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IRIN Examines Lower Profile Of Pakistan’s Polio Immunization Campaigns

“Attacks on vaccination teams, militant threats and the abduction of teachers facilitating [a polio immunization] campaign in November 2013 have handicapped efforts and led to a new strategy” for conducting vaccinations in Pakistan, IRIN reports. “It means an end to the kind of campaigns seen in the past, often headed…

WHO, UNICEF Launch Polio Vaccination Campaign Targeting 23M Children In Middle East

“The [WHO] and UNICEF have launched a massive polio vaccination campaign aimed at immunizing 23 million children in the Middle East after 17 cases were discovered in Syria, the agencies announced Monday,” Al Jazeera America reports. “It will be the largest-ever immunization response in the region, WHO and [UNICEF] said…

Pakistani Religious Scholar Speaks In Support Of Polio, Other Vaccines

“A radical Pakistani religious scholar known as the ‘Father of the Taliban’ has issued a fatwa urging parents to immunize their children against polio and other fatal diseases, adding that vaccinations comply with Islamic law,” Agence France-Presse reports. “The edict by Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, who heads the hardline Dar-ul-Uloom Haqqania seminary,…

IAVI Announces New Board Appointments

“The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is pleased to announce that Dr. Alex Godwin Coutinho has taken over the role of chair of its Board of Directors, and U.S. Ambassador Eric Goosby [who recently completed a four-and-a-half-year term as U.S. global AIDS coordinator,] and the Rt. Hon. the Lord Fowler…

Polio Resurgence In Syria Could Reinvigorate Global Campaign Against Disease

“As of November 26, WHO has confirmed a polio outbreak with a total of 17 cases caused by wild poliovirus type one in Syria, which had been polio-free since 1999,” a Lancet Infectious Diseases editorial states. “At present, polio is endemic in three countries — Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan,” the…

Blog Post Examines Underlying Factors Behind Anti-Vaccination Movements

In a post in the PLOS “Speaking of Medicine” blog, Sara Gorman, an MPH candidate at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, examines “some of the factors behind anti-vaccination movements.” She notes “[a] few, but not many, studies have been done to begin to understand the demographics, spread, and…

Global Health Community Must Spread Word About Vaccines’ Successes

Noting “a full 84 percent of the world’s one-year-olds are vaccinated against measles,” Orin Levine, director of vaccine delivery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, writes in the foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog that “less than one in five Americans identified the correct level” in a recent Gapminder survey. The…

NPR Examines Efforts To Eradicate Polio In 2013

“The lowest number of polio cases ever recorded in the world was 223. And 2013 was on track for an even lower number, on the road to complete eradication of the virus,” NPR’s “Shots” blog reports, adding, “But this was a year when polio pushed back. Hard.” The blog examines…

Reuters Examines Polio Eradication Efforts In Syria

“The Syrian government excluded the largely rebel-held province of Deir al-Zor — where polio broke out this year — from a 2012 vaccination campaign, arguing that most residents had fled although hundreds of thousands were still there, a Reuters investigation shows,” the news service reports. “Public health researchers say missing…

Security Concerns Hampering Polio Eradication Efforts In Pakistan

Al Jazeera examines how “security concerns and negotiated access” are threatening Pakistan’s polio eradication efforts, writing, “Since July 2012, 31 people have been killed in Taliban-led attacks on anti-polio campaigners in Pakistan.” The news service notes, “Most recently, two policemen providing security to polio vaccinators in Swabi were killed when…