Vaccines and Global Health: The Week in Review 29 April 2017

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 with the current issue date

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– blog edition: comprised of the approx. 35+ entries posted below.

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David R. Curry, MS
Executive Director
Center for Vaccine Ethics and Policy

Milestones :: Perspectives

Milestones :: Perspectives

Summary report for the SAGE meeting of April 2017
28 April 2017 :: 5 pages
The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization met on 25-27 April 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Summary Report topics: Polio Eradication; Cholera; Ebola Vaccines; Diphtheria

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Ghana, Kenya and Malawi to take part in WHO malaria vaccine pilot programme
Brazzaville, 24 April 2017 – The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO/AFRO) announced today that Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi will take part in a WHO-coordinated pilot implementation programme that will make the world’s first malaria vaccine available in selected areas, beginning in 2018.

The injectable vaccine, RTS,S, was developed to protect young children from the most deadly form of malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum. RTS,S will be assessed in the pilot programme as a complementary malaria control tool that could potentially be added to the core package of WHO-recommended measures for malaria prevention.

“The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news. Information gathered in the pilot will help us make decisions on the wider use of this vaccine”, said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “Combined with existing malaria interventions, such a vaccine would have the potential to save tens of thousands of lives in Africa,” she added.

Africa bears the greatest burden of malaria worldwide. Global efforts in the last 15 years have led to a 62 percent reduction in malaria deaths between 2000 and 2015, yet approximately 429,000 people died of the disease in 2015, the majority of them young children in Africa.

The WHO pilot programme will assess whether the vaccine’s protective effect in children aged 5 – 17 months old during Phase III testing can be replicated in real-life. Specifically, the pilot programme will assess the feasibility of delivering the required four doses of RTS,S, the vaccine’s potential role in reducing childhood deaths, and its safety in the context of routine use.

WHO recommendations and RTS,S
RTS,S was developed by GSK and is the first malaria vaccine to have successfully completed a Phase III clinical trial. The trial was conducted between 2009 and 2014 through a partnership involving GSK, the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), and a network of African research sites in seven African countries—including Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi.

RTS,S is also the first malaria vaccine to have obtained a positive scientific opinion from a stringent medicines regulatory authority, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which  approved RTS,S  in July 2015.

In October 2015, two independent WHO advisory groups, comprised of the world’s foremost experts on vaccines and malaria, recommended pilot implementation of RTS,S in three to five settings in sub-Saharan Africa. The recommendation came from the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization and the Malaria Policy Advisory Committee (MPAC), following a joint review of all available evidence on the vaccine’s safety and efficacy. The World Health Organization formally adopted the recommendation in January 2016.

Pilot implementation
The three countries were selected to participate in the pilot based on the following criteria: high coverage of long-lasting insecticidal-treated nets (LLINs); well-functioning malaria and immunisation programmes, a high malaria burden even after scale-up of LLINs, and participation in the Phase III RTS,S malaria vaccine trial. Each of the three countries will decide on the districts and regions to be included in the pilots. High malaria burden areas will be prioritized, as this is where the benefit of the vaccine is predicted to be highest. Information garnered from the pilot will help to inform later decisions about potential wider use of the vaccine.

The malaria vaccine will be administered via intramuscular injection and delivered through the routine national immunization programmes.  WHO is working with the three countries to facilitate regulatory authorization of the vaccine for use in the pilots through the African Vaccine Regulatory Forum (AVAREF).  Regulatory support will also include measures to enable the appropriate safety monitoring of the vaccine and rigorous evaluation for eventual large scale use.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and UNITAID, are partnering to provide US$49.2 million for the first phase of the pilot programme (2017-2020) which will be complemented by in-kind contributions from WHO and GSK.

[See related announcements by Gavi, PATH, and others below]

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World Malaria Day, 25 April 2017
WHO Publication:
Malaria prevention works: let’s close the gap
Number of pages: 28
Publication date: 2017 :: 28 pages
WHO reference number: WHO/HMT/GMP/2017.6
Overview
On World Malaria Day 2017, WHO is placing a special focus on prevention, a critical strategy for reducing the burden of a disease that continues to kill more than 400 000 people annually.
This new report offers a brief summary of WHO-recommended tools in the malaria prevention arsenal. It is divided into 2 parts: the first chapter focuses on core vector control measures, and the second on preventive treatment strategies for the most vulnerable groups in Africa. It addresses a key biological threat – mosquito resistance to insecticides – and highlights the need for new anti-malaria tools.

