Milestones :: Perspectives

Milestones :: Perspectives

 
Measles no longer endemic in 79% of the WHO European Region
Copenhagen, 26  September 2017
In the WHO European Region, 42 of 53 countries have interrupted endemic transmission of measles, and 37 countries have interrupted endemic transmission of rubella as of the end of 2016. This was determined by the European Regional Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella Elimination (RVC) at its 6th meeting in June 2017.
“I congratulate each country for fulfilling the commitment to protect its people from measles and rubella and collectively moving the European Region closer to its elimination goal,” said Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe. “However, we cannot become complacent now. Outbreaks continue to cause unnecessary suffering and loss of life, and routine immunization coverage is decreasing. It is unacceptable that 1 in every 15 children still does not receive the first vaccination dose against measles and rubella on time. We will eliminate these diseases from our Region, but need to be ready to walk the hardest last mile.”…
 
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Serum Institute’s vaccine demonstrates significant efficacy against severe rotavirus gastroenteritis
Indian Government orders the vaccine for use in Universal Immunization Programme
Pune, India (26 September 2017)—Results from a Phase 3 efficacy study in India of the Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd.’s rotavirus vaccine BRV-PV (known as ROTASIIL®) were published in the journal Vaccine. The study showed the vaccine to be safe, well tolerated, and to provide significant efficacy against severe rotavirus gastroenteritis. In 2013, an estimated 47,100 rotavirus deaths occurred in India, 22 percent of all rotavirus deaths that occurred globally.

ROTASIIL reduced severe rotavirus diarrhea by more than a third – 39.5 percent over two years. Significantly, the vaccine efficacy was nearly 55 percent against the most severe and potentially life-threatening cases of rotavirus diarrhea, which represent the highest risk of dehydration, hospitalizations, and deaths. The results demonstrated by ROTASIIL in India appear generally comparable to the performance of RotaTeq® and Rotarix® in Bangladesh and in some African countries.

Dr. Rajeev Dhere, executive director of the Serum Institute, under whose leadership this vaccine has been developed, commented, “We are delighted with these results, which indicate that ROTASIIL could save the lives of tens of thousands of children each year in India and, potentially, around the world.”

The international nonprofit PATH partnered with Serum Institute on evaluating this vaccine in the Phase 3 efficacy study. Six study sites across India enrolled 7,500 infants in the trial. ROTASIIL is an oral vaccine administered to infants in a three-dose course at 6, 10, and 14 weeks of age, at the same time as routine vaccinations under India’s Universal Immunization Programme.

The office of the Drugs Controller General of India, through its subject expert committee, reviewed the Phase 3 safety and efficacy results and subsequently inspected Serum Institute’s manufacturing facilities leading to licensure of ROTASIIL in January 2017.

The Government of India has placed an order for 3.8 million doses of ROTASIIL to use in the Universal Immunization Programme, which serves 26 million children. Serum Institute has manufactured the vaccine doses and is awaiting instructions from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for their distribution. ROTASIIL will also be available for sale in India’s private market later this year.

Serum Institute is pursuing World Health Organization (WHO) prequalification to make this vaccine available for global procurement. PATH and Serum Institute partnered to conduct a separate Phase 3 study in India to gather additional data required for WHO prequalification; results from that study will be submitted for publication this year.

“This is great news for India,” noted Dr. David Kaslow, PATH’s vice president for Essential Medicines and global head of the Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access. “The results and successful licensure of this rotavirus vaccine is an exciting and encouraging milestone toward the public health goal of improving the supply of affordable rotavirus vaccines, both in India and worldwide.”

Médecins Sans Frontières and Epicentre are also evaluating the efficacy and safety of ROTASIIL in a separate Phase 3 study in Niger. That study is still ongoing, but results from the primary analysis (one year of data) also showed the vaccine to be highly efficacious for the prevention of severe rotavirus diarrhea and to have an excellent safety profile. The efficacy of the vaccine against severe and very severe rotavirus diarrhea in the Niger study was 66.7 percent and 78.8 percent, respectively. These results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in March 2017.

