IAVI has been engaged in tuberculosis (TB) vaccine advocacy since 2018, including leading annual campaigns for World TB Day, hosting the Working Group on New TB Vaccines, participating in the Global TB Vaccine Partnership (GTBVP), and more recently co-leading the TB Vaccine Advocacy Roadmap (TB Vax ARM).
The TB Vaccine Advocacy Roadmap
In recognition of the dire underfunding of TB vaccine research — and the promising candidates in the pipeline — the TB Vaccine Advocacy Roadmap (TB Vax ARM) was formed following the Virtual Global TB Vaccines Forum in April 2021. The TB Vax ARM is an advocacy coalition with diverse membership from civil society organizations, scientists, TB survivors, and other allied groups from across the globe and managed by a core group of IAVI, Treatment Action Group (TAG), RESULTS UK, the Global TB Caucus, the Stop TB Partnership Working Group on New TB Vaccines (WGNV), and TB survivors. The ARM represents a forward looking and sustainable advocacy initiative that seeks to ensure a fully funded and resourced TB vaccine R&D pipeline by 2023. Further, the ARM is positioned to act as the complementary advocacy arm to other initiatives such as the EDCTP and AIGHD Global TB Vaccine R&D Roadmap and the forthcoming World Health Organization late-stage TB vaccine roadmap, that together will help create an enabling environment for next-generation TB vaccine candidates and drive forward multiple and diverse candidates in Phase II and III clinical development.
Meeting monthly, the coalition develops strategic advocacy activities to generate increased political and public awareness, cultivate political will, and advocate for accelerated and optimized research. Since its inception, the ARM has led two successful open letter campaigns, the first to G20 Finance & Health Minister in October 2021 and the second to EU leadership in February 2022. In the letter, the ARM calls upon leadership to uphold their promise made at the United Nations High-Level Meeting (UN HLM) on TB in 2018 to develop new vaccines to end TB through increased and sustained investments. The campaigns have been endorsed by over 90 organizations around the world, reached over 1 million screens on social media, and been featured in the Guardian Global Development and Politico Pro Morning Healthcare.
Global Forum on TB Vaccines
Since 2018, IAVI has supported the production of the Global Forum on TB Vaccines, the world’s largest gathering of stakeholders striving to develop new vaccines to prevent tuberculosis (TB). Bringing together stakeholders from across the spectrum of TB vaccine research and development (R&D), the Forum allows scientists and advocacy partners to share data, findings, concepts, and new approaches to R&D while promoting global dialogue on the path forward for this critical research.
The Global Forum on TB Vaccines was convened for the first time in 2001 in Geneva, Switzerland, by the World Health Organization. The Forum concluded that the driving force for identifying improved vaccines for tuberculosis over the next 10 years would be moving investigational TB vaccines into human clinical trials.
The Global Forum provides a unique opportunity to review the state of the TB field. Stakeholders have a chance to share their latest research findings and work collectively to identify new and innovative approaches to TB vaccines. By addressing the full spectrum of issues relevant to the TB landscape, including everything from basic research to clinical trials, manufacturing, regulatory, access, and advocacy, we hope to develop and deploy a new TB vaccine as quickly as possible.
In support of the 6th Global Forum, the TB Vax ARM curated two advocacy videos featuring 13 video messages from members of the global TB community. Featuring the voices of TB survivors, advocates, and researchers, the participants discuss the difference new TB vaccines will make for the world as they call for leaders to fulfil their commitments to fund new TB vaccines. Click here for video 1. Click here for video 2.
TB Vaccine Advocacy Social Media Fellowship
In February 2022, IAVI and three TB vaccine advocates, representing affected communities and early career researchers, came together for IAVI’s first-ever social media fellowship. The fellows, Cheleka Mpande, Gloriah Moses, and Krystyna Rivera, participated in a skill-sharing and co-creation program, through which they developed and launched the #Unite4TBVax campaign ahead of the 6th Global Forum. The campaign, promoting unity in the TB community, invites people to share how they’re helping make new TB vaccines a reality on the campaign’s online message board, which remains open for submissions.
Global TB Vaccine Partnership
The Global TB Vaccine Partnership (GTBVP) seeks to accelerate the development of TB vaccines through collaboration and coordination. The group acts as a key forum for stakeholders in TB Vaccine R&D to identify and address barriers impeding TB vaccine R&D and to discuss R&D priorities in order to help inform funding decisions. IAVI has been a member of the GTBVP since 2018, providing communications support and was a key partner in the development of the TB Vaccine Development Pathway.
The Stop TB Partnership Working Group on New TB Vaccines
IAVI is the host of the Stop TB Partnership Working Group on New TB Vaccines (WGNV). WGNV helps to facilitate the development of new, more effective TB vaccines by promoting consensus, scientific exchange, and advocacy support of TB R&D. WGNV also host materials for the TB Vax ARM as a key partner in the coalition.