Media/Policy Watch [to 24 July 2015]

Media/Policy Watch
This section is intended to alert readers to substantive news, analysis and opinion from the general media on vaccines, immunization, global; public health and related themes. Media Watch is not intended to be exhaustive, but indicative of themes and issues CVEP is actively tracking. This section will grow from an initial base of newspapers, magazines and blog sources, and is segregated from Journal Watch above which scans the peer-reviewed journal ecology.

We acknowledge the Western/Northern bias in this initial selection of titles and invite suggestions for expanded coverage. We are conservative in our outlook in adding news sources which largely report on primary content we are already covering above. Many electronic media sources have tiered, fee-based subscription models for access. We will provide full-text where content is published without restriction, but most publications require registration and some subscription level.

The Atlantic
Accessed 24 January 2015
The Financial Consequences of a Bad Flu Shot
Bourree Lam Jan 21 2015, 7:30 AM ET
While the CDC doesn’t have an official estimate for the economic costs of ineffective seasonal vaccines, various studies have suggested that resistant viral strains can weigh on the economy.

Accessed 24 January 2015
Gates Foundation CEO: “History Is Going To Judge Us”
Sue Desmond-Hellmann, the CEO of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, came to San Francisco this week to meet with some of the life science and healthcare executives in town for the annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, which draws thousands of people from around the country and the world. Desmond-Hellmann and I got a chance to talk during her visit about what’s new and what’s in store at the foundation funded by the world’s two richest men — Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

Desmond-Hellmann became the CEO of what is arguably the world’s largest private foundation (it has a $42.3 billion trust endowment) last May, after serving as chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco and working as the head of development at Genentech, where she led the development of cancer drugs Herceptin and Avastin.

Now, she’s on the other side of the table, trying to coax pharmaceutical company executives to produce vaccines for people in poor countries. “Capitalism and private companies are good at solving problems,” but not necessarily the problems of poor people, said Desmond-Hellmann. “What the foundation has started to do, which is exciting, [is looking at how] can we help create the market conditions that allow private companies to care about and start to work with us to solve the problems.” These are problems including malaria, HIV and neglected infectious diseases, including Ebola…

Accessed 24 January 2015
One shot to cure them all: The quest for the universal flu shot
by Erika Fry
January 21, 2015, 8:30 AM EST
The latest flu vaccine is no match for the year’s most common strains—but there’s a better way to fight the virus.

The Huffington Post
Accessed 24 January 2015
A Birthday Gift to Last a Lifetime: Seth Berkley
22 January 2015
For most people a birthday is a cause for celebration, and today, 15 years after Gavi was first born — right here at the World Economic Forum in Davos — is certainly no exception. But for millions of children living in the poorest parts of the world a birthday means so much more, and is a truly life-changing milestone. That’s because growing up for example in sub-Saharan Africa, you are 15 times less likely to live long enough to see your fifth birthday, compared to children in wealthier parts of the world…

New York Times
Accessed 24 January 2015
Liberia Ebola Vaccine Trial ‘Challenging’ as Cases Tumble
January 24, 2015
West Africa, aims to enroll at-risk people such as healthcare staff, family members and burial workers. It will test a GSK vaccine, a rival one from Merck and NewLink, and a placebo. “It may, at this point, be hard to find 27,000…

Doctors Group Urges Measles Shots as Disneyland Outbreak Spreads
spread to more than 80 people in seven states and Mexico. The American Academy of Pediatrics said all children should get the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella between 12 and 15 months of age and again between 4 and 6 years
January 24, 2015

Wall Street Journal,us&_homepage=/home/us
Accessed 24 January 2015
Study of Ebola Drug ZMapp Set for West Africa
24 January 20215
A clinical trial of the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp may be ready to get under way in infected patients in West Africa in February, the latest effort to combat the current epidemic and any future outbreaks.

Washington Post
Accessed 24 January 2015
U.S.-built Ebola treatment centers in Liberia are nearly empty as outbreak fades
Kevin Sieff January 18
…It now appears that the alarming epidemiological predictions that in large part prompted the U.S. aid effort here were far too bleak. Although future flare-ups of the disease are possible, the near-empty Ebola centers tell the story of an aggressive American military and civilian response that occurred too late to help the bulk of the more than 8,300 Liberians who became infected. Last week, even as international aid organizations built yet more Ebola centers, there was an average of less than one new case reported in Liberia per day.
“If they had been built when we needed them, it wouldn’t have been too much,” said Moses Massaquoi, the Liberian government’s chairman for Ebola case management. “But they were too late.”…