Vaccines and Global Health: The Week in Review 19 August 2017

Vaccines and Global Health: The Week in Review is a weekly digest  summarizing news, events, announcements, peer-reviewed articles and research in the global vaccine ethics and policy space. Content is aggregated from key governmental, NGO, international organization and industry sources, key peer-reviewed journals, and other media channels. This summary proceeds from the broad base of themes and issues monitored by the Center for Vaccine Ethics & Policy in its work: it is not intended to be exhaustive in its coverage. You are viewing the blog version of our weekly digest, typically comprised of between 30 and 40 posts below all dated with the current issue date

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– blog edition: comprised of the approx. 35+ entries posted below.

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David R. Curry, MS
Executive Director
Center for Vaccine Ethics and Policy

Milestones :: Perspectives

Milestones :: Perspectives
 
Yemen
Cholera count reaches 500,000 in Yemen
WHO News release
14 August 2017 | GENEVA – The total number of suspected cholera cases in Yemen this year hit the half a million mark on Sunday, and nearly 2000 people have died since the outbreak began to spread rapidly at the end of April.

The overall caseload nationwide has declined since early July, particularly in the worst affected areas. But suspected cases of the deadly waterborne disease continue to rage across the country, infecting an estimated 5000 people per day.

The spread of cholera has slowed significantly in some areas compared to peak levels but the disease is still spreading fast in more recently affected districts, which are recording large numbers of cases.

Yemen’s cholera epidemic, currently the largest in the world, has spread rapidly due to deteriorating hygiene and sanitation conditions and disruptions to the water supply across the country. Millions of people are cut off from clean water, and waste collection has ceased in major cities.

A collapsing health system is struggling to cope, with more than half of all health facilities closed due to damage, destruction or lack of funds. Shortages in medicines and supplies are persistent and widespread and 30 000 critical health workers have not been paid salaries in nearly a year.

“Yemen’s health workers are operating in impossible conditions. Thousands of people are sick, but there are not enough hospitals, not enough medicines, not enough clean water. These doctors and nurses are the backbone of the health response – without them we can do nothing in Yemen. They must be paid their wages so that they can continue to save lives,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

WHO and partners are working around the clock to set up cholera treatment clinics, rehabilitate health facilities, deliver medical supplies, and support the national health response effort.
More than 99% of people sick with suspected cholera who can access health services are surviving. Furthermore, nearly 15 million people are unable to get basic healthcare.

“To save lives in Yemen today we must support the health system, especially the health workers. And we urge the Yemeni authorities – and all those in the region and elsewhere who can play a role – to find a political solution to this conflict that has already caused so much suffering. The people of Yemen cannot bear it much longer – they need peace to rebuild their lives and their country,” said Dr. Tedros.

The Lancet
Aug 12, 2017 Volume 390 Number 10095 p625-714
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/issue/current
Editorial
Yemen and cholera: a modern humanity test
The Lancet
Urgent warnings began in May as aid agencies called for an immediate response to the growing cholera outbreak in Yemen. By mid-July, over 330,000 cholera cases were reported, with 1700 deaths. Since 2015, a civil war has left 14·5 million people (half the country’s population) without access to clean water and sanitation. The UN has called it the “world’s worst cholera outbreak in the context of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis”. The war, unpaid worker salaries, a decimated health system, controversies around the undeployed cholera vaccine stockpile, and slow global funding efforts are all somehow to blame. Pre-existing health indicators are grim and the estimated 400 000 severely malnourished Yemeni children are particularly vulnerable. Famine and other preventable communicable diseases are forecast. Indisputedly, a ceasefire is needed to allow access to humanitarian aid and abate further suffering and death.

As a collective humanity, the shame is ours to bear. The position of The Lancet family of journals is that with all current knowledge and commitments to acting early on cholera outbreaks, such escalated death rates quite simply should not happen. Cholera has been ravaging communities for two centuries. Yet in 2017, outbreaks are entirely containable early with coordinated efforts to implement water, sanitation, and medical rehydration treatment.
There is a vaccine and antibiotics exist. For workers who witnessed the 1994 cholera outbreak among the Rwandan refugees, which killed 12 000 people in Goma, eastern Zaire, this current humanitarian crisis echoes both the indignation and the slow response to an early warning. Unlike Goma, however, the Yemen crisis has unfolded under the global scrutiny of the internet.