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Global Health Coalition Urges G20 Pledge on Pandemics and Neglected Diseases
BERLIN, April 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — A coalition of global health organisations has called on the G20 to provide leadership in combating pandemics, drug resistance, and major poverty-related and neglected diseases.
The public ‘Call to Action’ launched in Berlin on April 28 urges G20 health ministers to commit new long-term investment in pandemic preparedness, and health technologies to combat antimicrobial resistance(AMR) and Poverty-Related and Neglected Diseases(PRNDs).
“Meeting health targets outlined in the UN Sustainable Development Goals will require sustained investment and political will,” coalition representatives said.
“As representatives of the world’s largest and wealthiest economies, the G20 must provide leadership. As we saw during the recent Ebola crisis in West Africa, the world is woefully unprepared to deal with pandemics. AMR, which includes drug resistant strains of HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria, diarrheal disease and pneumonia also poses an increasingly serious threat to public health.”

We urge the G20 to agree to provide the following:
:: Political leadership to address the inter-related issues of AMR, pandemic preparedness/ response and PRNDs.
:: Increased financial support and its co-ordination across the G20 and partner countries for global health innovation, including research and development for drugs, diagnostics, vaccines and other health technologies.
:: Encourage business, philanthropic organizations and other financing institutions from the G20 to increase investment.
:: Make full use of G20 public health and scientific expertise

“These are diseases of poverty: 95% of cases are among poor and marginalised populations in low and middle-income countries. They also fuel the cycle of poverty, exacting a heavy economic toll on affected families and communities, which imposes a significant ‘growth penalty’ on entire regions.
“Failure to invest now will lead to long-term costs. The World Bank has estimated that, without additional resources, these diseases will push an additional 28.3million people into poverty, increase global healthcare costs by $1.2trillion and cost low income countries more than 5% of GDP by 2050.
“G20 leadership is vital if we are to successfully reduce the global disease burden, lift millions out of poverty and avert billions of dollars of economic and social costs.”
Coalition includes:
TB Alliance
Medicines for Malaria Venture
PATH
Sabin Vaccine Institute
CARB-X
The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations
Global Health Technologies Coalition

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Sabin Vaccine Institute  [to 29 April 2017]
http://www.sabin.org/updates/pressreleases
April 25, 2017
Dr. Jan Holmgren Receives 2017 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal Award
WASHINGTON, D.C. –– Tonight, the Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) will honor Dr. Jan Holmgren with the 2017 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal Award. Dr. Holmgren will be recognized for his pioneering contributions to oral vaccine research and mucosal immunology, as well as his leadership in the discovery of the world’s first effective oral cholera vaccine.

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UNICEF  [to 29 April 2017]
https://www.unicef.org/media/media_94367.html
26 April 2017
UNICEF reaches almost half of the world’s children with life-saving vaccines
NEW YORK, 26 April 2017 – UNICEF procured 2.5 billion doses of vaccines to children in nearly 100 countries in 2016, reaching almost half of the world’s children under the age of five. The figures, released during World Immunization Week, make UNICEF the largest buyer of vaccines for children in the world.
Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan, the three remaining polio-endemic countries, each received more doses of vaccines than any other country, with almost 450 million doses of vaccines procured to children in Nigeria, 395 million in Pakistan and over 150 million in Afghanistan. UNICEF is the lead procurement agency for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
Access to immunization has led to a dramatic decrease in deaths of children under five from vaccine-preventable diseases, and has brought the world closer to eradicating polio. Between 2000 and 2015, under five deaths due to measles declined by 85 per cent and those due to neonatal tetanus by 83 per cent. A proportion of the 47 per cent reduction in pneumonia deaths and 57 per cent reduction in diarrhea deaths in this time is also attributed to vaccines.
Yet an estimated 19.4 million children around the world still miss out on full vaccinations every year. Around two thirds of all unvaccinated children live in conflict-affected countries. Weak health systems, poverty and social inequities also mean that 1 in 5 children under five is still not reached with life-saving vaccines.
“All children, no matter where they live or what their circumstances are, have the right to survive and thrive, safe from deadly diseases,” said Dr. Robin Nandy, Chief of Immunization at UNICEF. “Since 1990, immunization has been a major reason for the substantial drop in child mortality, but despite this progress, 1.5 million children still die from vaccine preventable diseases every year.”…