The ROTASIIL used in the Niger study was stored at less than 25°C and transported for vaccination at ambient temperature, thus bypassing the typically challenging and costly cold-chain requirements that apply to most other vaccines. The ROTASIIL used in the India study was from the same lots of vaccine used in the Niger study.

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Towards a Rabies-Free World as Unparalleled Global Initiative Gets Underway
Global partners announce plan to end human deaths from dog-transmitted rabies by 2030
NEW YORK, Sept. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/
…World Rabies Day marks the announcement of the biggest global anti-rabies initiative, as the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) reveal an ambitious plan to end human deaths from dog-transmitted rabies by 2030.

The plan — ‘Zero by 30: The Strategic Plan’ — centres on a One Health approach and addresses the disease in a holistic and cross-sectoral manner while highlighting the important role veterinary, health and educational services play in rabies prevention and control.

“The plan ensures support to countries in developing national plans, and provides innovative training and education tools across regional rabies networks,” said Dr. Bernadette Abela-Ridder on behalf of the four partners. “Vaccines are a key component of the global plan and a trigger for national programmes. The United Against Rabies collaboration provides leadership and advocates for resources critical to reaching zero human rabies deaths by 2030.”

‘United against Rabies’ builds on more than ten years of global partnership, research and evidence- building to demonstrate the feasibility of eliminating dog-transmitted rabies. The plan places a magnifying glass on the problem of continued human deaths from rabies and helps to make this a priority disease for key international organizations and governments…
 
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New global initiative will connect the world for better health through digital technology
Digital Square, led by PATH, will align multi-sector investments into scalable solutions that strengthen national digital health systems
Washington, DC, September 28, 2017—Global Innovation Week, an annual gathering of the international development community, kicked off today with a series of institutional commitments to support innovation. This evening at USAID, Dr. David Fleming, PATH’s vice president for Public Health, delivered PATH’s pledge to advance a new type of funding model that maximizes the impact of every dollar spent on digital technology in the global health sector.

“For over a decade, PATH’s Digital Health program has been a leader in the application and use of scalable digital products and services globally and at the country level. We build on that legacy by pledging to encourage co-investment among partners and donors to support countries in seamlessly connecting their digital health systems, sharing better data, and reaching better health outcomes,” said Dr. Fleming.

As a part of this commitment, PATH is pleased to announce Digital Square. The new initiative, comprised of 40+ partner organizations, encourages more efficient investment in digital health technology solutions in low- and middle-income countries through an innovative co-investment model. “Co-investment is a simple but powerful concept. Development dollars are scarce; by coordinating them, we can maximize the impact of our financial investments,” said Dykki Settle, Director of Digital Health at PATH.

The initiative offers a platform for individuals and organizations to confidently coordinate their funding and technical expertise into a suite of proven, adaptable digital health technologies. These solutions can be scaled across an entire country, and even between countries. “This alignment of donors and partners to fund proven technology solutions – that we know can scale – is what sets us apart,” said Digital Square Director Lesley-Anne Long.

Digital Square also helps to support countries to develop the skills they need at all levels—from national government leaders to local healthcare workers—to bring these technologies to scale. Digital Square is a USAID program designed and funded in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Cholera
 
Yemen  eDEWS Cholera Response Daily Epidemiological Update [EN/AR] 29 Sep 2017
Suspected Cases:       753,098
Associated Deaths:      2,122
Case Fatality Rate        0.28%
Governates affected:      96%
Districts affected:           91%
 