On the eve of World Humanitarian Day, Aug 19, Yemen must be foremost among priorities of every institution and government acting for global health. Containing the cholera crisis and reinstating health and personal security for 27 million Yemeni people is the high stakes sustainable development test for how humanity can and will organise around vocalised commitments to protect the most vulnerable among us today.

Statement by the Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Mr. Jamie McGoldrick on Shrinking Humanitarian Space in Yemen [EN/AR]
Sana’a, 17 August 2017: I am deeply concerned by the shrinking humanitarian space in Yemen where parties to the conflict continue to obstruct the timely provision of humanitarian aid to people in need.

For months, humanitarian partners have experienced delays by authorities in Sana’a to facilitate the entry of aid workers into Yemen, interference in the delivery of humanitarian assistance and the choice of implementing partners and obstructions in the conduct of assessments. There have also been increased incidents of aid diversion away from intended beneficiaries in areas under the control of the Sana’a authorities.

I am specifically concerned about the looting of food aid and other humanitarian goods in Taizz Governorate where there have been three separate incidents over a period of two months. Since January 2017, eleven vehicles belonging to humanitarian organisations have been hijacked in Taizz City in areas under the control of the Government of Yemen.

While I acknowledge the efforts of the authorities and local leaders to recover looted items, more needs to be done to ensure a safe and secure operational environment conducive to the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to people in need. All of these incidents delay the provision of urgently need help to those most affected by the conflict while at the same time putting humanitarian staff at risk.

As basic social services in Yemen are near collapse, there is mounting pressure on humanitarian organisations to expand the humanitarian response. Ensuring unhindered humanitarian access is essential to save the lives of those who depend on assistance, particularly as Yemen is facing an unprecedented cholera crisis and over seven million people are at risk of famine. I urge all parties to the conflict to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law to facilitate the safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance in areas under their control.

Emergencies

Emergencies
 
POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Polio this week as of 16 August 2017 [GPEI]
:: Marking Pakistan’s Independence Day this week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid tribute to both countries’ ongoing collaboration, including on the effort to eradicate polio.  “Our two countries established a diplomatic relationship shortly after Pakistan was declared a sovereign nation in 1947. We continue to work together to advance shared priorities, including governance and democracy, regional security, poverty reduction, polio eradication, trade, defense, and the fight against climate change.”

:: The 14th Emergency Committee for polio eradication under the International Health Regulations met on 3 August and has made its recommendations to the WHO Director-General, who has accepted them.  The Committee unanimously agreed that the risk of international spread of poliovirus remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), and recommended the extension of revised Temporary Recommendations for a further three months.  The key change is the inclusion of DR Congo and Syria in the category ‘States infected with cVDPV2s, with potential risk of international spread’.

:: Long-time polio eradicator Iris Tetford retires:  the partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) wish Iris Tetford a well-deserved and happy retirement.  For years, Ms Tetford has been an integral part of the polio eradication team at WHO in Geneva.  She contributed substantially to the creation of the weekly global update, and continuously close coordinated with regional and country counterparts to manage the weekly data analysis and public reporting process.  Many thanks for your tremendous engagement and contribution to the global eradication effort, Iris!  We wish you all the best for your well-deserved retirement.

:: Summary of newly-reported viruses this week:  Afghanistan:  one new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) case; Pakistan:  one new WPV1-positive environmental sample; Syrian Arab Republic:  three new circulating vaccine-derived polio type 2 (cVDPV2) from Syria, two from Deir-Ez-Zour and one from Homs governorates…

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Statement of the 14th IHR Emergency Committee regarding the international spread of poliovirus
WHO statement
3 August 2017
[Excerpts; Editor’s text bolding]]
The fourteenth meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) regarding the international spread of poliovirus was convened by the Director General on 3 August 2017 at WHO headquarters with members, advisers and invited member states attending via teleconference.

The Emergency Committee reviewed the data on wild poliovirus (WPV1) and circulating vaccine derived polioviruses (cVDPV). The Secretariat presented a report of progress for affected IHR States Parties subject to Temporary Recommendations. The following IHR States Parties presented an update on the current situation and the implementation of the WHO Temporary Recommendations since the Committee last met on 24 April2017: Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria….

