WHO confirms WPV1 isolated in China

   WHO confirmed that wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1), genetically linked to virus currently circulating in Pakistan, has been isolated in China. WHO noted that Pakistan is affected by nationwide transmission of WPV1, and is the location of the only wild poliovirus type 3 (WPV3) case in Asia in 2011 (a strain on the verge of elimination on the continent). As at 13 September 2011, Pakistan had reported 84 cases, compared to 48 cases for the same period in 2010. WHO said that in 2011, supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) in Pakistan have been inadequate in quality in key high-risk areas. In security-compromised parts of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and in particular in Khyber agency, upwards of 200,000 children have been regularly missed during SIAs conducted during the last two years. To urgently address the widespread transmission of wild poliovirus affecting the country, the Government of Pakistan has launched a National Polio Emergency Action Plan, with staggered subnational immunization days “followed by further activities in high-risk union councils in 54 districts of the country.”

http://www.who.int/csr/don/2011_09_20/en/index.html

Sanofi Pasteur donates type 3 polio seed-strain to WHO

WHO announced the donation by Sanofi Pasteur to WHO of a vaccine seed-strain used for the production of oral polio vaccine (OPV). The type 3 polio seed-strain is an original viral seed used to produce large quantities of OPV against type 3 poliovirus. With this donation, WHO said it now “owns” all three seed-strain viruses (types 1, 2 and 3) needed for the production of polio vaccines, noting that while Sanofi Pasteur had in the past made available its type 3 seed-strain, in collaboration with WHO, to other manufacturers to help secure a global supply of polio vaccines, this generous donation will further simplify this process. The donation also means that production capacity — including in the developing country setting — can be further scaled-up to help meet the needs of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), and further strengthen public health systems. http://www.who.int/immunization/newsroom/newsstory_donation_vaccine_strain/en/index.html

UN Foundation launches Shot@Life campaign

The United Nations Foundation launched its new Shot@Life campaign, which was featured at the second-annual Social Good Summit focused on “how social media can be used to build and activate a grassroots movement.” Shot@Life “will educate, connect, and empower Americans to champion vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save the lives of children in developing countries.” Peg Willingham, Executive Director, said, “Shot@Life provides easy access for you to learn more and become champions of global vaccines. By joining our online community and signing the Shot@Life pledge online, advocates can voice their support to prevent 1.7 million children from dying of vaccine-preventable diseases.”

Website: http://shotatlife.org
Blog: http://shotatlife.org/blog/

Wistar Institute breaks ground on US$100 million expansion

The Wistar Institute broke ground on a US$100 million expansion that “will ensure its future at the forefront of cancer research and vaccine development,” and announced a companion five-year, US$35 million capital campaign: Building Wistar, Changing the World.  Wistar President and CEO Russel E. Kaufman, M.D. commented, “At a time when biomedical research is advancing at a lightning pace, The Wistar Institute finds itself constrained by aging facilities designed for 19th and 20th century science. We designed our new building specifically to foster interactions between researchers in the kinds of multidisciplinary collaborations that spark innovation and drive results.” http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110923005054/en/Wistar-Institute-Breaks-Ground-100-Million-Expansion

World Rabies Day 2011

  WHO announced that World Rabies Day will be observed on 28 September 2011 to “highlight the impact of human and animal rabies and promotes how to prevent and stop the disease by combating it in animals.” The Alliance for Rabies Control and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 55,00 people die every year from rabies, an average of one death every 10 minutes. WHO noted that there are safe and effective vaccines available for people who have been bitten by an animal that might have the disease, but usage in developing countries is low due to the high cost.

Related links

http://www.worldrabiesday.org/

MMWR Weekly for September 23, 2011

The MMWR Weekly for September 23, 2011 / Vol. 60 / No. 37 includes:
FDA Approval of Expanded Age Indication for a Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine

Notes from the Field: Measles Among U.S.-Bound Refugees from Malaysia — California, Maryland, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, August–September 2011

Announcements: Final State-Level 2010–11 Influenza Vaccination Coverage Estimates Available Online