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900,000 vaccines ‘en route’ to Cox’s Bazar to prevent cholera
Oral cholera vaccine will protect Rohingya refugees seeking shelter in Bangladesh as well as the resident population
Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, 29 September 2017 – The International Coordinating Group (ICG) on Vaccine Provision will release 900,000 doses of the Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) from the global stockpile to prevent the spread of cholera among recently arrived vulnerable populations and host communities in areas around Cox’s Bazar.
The Government of Bangladesh made the request to the ICG on 27 September, and the approval was granted in 24 hours by the coordinating mechanism that brings together WHO, UNICEF, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), and the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC).
ICG partners – with support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance – will deliver 900,000 doses of Oral Cholera Vaccine to Bangladesh within two weeks for an immunisation campaign due to start in October.
“This is a precautionary step to avoid a preventable cholera outbreak,” said Dr. Abul Kalam Azad, Director General of Health Services at the Bangladesh Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. “We appreciate the support and speed of partners in delivering on this urgent request, and we look forward to receiving and using the vaccines.”
More than half a million people have crossed from Myanmar to Bangladesh since 25 August following violence in Rakhine State.
Many are crowded into camps or temporary settlements with challenging access to clean water     and sanitation amid heavy rains; this increases the risk of vector and waterborne diseases such as cholera.
“We are doing everything we can to prevent an outbreak, including pre-positioning supplies, implementing disease surveillance and monitoring water quality,” said Dr. Navaratnasamy Paranietharan, WHO Representative in Bangladesh. “A vaccination campaign will help to keep this vulnerable population safe from cholera.”

Featured Journal Content

Featured Journal Content

Lancet Infectious Diseases
Oct 2017 Volume 17 Number 10 p1003-1098  e306-e333
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/issue/current
Comment 

Oral cholera vaccines: exploring the farrago of evidence
Suman Kanungo, Pranab Chatterjee
1012
Open Access
Summary
The development of a cheap and effective oral cholera vaccine (OCV) is a remarkable achievement in the field of cholera prevention. A meta-analysis on the efficacy and effectiveness of OCVs by Qifang Bi and colleagues1 updates the estimates of the 2011 Cochrane review.2 Their analysis includes additional studies published since 2011, yet provides estimates that are almost the same.

The debate about the low efficacy of OCVs in children aged younger than 5 years has continued to dominate the policy discourse in endemic countries such as India, where children are the main target of immunisation programmes. Older estimates identified children younger than 5 years to be at a disproportionately higher risk of cholera than other age groups;3 however, updated estimates have shown that making robust assertions in the absence of accurate age-specific morbidity and mortality data is difficult.4 This uncertainty has further contributed to a policy-level hesitancy in adopting OCVs for widespread use in endemic countries. Crucially, more accurate estimates of cholera burden should be established to enable programmatic implementation of OCVs, and the reasons for poor immune responses to OCVs in children need to be understood. Furthermore, we propose that the extent of herd protection offered by OCVs should be established, especially in children, if a targeted vaccination policy covering all age groups is endorsed for highly endemic hotspots.5

Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) interventions are considered to be the best method of cholera control, but gaps have been shown in the knowledge about which interventions work best.6 In our experience, in-house contamination of water remains a major problem, which sometimes persists despite efficient programmatic implementation of WaSH strategies.7 Trials in India have shown similar problems, and a rural sanitation programme failed to show evidence of prevention of diarrhoea and soil-transmitted helminth infections or reduction in faecal contamination of water sources.8, 9, 10

Modelling studies have suggested that in areas with poor sanitation, isolated efforts for water quality improvement are likely to be met with low success.11 Further, considering the high endemicity of cholera in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), single-pathway interventions are likely to be inadequate in the control of diarrhoeal diseases, and cholera in particular because of environmental persistence of vibrios, which might not be eradicated even with stringent implementation of such interventions.11 Besides, deploying adequate WaSH interventions takes time because it involves significant investment in infrastructural improvements and behavioural changes. Keeping these issues in mind, cheap and effective OCVs emerge as a viable option to keep cholera at bay, reducing morbidity and mortality, while the definitive WaSH interventions are identified and rolled out. The successful expansion of the Swachh Bharat (Clean India) mission in India provides a governance-driven model of sanitation and hygiene promotion that can be replicated in other LMICs; however, its effectiveness in reducing numbers of cases and deaths from cholera or diarrhoeal diseases needs to be systematically studied.