Conclusion
The Committee unanimously agreed that the risk of international spread of poliovirus remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), and recommended the extension of revised Temporary Recommendations for a further three months…

Additional considerations
The Director-General Dr Tedros attended the Emergency Committee and listened to the recommendations of the committee. He thanked Committee Members and Advisors for their advice, and noted that in the context of polio eradication, even one case of polio should be treated as an emergency. He noted that in all the geographic areas reviewed by the committee at the meeting, a sub-regional or multi-country coordinated response greatly improved the chance of success, and that to achieve the final goal of zero cases, the world may need to respond even more aggressively. He affirmed that he was personally committed as Director-General to providing any support needed to reduce the risk of the international spread of polio recommended by the committee.

The Committee strongly urged global partners in polio eradication to provide optimal support to all infected and vulnerable countries at this critical time in the polio eradication programme for implementation of the Temporary Recommendations under the IHR, as well as providing ongoing support to all countries that were previously subject to Temporary Recommendations (Somalia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel and Equatorial Guinea).

The Committee urged all countries to avoid complacency which could easily lead to a resurgence of polio. Surveillance particularly needs careful attention to quickly detect any new transmission, and careful assessment of where insecurity and inaccessibility impact on surveillance was needed. Similarly, there needs to be tracking of populations where there are high proportions of unvaccinated children due to inaccessibility, and requested the secretariat to include a report on this issue at its next meeting.

Based on the current situation regarding WPV1 and cVDPV, and the reports made by Afghanistan, DR Congo, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Syria, the Director-General accepted the Committee’s assessment and on 3 August 2017 determined that the situation relating to poliovirus continues to constitute a PHEIC, with respect to WPV1 and cVDPV

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Situation reports on the polio outbreak in Syria
Situation update 8 August 2017
Three (3) new cases of cVDPV2 were reported this week from 3 new districts: 1 case from Deir Ez-Zor district, Deir Ez-Zor governorate; 1 from Boukamal district, Deir Ez-Zor governorate; and 1 from Tadmour district, Homs governorate.

Five districts in 3 governorates are now infected.

The total number of cVDPV2 cases is 33 (this includes the previously reported 29 cases from Mayadeen district, Deir Ez-Zor governorate, and 1 case from Tell Abyad district, Raqqa governorate). All confirmed cases to date have had onset of paralysis before 11 July 2017.
Final laboratory results for an additional 9 poliovirus type-2 (PV2) isolates from Deir Ez-Zor are pending.

Discussions around expanding the scope of the immunization response to include accessible areas of a Tadmour sub-district in Homs, bordering Deir Ez-Zor, will be held in light of the confirmation of the cases in this area.

Raqqa governorate commenced its first immunization round on 12 August (Raqqa and Thawra districts) and 13 August (Tell Abyad district). The immunization round aims to reach 120 000 children under 5 years of age. Preliminary information suggests the rounds are reaching children in all three districts.

Preparations continue for the second round in Deir Ez-Zor governorate, scheduled for 19-23 August. IPV for use in the second rounds in Deir Ez-Zor and Raqqa governorates has arrived in Damascus.

The total number of AFP cases detected in Deir Ez-Zor governorate since the beginning of 2017 is 113 (83 from Mayadeen, 11 from Deir Ez-Zor, and 19 from Boukamal districts). Raqqa governorate has reported 16 AFP cases (5 from Raqqa, 10 from Tell Abyad, and 1 from Thawra districts). Homs governorate has reported 26 AFP cases (11 from Homs city, 12 from Rastan, 1 from Tadmour and 2 from Talkalakh districts).

The Eradication and Outbreak Management Group (EOMG) has approved the release of additional doses of IPV to cover high-risk population groups in northwest Syria, Turkey and Lebanon. Lebanon requested 144 000 doses and has begun to implement IPV campaigns across the country.

