Penélope Toledo (INCQS/ Fiocruz)
The National Institute for Quality Control in Health (INCQS/Fiocruz) participated (11/5 to 7) of the 3rd General Meeting of the WHO-National Control Laboratory Network for Biologicals, in Johannesburg, South Africa. During the meeting, it was discussed the possibility of turning INCQS/Fiocruz into an effective member of the Network.
The chief of the Bacterial Vaccines sector of the Immunology Department, Alexandre Dias, was the representative of INCQS/Fiocruz during the meeting of WHO regulatory systems, which included participants of many countries quality control laboratories. Dias presented the brazilian situation, highlighting its structure, the products analyzed, and the number of samples tested per year.
Other issues discussed at the meeting were the activities previously carried out by the Network and by WHO national offices; the update of the Sharepoint platform with information on the essays carried out, methodology used, products received and their origins (pre-qualified or not), possible rejections etc, the challenges, and future activities agreed together. The subjects discussed were the pre-qualification of vaccines, strengthening of regulatory systems, obstacles for the delivery of immuno-biological products, benefits and impacts of the Network when it comes to access to vaccines, among others.
Dias emphasized the importance of the participation of INCQS/Fiocruz in the Network. “INCQS, Brazil’s national control laboratory, should be part of the worldwide network, we can contribute a lot, especially considering that Brazil exports vaccines”, he stated.
As a parallel event, there was a meeting of the national quality control laboratories just to discuss reference materials that work as base for analysis measurements, ensuring product reliability. Among other issues, the meeting also discussed the need to implement references for the new formulations that have arisen, the production and establishing of an international reference, and the WHO questionnaire to survey the needs and demands of laboratories.
In addition to participating in the meeting, Alexandre Dias took the opportunity to discuss technical cooperation agreements with quality control institutes in other countries. Among the partnership proposals, the event discussed a collaborative study with an Italian institution and with India’s Serum Institute to evaluate a whooping cough vaccine.