25 April 2017
In drought-hit Somalia, children also face potentially deadly measles threat
BAIDOA, Somalia,– Almost 30,000 young children, many of them displaced by a searing drought, are being vaccinated against measles this week in an emergency campaign in Baidoa, a town at the heart of one of Somalia’s hardest-hit areas.
Many of the children have never been immunized before – they come from remote areas health workers often cannot reach because of a decades-old conflict that has ravaged the impoverished country in the Horn of Africa.
So far this year, almost 5,700 cases of suspected measles have been reported across the country, more than the total number of cases in 2016. Measles, a viral respiratory infection that spreads through air and contact with infected mucus and saliva, thrives in congested, unsanitary displacement camps, which have mushroomed across the town and surrounding areas. More than 100,000 people have come to Baidoa in search of assistance, including at least 70,000 in March alone.
“Among vaccine-preventable diseases, none is more deadly than measles,” said Steven Lauwerier, UNICEF’s Representative in Somalia. “And we know only too well from the 2011 famine that measles, combined with malnutrition and displacement, is an especially lethal combination for children.”…
The Baidoa campaign is part of an effort to vaccinate about 110,000 displaced children below 5 years old in hotspots across south central Somalia, plus 250,000 children in Somaliland, against the deadly contagious disease, by the end of May. Conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Health, WHO, and several non-governmental organizations, it also includes a vitamin A supplement to boost immunity as well as de-worming tablets.

Emergencies

Emergencies
 
Public Health Emergencies of International Concern (PHEIC)  [to 29 April 2017]

POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Polio this week as of 25 April 2017
:: The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization (SAGE) is meeting this week in Geneva, Switzerland.  The group is expected to review the global polio eradication status and advise on additional measures that should be undertaken to fully implement the Polio Endgame Strategic Plan and secure a lasting polio-free world.

“” The GPEI Secretariat Report to the upcoming World Health Assembly (WHA) has been finalized and is available here [see below].  The report summarises the current status against all four objectives of the Polio Endgame Plan, and will be the main tool to inform discussions by Member States at next month’s WHA.

:: This week marks the World Immunization Week, aimed at raising global awareness of the need to ensure all children are vaccinated against polio and all vaccine-preventable diseases.  The GPEI has launched two animations to help mark this special week, on the Polio Surveillance System and Reaching Every Last Child.

Country Updates [Selected Excerpts]
New cases or environmental samples reported across the monitored country/region settings: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, Lake Chad Basin. Guinea and West Africa, and Lao People’s Democratic Republic have been removed from the monitored geographies list.

Afghanistan
:: Two new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) environmental positive samples were reported in the past week, from Nangahar and Kandahar, collected on 25 March and 9 March, respectively.

Pakistan
4 April 2017Balochistan (two from Killa Abdullah and one from Quetta), and one from Sindh (Gadap, greater Karachi), collected on 1 April, 17 March, 14 March and 13 March, respectively.

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Poliomyelitis: Report by the Secretariat
Seventieth World Health Assembly
Provisional Agenda Item 12.3   A70/14
[Excerpts; Editor’s text bolding]

…5. The declaration in 2014 of international spread of wild poliovirus as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and the Temporary Recommendations promulgated under the International Health Regulations (2005) remain in effect. National polio emergency action plans continue to be implemented in all countries affected by circulation of either wild poliovirus or vaccine-derived polioviruses, and all countries currently affected by circulation of either type of virus have declared such events to be national public health emergencies.

