When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today Sunday newspaper on 2 December 2012

Vaccines have been called ‘travel insurance for life’ – their life-saving and life-enhancing capability is second only to that of safe drinking water.

We have had modern vaccines only for a couple of centuries and now take their protection completely for granted. But not everyone is covered – some vaccines are still beyond the reach of millions in the developing world because of cost, or the logistics of getting it across.

Most vaccines are fragile bio products that need to be stored at a temperature of between 2 and 8 degrees centigrade, from the time they are made to the point of administration. Any disruption in this ‘cold chain’ can reduce efficacy or make them invalid.

Even as new vaccines are being introduced against various diseases, delivering them safely to those who need…

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