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WHO Grade 3 Emergencies  [to 19 August 2017]
Yemen
::  Cholera count reaches 500,000 in Yemen  14 August 2017

The Syrian Arab Republic
:: Situation reports on the polio outbreak in Syria  8 August 2017
 [See Polio above for more detail]

Nigeria
:: WHO and partners take on malaria: the top killer in north-eastern Nigeria
August 2017
WHO estimates up to 10 000 lives could be saved by November through malaria prevention and control, if more funds are secured

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WHO Grade 2 Emergencies  [to 19 August 2017]
Ethiopia
:: Reaching key populations to prevent the spread of disease in Ethiopia  10 August 2017
:: Community engagement contributes to control of acute watery diarrhea in Ethiopia’s Somali region  2 August 2017

Ukraine 
:: World Humanitarian Day: WHO urges more health aid to address Ukraine’s humanitarian crisis  18 August 2017

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UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises. 
Iraq
:: Iraq: Mosul Humanitarian Response Situation Report No. 41 (27 July to 8 August 2017)

Syrian Arab Republic
:: 19 Aug 2017   One Syrian doctor’s determination in the face of violence and displacement

Yemen
:: 17 Aug 2017  Statement by the Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Mr. Jamie McGoldrick on Shrinking Humanitarian Space in Yemen [EN/AR]
:: 13 Aug 2017  Yemen Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 26 | 14 August 2017
:: Revised 2017 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP)

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UN OCHA – Corporate Emergencies
When the USG/ERC declares a Corporate Emergency Response, all OCHA offices, branches and sections provide their full support to response activities both at HQ and in the field.
Ethiopia
:: Ethiopia Weekly Humanitarian Bulletin, 7 August 2017

DRC
:: United in the fight against sexual violence in North Kivu 12 Aug 2017
   The widespread use of sexual violence in North-Kivu

Somalia
:: Horn of Africa: Humanitarian Impacts of Drought – Issue 9 (10 Aug 2017)
 
Nigeria.
:: Statement by the UN Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Peter Lundberg – Press Conference, 12 August 2017
…Responding to the humanitarian needs of millions of people in the northeast remains our priority and our focus, each and every day. The fact remains that the humanitarian crisis in Nigeria’s north-east and the Lake Chad region – now in its eighth year – is one of the most severe in the world today, with 8.5m people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2017 in the worst-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, and 6.9m targeted for humanitarian assistance in these three states.
Civilians continue to bear the brunt of a conflict that has resulted in widespread forced displacement – today more than 1.8 million are internally displaced – and violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, severe protection concerns and a food and nutrition crisis of massive proportions.
Women and girls are also disproportionately affected by this…

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Editor’s Note:
We will cluster these recent emergencies as below and continue to monitor the WHO webpages for updates and key developments.

MERS-CoV [to 19 August 2017]
http://www.who.int/emergencies/mers-cov/en/
21 July 2017   WHO/MERS/RA
DONs
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia
17 August 2017
Between 4 July and 12 August 2017, the national IHR Focal Point of Saudi Arabia reported 26 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection including six deaths, and two deaths among previously reported cases…Globally, 2066 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV including at least 720 related deaths have been reported to WHO..

WHO & Regional Offices [to 19 August 2017]

WHO & Regional Offices [to 19 August 2017]
Patients, health workers and hospitals are #NotATarget
18 August 2017 – Last year 418 people died because health facilities were attacked. Every hospital destroyed and every health worker killed or injured takes years of health services away from the people who need them most. Stop attacks on health care.

Highlights
Reaching key populations to prevent the spread of disease in Ethiopia
August 2017 – In Ethiopia, thousands of pilgrims flock to holy water sites for spiritual cleansing and physical healing. People often drink the holy water and perform ceremonial cleansing, but there is a risk that these sites can be contaminated with bacteria, causing waterborne diseases.

Breaking the link between disability and exclusion in Tajikistan
August 2017 – Several hundred Tajik people developed impairments and now need long-term rehabilitation care following a large poliomyelitis (polio) outbreak in 2010, which also spread to 3 neighbouring countries. To improve the provision of and access to rehabilitation services for people with disabilities in Tajikistan, WHO set up a disability rehabilitation programme in 2013 that focuses on people affected by polio.

WHO delivers medicines and medical supplies to Al-Qamishli, Syria
August 2017 – For the first time in 3 years, WHO has delivered almost 30 tons of medicines and medical supplies by road to health facilities and mobile clinics in Al-Qamishli. The supplies will support the delivery of health services to displaced people from northern and eastern regions of Syria.

