In response to Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson’s July 5 piece in which he highlighted several scientific “breakthroughs” in the search for an AIDS vaccine, Robert Gallo, director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, writes in a Post letter to the editor, “Although Mr. Gerson correctly noted that these discoveries are unrelated, he misperceived their relative significance.”
Health experts continue to react to the CIA’s use of a vaccine campaign to hunt Osama bin Laden:
“New research may bring scientists one step closer to developing a vaccine that protects against hundreds of strains of meningococcus B, the most common cause of bacterial meningitis,” according to research published last week in Science Translational Medicine, HealthDay News reports. Researchers used methods that allowed them to identify the most effective vaccine candidate, technology that could be used to develop vaccines for malaria and AIDS, the news service notes (7/15).
“More than 100 public health experts have wrapped up a three-day meeting in Geneva to review a Global Action Plan for Influenza Vaccines that was developed in 2006, and to develop a strategic plan of action for the next five years,” VOA News reports, noting that the WHO “says the world is better prepared for the next influenza pandemic than it was in the past” (Schlein, 7/14).
“Vaccine program workers, who sometimes struggle to gain public trust and governmental cooperation in the first place, are furious about the deception” of the CIA in establishing a vaccination program in Pakistan in an attempt to gather DNA from Osama bin Laden’s family, ScienceInsider reports. “Aid workers also say that news of the vaccination plot may undermine their ability to work with the public and with developing world governments,” the news service writes (Reardon, 7/13).
Health experts and writers continue to react to the CIA’s use of a vaccine campaign to hunt Osama bin Laden:
After the Guardian broke the story that the CIA organized a fake vaccination program in Pakistan in an effort to confirm the location of Osama bin Laden and obtain DNA from his family members, several writers and health experts reacted to the situation, noting the possible implications for future health efforts.
Ronald Brus, CEO of the Dutch vaccine maker Crucell, said Haiti did not accept an offer of tens of thousands of cholera vaccine doses late last year, the Financial Times reports. Brus said Crucell offered significant donations of its Dukoral cholera vaccine, but Haitian health officials passed on the offer, according to the newspaper.
Orin Levine, executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center, and Amanda Glassman, director of global health policy and a research fellow at the Center for Global Development, in this CGD “Global Health Policy” blog post present their reasons as to why cash transfers for vaccinations are economically and ethically…
In the second of a two-part Al Jazeera opinion-piece series “examining the methods by which multinational drug corporations inflate their expenses and justify their pricing strategies,” Khadija Sharife, a journalist and visiting scholar at the Center for Civil Society, looks at U.S. tax laws, lax oversight of international clinical trials, the cost of research on new pharmaceutical compounds, and vaccine manufacturing.