  1. Between 17 April and 1 May 2016, all 155 countries and territories that were still using trivalent oral polio vaccine successfully switched its use to the bivalent oral polio vaccine through a globally-synchronized replacement. It was the first step in the phased removal of oral polio vaccines, which will culminate with the cessation of use of all oral polio vaccines following global certification of eradication of all wild poliovirus types. Since the declaration of eradication of wild poliovirus type 2 in September 2015, Member States are completing efforts to identify facilities holding type 2 polioviruses (wild, vaccine-derived or Sabin), destroy unneeded materials or appropriately contain needed materials in poliovirus-essential facilities.
  1. In 2016, acceleration of transition planning continued (see paragraphs 20–25) in order: to ensure effective advance human resource planning at all levels of the Secretariat to reduce the number of polio-funded staff and associated financial liabilities; to understand the consequences of the loss of polio-funded staff and infrastructure on other WHO programme areas, and WHO country offices; and to help to identify opportunities to mainstream or integrate polio functions into other programmes areas or national health system, where feasible.
  1. The partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative continue to engage closely with all Member States and the broader international development community in efforts to secure rapidly the additional US$ 1300 million required to achieve a lasting polio-free world…

FINANCE AND MANAGEMENT OF THE GLOBAL POLIO ERADICATION INITIATIVE

  1. Thanks to the generous continuing support of the international development community, including Member States (especially the countries where poliomyelitis is endemic), multilateral and bilateral organizations, development banks, foundations and Rotary International, the budget for planned activities for 2016 was fully financed. Efforts are under way to mobilize, by mid-2017, the additional US$ 1300 million required to fully fund the implementation of the Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan and to secure a lasting polio-free world and global certification in 2020. In addition to the significant humanitarian benefits associated with polio eradication, the drive is also associated with substantial economic benefits. A polio-free world will reap savings of a total of more than US$ 50 000 million (with US$ 27 000 million already saved), funds that can be used to address other pressing public health and development needs. Critical to achieving a lasting polio-free world is the rapid mobilization of the additional funds needed. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative published an investment case2 for polio eradication, clearly summarizing the economic and humanitarian rationale for continued investment in the Initiative…
  1. Available at http://polioeradication.org/wpcontent/uploads/2017/03/InvestmentCase.pdf

(accessed 10 April 2017)

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WHO Grade 3 Emergencies  [to 29 April 2017]
Iraq  –
:: Iraq: Special health situation report from Mosul
22 April 2017 — WHO has supported the health directorates in Erbil, Duhok and Silymania by providing intravenous fluids sufficient for 100 000 people. The Federal Ministry of Health has opened a fully equipped third hospital in Hamam al’Alil (including a maternity unit by UNFPA) managed by ASPEN Medical. More than 16 800 consultations (25% of them children under 5 years) has been managed through the primary health care facilities and WHO supported mobile clinics.

Yemen
:: Impending famine, ongoing fighting and a failing health system leave millions at risk in Yemen
24 April 2017 — Two years of intense conflict have left 18.8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and placed overwhelming strain on the country’s health system at a time when it is needed most.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is leading a reprioritization of the response of more than 66 operational partner organizations, aiming to sustain the remnants of the nation’s health system and ensure access to life-saving health services for the country’s most vulnerable.

NigeriaNo new announcements identified
South Sudan  – No new announcements identified
The Syrian Arab Republic  – No new announcements identified

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WHO Grade 2 Emergencies  [to 29 April 2017]
Cameroon  – No new announcements identified.
Central African Republic  – No new announcements identified.
Democratic Republic of the CongoNo new announcements identified.
EthiopiaNo new announcements identified.
LibyaNo new announcements identified.
MyanmarNo new announcements identified.
Niger  – No new announcements identified.
Ukraine  – No new announcements identified.

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UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies

The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises. 

[New primary webpage not responding at inquiry]

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Editor’s Note:
We will cluster these recent emergencies as below and continue to monitor the WHO webpages for updates and key developments.
 
Zika virus  [to 29 April 2017]
http://www.who.int/emergencies/zika-virus/en/
[No new digest content identified]
 
MERS-CoV [to 29 April 2017]
http://www.who.int/emergencies/mers-cov/en/
Disease Outbreak News [DONs]
:: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia and Qatar
27 April 2017
:: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – United Arab Emirates
24 April 2017

 

Yellow Fever  [to 29 April 2017]
http://www.who.int/emergencies/yellow-fever/en/
[No new digest content identified]

 

EBOLA/EVD  [to 29 April 2017]
http://www.who.int/ebola/en/
[No new digest content identified]

WHO & Regional Offices [to 29 April 2017]

WHO & Regional Offices [to 29 April 2017]

World Immunization Week, 24-30 April
Immunization saves millions of lives and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions.

