Working in conjunction with the Haitian Ministry of Health and the Haitian aid group GHESKIO, Boston-based Partners In Health (PIH) will begin an immunization campaign in January aimed at providing two doses of the oral cholera vaccine Shanchol “to 100,000 Haitians living in two vulnerable communities: a neighborhood in Port-au-Prince, where potable water and latrines are luxuries, and to an isolated rural village in the lower Artibonite Valley region,” the Miami Herald reports.
Scientists, WHO Warn Of Public Health Implications Of Proposed Mercury Ban Due To Its Use In Vaccines
“Scientists are warning officials negotiating a global treaty on mercury that banning the deadly chemical completely would be dangerous for public health because of the chemical’s use in vaccines,” the Associated Press reports. “The ban option is one of several proposals on the table for a [United Nations Environment Programme, or UNEP] meeting later this month in Nairobi, but a final treaty isn’t expected until 2013,” the news service writes.
“An outbreak of polio in three children from the south of Madagascar has raised concerns over a possible resurgence of this crippling disease,” BBC News reports, adding, “UNICEF spokesman Daniel Timme says three cases of polio without symptoms have been identified … during UNICEF’s Mother and Child Health week following tests and urine samples” (Healy, 10/22). “Although the children are currently not showing symptoms of polio, [Timme] said symptoms of the disease could make itself known at any time” Examiner.com writes (Herriman, 10/22).
“India has not had a case of polio in nine months, raising hopes the country is on the verge of defeating the disease, health officials said Monday,” the Associated Press reports. “India remains one of only four countries in the world where polio is still endemic, and the nine months that it has been without a case is the longest since eradication efforts were launched nearly two decades ago,” the AP writes, adding, “A country is declared polio free when no cases of the disease are reported for three years, according to the World Health Organization.”
In this post in the Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy” blog, Amanda Glassman, the director of Global Health Policy and a research fellow at the center, and Thomas Bollyky, a former research fellow at the center, write that this month’s announcement that “an experimental vaccine cuts in half the…
Council On Foreign Relations Releases Interactive Map Tracking Vaccine-Preventable Disease Outbreaks
The Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Health program “has released a user-friendly interactive map on the web that tracks ‘Vaccine-Preventable Disease Outbreaks’ around the world,” Stewart Patrick, senior fellow and director of the council’s Program on International Institutions and Global Governance, writes on the group’s website. The council’s Laurie Garrett and colleagues for the past…
Writing in KPLU’s “Humanosphere” blog, Tom Paulson responds to last week’s announcement of results from an ongoing clinical trial of an experimental malaria vaccine, saying, “Despite the hype and fanfare, many experts at the Seattle meeting said this experimental vaccine (known as RTS,S) actually so far represents only incremental progress –…
Nature News reports on last week’s announcement of preliminary results from a large clinical trial testing the efficacy of GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) RTS,S malaria vaccine, writing that while media coverage of the announcement touted it as a “big breakthrough in the long campaign to create a malaria vaccine,” “several leading vaccine researchers, who are critical of the unusual decision to publish partial trial data, argue that the results raise questions about whether the RTS,S/AS01 candidate vaccine can actually win approval.” According to Nature, low rates of protection suggested by the results and “the frequency of serious adverse events, such as convulsions and meningitis,” have added to speculation about the vaccine.
In this Huffington Post opinion piece, Orin Levine, executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins University, notes some of the parallels between the development of RTS,S, the experimental malaria vaccine currently being tested in Africa, and the polio vaccine, but he says “there are also some particularly disappointing ways in which the polio and malaria efforts could differ.”
The VOA News audio program “Explorations” on Tuesday discussed international humanitarian aid in the Horn of Africa. The program features interviews with Kurt Tjossem, the International Rescue Committee’s regional director for the Horn of Africa and East Africa; Shannon Scribner, Oxfam America’s humanitarian policy manager; and Nancy Lindborg, USAID’s assistant administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance.