Vaccines: The Week in Review 22 December 2012

Editor’s Notes:

– Vaccines: The Week in Review will resume publication on 5 January 2013 following a holiday break next week

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UNICEF, WHO condemn attacks on polio health workers in Pakistan

UNICEF, WHO Joint Statements: Attacks on polio health workers in Pakistan
19 December 2012 – ISLAMABAD
UNICEF and The World Health Organization join the government and people of Pakistan in condemning the multiple attacks on health workers in the past week.

Those killed or injured, many of whom are women, are among hundreds of thousands of heroes who work selflessly to eradicate polio and provide other health services to children in Pakistan. Such attacks deprive children in Pakistan of their right to basic life-saving health interventions and place them at risk for a disease that causes lifelong disability.

In light of the prevailing security situation, WHO and UNICEF Pakistan are implementing additional security protocols to ensure the safety and security of their polio workers.

UNICEF, WHO and all our partners in Pakistan express our deepest sympathy to the families of the health workers who were killed or injured. We remain committed to supporting the Government and the people of Pakistan in their efforts to rid the country of polio.

18 December 2012
WHO and UNICEF join the Government of Pakistan and the provinces of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in condemning the multiple attacks that have killed six health workers in the past 24 hours.

At least six people working on a polio vaccination campaign have been reported shot dead in several locations in Pakistan – Gadap, Landi, Baldia and Orangi towns of Karachi city, Sindh Province and Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. Those killed were among thousands who work selflessly across Pakistan to eradicate polio.

The Government of Pakistan and the affected provinces have temporarily suspended the vaccination campaign due to concerns over safety of health workers.

Such attacks deprive Pakistan’s most vulnerable populations – especially children – of basic life-saving health interventions. We call on the leaders of the affected communities and everyone concerned to do their utmost to protect health workers and create a secure environment so that we can meet the health needs of the children of Pakista

Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus that can cause permanent paralysis in a matter of hours. Safe and effective vaccines protect children from the disease. Currently the disease remains endemic in only three countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

WHO, UNICEF and all their partners in Pakistan and globally express their deepest sympathy to the families of the health workers. We remain committed to supporting the Government of Pakistan and the people of Pakistan in their efforts to rid the country of polio and other diseases.

UN Condemns deadly attacks on polio workers in Pakistan


GPEI Update: Polio this week – As of 18 Dec 2012

Update: Polio this week – As of 18 Dec 2012
Global Polio Eradication Initiative

[Editor’s Extract]
See joint statement by WHO, UNICEF

– Two new WPV cases were reported in the past week (1 WPV1 from Kano and 1 WPV3 from Yobe), bringing the total number of WPV cases for 2012 to 119. The WPV1 from Kano is the most recent in the country and had onset of paralysis on 20 November.

Horn of Africa
– Efforts are continuing to stop an ongoing cVDPV2 outbreak in Kenya and parts of Somalia (in a Somali refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya, and Kismayo, south-central Somalia)…”

Aeras CEO Jim Connolly to step down

Aeras announced that Jim Connolly will step down as CEO effective January 31, 2013 but remain active on its Board of Directors. Aeras Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Tom Evans will serve as interim CEO, starting on February 1, 2013, while the Board of Directors selects a permanent successor. Aeras describes itself as “a non-profit product development organization dedicated to the development of effective tuberculosis (TB) vaccines and biologics to prevent TB across all age groups in an affordable and sustainable manner.”


GSK said that the FDA approved FLUARIX QUADRIVALENT (Influenza Virus Vaccine) for the immunisation of children (three years and older) and adults to help prevent disease caused by seasonal influenza (flu) virus subtypes A and type B contained in the vaccine. Fluarix Quadrivalent is the first intramuscular vaccine to cover against four influenza strains. Dr. Leonard Friedland , VP and Head, GSK North America Vaccines Clinical Development and Medical Affairs, said, “Trivalent influenza vaccines have helped protect millions of people against flu, but in six of the last 11 flu seasons, the predominant circulating influenza B strain was not the strain that public health authorities selected. Fluarix Quadrivalent will help protect individuals against both B strains and from a public-health standpoint, can help decrease the burden of disease.”