MSD is leading the way to a healthier future with products that touch the lives and improve the well-being of people and communities around the world.
Our ambition is to be the undisputed leader for vaccines, known for our innovation, expertise, ethics and dedication to protecting the lives of children and adults. Every child, woman and man deserves to be free from vaccine preventable diseases.
MSD has played an important and defining role in the history of vaccines. We are proud of our rich biotechnical heritage that spans over a century, and of our proven track record in supplying well-tolerated and effective vaccines to millions of Europeans. Our best-in-class vaccines portfolio, which includes childhood, adolescent and adult products, has helped to prevent a number of diseases, including the prevention of now rare diseases, like measles and mumps, to diseases never thought preventable, like shingles and cervical cancer.
We are strongly committed to medical innovation and collaboration to further improve European health and wellbeing through excellence in our products, processes and partnerships.
Our priority is the health and wellness of patients and citizens by saving lives and ensuring them a healthier and longer future. We are proud of our responsible and agile company which is driven by the enthusiasm of our people.
Europe leads the way
Europe is at the heart of global vaccine research and production. 80% of the vaccines produced in the EU are exported across the globe, with more that 50% of exports going to humanitarian groups like UNICEF, PAHO or GAVI.1
Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective achievements in public health, significantly decreasing costs related to hospitalizations, treatments, disabilities, disease outbreaks, and productivity loss. They have helped to prevent more than 30 common infectious diseases2 and save approximately 3 million lives a year globally.3
MSD scientists have been discovering and developing vaccines to help protect children, adolescents and adults from a number of serious diseases for more than 100 years. In that time, MSD has been home to some of the world’s greatest vaccinologists, including the late Dr. Maurice Hilleman, the scientist and visionary who developed more than 30 vaccines over the course of his remarkable career.
Every day, we are inspired by our track record in delivering effective vaccines that have transformed millions of lives, and we are committed to finding new and innovative responses to urgent health issues.
The Genius of Vaccines
Vaccines help protect against diseases by very cleverly inducing immunity in our bodies. They present our bodies with a harmless substance recognizable as the infection – for example a deactivated virus or bacterium.
This tricks the body’s immune system into producing antibodies and an immune memory, which then provide protection if exposure to the actual infection occurs. This immunity may be retained for years, decades, or even a lifetime following vaccination.
Vaccines continue to help save millions of lives every year and reduce related negative health consequences for much of the world’s population, including Europe.
The process of producing vaccines is complicated and uses live micro-organisms, so getting vaccines through to the finished products can take as long as two years.
We support EU and WHO recommendations and 2020 objectives, which recognize vaccination as a tool for public health. Our vaccines are developed with a vision and commitment to lifelong health for Europeans of all ages.
Improving Immunization Coverage in Europe
According to the World Health Organization, preventable, infectious diseases still pose significant threats in Europe, where there have been outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in recent years. In 2013 alone, 31,685 cases of measles and 39,367 cases of rubella were reported.4
Even though general immunization coverage in the region is high, large population groups remain unprotected. Of the 11.2 million children born in Europe in 2012, nearly 554,150 did not receive the complete three-dose series of diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus vaccine by the age of one year.3
The Future of Vaccines
Rather than treating people once they have gotten sick, vaccine science seeks ways to protect people’s health and prevent disease by stimulating the body’s immune system. This approach is increasingly defining the future of biomedical research, generally, so vaccines are well-placed to be harbingers of a new kind of more effective, more preventive and more targeted kind of medicine. And this approach aligns well with new societal and policy trends that favor disease prevention and health management instead of only new treatments.
Beyond infectious diseases, researchers are also using vaccine technology in the pursuit of more prevention among more targeted populations. One day it may be possible to stimulate the immune system to control or even stop the spread of cancerous mutations, Alzheimer’s deteriorations, and more.
MSD continues its commitment to finding solutions to diseases that affect people of all ages everywhere in the world. MSD Vaccines is at the forefront of finding innovative solutions to help prevent diseases globally.
Today, we are developing vaccines against new infections, improving existing vaccinations and exploring ways of making our vaccines even more acceptable – for example, by maximizing the number of vaccines in a single injection.