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Researchers Examine Performance Of Africa’s Expanded Programme On Immunization

In a paper published in PLoS Medicine last week, researchers from the Vaccines for Africa Initiative at the University of Cape Town’s Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine examine the performance of the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) in Africa since its inception in 1974. “With the 2015 deadline…

Pakistani Taliban Deny Responsibility For Attacks On Polio Workers

“The Pakistani Taliban on Friday denied any involvement in attacks on polio workers, which have killed 21 people since December, but confirmed it opposed the vaccination as ‘un-Islamic,'” Agence France-Presse reports. Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesperson for the umbrella group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), told AFP, “We have no link with the attacks on…

Killing Of Polio Workers In Pakistan Is Major Setback For Global Elimination Drive

“The brutal assassination of nine grassroots level health workers in Pakistan, who were involved in a door-to-door immunization campaign in an attempt to secure children from crippling polio, adds an unprecedentedly grave dimension to the ongoing carnage in Pakistan,” Sania Nishtar, founder of Heartfile, Heartfile Health Financing, and the recently launched Sania Nishtar Health Fund, writes in an opinion piece in the Huffington Post U.K.’s “Impact” blog. “[T]he occurrence has deep-seated implications for the global drive to eliminate an infectious disease for a second time from this planet,” she continues, adding, “Additionally, it illustrates the nature of polarization, mistrust and extremism, which has crept into the Pakistani society, posing challenges on many fronts, beyond public health.”

Protection Of Health Workers Necessary To Eradicate Polio

“The murders of charity and aid workers in Pakistan has dealt a devastating blow to a national campaign to wipe out polio and other deadly diseases,” a New York Times editorial states. “No one has claimed responsibility for the most recent attack, but suspicions point to the Pakistani Taliban and other militant groups that have opposed the vaccination drives, calling them a cover for government or international spies, or part of a plot to sterilize Muslim children,” the editorial says.

Ban On Thiomersal In Vaccines Would Harm Global Immunization Efforts

“Government representatives are meeting in Geneva this week to decide whether to introduce a global ban on mercury that could include thiomersal, a mercury-based preservative that has been used in some vaccine manufacturing since the 1930s to prevent bacterial or fungal contamination of multidose vials of vaccine,” Seth Berkley, a…

HPV Vaccine Support By GAVI Example Of ‘Equity In Health’

Noting that human papillomavirus (HPV) causes 70 percent of cervical cancer cases worldwide, Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and former GAVI Alliance Board chair, writes in this BMJ Group Blogs post that the GAVI Alliance’s decision to support the introduction of HPV vaccine among women in developing countries “is an…

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