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Disease outbreak news
:: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia  17 August 2017
:: Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – China  7 August 2017
:: Dengue fever – Côte d’Ivoire  4 August 2017

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Weekly Epidemiological Record, 18 August 2017, vol. 92, 33 (pp. 453–476)
:: Progress towards poliomyelitis eradication: Afghanistan, January 2016–June 2017
:: Human cases of influenza at the human-animal interface, January 2015–April 2017
:: Health conditions for travellers to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj), 2017

Weekly Epidemiological Record, 11 August 2017, vol. 92, 32 (pp. 437–452)
:: Deployments from the oral cholera vaccine stockpile, 2013–2017
:: Yellow fever in Africa and the Americas, 2016

Weekly Epidemiological Record, 4 August 2017, vol. 92, 31 (pp. 417–436)
:: Diphtheria vaccine: WHO position paper – August 2017
:: WHO African Region Immunization Technical Advisory Group: Call for nominations

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WHO Regional Offices
Selected Press Releases, Announcements
WHO African Region AFRO
:: South SudanOral Cholera Vaccination campaign to combat cholera in South Sudan concludes despite security and access challenges  16 August 2017
:: Taking stock of lessons learnt from the Cholera outbreak response in Tanzania 14 August 2017
The United Republic of Tanzania is battling an outbreak of Cholera…
:: Seventy seven percent (77%) of children 12 – 23 months in Nigeria did not receive all routine immunization – Survey findings  13 August 2017
Abuja, 10 August, 2017 – A major survey finding from 2016…
:: WHO supports the development of the Seychelles’ Introduction Plan for Rotavirus and Pneumococcal Vaccines 09 August 2017

WHO Region of the Americas PAHO
:: PAHO Launches New Initiative to Eliminate Mother-to-Child Transmission of Four Diseases (08/10/2017)
The series of interventions seek to reduce the number of children born with HIV, syphilis, Chagas disease, or hepatitis B in Latin America and the Caribbean
 
WHO South-East Asia Region SEARO
:: Milkha Singh appointed WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Physical Activity in South-East Asia Region  11 August 2017
 
WHO European Region EURO
:: World Humanitarian Day: WHO urges more health aid to address Ukraine’s humanitarian crisis 18-08-2017
:: Experts and patients come together on people-centred hepatitis response in the Russian Federation 11-08-2017
:: Course on health financing for universal health coverage offered in Russian 11-08-2017
:: Breaking the link between disability and exclusion in Tajikistan 07-08-2017
:: Prenatal classes in Georgia turn pregnancy into a life-course opportunity for health 01-08-2017

WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region EMRO
:: Cholera count reaches 500 000 in Yemen  14 August 2017
 
WHO Western Pacific Region
:: Progress on Early Essential Newborn Care in the Western Pacific Region, but millions of newborn infants remain at risk  DA NANG, Viet Nam, 14 August 2017
 

CDC/ACIP [to 19 August 2017]

CDC/ACIP [to 19 August 2017]
http://www.cdc.gov/media/index.html
Friday, August 04, 2017

CDC invests more than $200 million to help states respond to infectious disease threats –
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded more than $200 million through the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases (ELC) cooperative agreement to help states, cities, counties, and territories prevent, detect, respond to, and control the growing threats posed by emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. State programs are the foundation of the U.S. public health system and are integral to the nation’s efforts to combat infectious disease threats. CDC and states work together to improve local surveillance, laboratory diagnostic capabilities, and outbreak response…

Friday, August 04, 2017
Zika Virus CDC’s Emergency Operations Center is activated at Level 2 to respond to Zika. Zika is currently a risk in many countries and territories.
 
MMWR News Synopsis for August 17, 2017
:: Progress Toward Poliomyelitis Eradication — Afghanistan, January 2016–June 2017
Afghanistan has made progress in its polio eradication efforts during the period of January 2016 to June 2017. To accomplish eradication, it is critical that Afghanistan continue to focus on improving campaign quality in the southern part of the country through enhanced oversight and targeted campaigns. Both Afghanistan and Pakistan should continue prioritizing coordination on surveillance and vaccination activities to track and vaccinate children among their high-risk mobile populations. This report highlights polio eradication progress, challenges, and solutions implemented in Afghanistan during January 2016–June 2017. Thirteen cases were confirmed in 2016, a decrease from 20 cases reported in 2015. From January to June 2017, five cases were reported, compared with six during the same period in 2016. The polio program in Afghanistan has enhanced its management and accountability during vaccination campaigns and strengthened its coordination with Pakistan to track and vaccinate the children in high-risk populations that move between both countries. Vaccination teams have been increased at transit points in and out of areas that are inaccessible due to security challenges, as well as along travel routes and at border crossings. Community-based religious leaders and volunteers are deployed to increase acceptance of vaccination among families that had previously refused and to follow up after campaigns to identify and vaccinate children who were missed.

