Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Authors / Biography

Orin Levine

Title Director, Vaccine Delivery
Organization Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Dr. Orin Levine leads the foundation’s efforts to accelerate the introduction of new vaccinesand related technologies and to improve routine immunization systems. He is the Foundation’s focal point for engagement with the GAVI Alliance whose mission is saving children’s lives by increasing access to immunization in poor countries.

Before joining the foundation’s Global Development Program in 2012, Dr. Levine was a Professor of International Health, and Executive Director of the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has also served as a Steering Committee Member of the Decade of Vaccines Collaboration and Co-Chair of its Global Access Working Group, as well as President, Committee on Global Health, American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene.

Dr. Levine graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Gettysburg College and received a PhD in epidemiology from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Posts By Orin Levine

New WHO Report Provides Road Map for Effective Vaccine Introductions

In the mid-1990s, when I started working with the World Health Organization (and at that time, the Children’s Vaccine Initiative, a pre-cursor to the current GAVI Alliance) on trying to accelerate the uptake of the Hib meningitis vaccine, there were a lot of barriers and concerns. Often, we heard that the existing immunization system was a “house of cards” and that introducing a new vaccine would risk pulling down the whole system. On the other hand, proponents of moving faster (like me) wondered whether the introduction of a new vaccine might, rather than adding strain, actually energize the system and increase coverage. As it turns out, both of the groups debating the impact of new vaccine introduction on health systems in the 1990s were wrong. In a paper released by a WHO working group last year, Jessica Shearer and colleagues conducted a rigorous statistical analysis of all available data, and concluded that the introduction of new vaccines did not result in a pronounced effect on routine immunization coverage.

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Is Measles Vaccination the Biggest Unrecognized Success in Global Health?

As someone who understands this impact, I ask you to join me in sharing the news about vaccines. Remind your friends and neighbors that vaccines are not only a miracle of science, but a “best buy” and a great example of success in global health and overseas aid – and that immunizing children protects them as well as society at large, whether here or abroad.

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What a Difference a Decade Makes

As World Pneumonia Day 2013 is celebrated around the world today, I’m struck by the difference a decade has made in the control and prevention of pneumonia – particularly how far we’ve come in expanding access to pneumonia vaccines.

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Driving Blind

Over the next five years, the BID team will partner with the World Health Organization and work with African countries to change how they collect, transmit and use data to deliver vaccines to those who need them. Unlike many projects that launch in a limited region, the BID initiative aims to operate at a national level. Collecting targeted data in more efficient ways may turn out to be one of the keys to improved vaccine delivery.

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A Breath of Fresh Norwegian Air

The determination and experience of MSF’s delivery teams provide a much-needed reminder of the urgency needed in our work and what’s possible with dedicated, supported staff. And dedicated immunization efforts – rooted in the contributions Norway and other partners have made to the GAVI Alliance – have shown tremendous success.

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