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Also In Global Health News: Dengue Vaccine; Medicines For Poor; Gates New Ag Development Director; USDA Efforts In Afghanistan; Soccer And Malaria

Experimental Dengue Vaccine Shows Promise In Clinical Trial Of Adults An experimental dengue vaccine created by the drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis protected a group of healthy adults from all four strains of the virus, “bringing the drugmaker closer to providing the first vaccine against a disease that threatens 40 percent of the…

Official H1N1-Related Death Count Approaches 13,000 Worldwide, WHO Says

H1N1 (swine flu) has killed 12,799 people worldwide since the virus first emerged, the WHO said on Friday, United Press International reports (1/8). According to the WHO, more than half of the H1N1-related deaths worldwide occurred in the Americas, China Daily reports (1/9).

Wall Street Journal Examines Polio Vaccinations In Afghanistan

In a story about polio vaccination campaigns in Afghanistan, the Wall Street Journal examines how the Taliban and international health agencies are working together to promote oral vaccination campaigns across the country. Vaccination campaign volunteers usually bring a “single-page letter requesting people to cooperate, ‘for the benefit of our next generations.’ The letter’s signatory: Mullah Mohammad Omar, the one-eyed supreme leader of the Taliban,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

Canada Loans 5M Doses Of H1N1 Vaccine To Mexico

Canadian Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq on Wednesday announced plans for the country to loan Mexico five million doses of the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine, Agence France-Presse reports. The loan will help Mexico meet its innoculation demand, while the country waits for H1N1 vaccine orders to be fulfilled by several manufacturers.

Developing Countries Reassess Need For Donated H1N1 Vaccine

As the number of H1N1 (swine flu) cases in some regions of the world continues to fall, developing countries scheduled to receive donated H1N1 (swine flu) vaccines from the WHO are reassessing just how much vaccines their countries need, the Canadian Press reports. “The WHO had hoped to provide vaccine for up to 10 per cent of the populations of developing countries that wanted donated vaccine,” the newspaper writes.

New York Times Examines U.S. H1N1 Reponse

As the number of H1N1 (swine flu) cases in the U.S. continues to wane, the New York Times reflects on how federal officials handled the pandemic and other contributing factors. “The outbreak highlighted many national weaknesses: old, slow vaccine technology; too much reliance on foreign vaccine factories; some major hospitals pushed to their limits by a relatively mild epidemic,” the newspaper writes.

More H1N1 Vaccines Available In U.S., Many Americans Don’t Want Vaccination

While an increasing number of H1N1 (swine flu) vaccines are available in the U.S., “more than half of American adults say they still don’t want it, and one-third of parents say they don’t want their children to get it either, according to two surveys,” the Washington Post reports. “As of this week, 111 million doses of vaccine against the pandemic strain of H1N1 flu have been released to states and cities. Not all have been used. There have been no unusual or unexpected vaccine side effects reported.”

Former CDC Head To Lead Merck’s Vaccine Division

The pharmaceutical company Merck on Monday named former CDC head Julie Gerberding as president of the company’s vaccine division, Reuters reports. “Gerberding, who led the CDC from 2002 to 2009 and stepped down when President Barack Obama took office, will head up the company’s $5 billion global vaccine business that includes shots to prevent chickenpox, cervical cancer and pneumonia,” the news service reports.

Recent Releases In Global Health

Scientific American Examines Neglected Tropical Diseases A Scientific American article examines recent efforts to tackle neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). The author writes “NTDs have plagued humankind for thousands of years. … What is new, however, is that donors, drugmakers, health ministries in low- and middle-income countries, the World Health Organization…