MMWR News Synopsis for August 3, 2017
:: Meningitis Outbreak Caused by Vaccine-Preventable Bacterial Pathogens — Northern Ghana, 2016
Building and sustaining laboratory and surveillance capacity in countries where meningitis outbreaks are common is critical to ensure rapid and effective response to meningitis outbreaks.   
Bacterial meningitis can lead to death and serious disabilities such as deafness, nervous system problems, and brain damage. Countries in the meningitis belt of sub-Saharan Africa, including Ghana, have the highest incidence of bacterial meningitis and experience seasonal epidemics. During 2015-2016, Ghana experienced an increase in pneumococcal meningitis followed by a large outbreak of N. meningitidis serogroup W meningitis. Based on laboratory and epidemiologic data, more than 130,000 doses of meningococcal serogroup W containing vaccine were administered to the most affected districts. Rapid identification of the bacterium causing meningitis outbreaks is critical for directing targeted public health interventions, including vaccination.

Announcements

Announcements
 
EDCTP    [to 19 August 2017]
http://www.edctp.org/
The European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) aims to accelerate the development of new or improved drugs, vaccines, microbicides and diagnostics against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as well as other poverty-related and neglected infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on phase II and III clinical trials
2 August 2017
Independent observer assesses Scientific Review Committee meetings
To ensure the integrity of its evaluation procedures and to find ways to improve quality, efficiency and transparency, EDCTP recently enlisted the assistance of independent experts to observe and critically examine its peer review evaluation process…

European Medicines Agency  [to 19 August 2017]
http://www.ema.europa.eu/ema/
08/08/2017
EMA supports regulatory harmonisation in East Africa
East African Community (EAC) envisages the creation of regional regulatory entity
01/08/2017
EMA encourages tailored development of medicines for older people
EMA invites comments on reflection paper by 31 January 2018
 
European Vaccine Initiative  [to 19 August 2017]
http://www.euvaccine.eu/news-events
14 August 2017
Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB) to join VAC2VAC
VAC2VAC is pleased to announce that one year after its start it has already created enough interest to have the Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB), a regulatory agency and an independent administrative body residing under the Government of the Netherlands, joining its membership.
For VAC2VAC, that aims to establish ‘Vaccine batch to vaccine batch comparison by consistency testing’, i.e. replacing animal test with non-animal assays, having regulatory agencies as partners is an important contribution towards its goal…

04 August 2017
VAC2VAC: Progress summary of first year
During the first year of the VAC2VAC project ample of process has been made.

31 July 2017
TRANSVAC2: Funding for European vaccine research infrastructure
The European Commission (EC), in the context of the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, commits significant funding to TRANSVAC, , a European vaccine research and development (R&D) infrastructure…
 
FDA [to 19 August 2017]
http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/default.htm
What’s New for Biologics
Influenza Virus Vaccine for the 2017-2018 Season
Updated: 8/17/2017

CBER-Regulated Products: Resolved Shortages
Updated: 8/17/2017
August 3, 2017 Summary Basis for Regulatory Action – ZOSTAVAX (PDF – 102KB)
Posted: 8/9/2017
August 3, 2017 Approval Letter – ZOSTAVAX (PDF – 70KB)
Posted: 8/8/2017
 
Gavi [to 19 August 2017]
http://www.gavi.org/library/news/press-releases/
01 August 2017
Indonesian Government to immunise 70 million children against measles and rubella
The two-year campaign will aim to reach 95% immunisation coverage in Indonesia.
…Gavi is supporting the Government of Indonesia by contributing 50% of the total cost of vaccines. WHO is assisting with the preparation of immunisation activities, particularly in high-risk areas and among vulnerable populations, to ensure all children receive the vaccine…
 
