year, millions of people with active TB infections go undiagnosed and remain at risk of spreading the disease. With only a handful of new TB drugs developed in the past 50 years, those who receive a diagnosis face complex treatment regimens that take months or years, with many debilitating and deadly side effects, including deafness and nerve damage. Understandably, adherence to treatment can be poor, contributing to TB as a key driver of AMR. Innovation needs to be fueled across the board to effectively ensure the end of TB.

The promise of new TB Vaccine

A vaccine with an efficacy as low as 40% and protective for five years could still reduce approximately 24% of TB cases in low- and middle-income countries if targeted at adolescents and adults. A vaccine with an efficacy of 80% and with lifelong protection could prevent some 70% of TB cases in these countries. Prevention of TB among these populations would dramatically reduce transmission.

Vaccines targeted only at infants are projected to be far less effective at decreasing the TB disease burden and would not be cost-effective before 2050. Vaccines for adolescents and adults would be cost-effective and potentially cost-saving, assuming a duration of protection of 10 years or longer or an efficacy greater than or equal to 20%.