Professor Ian Gust talks about the past, present and future of vaccines

Burnet Institute

26 July, 2011

Professor Ian Gust (centre) answers questions from Burnet staff.

Professor Gust who was instrumental in accelerating the introduction of the hepatitis B vaccine into routine immunization programs presented Immunization: The times are a changin’ to a packed Burnet Institute audience.

“The major difficulty in finding an HIV vaccine is the mutation of the virus. I went on record in 1986 saying it would be unlikely I would see a licensed and effective HIV vaccine in my lifetime, and I remain cautious,” he said.

Professor Gust pointed out just how far the global immunization program has come by comparing the program over generations.

“By the time I was a teenager I had received three vaccinations, by the time my grandchildren are that age they will have had 14 vaccinations,” Professor Gust said.

He said the industry has experienced extraordinary growth and a recent injection of $5.1 billion dollars from the global community into the Global Fund for Children’s Vaccines makes sure immunization remains a priority on the world stage.

Professor Gust praised the support from UNICEF, WHO, the Bill and Melinda Gates who helped increase the amount of children being immunized from five per cent to 80 per cent.

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