Improving tracking of vaccines in Zambia
26 April 2017 – In search for a solution to track vaccines in real-time, the Zambian Ministry of Health and WHO piloted a logistics management information system in 34 facilities in 2016. Through the web and mobile phones, the system allows supply chain managers in the country’s national, district, and provincial vaccine warehouses and stores to monitor vaccine stocks, usage, and expirations by the minute

Thousands of lives at risk as Gaza public hospitals face fuel and electricity crisis
27 April 2017 – Increasing power cuts and shortages of fuel are creating an impending crisis for Gaza’s 14 public hospitals, threatening the closure of essential health services which would leave thousands of people without access to life-saving health care.

Highlights
WHO Director-General’s statement to high-level pledging event for the humanitarian crisis in Yemen
April 2017 – As the international community gathers in Geneva, the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen continues to unfold. Health partners require US$ 322 million for response activities in Yemen in 2017, of which WHO is requesting US$ 126 million.

Health security: is the world better prepared?
April 2017 – There is no more acute need for a guardian of health than during a disease outbreak. Lessons learned from the West Africa Ebola outbreak in 2014 were the catalyst to creating our new Health Emergencies Programme, enabling a faster, more effective response to outbreaks and emergencies.

World Report on Health Policy and Systems Research
April 2017 – The first-ever World Report on Health Policy and Systems Research commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research. The report describes the evolution of the field and provides figures on publications produced, funding trends, and institutional capacity.

Mexico eliminates trachoma, leading infectious cause of blindness
April 2017 – Trachoma has been eliminated as a public health problem in Mexico, WHO announced today. Mexico becomes the first country in the Americas and the third in the world after Oman and Morocco to receive validation from WHO for having eliminated this disease.

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Weekly Epidemiological Record, 28 April 2017, vol. 92, 17 (pp. 205–228)
Measles vaccines: WHO position paper – April 2017
 
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WHO Regional Offices
Selected Press Releases, Announcements
WHO African Region AFRO
:: Improving tracking of vaccines in Zambia  26 April 2017
:: Treated mosquito nets are safe and effective – 25 April 2017
:: Ghana, Kenya and Malawi to take part in WHO malaria vaccine pilot programme – 24 April 2017

WHO Region of the Americas PAHO
:: Ministros de Salud de Mesoamérica acuerdan trabajar juntos para atender las necesidades de salud de los migrantes (04/26/2017)
:: “Malaria Champions of the Americas” contest seeks nominations for best surveillance, universal access to diagnosis and treatment (04/25/2017)
:: Mexico eliminates trachoma, leading infectious cause of blindness (04/24/2017)

WHO South-East Asia Region SEARO
:: WHO South-East Asia pledge intensified efforts against neglected tropical diseases  26 April 2017
:: Malaria prevention works: let’s close the gap  24 April 2017
 
WHO European Region EURO
:: Hepatitis B vaccination has dramatically reduced infection rates among children in Europe, but more is needed to achieve elimination 28-04-2017
:: The WHO European Region remains malaria free 25-04-2017
:: Vaccination – we must not take the benefits for granted 24-04-2017

WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region EMRO
:: As trauma needs escalate in west Mosul more ambulances are deployed  24 April 2017
:: Trauma field hopital in Hammam Al-Alil goes 24/7  27 April 2017
:: WHO support saves lives of people injured in the frontlines of Mosul  23 April 2017
:: Expanding access to vaccines is crucial for saving thousands of children’s lives across Afghanistan  23 April 2017

WHO Western Pacific Region
:: Immunization can save a million and a half more lives in WHO’s Western Pacific Region
MANILA, 24 April 2017 — Despite the proven effectiveness of vaccines and the tens of millions of lives they have saved, an estimated 400 000 people die needlessly every year in the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Western Pacific Region from diseases that vaccines could prevent. Vaccines save up to 3 million lives each year worldwide from infectious diseases, such as hepatitis, diphtheria, tetanus, measles and polio. Still, nearly 2.3 million children in the Region each year are not fully immunized against these threats.

