The Brazilian government announced Monday an accord with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to produce a combined measles/rubella vaccine for export to developing nations at favorable prices.
The foundation is providing $1.1 million to pay for clinical trials of the vaccine, Brazilian Health Minister Alexandre Padilha told a press conference here.
A factory will be built in Santa Cruz, Rio de Janeiro state, with the goal of producing 30 million doses of vaccine per year.
"We will be able to sell vaccines against measles and rubella at a price below that of the market, to benefit the countries on the road to development," Padilha said.
Increasing the number of companies producing the vaccine is crucial to bringing down the price, the head of the Gates Foundation Global Health Program, Trevor Mundel, said.
The foundation aims to make vital vaccines available to every child in the world, Mundel said.
Brazil produces 96 percent of the vaccines distributed to the domestic population through the public health system, Padilha said, adding that the industry also contributes by boosting the nation's capacity for research and spurring the creation of skilled employment. EFE