Vaccination against infectious diseases has changed the future of the human species, saving millions of lives every year, both children and adults, and providing major benefits to society as a whole. Here we show, however, that national and sub-national coverage of vaccination varies greatly and major unmet needs persist. Although scientific progress opens exciting perspectives in terms of new vaccines, the pathway from discovery to sustainable implementation can be long and difficult, from the financing, development and licensing to programme implementation and public acceptance. Immunization is one of the best investments in health and should remain a priority for research, industry, public health and society.
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