Media/Policy Watch

Media/Policy Watch
This watch section is intended to alert readers to substantive news, analysis and opinion from the general media and selected think tanks and similar organizations 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.
 
 
BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/
Accessed 10 June 2017
Parents eye Austrian asylum in Italy vaccination dispute
9 June 2017
A group of German-speaking parents in northern Italy are so angry about a new requirement to get their children vaccinated that they plan to seek asylum in nearby Austria…
The leader of the South Tyrol protest, Reinhold Holzer, said the group had sent protest messages to Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, and the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
“We won’t allow our children to be poisoned. Asylum is claimed not just by people fleeing war, but also by people whose rights are being violated,” said Mr Holzer, quoted by Austria’s Der Standard daily…

New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/
Accessed 10 June 2017
Polio Outbreak in Syria Poses Vaccination Dilemma for WHO
June 09, 2017 – By REUTERS
GENEVA — Vaccinating too few children in Syria against polio because the six-year-old war there makes it difficult to reach them risks causing more cases in the future, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, posing a dilemma after a recent outbreak.
Two children have been paralyzed in the last few months in Islamic State-held Deir al-Zor in the first polio cases in Syria since 2014 and in the same eastern province bordering Iraq where a different strain caused 36 cases in 2013-2014.
Vaccinating even 50 percent of the estimated 90,000 children aged under 5 in the Mayadin area of Deir al-Zor would probably not be enough to stop the outbreak and might actually sow the seeds for the next outbreak, WHO’s Oliver Rosenbauer said.
Immunisation rates need to be closer to 80 percent to have maximum effect and protect a population, he told a briefing.
“Are we concerned that we’re in fact going to be seeding further future polio vaccine-derived outbreaks? … Absolutely, that is a concern. And that is why this vaccine must be used judiciously and to try to ensure the highest level of coverage,” Rosenbauer said…

Puerto Rico Declares Zika Outbreak Over, CDC Maintains Travel Warning
June 06, 2017 – (Reuters) – Puerto Rico on Monday declared that the 2016 Zika epidemic is over, saying transmission of the virus that can cause birth defects when pregnant women are exposed has fallen significantly.
About 10 cases of the mosquito-borne disease have been reported in each four-week period since April 2017, down from more than 8,000 cases reported in a four-week period at the peak of the epidemic in August 2016, the Puerto Rico Health Department said in a statement.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, has not changed its travel advice, noting that pregnant women should not travel to Puerto Rico.
The CDC said its travel notice for Puerto Rico remains in place and that it expects the virus will continue to “circulate indefinitely” in most regions where it has been introduced.

Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Global Advocate for Women’s Health, Dies at 68
6 June 2017
Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, who as head of the United Nations Population Fund promoted public health, especially sexual and reproductive health for women and girls, died on Sunday night at his home in West Harrison, N.Y. He was 68.
The population agency confirmed his death, saying it was sudden, but did not give a cause.
Dr. Osotimehin, a Nigerian, had been the executive director of the agency, the world’s leading provider of family planning services, including contraception, since 2011. He led efforts to advance a 1994 action plan adopted by 179 countries that recognized for the first time that women have the right to control their reproductive and sexual health and to choose whether to become pregnant.

He also advocated family planning services, championed methods to prevent maternal deaths in childbirth and sought to eliminate genital cutting of women and girls.