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Five Alleged Taliban Suspects Arrested On Suspicion Of Killing Polio Workers, Pakistani Police Say

“Pakistani police said they arrested five alleged Taliban suspects Wednesday on suspicion of killing women polio vaccinators and plotting to attack Karachi airport,” Agence France-Presse/Dawn.com reports. “Gunmen in Pakistan last month killed nine health workers carrying out polio vaccinations, five of them in Karachi in attacks that prompted U.N. agencies to suspend work on…

India Marks Two Years Since Last Diagnosed Polio Case

On January 13, India “completed two years since the last case of the crippling disease was reported … a huge achievement for a country that as recently as 2009 reported 741 cases of polio — more than any other country in the world, and almost half of cases reported globally…

Blog Posts Address Progress In, Challenges To Polio Eradication Efforts

Following the murders of several Pakistani polio vaccinators in December 2012 and India’s recognition of being free from the disease for two years on January 13, two blog posts address efforts to eradicate polio. Siddharth Chatterjee, Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog”: “Thanks to India’s success, we are now closer than ever to eliminating…

Experts Blame Lack Of Immunization Coverage For Pakistan’s Measles Outbreak

In 2012, measles “claimed the lives of more than 300 children in Pakistan,” with more than 200 of those deaths from Sindh province, and health experts and the WHO are saying “the huge difference in routine immunization coverage between the provinces, districts and cities is at the root of the…

China To Maintain Current Family Planning Policy, Minister Says

“China will stick with its current family planning policy to maintain the country’s low birthrate but will make an effort to fine-tune it, … Wang Xia, minister of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, [said] at a national conference in Beijing on Monday amid widespread speculation that the one-child…

Japan’s 2012 Payment To Global Fund Its Highest In 10 Years

“The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria today welcomed the payment by Japan of the second and final tranche of its total 2012 contribution of US$343 million, the highest annual amount that Japan has ever made in 10 years of vigorous support for the Global Fund,” a Global…

Indian Company Plans To Make Lower-Cost Injectable Polio Vaccine

Serum Institute of India Ltd., the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, plans to “slash the price of polio immunization and introduce shots for diarrhea and pneumonia, undercutting Pfizer Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline Plc.,” Bloomberg Businessweek reports. According to Cyrus Poonawalla, founder of the company, Serum Institute “will use last year’s acquisition of…

‘Vaccine Diplomacy’ Could Reduce Disease Burden On Korean Peninsula

“North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in a New Year’s Day speech, called for reductions in international tension and an end to confrontation with South Korea, while raising the prospect of reunification between the North and South,” Peter Hotez, president and director of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, notes in a Los…