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Vaccines_The Week in Review_6 September 2010

Vaccines_The Week in Review_6 September 2010

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Published by davidrcurry
Vaccines: The Week in Review is a digest of global events, announcements and publications focused on vaccine and immunization ethics and policy.
Vaccines: The Week in Review is a digest of global events, announcements and publications focused on vaccine and immunization ethics and policy.

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Published by: davidrcurry on Sep 07, 2010
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Vaccines: The Week in Review6 September 2010Center for Vaccine Ethics & Policy
A program of - Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania
- The Wistar Institute Vaccine Cente
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Vaccine Education Center 
This weekly summary targets news and events in the global vaccines field gathered from key governmental, NGO and company announcements, key journals and events. This summary provides support for ongoing initiatives of the Center for Vaccine Ethics & Policy, and is not intended to be exhaustive in its coverage.Vaccines: The Week in Review is now also posted in a blog format at 
. Each item is treated as an individual post on the blog, allowing for more effective retrospective searching. Given emailsystem conventions and formats, you may find this alternative more effective. Thisblog also allows for RSS feeds, etc.Comments and suggestions should be directed toDavid R. Curry, MSEditor and Executive Director Center for Vaccine Ethics & Policy 
The new
Global Immunization News 31 August 2010 leads the issuewith a report on the Pakistan Flood situation
noting that “polioeradication staff and resources have been mobilized to support the responseto the devastating floods directly affecting one in 10 people in Pakistan. Allpolio-funded technical staff - polio epidemiologists and surveillance officers -have been relocated to the worst-affected areas of the country to assist inthe recovery. These staff are focused on three main areas: a rapidassessment of the extent of damage to health facilities; the establishment of early warning systems for disease outbreaks; and, the planning, delivery andmonitoring of broad immunization activities in internally-displaced-personscamps…”More at:http://www.who.int/immunization/GIN_August_2010.pdf 
Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World HealthOrganization, commented on MDG goals and African nations
inan address to the Regional Committee for Africa, Sixtieth Session,Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, on 30 August 2010. Below is a portion of her remarks that related to vaccines and immunization:
“…African nations can reach the health-related MillenniumDevelopment Goalshealth initiatives, like the Global Fund, like the GAVI Alliance, havedone great good over the past decade and are widely praised asmodels of success. In Africa, for example, 76% of external financialsupport for malaria control has come from the Global Fund.These initiatives introduced the principle of results-based funding.And yet despite their own excellent, measurable results, they are nowstrapped for cash.Other initiatives speeded the development of new vaccines toprevent pneumonia and diarrhoeal disease, the two biggest killers of young children in the developing world. Yet the implementation of these life-saving vaccines into routine immunization programmes isnow in jeopardy because of funding shortfalls. Tremendous progress towards the elimination of measles, especiallyhere in Africa, is also now in jeopardy because of funding shortfalls. Ahighly contagious disease like measles can resurge very quickly. Some28 countries in Africa have suffered measles outbreaks this year. As Isaid, progress is fragile.Antiretroviral therapy for AIDS is a life-line, for a lifetime. Can we cutthis life-line off because funds are running short, or because donorsdecide that investment in other priorities will yield a bigger payback?Do we have this moral option?What will it mean if a financial crisis, seeded by greed, cancels outfragile health gains made possible by so much good will andinnovation? Does the worst in human nature win over the best? Theseare big-picture issues, and they need to be raised.Progress towards polio eradication is also fragile. Last year, thisregion faced widespread polio epidemics across 20 countries of WestAfrica, Central Africa, and the Horn of Africa. The situation was soalarming that some people began to talk about abandoning the goal of polio eradication.The situation looks much better today. With your collaboration, wenow have an aggressive new strategic plan to complete polioeradication. Among other things, it address head-on the problem of international spread that has made progress so fragile. It alsointroduces accountability at the sub-national level.Today, Nigeria has reduced the incidence of polio by a striking 99%. The Horn of Africa is again polio-free. No virus has been detected inWest Africa since the start of May, though it is too early to say theoutbreak has been stopped.We are deeply concerned about the outbreak in Angola, which is theonly expanding polio outbreak in the world this year. Polio also persistsin neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the viruscirculated undetected in one area for nearly two years.
This situation must be reversed. Every child must be reached, duringcampaigns and through strong routine immunization. A resurgence of polio, of deaths, and childhood paralysis is the predictableconsequence if we fail to stay the course.Ladies and gentlemen,We need to raise some big-picture issues, but we also need to preserveour optimism and keep building the momentum.I asked earlier: what does it mean that progress towards the MDGs isso uneven in Africa? One thing is clear. It means you cannot generalizeabout conditions in Africa.Old perceptions, that Africa is uniformly poor and needy, universallysick and hungry, or badly governed across the board, no longer pertainto modern Africa. Countries at similar levels of socioeconomicdevelopment have strikingly different health outcomes, and thisalready tells us something.Governance is improving and democracy is gaining ground. A middleclass is emerging. Fertility is going down. Your populations arecomparatively young, and this is an asset. As the economists argue,Africa is poised to cash in on a “demographic dividend” that canperpetuate a cycle of growth.Let me state my view very clearly. The health-related MDGs arewithin the reach of African nations……In early December, a new conjugate meningitis vaccine, tailor-madeand priced for Africa, will be launched in Burkina Faso in a masscampaign. This vaccine has the power to transform the terrifying,recurring epidemics uniquely seen in the African meningitis belt.You asked for this vaccine. You wanted it and you stated the priceyou could afford. As Niger’s minister of health argued at the time, “Avaccine that Africa cannot afford is worse than no vaccine at all.”A unique WHO-PATH partnership, the Meningitis Vaccine Project,developed the new conjugate vaccine. It is manufactured in India,using technology transferred from the USA. The price per dose is lessthan 50 cents.African scientists designed the study protocols and conducted theclinical trials. Canada assisted with regulatory approval. WHO pre-qualified the vaccine in June. The first 1.35 million doses arrived inBurkina Faso on 12 August.Africa has a first-rate vaccine for an African disease. You also have apowerful model of partnership for the development of new products…”Full text of remarks at:http://www.who.int/dg/speeches/2010/AFRO_Regcom_20100830/en/index.html

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