Global Fund [to 19 August 2017]
http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/news/?topic=&type=NEWS;&country=
News
The French Council of Investors in Africa and the Global Fund Create Innovative Partnership
31 July 2017
The French Council of Investors in Africa (CIAN) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have entered into a cooperation agreement aimed at involving French companies in the fight against the three diseases in sub Saharan Africa.
CIAN is an organization of French companies operating in Africa, including multinational corporations, as well as small and medium-size businesses. The organization aims to accelerate private sector involvement in health issues through its network of 160 member companies and 10,000 establishments in Africa. CIAN recently created a Health Commission, an initiative that demonstrates its members’ growing interest in combating the AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria epidemics…

IVI   [to 19 August 2017]
http://www.ivi.int/
July 28, 2017
Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visits IVI
SEOUL, KOREA – Prof. Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, visited the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) at Seoul National University (SNU) Research Park on July 28.
The former UN chief is currently Honorary Dean of the Institute for Global Engagement and distinguished professor at Yonsei University in South Korea. He visited the Seoul-based non-profit international organization for the first time at the invitation of the Korea Support Committee for IVI (KSC)…
 
MSF/Médecins Sans Frontières  [to 19 August 2017]
http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news-stories/press/press-releases
Press release
FDA Reauthorization Act Passes U.S. House and Senate Without Fixes to Deliver Urgently Needed New Drugs, Vaccines for Neglected Diseases
August 03, 2017
Both chambers of U.S. Congress missed another opportunity to help people living with neglected diseases by passing the FDA Reauthorization Act (FDARA) of 2017 today without fixing the Food and Drug Administration’s Priority Review Voucher (PRV) program for neglected diseases. Language included in the bill makes changes to the neglected disease PRV program, but it doesn’t fix the major flaws that limit the program’s ability to help people most in need, said the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
 
NIH  [to 19 August 2017]
http://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases
August 8, 2017
NIH accelerates the use of genomics in clinical care
— New funding awards focus on diverse and underserved populations.

August 7, 2017
NCI study identifies essential genes for cancer immunotherapy
— Researchers found more than 100 genes that may play a role in facilitating tumor destruction by T cells
 
PATH  [to 19 August 2017]
http://www.path.org/news/index.php
Announcement | August 18, 2017
PATH nominated for Saving Lives at Birth grants to accelerate diagnostic and device innovations that prevent maternal and infant deaths at birth

Announcement | August 10, 2017
PATH celebrates the extension of its digital health partnership with the Government of Tanzania
Second phase of the Data Use Partnership will strengthen Tanzania’s ability to use data to transform its health sector

Announcement | August 09, 2017
PATH partners with the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit on first study of the RTS,S malaria vaccine in Asia
Study is the first step toward understanding the vaccine’s potential role in elimination campaigns and combating drug resistance across Southeast Asia’s Greater Mekong Subregion

Press release | August 07, 2017
Versatile health innovator joins PATH to lead technology development and introduction efforts for low-income countries around the world
Dr. Praveen Raja brings passion, experience, and leadership in medical innovation, digital health, technology, pharmaceuticals, and entrepreneurship to new role
 
Sabin Vaccine Institute  [to 19 August 2017]
http://www.sabin.org/updates/pressreleases
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Wendy Holman Joins Sabin Vaccine Institute Board of Trustees
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) is pleased to announce the election of Wendy Commins Holman to its Board of Trustees. Ms. Holman is the CEO and founder of Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on developing treatments and diagnostics for underserved patient populations primarily in pediatric orphan and emerging infectious diseases.
Prior to founding Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, Ms. Holman was a principal at Ziff Brothers Investments and director of research at ZBI Equities, a multi-billion dollar public equity investment fund where she spent 15 years guiding investments in healthcare and novel technology.
“We are very pleased to welcome Wendy to our board,” said Dr. Axel Hoos, chairman of Sabin’s Board of Trustees. “Her knowledge and experience of innovative technologies and deep interest in global health will be an important addition to the board as we advance our vision of a future free from vaccine-preventable diseases.”…

UNAIDS [to 19 August 2017]
http://www.unaids.org/en
Update  16 August 2017
Promoting HIV prevention among young people in El Salvador
…In El Salvador, there is a growing concern about the increase in new HIV infections reported since 2011 among adolescents aged between 15 and 19 years. Young people are not receiving the information they need to protect themselves from HIV: only 36.5% of young people aged 15–24 years know how to prevent HIV transmission.

