On World Polio Day, October 24th, Nice Media attended the opening of a new polio vaccine plant at GSK, Wavre, Belgium, where their 30-minute documentary The Endgame, was premiered.
The new 340 million Euro plant at Wavre has been built to service the endgame – the last, difficult push to eliminate polio from the planet, with superstition, war and vaccine resistance obstacles along the path.
Nice Media’s documentary, The Endgame has been funded by GSK and commissioned by Pearl Group. The documentary’s title reflects the final thrust to eradicate this infectious disease.
The first polio vaccine was given in 1956. Thanks to the largest peacetime mobilisation in human history, involving business, government, NGOs and volunteers, there are now only a handful of cases of polio every year.
Even when there are no more cases of polio occurring, vaccination must continue for around 20 years to ensure the virus never returns. With no cases visible, it will become increasingly difficult to maintain the uptake and distribution of the vaccine.
David Pearl, Founder and Managing Director at The Pearl Group said:
“It’s been a fascinating experience working with Nice on this. None of us really appreciated how the fight against polio has galvanised humanity into action. The story is huge and the heroes we have met along the way are truly inspiring.”
Roger Connor, president of GSK vaccines, welcomed the positive developments of the site in Belgium:
“At GSK, we believe that it is better to prevent than to cure. That’s why we deliver more than 2 million vaccines every day around the world that help protect against diseases like flu, meningitis or polio. Thanks to the work of our 9000 collaborators in Belgium, and the millions of doses of polio vaccines that will soon be produced in this new building, we are proud to contribute to the ambition of The World Health Organization to eradicate the polio virus from the planet.”
Invited to inaugurate the building, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said:
“The pharmaceutical sector is one of the cornerstones of our economic activity. Through the strategic investment Pact, the Government wishes to consolidate Belgium’s position in the international public health arena.”
The Endgame documentary is now set to be shown to a wide variety of audiences around the globe.