Although cholera outbreaks in areas of political and civil unrest are a major concern, strategies to mitigate the risks have been poorly studied. Mortality and morbidity from cholera in complex emergencies remains high. A systematic review showed that the evidence on the effectiveness of WaSH interventions in times of humanitarian crises is scarce and of poor quality.12 Only point-of-use interventions and safe water storage were effective measures in reducing diarrhoea incidence.12 By contrast, a single-dose regimen was an effective strategy to combat a cholera outbreak in South Sudan and an endemic focus in Bangladesh.13, 14

The creation of an OCV stockpile, and the commitment of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to support vaccination of emergency and endemic areas of cholera activity, provides a cost-effective method by which countries can access vaccines as they work towards universal deployment of adequate WaSH facilities. In our opinion, a balanced public health policy needs to be in place, in which OCVs are used as a synergistic tool for cholera control, while the most efficient, cost-effective, and locally feasible, acceptable, and relevant WaSH interventions are identified and deployed. Given that even in endemic countries, cholera is a public health menace only in specific regions, with multiple local factors contributing to disease epidemiology, health policies need to be customised to fit the local contexts, eschewing one-size-fits all approaches.
[References at article title link]

Emergencies

Emergencies
 
POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Polio this week as of 27 September 2017 [GPEI]
:: Summary of newly-reported viruses this week:
…Pakistan:  one new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) case reported, in Lakki Marwat district, Khyber Pakhtoon province; four new WPV1-positive environmental samples, reported in Sindh and Balochistan provinces.
…Afghanistan: two new WPV1-positive environmental samples reported in Kandahar province.

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WHO Grade 3 Emergencies  [to 30 September 2017]
South Sudan
:: South Sudan completes the self-assessment for the implementation of the Joint External Evaluation of the International Health Regulations (2005)  25 September 2017
:: Read the latest health situation report pdf, 1.59Mb  22 September 2017
General cholera trends
Cholera transmission has continued to decline countrywide. In the last four weeks [weeks
35-38], cholera cases dropped from at least 132 cases in week 35 of 2017 to at least 5 cases
In week 38 of 2017…
 
The Syrian Arab Republic
:: WHO online trainings help medical staff in Syria’s besieged areas save lives  28-09-2017

Yemen
:: [Cholera] Daily epidemiology bulletin, 27 September 2017
[See Cholera above for more detail]

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WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 30 September 2017]
Democratic Republic of the Congo
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WHO is providing essential medicines for basic health care in response to the growing humanitarian needs of internally displaced people in Tanganyika and Greater Kasai
[French] 26 September 2017 — In this emergency project, WHO is providing medicines to about 100 health facilities in targeted health zones to reduce the impact of epidemics affecting IDPs and host communities.

Ethiopia
::
Integrated Measles and EOS campaign protects 2.6 million children in Ethiopia’s Somali Region
11 September 2017 –Measles is a highly infectious vaccine-preventable disease. While children that are not immunized are at risk, those that are also malnourished or are already affected by other diseases are especially susceptible to it. Children in countries and districts where there is an ongoing emergency such as the current drought which has led to water scarcity and food insecurity in the Horn of Africa are therefore more at risk of contracting the virus and developing complications that often lead to disability and even death…

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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. 
Iraq
::
OCHA Iraq | Hawiga Flash Update #2: Hawiga Humanitarian Response, 29 September 2017
 
Syrian Arab Republic
:: 29 Sep 2017 
Children in Homs vaccinated against measles thanks to UNICEF
With World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health, UNICEF launched a two-week vaccination campaign against measles. The campaign aims to reach over 260,000 children, aged 5-12 years old, in Homs with the necessary vaccines, focusing on children in hard to reach areas and shelters for internally displaced families…

Yemen  
::
eDEWS Cholera Response Daily Epidemiological Update [EN/AR]
[See Cholera above for more detail]