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Announcements

Announcements
 
BMGF – Gates Foundation  [to 29 April 2017]
http://www.gatesfoundation.org/Media-Center/Press-Releases
APRIL 25, 2017
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Statement on Intention to Create Non-Profit Medical Research Institute
SEATTLE (April 25, 2017) – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation intends to establish a non-profit medical research institute that will combat diseases that disproportionately impact the poor in low- and middle-income countries by accelerating progress in translational science – the process that translates promising scientific discoveries into potential medical products.
The foundation anticipates that the initial focus of the institute will be to enhance the product pipeline for malaria, tuberculosis, and enteric and diarrheal diseases. Since 1990, the global health product development pipeline has produced dozens of high-impact interventions that have helped save more than 100 million lives. The institute intends to build on this progress by capitalizing on new strategies that could increase the identification, selection, and optimization of novel candidates for drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, and medical devices.
The foundation intends to transition potentially viable interventions to product development partners, developing country manufacturers, and others to take forward into late-stage development.
It is anticipated that the institute will be co-located in the Seattle and Boston metropolitan regions and that Penny Heaton, who currently leads the foundation’s Vaccine Development and Surveillance Program, will take a senior leadership role with the institute.
The foundation is in the early stages of planning and design for the institute, and further details will be provided toward the end of 2017.

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European Medicines Agency  [to 29 April 2017]
http://www.ema.europa.eu/ema/
25/04/2017
European Immunisation Week: Statement of Guido Rasi, the Executive Director of the European Medicines Agency (EMA)
Immunisation has helped us to bring some major human diseases under control – smallpox, diphtheria, tetanus, yellow fever, whooping cough, polio, and measles – to name a few. Worldwide, vaccines are saving the lives of approximately nine million people every year, more than the whole population of Austria. Today, no child in Europe has to die from formerly common childhood diseases.
But we observe an increasing lack of trust in public health institutions, scientists and scientific knowledge itself in Europe and beyond. The main reason is fear, caused by unreliable sources of information and influencers that ignore solid scientific evidence.
Fear is not the only factor. People seem to have forgotten the dreadful consequences of some of the vaccine-preventable diseases.
I call on all parents to protect their children. Vaccines will keep them safe from deadly measles or cervical cancer. If your child is not immunised, this could become a threat for those who are more vulnerable: siblings who are too young to be vaccinated, elderly grandparents, classmates that have special health conditions…

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Gavi [to 29 April 2017]
http://www.gavi.org/library/news/press-releases/
Statement
Partnership supports launch of malaria vaccine pilots in three African countries
Funders hail next step in the development of world’s first malaria vaccine.
Geneva, 24 April 2017 – The world’s first malaria vaccine, RTS,S, has moved a step closer to a global rollout following WHO’s announcement that Ghana, Kenya and Malawi will begin administering the vaccine in 2018.
The three countries will host pilots to evaluate the feasibility of delivering the required four doses of RTS,S in real-life settings, the vaccine’s potential role in reducing childhood deaths and its safety in the context of routine use.
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and Unitaid are partnering to provide $49.2 million for the first phase of the pilot programme.
Ministries of Health in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi will implement the pilots, in coordination with WHO.
“The world’s first malaria vaccine is a real achievement that has been 30 years in the making,” said Dr Seth Berkley, Gavi CEO. “Today’s announcement marks an important step towards potentially making it available on a global scale. Malaria places a terrible burden on many of the world’s poorest countries, claiming thousands of lives and holding back economies. These pilots are crucial to determining the impact this vaccine could have on reducing this toll.”…

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Global Fund [to 29 April 2017]
http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/news/?topic=&type=NEWS;&country=

News
Liberia and Global Fund Deepen Partnership in Building Systems for Health
26 April 2017
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf today outlined strategic areas of partnership between Liberia and the Global Fund, stressing the need to accelerate the process of building resilient and sustainable systems for health to prevent disease outbreaks. Liberia was the epicenter of the 2014 Ebola outbreak that claimed more than 11,000 lives across West Africa.

News
New Global Fund Grant Aims for Malaria Elimination in the Mekong
25 April 2017
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria will continue to support five Southeast Asian countries to expand efforts against malaria, and aim to eliminate the most deadly strain of malaria.

News
Partnership Supports Launch of Malaria Vaccine Pilots in Three African Countries
24 April 2017
The world’s first malaria vaccine, RTS,S, has moved a step closer to a global rollout following WHO’s announcement that Ghana, Kenya and Malawi will begin administering the vaccine in 2018.
 
