Vaccines: The Week in Review 29 June 2013

Vaccines: 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 “29 June 2013″
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International Association of Immunization Managers (IAIM) launched

   The Sabin Vaccine Institute announced the launch of the newly-formed International Association of Immunization Managers (IAIM).  IAIM will operate with support from a five-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with a mission to “help drive the achievement of national, regional and international immunization goals, including those in the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP), by fostering forward-thinking and superior management of immunization programs.” The association’s governing body, the IAIM ad hoc Governing Council, held its inaugural meeting in Washington, D.C. on 24 June. The Sabin Vaccine Institute serves as the Secretariat for IAIM and is responsible for executing its day-to-day operations.

   Dr. David Salisbury, President of the newly-formed Association’s ad hoc Governing Council and Director of Immunisation in the United Kingdom’s Department of Health, commented, “How well an immunization manager performs his or her job can make the difference in whether the immunization program succeeds; yet these professionals often are not provided with the opportunities for training, peer-to-peer discussion and exchange and skill-building that they need to advance immunization programs. Therefore, it is both welcome and timely that we now have an international association for immunization program managers that can equip them with the right tools and professional network for the job.”

   IAIM is described as “the first-ever international association for immunization managers. Its objectives are to establish a forum from which immunization managers can discuss and exchange best practices; build and support international and regional networks of immunization managers; and provide immunization managers with opportunities to develop their technical and leadership capacity. The main benefits IAIM will provide for its members include: convening international and regional meetings to provide a forum for discussion, access to training and cutting-edge information and networking opportunities; organizing peer-to-peer exchanges as a means of sharing success factors and problem-solving strategies among immunization managers; and creating an interactive website where members can access and share best practices, research, training and tools.”

   June 24, 2013 –

Japanese government withdraws HPV vaccine recommendation for girls

   Japanese media report that the Japanese government withdrew its HPV vaccine recommendation for girls due to possible adverse effects such as long-term pain and numbness. The Tokyo Times reports that HPV vaccination in Japan “is not suspended, but the use of the vaccine is not promoted by local governments, as instructed by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare.”  Mariko Momoi, a vice president of the International University of Health and Welfare in Ōtawara, Tochigi, Japan, said, “The decision does not mean that the vaccine itself is problematic from the viewpoint of safety. By implementing investigations, we want to offer information that can make the people feel more at ease.” A Merck company spokesman was quoted as stating: “While direct causal relationship between the vaccines and serious symptoms observed after inoculation has not been established at this time, we fully understand the anxiety felt by many people in Japan. In response to this decision, we will continue to collaborate with all stakeholders, including (the health ministry), to monitor and verify safety data toward resumption of active promotion for HPV vaccination as soon as possible.” Both Gardasil and Cervarix “are (still) legal to use in Japan. Girls will still be able to be vaccinated for free, but from now on they will be informed by healthcare providers that the health ministry does not recommend it.”

IVI, LG Electronics (LGE) and local partners address AWD from cholera infections with vax campaign

IVI (International Vaccine Institute) said that with support from LG Electronics (LGE) and in collaboration with local partners it launched a public awareness and vaccination campaign to reduce acute watery diarrheal disease (AWD) resulting from cholera infections. The organizations expect to vaccinate more than 20,000 residents in selected districts of West Arsi Zone in Ethiopia’s Oromia Region beginning on International Day of the African Child on June 16, 2013. IVI noted that LGE has been supporting IVI’s vaccine program in Ethiopia since 2010 to stem the spread of AWD. Together, the organizations conducted vaccine safety research in collaboration with Ethiopia’s Armauer Hansen Research Institute (AHRI) over a period of three years to confirm the vaccine’s suitability for Ethiopians. Starting next month, LG and IVI officials will visit major cities in the Oromia Region to educate citizens on the importance of the vaccine. From October to December, teams will administer free vaccinations in collaboration with the Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute (EHNRI).

Editor’s Note: The media release excerpted above does not specifically identify the vaccine involved in the campaign, but we presume it be Shanchol, an oral cholera vaccine (OCV) developed by IVI.

IFFm announces inaugural US dollar floating rate benchmark

    IFFIm (International Finance Facility for Immunisation Company) made a restricted announcement of its inaugural US dollar floating rate benchmark. The US$ 700 million, 3-year Vaccine Bonds “provide investors an opportunity to fund immunisation programmes by the GAVI Alliance, helping protect millions of children in the world’s poorest countries against preventable diseases. \”$-700-million-in-3-year-floating-rate-vaccine-bonds/ [Please note access and viewing prohibitions].

COMISCA – regional initiative aims to eliminate malaria by 2020

The Global Fund announced that ten countries in Central America and the Caribbean “have joined a regional initiative that aims to eliminate malaria by 2020.” The announcement was made during a regional health summit of the Council of Health Ministers from Central America and the Dominican Republic (COMISCA) in San Jose, Costa Rica, and “seeks to unify and accelerate efforts to eliminate malaria in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.” The Global Fund, which is currently supporting malaria grants in Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Dominican Republic and Haiti, has set aside an additional US$10 million for the regional initiative. Dr Daisy Maria Corrales, Minister of Health of Costa Rica and Chair Pro Tempore of COMISCA, said, “We subscribe with great pleasure the Declaration for the Elimination of Malaria in Mesoamerica and Hispaniola Island in 2020, with the assurance that it will be of vast benefit for our people, and that it will allow us to improve the quality of life of the population in the region. The announcement also noted that “cases of malaria in Latin America and the Caribbean have fallen drastically since 2000. The Hispaniola, an island shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic, is the only Caribbean island where malaria still persists, representing a financial burden to their economies, especially in the agriculture and tourism industries.”

28 June 2013 –

Rotary International and Gates Foundation extend fundraising pact…

 Rotary International and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced “an extension of their existing fundraising partnership that could generate up to US$525 million in new money for polio eradication as the global effort to end this crippling disease enters its critical endgame phase.”  The new agreement was announced at Rotary’s annual convention in Lisbon involving some 20,000 Rotary members from 160 countries. The Gates Foundation will match 2 for 1 every new dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication up to $35 million per year through 2018. Rotary and the Gates Foundation have partnered on polio eradication since 2007, when the Gates Foundation gave Rotary a $100 million challenge grant for polio eradication, increasing it to $355 million in 2009. Rotary agreed to raise $200 million in matching funds by June 2012. When the organization achieved its fundraising goal six months ahead of schedule, the Gates Foundation granted Rotary an additional $50 million. To date, Rotary clubs worldwide have contributed $1.2 billion to the polio eradication effort.

LISBON, Portugal, June 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/