UNICEF  [to 19 August 2017]
https://www.unicef.org/media/
1 August 2017
Babies and mothers worldwide failed by lack of investment in breastfeeding
GENEVA/NEW YORK, 1 August 2017 – No country in the world fully meets recommended standards for breastfeeding, according to a new report by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the Global Breastfeeding Collective, a new initiative to increase global breastfeeding rates.
 
Wellcome Trust  [to 19 August 2017]
https://wellcome.ac.uk/news
News / Published: 10 August 2017
Danny Truell to become Emeritus Partner of Wellcome Investments
Danny Truell has led the Wellcome Trust’s Investment division with great distinction as Chief Investment Officer and more recently as Managing Partner, overseeing transformative growth of our endowment that has allowed us to more than double our charitable spending since his arrival in 2005.
 
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BIO    [to 19 August 2017]
https://www.bio.org/insights/press-release
August 18, 2017
BIO Applauds Signing of Food and Drug Administration Reauthorization Act (FDARA)
Washington, DC  Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) President and CEO James C. Greenwood issued the following statement regarding President Trump’s signing of the Food and Drug Administration Reauthorization Act (FDARA) today:
“President Trump’s signature today on this landmark legislation is the culmination of a years-long collaborative process in which patients, industry, FDA, legislators and other stakeholders worked tirelessly to identify ways in which FDA’s human drug review programs can be improved to deliver better health care for every American and enhance the incorporation of the patient voice in drug development and review…
 
DCVMN – Developing Country Vaccine Manufacturers Network  [to 19 August 2017]
http://www.dcvmn.org/
25 September 2017 to 28 September 2017
DCVMN Annual General Meeting
Seoul / Korea
 
PhRMA    [to 19 August 2017]
http://www.phrma.org/press-room
August 14, 2017
Medicare Monday: Strengthening access to vaccines for seniors
Importance of access to vaccines for seniors
 
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MilliporeSigma and Baylor College of Medicine Advance Vaccine Development and Manufacturing for Neglected Diseases
MilliporeSigma today announced that it has formed a strategic alliance with Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, and its vaccine product development partnership, Texas Children’s
08 AUG 2017 | Billerica, Massachusetts, United States of America
:: Collaboration furthers both parties’ commitment to advance research and development for neglected diseases
:: Agreement focuses on optimizing vaccine process development and formulation and exchanging know-how
MilliporeSigma today announced that it has formed a strategic alliance with Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, and its vaccine product development partnership (PDP), Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development (Texas Children’s CVD), to advance vaccine research and development for neglected and emerging infections.
The collaboration focuses on bringing vaccines through development to efficiently deliver them to societies in need. MilliporeSigma’s experts in process development and formulation are working with Texas Children’s CVD scientists at Baylor to optimize the vaccine manufacturing process to increase vaccine stability and yield. Initially, these activities are targeting schistosomiasis, a deadly parasitic disease that affects millions of people a year in tropical and subtropical regions…

Reports/Research/Analysis/Commentary/Conferences/Meetings/Book Watch/Tenders

Reports/Research/Analysis/Commentary/Conferences/Meetings/Book Watch/Tenders

Vaccines and Global Health: The Week in Review has expanded its coverage of new reports, books, research and analysis published independent of the journal channel covered in Journal Watch below. Our interests span immunization and vaccines, as well as global public health, health governance, and associated themes. If you would like to suggest content to be included in this service, please contact David Curry at: david.r.curry@centerforvaccineethicsandpolicy.org

The Vaccine Confidence Project  [to 19 August 2017]
http://www.vaccineconfidence.org/
Confidence Commentary:
Separating Vaccination Fact From Fiction
Heidi Larson | 6 Aug, 2017
Remember the H1N1 “swine flu” that was rampant in 2009? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated the global death toll from that pandemic to be more than 284,000. There’s also the influenza pandemic of 1918, which killed at least 50 million people—more than World War I.
The flu vaccine is the most effective way to combat the disease—yet, in many Western countries, rates of vaccination (and not just for the flu) have actually fallen in the past decade.
Why are some people afraid of vaccination when it’s been proven to save lives?…