Milestones :: Perspectives :: Featured Journal Content

Milestones :: Perspectives :: Featured Journal Content

TORONTO, ON (March 28, 2017) – The Gairdner Foundation is pleased to announce the 2017 Canada Gairdner Award laureates, recognizing some of the most significant medical discoveries from around the world. The Awards carry an honorarium of $100,000 for each of the seven awards and will be presented at a Gala in Toronto on October 26, 2017.
[Among the laureates:]
Dr. Rino Rappuoli
Chief Scientist and Head External R&D at GSK Vaccines, Siena, Italy
Awarded “For pioneering the genomic approach, known as reverse vaccinology, used to develop a vaccine against meningococcus B which has saved many lives worldwide”
The work:
Dr. Rappuoli is a pioneer in the world of vaccines and has introduced several novel scientific
concepts. First, he introduced the concept that bacterial toxins can be detoxified by manipulation of their genes (genetic detoxification, 1987). Next, the concept that microbes are better studied in the context of the cells they interact with (cellular microbiology, 1996), and then the use of genomes to develop new vaccines (reverse vaccinology, 2000). In the process of reverse vaccinology, the entire genomic sequence of a pathogen is screened using
bioinformatics tools to help determine which genes code for which proteins, against which vaccines can be developed.
The impact:
Dr. Rappuoli also worked on several molecules which became part of licensed vaccines. He characterized a molecule, CRM197, that today is the most widely used carrier for vaccines against Haemophilus influenzae, meningococcus and pneumococcus. Later he developed a vaccine against pertussis containing genetically detoxified pertussis toxin and the first conjugate vaccine against meningococcus C that eliminated the disease in the United Kingdom in 2000. His work on reverse vaccinology led to the licensure of the first meningococcus B vaccine approved in Europe and Canada in 2013 and USA in 2015.


NFID Honors Three Infectious Disease Heroes and Issues Call for 2018 Nominations
Bethesda, MD (March 30, 2017) – The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) will celebrate three infectious disease heroes during the 2017 annual awards dinner on the evening of May 18 and is calling for nominations for 2018 awards – a landmark year that commemorates the 45th year anniversary of NFID.
This year, NFID will honor:
:: Peter Piot, MD, PhD, as recipient of the 2017 Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian Award in recognition of his lifetime public health contributions and leadership, including his role in the first isolation of the Ebola virus and outbreak investigation, his early AIDS research in Africa, his leadership of the global AIDS response and his service as head of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
:: Myron M. Levine, MD, who will receive the 2017 Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement for his unparalleled accomplishments in public health to identify solutions to major sources of disease in the developing world including cholera, typhoid and Shigella dysentery.
:: Thomas M. File, Jr., MD, who will receive the 2017 John P. Utz Leadership Award in recognition of his commitment as a national leader in infectious diseases and an exceptional teacher, clinician, scientist and prolific contributor to the infectious disease literature, including his work on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of pneumonia…


Featured Journal Content

Volume 35, Issue 17, Pages 2101-2278 (19 April 2017)
Building Next Generation Immunization Supply Chains
Edited by Bruce Y. Lee, Benjamin Schreiber and Raja Rao
Twenty-nine articles organized under thematic areas:
:: Making the Case: how immunization supply chains impact vaccine coverage
:: Challenges
:: Toward next generation supply chains: Successful pilots
:: Toward next generation supply chains: Promising ideas and innovations
:: Toward next generation supply chains: Upstream solutions


Global Immunization Impact Constrained by Outdated Vaccine Delivery Systems, Researchers Say
Press release | March 30, 2017 [Issued by PATH and WHO]
New research finds persistent stockouts and exposure to freezing are among problems in vaccine supply chains designed during an era with fewer childhood immunizations

SEATTLE, 30 March 2017—Outdated vaccine supply and distribution systems are delaying and limiting the impact that vaccines have on safeguarding people’s health, according to the editors of a collection of new articles published today in Vaccine journal. Among the challenges of ensuring a consistent supply of potent vaccines identified by researchers: one in every three countries in the world experiences at least one stockout of at least one vaccine for at least one month; and 19 to 38 percent of vaccines worldwide are accidentally exposed to freezing temperatures, potentially compromising the potency of those vaccines.

Some countries are implementing changes and adopting new technologies like solar “direct drive” refrigerators and redesigning delivery systems. These changes are helping increase vaccine availability and coverage, even in more remote areas, according to the editors.

The 29 articles are part of a special supplement to Vaccine coordinated by the global health nonprofit, PATH—with guest editors from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health—that identify challenges and point to solutions that countries can employ to modernize their immunization supply chains.

need them most,” says Steve Davis, president and CEO of PATH. “We need to apply the same ambitious investments to vaccine delivery as we apply to vaccine development.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), vaccines prevent an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year, but an additional 1.5 million deaths could be avoided if global immunization coverage improves. In 2015, an estimated 19.4 million infants worldwide did not receive routine immunizations.

“We must act to close the global immunization gap,” says Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa. “Achieving the Global Vaccine Action Plan goal of universal access to immunization by 2020 would benefit the health of millions of Africans.”
Immunization supply chains—the network of staff, equipment, vehicles, and data needed to get vaccines safely from the manufacturer to the people who need them—were first developed in the late 1970s with the establishment of the Expanded Program on Immunization.

Since 2010, however, immunization services have expanded with additional vaccines. Immunization programs are storing and transporting four times the volume of vaccines, according to WHO, and health care workers are administering up to six times as many doses per person, including to older children, adolescents, and adults.

“Too many children still lack access to lifesaving vaccines because of outdated and inefficient supply chains.” says Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “Unless we drive change and deliver comprehensive improvements now, countries won’t have the systems in place to protect the next generation of children, particularly the most vulnerable.”…