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PATH  [to 29 April 2017]
http://www.path.org/news/index.php

Announcement | April 25, 2017
PATH Statement in Support of New Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Medical Research Institute
“We welcome the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s plans to establish a new nonprofit medical research institute to conduct integrated early-stage research and development (R&D) on key global health disease areas,” said Steve Davis, president and CEO of PATH.
“Given the many unmet needs in global health, we commend the Gates Foundation’s continued investment in early-stage R&D on vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics for urgent health priorities. We look forward to working together to accelerate the identification and development of new tools to address some of the world’s toughest health issues,” said Steve Davis.
“PATH has a rich history and robust portfolio of work on vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics. We appreciate the Gates Foundation’s continued support for PATH. We look forward to continued discussions with foundation leadership and staff, so that PATH’s efforts and expertise align with and complement the new institute’s work,” said Steve Davis.

Announcement | April 25, 2017
PATH welcomes Zambia’s commitment to eliminate malaria by 2021
PATH welcomed today’s announcement by Zambia’s Minister of Health, Dr. Chitalu Chilufya, speaking on behalf of Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the President of Zambia, commemorating World Malaria Day with the launch of an ambitious national strategy to eliminate malaria by 2021. The strategy demonstrates Zambia’s regional leadership in the malaria fight—if successful, it would be the first sub-Saharan country with significant, year-round transmission to eliminate the disease.

Announcement | April 24, 2017
PATH and GSK welcome progress toward RTS,S malaria vaccine pilot implementation with selection of countries
PATH and GSK welcome the World Health Organization’s (WHO) announcement of the countries selected to participate in the first pilot implementation of the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine (also known as Mosquirix™). The pilot implementation is due to begin in 2018. The selected countries—Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi—have achieved significant reductions in malaria mortality through the deployment of currently available prevention and control measures, but still face a substantial disease burden from malaria. Each of these countries have experience with RTS,S from the large Phase 3 efficacy and safety trial of the vaccine, which concluded in early 2014.

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EDCTP    [to 29 April 2017]
http://www.edctp.org/
The European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) aims to accelerate the development of new or improved drugs, vaccines, microbicides and diagnostics against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as well as other poverty-related and neglected infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on phase II and III clinical trials
25 April 2017
Funding research and innovation to help end malaria
The fight against malaria has seen a decade of remarkable success and progress. It remains, however, a threat to half of the world’s population with more than 200 million new cases of malaria and claims the lives of almost half a million people every year, the majority of whom are children under five years of age. According to the WHO 2016 World Malaria Report, 92 per cent of malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. To end this massive suffering, the current tools are not sufficient. More research and development is needed to improve the prevention and management of malaria in the context of elimination.
Under the first EDCTP programme, malaria research received a total funding of € 50.2 million for 42 projects. Since the start of the second EDCTP programme in 2014, 6 projects in malaria research have been funded so far, to a total amount of approximately € 9.5 million…

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NIH  [to 29 April 2017]
http://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases

April 28, 2017
Zika virus persists in the central nervous system and lymph nodes of Rhesus monkeys
Virus found in tissues weeks after clearance from blood.

April 25, 2017
NIH statement on World Malaria Day — April 25, 2017
Statement of B. Fenton Hall, M.D., Ph.D., and Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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European Vaccine Initiative  [to 29 April 2017]
http://www.euvaccine.eu/news-events
25 April 2017
World Malaria Day 2017: End Malaria For Good
World Malaria Day is a chance to shine a spotlight on the global effort to control malaria.

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UNAIDS  [to 29 April 2017]
http://www.unaids.org/

Selected Press Releases & Updates
Update
China–Africa partnership to improve access to health-care
28 April 2017
China and Africa have come together to find new ways of improving access to health care. More than 30 Ministers of Health from across Africa joined the Vice-Premier of China Liu Yandong, and the Chinese Minister of National Health and Family Planning Commission Li Bin at the China-Africa Ministerial Conference on Health Cooperation. The event was held in Pretoria, South Africa on April 24 under the theme China-Africa Health Cooperation, From Commitments to Actions.
The Vice Premier of China talked about the long standing partnership between China and Africa in the field of health care and of China’s commitment to help build the health sector in developing countries and boost efforts for a broader future for China-Africa cooperation in health.
In his address, the UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé, outlined three critical initiatives that need to be put in place. He said that, together with the African Union, partners should create a workforce of 2 million community health workers for Africa, learning from the Barefoot Doctors of China organization, which trains people on basic medicine to work in rural areas of China. Trilateral cooperation between China, Africa and UNAIDS should focus on disease surveillance for accelerating action to achieve Sustainable Development Goals 3. He added that UNAIDS will continue to support the scale-up of the local production of medicines and health commodities…

