Donald Pinkston Francis

Donald Pinkston Francis

Global Solutions for Infectious Diseases, USA

Title: Dramatic changes in the development and supply of vaccines for the world


Donald Pinkston Francis, completed undergraduate studies at the U.C. Berkeley, received his M.D. from Northwestern University and his Doctor of Science in Virology from Harvard. He joined CDC in the early 1970s, where combated smallpox, cholera, Ebola and AIDS. His early work on HIV/AIDS was chronicled in Randy Shilts? And the Band Played On. From 1988 to 1992, he was Special Consultant on AIDS to San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos. After retiring from CDC in 1992 he worked on HIV vaccines at Genentech, VaxGen and now a not-for-profit company GSID.


In recent years, there have been dramatic changes in both the supply of existing vaccines and early stage development of new vaccines. There have been shifts that have seen vaccine companies from Brazil, India and China taking larger and larger roles in both the development and production. From the vaccine production/supply side, companies from emerging markets supplied less than 10% of UNICEF purchased vaccines in 1997. That increased to about 50% by 2012. From the vaccine development side, some of these companies have undertaken major projects for the development of new products for diseases as disperate as malaria, dengue, human papiloma virus, influenza and Japanese encephalitis. The movement of these vaccines from early development, to local licensure and then to UNICEF prequalification, bodes well for the health of the world.