Vaccines and Global Health: The Week in Review 30 Nov 2013

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 “29 June 2013″
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Email Summary: Vaccines and Global health : The Week in Review is published as a single email summary, scheduled for release each Saturday eveningbefore midnight (EDT in the U.S.). If you would like to receive the email version, please send your request to david.r.curry@centerforvaccineethicsandpolicy.org.
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pdf version: A pdf of the current issues is available here: Vaccines and Global Health_The Week in Review_30 Nov 2013
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Twitter: Readers can also follow developments on twitter: @vaxethicspolicy.
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Links: We endeavor to test each link as we incorporate it into any post, but recognize that some links may become “stale” as publications and websites reorganize content over time. We apologize in advance for any links that may not be operative. We believe the contextual information in a given post should allow retrieval, but please contact us as above for assistance if necessary.
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David R. Curry, MS
Executive Director
Center for Vaccine Ethics and Policy
a program of the
– Division of Medical Ethics, NYU Medical School
– The Wistar Institute Vaccine Center
– Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Vaccine Education Center
Associate Faculty, Division of Medical Ethics, NYU Medical School

World AIDS Day 2013 – 1 December 2013

World AIDS Day 2013 – 1 December 2013

WHO: New HIV recommendations for adolescents
25 November 2013 — More than 2 million adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19 years are living with HIV, and many do not receive the care and support that they need to stay in good health and prevent transmission. In addition, millions more adolescents are at risk of infection. The failure to support effective and acceptable HIV services for adolescents has resulted in a 50% increase in reported AIDS-related deaths in this group compared with the 30% decline seen in the general population from 2005 to 2012.
New WHO recommendations released in the run-up to World AIDS Day 2013 are the first to address the specific needs of adolescents, both for those living with HIV and those who are at risk of infection.
:: Press release: Adolescents falling through gaps in HIV services
:: Guidance for HIV testing, counselling and care
:: Policy brief

UNICEF: More than 850,000 infants saved from HIV since 2005, but alarming trends seen among adolescents
NEW YORK, 29 November 2013 – A new report released today by UNICEF shows great progress has been made to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, with more than 850,000 new childhood infections averted between 2005 and 2012 in low- and middle-income countries…

NIH Statement on World AIDS Day 2013 — December 1, 2013
Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Jack Whitescarver, Ph.D., Director, NIH Office of AIDS Research; Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., NIH Director
http://www.nih.gov/news/health/nov2013/niaid-27.htm
Excerpt
In the 25 years that have passed since the first annual commemoration of World AIDS Day, extraordinary scientific progress has been made in the fight against HIV/AIDS. That progress has turned an HIV diagnosis from an almost-certain death sentence to what is now for many, a manageable medical condition and nearly normal lifespan. We have come far, yet not far enough.

In 2012, more than 2 million new HIV infections and 1.6 million AIDS-related deaths occurred globally. Although these numbers represent a decline from previous years, they also reflect a grim reality: far too many people become HIV-infected and die from the effects of the disease. On World AIDS Day, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reaffirms its commitment to finding improved HIV treatments and tools for preventing infection (including a vaccine), addressing the conditions and diseases associated with long-term HIV infection, and, ultimately, finding a cure…

…A cornerstone of our HIV prevention efforts continues to be the search for a safe and effective vaccine. The pathway to an effective HIV vaccine has been challenging and marked by disappointments; however, basic research advances this year are charting the course for a new generation of investigational HIV vaccines. Through the work of NIH scientists and grantees, we have gained insights into how HIV and a strong antibody response to the virus co-evolve in an infected person and improved our understanding of how B-cells create potentially protective immune system responses. Further, NIH-funded researchers have developed a new tool for identifying broadly neutralizing antibodies against HIV that could help speed vaccine research and illuminated in exquisite detail the protein largely responsible for enabling HIV to enter human immune cells and cause infection.

Additionally, ongoing analyses of the landmark RV 144 HIV vaccine trial conducted in Thailand are providing important information about human immune responses and other factors that may explain why the investigational vaccine regimen reduced the risk of HIV acquisition by 31 percent. Large-scale investigational clinical trials to build on the RV 144 results are being planned for South Africa and Thailand….

