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Position Pieces

Vol. 8 No. 1: April issue

Global health Initiatives as a ‘Drunken Boat’: The Meningitis Vaccines Project Case Study

December 7, 2020


Based on an analysis of the Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP), a public-private partnership (PPP) set up to introduce the MenAfriVac® vaccine in African countries, this article examines the failures of an accelerated disease control programme that targeted a highly infectious disease. I argue that the integration of MenAfriVac® into the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Expanded Programme on Immunisation had the effect of reinforcing inequalities in access, in particular during epidemic emergencies. I will also show how vaccine shortages during an outbreak in Niger led to political tensions and to the emergence of a parallel and unregulated ‘black market’ of vaccines.