Hundreds of parents “are defying threats of jail time by refusing polio vaccines for their children in a high-risk northern Nigerian state,” according to Muhammad Abdu Zango, Kano state coordinator of Journalists Against Polio, the Associated Press/Seattle Times reports.
“The first human antibody that can knock out all influenza A viruses has been shown effective in lab mice, an exciting step forward in the hunt for a universal vaccine, researchers said Friday,” Agence France-Presse reports (Sheridan, 7/30).
Officials In Nigerian State Say Parents Who Refuse Polio Vaccination For Children Could Be Prosecuted
“Officials in Nigeria’s northern Kano state say parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated against polio may be prosecuted,” VOA News reports. “Officials began a four-day immunization campaign in Kano on Thursday, with the goal of immunizing six million children,” according to the news service (7/29).
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Thursday announced a three-year partnership with the soccer team FC Barcelona aimed at promoting polio eradication and highlighting the importance of vaccines, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s “Seattle Big Blog” reports (Sunde, 7/28).
“The incoming C.I.A. director, David Petraeus, ought to impose clear restrictions and prohibitions on medically oriented spy tactics so that the integrity and humanitarian purpose of U.S. health aid are affirmed and that current and future health aid operations will not be misused,” Jack Chow, a former U.S. global AIDS ambassador and assistant director-general of the WHO, writes in a New York Times opinion piece responding to reports that the U.S. used a vaccination campaign in Pakistan to help locate Osama bin Laden. Chow also recommends that Congress “investigate the Pakistan operation and determine whether agency leaders weighed broader policy sensitivities or the ethical implications of using a medical based tactic to gain intelligence.”
KPLU’s “Humanosphere” blog describes the rollout on Monday of a rotavirus immunization campaign sponsored by the GAVI Alliance “that aims to reach millions of vulnerable children in 40 low- or middle-income countries.” Rotavirus is “a major cause of the most severe and deadly form of diarrhea,” the blog states (Paulson,…
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).