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Our projects: Targeting neglected diseases through partnerships

August 13, 2021

The Livestock Vaccine Innovation Fund is an initiative developed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Affairs Canada, and IDRC. It represents a joint investment of CA$57 million over seven years to support the development, production, and commercialization of innovative vaccines against livestock diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia.

To facilitate the large-scale use of livestock vaccines, LVIF works through partnerships to develop vaccines that are accessible, affordable, available, and acceptable to livestock smallholders. The Fund targets key neglected livestock diseases that have the greatest impact on both women and men livestock smallholders.

LVIF has adopted a strategic model that intervenes at key points in the vaccine development, production, and access continuum. The Fund carries out research activities along three broad streams:

Cutting-edge vaccine development

Major advances in biotechnology and vaccinology over the past two decades are providing an unparalleled opportunity for the development of new-generation livestock vaccines.

Projects funded under this stream use state-of-the-art technology to develop new vaccines in an accelerated manner for the following livestock diseases that affect livestock smallholders in low and middle-income countries.

Improvement and manufacturing

Developing country-contexts are rarely considered during the design of vaccines intended for the prevention or control of diseases with the greatest impact on poor livestock smallholders. Vaccines often require multiple re-vaccinations, have poor efficacy and limited capacity to protect against multiple serotypes, and require skilled vaccinators to administer.

These projects seek to respond to the challenges of existing vaccines by improving product profiles or manufacturing processes.

Women’s empowerment and benefits

Gender inequalities limit agricultural and livestock productivity, in part due to social, cultural, and economic factors that prevent women from accessing the resources and benefits of research for development programs. Projects funded under this stream focus on empowering women as users of vaccines, as entrepreneurs, and as service providers in the livestock vaccine distribution and delivery chain.

Scaling up

In many rural livestock farming settings in Africa, the use of existing livestock vaccines remains low. Common issues include cost, lack of access, and lack of information, or a combination of multiple factors. Projects funded under this stream are piloting novel approaches to address these issues and help increase the availability, access and demand for livestock vaccines for both women and men livestock smallholders.