IAVI: World AIDS Day – December 1, 2013: Honoring Their Memories. Finding a Vaccine.
November 25, 2013
Excerpt
On this World AIDS Day, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) pays tribute to the tens of millions of people who have lost their lives by reaffirming our commitment to finding a vaccine that will help end the AIDS pandemic.
“There has been tremendous success in treating millions with HIV over the past three decades,” said IAVI President and Chief Executive Officer Margie McGlynn, “but a great deal of continued commitment, innovation and persistence will be needed to realize the vision of a world without AIDS…

http://www.iavi.org/Information-Center/Press-Releases/Pages/World-AIDS-Day-2013-Honoring-Their-Memories-Finding-a-Vaccine.aspx

UNICEF-WHO: Children in typhoon-hit Tacloban, Philippines, receive vaccines against measles, polio

UNICEF-WHO Joint news note: Children in typhoon-hit Tacloban, Philippines, receive vaccines against measles, polio
Excerpt
TACLOBAN/MANILA, Philippines, 26 November 2013 – Children in Tacloban – the city hit hardest by Typhoon Haiyan – were today vaccinated against measles and polio in the first phase of a mass campaign by the Government of the Philippines with support from UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other partners. They also received Vitamin A supplements to help improve their immunity against infections.
Over 30,000 children are expected to be reached by the campaign which is taking place at fixed sites in evacuation centres and in communities using mobile health teams.

The vaccination drive in Tacloban is the first phase of a campaign targeting children under five years old in all the typhoon-affected areas. Fifteen teams (10 foreign and 5 national) including volunteers from the Department of Health, the Philippines Red Cross and other non-governmental organisations, were in locations across Tacloban giving vaccines today. The first to receive them were children in 20 evacuation centres – such as San Jose Elementary School, where more than 300 families currently live in conditions that can heighten the risk of infectious diseases…

…At the government’s request, UNICEF purchased over US$2 million worth of vaccines to replenish in-country stocks now being used for the campaign. In addition, UNICEF and WHO are helping to re-establish the broken cold chain, which is critical in keeping vaccines at the right temperature…
http://www.unicef.org/media/media_71017.html

WHO: Global Alert and Response (GAR) – Disease Outbreak News [to 30 November 2013]

WHO: Global Alert and Response (GAR) – Disease Outbreak News
http://www.who.int/csr/don/2013_03_12/en/index.html

:: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – update 29 November 2013

:: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – update Arab Republic – update 26 November 2013

:: Cholera in Mexico – update 25 November 2013

:: Polio in the Syrian Arab Republic – update26 November 2013
Excerpt
A total of 17 cases due to wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) have been confirmed in the Syrian Arab Republic. In addition to 15 cases confirmed in Deir Al Zour province, two additional cases have been confirmed, one each in rural Damascus and Aleppo, confirming widespread circulation of the virus. The case with most recent onset developed paralysis on 8 October 2013.

A comprehensive outbreak response continues to be implemented across the region. Seven countries and territories are holding mass polio vaccination campaigns targeting 22 million children under the age of five years. In a joint resolution, all countries of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region have declared polio eradication to be an emergency, calling for support in negotiating and establishing access to those children who are currently unreached with polio vaccination. WHO and UNICEF are committed to work with all organizations and agencies providing humanitarian assistance to Syrians affected by the conflict to ensure all Syrian children are vaccinated no matter where they live.

It is anticipated that outbreak response will need to continue for at least six to eight months, depending on the area and based on evolving epidemiology…

GPEI – Update: Polio this week – As of 30 November 2013

Update: Polio this week – As of 30 November 2013
Global Polio Eradication Initiative
Full report: http://www.polioeradication.org/Dataandmonitoring/Poliothisweek.aspx
[Editor’s extract and bolded text]

:: In Syria, four new wild polio virus type 1 (WPV1) cases were reported in the past week. New cases in Aleppo and Douma (rural Damascus) indicate that polio is spreading within the country and reaffirm the urgent need to vaccinate all children in Syria, regardless of who controls the area where they are.

:: In Kenya, the government declared polio a public health emergency on 22 November and directed the Ministry of Health to fast-track the immunization activities and to ensure the entire country is covered.

