Dr. Niteen Wairagkar is an infectious disease physician-scientist and a global Health professional, currently in process of establishing his nonprofit organization “Vaccines for All” with a mission to ensure Vaccine as basic human right globally, establish innovative platforms to enhance vaccine access and facilitate the eradication of vaccine-preventable diseases.
Niteen started his career as primary health physician in India, continued to work with global research and philanthropy organizations (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, WHO HQ/SEARO, US-CDC, Indian Council of Medical Research), on global health issues and viral diseases of public health importance. He is credited with accelerating R&D of first-ever maternal RSV vaccine, maternal influenza vaccines, pandemic H1N1 vaccine, Universal influenza vaccines, and Measles aerosol vaccine.
At BMGF, he led global Influenza and RSV programs and developed a global grant portfolio for accelerating development and delivery of RSV and Influenza vaccines using innovative approaches. He championed the development of a global Maternal Immunization platform -maternal vaccines protecting pregnant women, fetus and newborn infants- through integrated ANC-EPI delivery mechanism which led to life course immunization concept. He oversaw multiple vaccine trials, including first-ever global phase III trial of maternal RSV vaccine, first in human Universal flu vaccine phase I studies and launched a global Grand Challenge for developing Universal influenza vaccine.
He helped set up multiple global partnerships like Global Consortium of funders for Universal Influenza Vaccine Development, International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC), Partnership for Influenza Vaccine Introduction in developing countries (PIVI), Advancing Maternal Immunization (AMI), MeaslesNetIndia- for maximizing the impact of global initiatives. He also pioneered real-time community mortality assessment programs in areas lacking health-care access, to understand the causes of death in the communities.
He has conceptualized and coordinated global multi-centric studies and published research papers in high-impact journals. He participated in several international meetings and served on boards of various scientific/policy/advisory groups and committees contributing to global policies, standards, and norms with WHO and global health stakeholders.
A firm believer of the immense power of vaccines and a strong proponent of maternal and neonatal immunization strategy, he would like to see the majority of vaccine-preventable diseases eradicated in his lifetime.