“China’s vaccine makers are gearing up over the next few years to push exports in a move that should lower costs of lifesaving immunizations for the world’s poor and provide major new competition for the big Western pharmaceutical companies,” the Associated Press reports in a feature examining the entry of Chinese vaccine makers into the international market. “China’s entry into this field is important because one child dies every 20 seconds from vaccine-preventable diseases each year,” the news agency writes, adding that the country’s “vaccine makers, some of whom already export in small amounts, are confident they will soon become big players in the field” (Wong, 11/29).
Number Of Annual Polio Cases In Nigeria Quadruples; WHO, Government Working To Vaccinate Millions Of Children
Nigeria has reported 43 cases of polio so far this year, up from 11 cases in 2010, and the disease has spread to Niger, Mali, and Cote d’Ivoire, according to a WHO official, BBC News reports. “Polio was affecting eight northern Nigerian states — two more than a few months ago, the head of Nigeria’s National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA), Dr. Ado Muhammad, told the BBC.”
This post in the Malaria Policy Center blog summarizes a panel discussion, titled “Partnerships for Global Health Success: Spotlight on USAID,” that took place Monday in Washington, D.C., and was sponsored by Research!America. The panel, which included representatives of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, PATH, USAID, and Temptime, discussed “the achievements of…
Jason Nickerson, a respiratory therapist and doctoral candidate in Population Health at the University of Ottawa, in this Global Health Hub post, recounts recent controversy surrounding “the health and humanitarian response to the earthquake and cholera outbreaks” in Haiti, noting tension “between the provision of [a cholera] vaccine as opposed to spending…
The GAVI Alliance “has agreed to fund the roll-out of vaccines against cervical cancer in developing countries, offering protection against a disease that kills one woman every two minutes,” Reuters reports (Hirschler, 11/17). The group is continuing negotiations with pharmaceutical companies to lower the price of the vaccine, NPR’s health blog “Shots” notes. “By 2015, GAVI expects that two million girls in nine countries will have received the HPV vaccine,” but the shot will not be given to boys unless the WHO recommends they also receive the immunization, according to the blog (Husted, 11/17).
Inter Press Service interviews Maria Guadalupe Guzman, head of the Pedro Kouri Institute (IPK) Department of Virology and director of the PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre for the Study of Dengue and its Vector, who is leading of a team of Cuban researchers working to develop a vaccine against dengue. In the interview, Guzman discusses Cuba’s contributions to the field of dengue research, the influence of climate change on the transmission of dengue, and differences in the four strains of the virus (Grogg, 11/15).
Some Public Health Experts Raise Concerns Over Plans To Immunize Haitians Against Cholera, AP Reports
The Associated Press/Washington Times reports on a pilot project plan by Partners In Health (PIH) and GHESKIO to vaccinate Haitians against cholera, which “has set off a debate among some public health experts who question the wisdom of [the] program that will inoculate only one percent of the population and could deplete the world’s stock of available cholera vaccine, potentially putting people at risk in other vulnerable places.” The program will cost an estimated $870,000, money that some experts say would be better spent cleaning up contaminated waterways, according to the AP.
“Up to 3.2 million South Sudanese children have received vaccinations against polio in a United Nations-backed campaign to ensure the new country remains free of the deadly disease, more than two years after the last case was reported,” the U.N. News Centre reports. The three-phase campaign, which is being coordinated by South Sudan’s health ministry and backed by UNICEF and the WHO, will continue with additional immunizations next month, according to the news service. “Polio … re-emerged in South Sudan in April 2008, but after an intensive vaccination campaign, no new cases have been reported since June 2009,” the U.N. News Centre writes (11/14).
A new policy brief from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) “summarizes data on HIV vaccine R&D funding trends originally published by the HIV Vaccines and Microbicides Resource Tracking Working Group in 2011,” according to the IAVI website. “The crucial addition of a preventive HIV vaccine to [a comprehensive biomedical HIV prevention]…
Push For Experimental Smallpox Drug Contract By Obama Administration Raises Questions, L.A. Times Reports
“Over the last year, the Obama administration has aggressively pushed a $433 million plan to buy an experimental smallpox drug, despite uncertainty over whether it is needed or will work,” the Los Angeles Times reports. “Senior officials have taken unusual steps to secure the contract for New York-based Siga Technologies Inc., whose controlling shareholder is billionaire Ronald Perelman, one of the world’s richest men and a longtime Democratic Party donor,” including “replac[ed] the government’s lead negotiator for the deal” and “blocked other firms from competing,” the newspaper adds.