Reminder – Vaccines and Global Health: The Week in Review will resume publication on 3 January 2014

Editor’s Note:
We will resume weekly publication on 3 January 2014 following an end-of-year break.

As we prepare for the year ahead, may we invite you to consider providing financial support for this weekly digest?

We depend entirely on external funding to be able to provide this service, and strive to cover our costs by balancing our base of support to include individuals as well as institutional and other sponsors.

You are one of over 1,500 leaders from international organizations, government, NGOs, academia, industry and other settings receiving this weekly email. The consistent feedback we receive from readers is that they are better informed and are making better decisions from the investment made in reading – and acting on – what the Week in Review provides.

You are joined by visitors to our website which presents each digest item as a “searchable post.”  Unique visits have now crested above 150,000 from some 70+ countries, each representing a search against the growing base of 5,000+ posts.

Your financial support (a tax-advantaged donation depending on your country and tax situation) would be directed to the Center for Vaccine Ethics and Policy via a web page maintained by our co-founder and fiduciary The Wistar Institute here or by mail to:
Center for Vaccine Ethics and Policy
c/o the Wistar Institute
3601 Spruce Street
Suite 242
Philadelphia, PA, USA 19104.

Support at any level is welcome, and we very much appreciate your consideration.

Best wishes for success in your important work during 2014,

David Curry and Art Caplan

Arthur L. Caplan PhD
Drs. William F and Virginia Connolly Mitty Chair
Director, Division of Medical Ethics
NYU Langone Medical Center

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

Vaccines and Global Health: The Week in Review 21 Dec 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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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

IAVI announces grant to explore Human Vaccines Project

The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) announced a US$378,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to “convene international scientists and public-health experts to explore the creation of a Human Vaccines Project that could collectively leverage technological advances to accelerate the development of new vaccines against AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other major diseases.” Wayne C. Koff, IAVI Chief Scientific Officer and Principal Investigator of the grant, commented, “New approaches are critically needed. Despite major advances in vaccine discovery and immune-system monitoring, common questions hinder development of vaccines against many diseases. Solving these trans-vaccinology questions in a global consortium could be transformative for individual and public health. IAVI is once again proud to serve as a catalyst in cutting-edge science by convening a forum to open this conversation.”

Dr.  Koff and eight fellow scientists wrote in Science (May 2013) describing a Human Vaccines Project which would aim to identify and prioritize the questions to solve. With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, IAVI will host three workshops to explore the viability, potential impact, and requirements of such a project. The first workshop, in February, will gather internationally recognized representatives from academia, the vaccine industry, government, and product-development partnerships and other non-government organizations to help identify needs and craft a potential scientific plan.

“There are many viral, bacterial, parasitic, and chronic diseases for which vaccines are needed,” said Stanley Plotkin, Emeritus Professor of the University of Pennsylvania and Chairman of the Human Vaccines Project Steering Committee. “This Project holds the potential to greatly accelerate the development of vaccines against major global killers, and provide a foundation for future prevention of new and emerging diseases.”

Gates Foundation names Susan Desmond-Hellmann, M.D., M.P.H. as next CEO

    The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation selected Susan Desmond-Hellmann, M.D., M.P.H. as its next chief executive officer. Dr. Desmond-Hellmann is currently the chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and will assume her role on May 1, 2014. An oncologist by training, Desmond-Hellmann is “a recognized leader on issues of higher education, public health, drug development, regulatory innovation and health policy. She has led UCSF since August 2009, when she became the first woman to serve as the university’s chancellor, overseeing all aspects of the university and medical center’s strategy, academic programs and operations. She has extensive experience in product development, and a deep understanding of how to bridge applied research to delivery of product. Prior to her tenure at UCSF, she was President of Product Development at Genentech, where she led the development and introduction of two of the first gene-targeted therapies for cancer, Avastin and Herceptin.” Desmond-Hellmann also served as a member of Genentech’s executive committee, beginning in 1996. She sits on the boards of directors of Proctor and Gamble and Facebook, and was previously a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Economic Advisory Council. Desmond-Hellmann will take over from Jeff Raikes, who announced his retirement from the foundation in September 2013 after five years as CEO.

GPEI Update: Polio this week – As of 18 December 2013

Update: Polio this week – As of 18 December 2013
Global Polio Eradication Initiative
Full report:

[Editor’s extract and bolded text]
As the year 2013 draws to a close, the GPEI takes stock:
:: In Afghanistan, no indigenous cases of wild poliovirus have occurred all year – all cases are linked to cross-border transmission with neighbouring Pakistan.
:: In Nigeria, poliovirus is increasingly geographically restricted – primarily to Kanod and Borno states. Over the past 4 months, only four cases have occurred in the country, despite the onset of the rainy season (the “high season” for polio transmission).
:: The Horn of Africa outbreak is on the decline, including in Banadir, Somalia, the “engine” of the outbreak (no cases since July).
:: A cross-regional emergency approach is being implemented in the Middle East.
:: In Pakistan, the main reservoir area is Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), in particular North Waziristan.  During the ‘high season’ in the past four months, 52 cases of wild poliovirus have been reported from FATA, with evidence of widespread geographic transmission across the country.  Areas within Pakistan are being re-infected, as is neighbouring Afghanistan, and the outbreak in the Middle East originated in Pakistan.
:: The overriding operational priority for the GPEI is to ensure all children are reached during supplementary immunization activities during the 2014 ‘low season’ for polio transmission.

:: One new WPV1 case was reported in the past week from North Waziristan, FATA. The total number of WPV1 cases for Pakistan in 2013 is now 75. The most recent WPV1 case had onset of paralysis on 26 November (from North Waziristan, FATA).
:: North Waziristan is the area with the largest number of children being paralyzed by poliovirus in Pakistan. Immunization activities have been suspended by local leaders since June 2012. It is critical that children in all areas are vaccinated and protected from poliovirus. Immunizations in neighbouring high-risk areas are being intensified, to further boost population immunity levels in those areas and prevent further spread of this outbreak.

Ecobank and the Global Fund announce partnership

Ecobank and the Global Fund announced a partnership that includes innovative financing, advocacy and cash contributions worth a total of US$3 million over the next three years. Ecobank and the Ecobank Foundation “will partner with the Global Fund in innovative regional and country specific financing programs that will aim to strengthen the financial management capabilities of grant recipients. Ecobank will also contribute training in financial management skills, accounting and reporting expected to facilitate improved grant applications, as well as the implementation and evaluation processes.” Ecobank is described as a leading pan-African financial institution that operates in 35 countries in Africa and embraces a mission of contributing to the economic and financial development of Africa. Ecobank will provide advocacy for the Global Fund, and call on the innovative capabilities of its partners and over 18,000 employees. Ecobank will contribute US$1.5 million in cash, and half will be earmarked for strengthening the financial management capabilities of implementing partners. Additional contributions will include in-kind services, training and fundraising.