Update 
Campaign to raise HIV awareness among young people in ASEAN region launched
28 April 2017
A new campaign called #Live2LUV aims to promote information on sexual and reproductive health, including HIV, among young people in South-East Asian countries. UNAIDS, along with regional networks of young people, Youth Lead and Youth Voices Count, and the United Nations Children’s Fund and the United Nations Population Fund, launched the campaign during the four-day Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Youth Summit in Manila, Philippines, which ends on 29 April…

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Fondation Merieux  [to 29 April 2017]
http://www.fondation-merieux.org/news
Mission: Contribute to global health by strengthening local capacities of developing countries to reduce the impact of infectious diseases on vulnerable populations.
27 April 2017, Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
Inauguration of the Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Cambodia: new capacities for this major training and scientific research platform
On April 27, was inaugurated the Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory at the University of Health Sciences (UHS) in Cambodia.

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Wellcome Trust  [to 29 April 2017]
https://wellcome.ac.uk/news
News / Published: 26 April 2017
Innovation stops women dying from severe blood loss after childbirth
A Wellcome-funded global trial has found that tranexamic acid (TXA), a drug discovered more than 50 years ago that costs about £2 a dose, reduces maternal death from bleeding by 31% if given within three hours.
The WOMAN Trial study, coordinated by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, recruited 20,000 mothers in 193 hospitals in 21 countries. It is published today in The Lancet (opens in a new tab)

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IVI   [to 29 April 2017]
http://www.ivi.int/
27 April 2017
IVI editorial in The Korea Herald advocates for Korean leadership for global health
by IVI Director General Jerome Kim
 
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orts/Research/Analysis/Commentary/Conferences/Meetings/Book Watch/Tenders

Reports/Research/Analysis/Commentary/Conferences/Meetings/Book Watch/Tenders
Vaccines and Global Health: The Week in Review has expanded its coverage of new reports, books, research and analysis published independent of the journal channel covered in Journal Watch below. Our interests span immunization and vaccines, as well as global public health, health governance, and associated themes. If you would like to suggest content to be included in this service, please contact David Curry at: david.r.curry@centerforvaccineethicsandpolicy.org
 World Report on Health Policy and Systems Research
WHO; Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research
April 2017 :: 56 pages
ISBN 978-92-4-151226-8
Foreward [Excerpt]
In the 1990s, two far-sighted reports recognized that health policy and systems research was a neglected area of research, particularly in middle- and low-income countries. These were the historic reports of the Commission on Health Research for Development and that of the Ad Hoc Committee on Health Research. Since then, as the current text well illustrates, the field has developed substantially –not least through the creation of the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research in 2000 and that of Health Systems Global in 2012.

This first World Report on Health Policy and Systems Research reflects the importance of monitoring and measuring developments in the field. It provides evidence that allows national policy-makers and funders to see how their investments contribute to the generation and use of policy-relevant knowledge. Its chapters describe the evolution of the field, the current state of play and results to date, the challenge of institutional capacity and emerging trends, illustrating the importance of this area of research for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.

New partners promoting this field of research have come on the scene in the past two decades and ‘closed’ disciplines no longer offer such attractive pathways. This is a broad-ranging report, relevant to stakeholders in public health from many disciplines and training, at all career levels, in all parts of the globe. It collects together for the first time figures on various significant aspects of health policy and systems research: growth in the number of publications, collaboration between researchers in different parts of the world, funding trends, institutional capacity in low- and middle-income countries, and much more. As the WHO Director-General has said, “In the absence of sound evidence, we will have no good way to compel efficient investments in health systems.”
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Chris Elias: Extending the promise of health to all children, everywhere
Thomson Reuters Foundation | 27 April 2017
 A challenge we face in our interconnected world is that infectious diseases show no respect for international borders