Pakistan
:: One new WPV1 case was reported in the past week from FR Bannu, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The total number of WPV1 cases for Pakistan in 2013 is now 64. The most recent WPV1 case had onset of paralysis on 4 November (from FATA).
:: Two new cVDPV2 cases were reported in the past week. The total number of cVDPV2 cases for 2013 is now 43. The most recent cVDPV2 case had onset of paralysis 27 October (from North Waziristan, FATA).
:: The situation in North Waziristan is alarming. It is the area with the largest number of children being paralyzed by poliovirus in all of Asia. Immunization activities have been suspended by local leaders since June 2012. It is critical that children in these areas are vaccinated and protected from poliovirus. Immunizations in neighboring high-risk areas are being intensified, to further boost population immunity levels in those areas and prevent further spread of this outbreak.

Chad, Cameroon and Central African Republic
:: In Cameroon, two new WPV1 cases were reported in the past week, both from Malentouen in Ouest region. The total number of WPV1 cases is now four. The most recent case in Cameroon had onset of paralysis on 30 October 2013 (WPV1 from Ouest).

Middle East
:: In Syria, four new WPV1 cases were reported in the past week, two from previously infected district Mayadeen in Deir-Al-Zour and one from Douma, rural Damascus and Fardous, Aleppo, respectively. The total number of WPV1 cases is now 17. The new cases in Aleppo and rural Damascus signal that polio is spreading in the country, but are also a sign that workers are actively looking for cases of polio. Prior to the outbreak wild poliovirus was last reported in Syria in 1999.
:: In the Middle East, a comprehensive outbreak response continues to be implemented across the region. The large-scale supplementary immunization activity which started in Syria on 24 October to vaccinate 1.6 million children against polio, measles, mumps and rubella, in both government-controlled and contested areas, has been completed.
:: Seven countries and territories are holding mass polio vaccination campaigns repeatedly targeting 22 million children under the age of five years over the next 6-8 months. In a joint resolution, all countries of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region have declared polio eradication to be an emergency, calling for support in negotiating and establishing access to those children who are currently unreached with polio vaccination.
:: WHO and UNICEF are committed to working with all organizations and agencies providing humanitarian assistance to Syrians affected by the conflict. This includes vaccinating all Syrian children no matter where they are, whether in government or contested areas, or outside Syria.

European Medicines Agency launches ADVANCE initiative to focus on vaccine benefits-risks

The European Medicines Agency (EMA), in collaboration with other organisations involved in assessing the benefits and risks of vaccines, launched the ADVANCE project “to deliver a blueprint for a pan-European framework for monitoring the benefits and risks of vaccines throughout their lifecycle, and for communicating these benefits and risks.” The five-year project, called accelerated development of vaccine benefit-risk collaboration in Europe  (ADVANCE), is supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) and brings together the EMA and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), as well as pharmaceutical companies that manufacture vaccines, national public-health and regulatory bodies, academic experts and small and medium-sized enterprises. ADVANCE is coordinated by the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands and the Children’s Hospital Basel , University of Basel, Switzerland. This framework “will further facilitate health professionals, regulatory agencies, public-health institutions and the general public to make prompt, better-informed decisions regarding vaccination strategies.” The role of the EMA in ADVANCE will be to develop and test guidance for the conduct and reporting of studies in this area. This best-practice guidance will include methodological standards, governance rules, a code of conduct and a communication strategy.

26/11/2013: http://www.ema.europa.eu/ema/index.jsp?curl=pages/news_and_events/news/2013/11/news_detail_001976.jsp&mid=WC0b01ac058004d5c1

GAVI Watch: Media Releases/Statements [to 30 November 2013]

GAVI Watch: Media Releases/Statements
http://www.gavialliance.org/library/news/statements/

:: Guillaume Grosso appointed head resource mobilisation in European markets -28 November 2013
   Former director of ONE Campaign’s Paris office joins GAVI Alliance.

:: GAVI Alliance to support Nigeria’s first new national yellow fever vaccination campaign in 30 years – 26 November 2013
   Mass preventive campaign will protect close to 60 million children and adults