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UN OCHA – Corporate Emergencies
When the USG/ERC declares a Corporate Emergency Response, all OCHA offices, branches and sections provide their full support to response activities both at HQ and in the field.
DRC
:: DRC: More than 1 million people uprooted from their homes by lingering violence in Kasai
Published on 25 Sep 2017

Nigeria 
:: Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock : Opening remarks on Lake Chad Basin for the noon briefing – 28.09.17

Somalia 
:: Humanitarian Bulletin Somalia, September 2017 | Issued on 26 September 2017
HIGHLIGHTS
…Displaced persons among worst affected by drought.
…Over 100,000 displaced people evicted from settlements in 2017, according to the Norwegian Refuge Council.
…AWD/Cholera cases have declined from a peak of over 5,300 cases in June to 93 cases in August.
…Strengthening localization of humanitarian response
 
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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.

MERS-CoV [to 30 September 2017]
http://www.who.int/emergencies/mers-cov/en/
27 September 2017
Countries agree next steps to combat global health threat by MERS-CoV
Critical next steps to accelerate the response to the global public health threat posed by Middle-East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been agreed by representatives from the Ministries of Health and Ministries of Agriculture of affected and at-risk countries, and experts. The virus, which circulates in dromedary camels without causing visible disease, can be fatal for humans.

At a meeting hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in Geneva this week, more than 130 experts from 33 countries, organizations and research institutions met to share what is known about the virus, identify priority research needs, improve cross-collaboration between animal and human health sectors and agree on a plan to address crucial gaps.

“MERS is not only a regional threat. While the majority of human cases have been reported from the Middle-East, the outbreak in the Republic of Korea in 2015 showed MERS’ global reach and capacity to have significant public health and economic consequences,” said Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, MERS-CoV Technical Lead in WHO’s Health Emergencies programme. “We are at the stage where we have to confront the challenges in our ability to detect and respond to MERS outbreaks and improve our knowledge about this virus through collaborative research,” she said.

Since 2012, when the virus was first identified in Saudi Arabia, there have been 2081 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection reported to WHO from 27 countries, with at least 722 deaths – a fatality rate of 35%. While progress has been made in research and surveillance, significant gaps remain in understanding the virus, including how it circulates in dromedary camels, the natural reservoir host, or how it spills over into the human population.

“MERS-CoV is a disease with a significant impact on public health, which requires further investigations in animal sources to better understand its epidemiology and improve its control in humans. OIE Member Countries are requested to notify any occurrences of MERS-CoV in animals. This crucial information will contribute to escalating a coordinated response from the animal and human health sectors”, said Dr Gounalan Pavade, Chargé de mission, OIE…
 
 
CDC Is Deactivating the Emergency Operations Center for the Zika Response
Press Release  September 29, 2017
CDC is deactivating its emergency response for Zika virus (Zika) to transition efforts to normal program operations on September 29, 2017. On January 22, 2016, CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in response to the devastating effects of Zika virus infection during pregnancy. A team of experts from across the agency, called the Zika Coordination and Operations Transition Team (ZCOTT), will lead the transition from EOC activation to routine, long-term activities and will ensure timely coordination and collaboration on scientific, communication, and policy activities..

WHO & Regional Offices [to 30 September 2017]

WHO & Regional Offices [to 30 September 2017]

Health services must stop leaving older people behind
29 September 2017 – Ahead of the International Day of the Older Person – 1 October – WHO calls for a new approach to providing health services for older people. WHO highlights the role of primary care and the contribution community health workers can make to keeping older people healthier for longer. Older adults are more likely to experience chronic conditions and often multiple conditions at the same time. Yet today’s health systems generally focus on the detection and treatment of individual acute diseases.

Highlights
Antimalarial drug resistance in the Greater Mekong Subregion: How concerned should we be?
September 2017 – A recent letter published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases reported on the presence of a drug-resistant lineage (strain) of malaria parasites in south Viet Nam that is responsible for “alarming rates of failure” of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine, a first-line antimalarial medicine.

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Weekly Epidemiological Record, 29 September 2017, vol. 92, 39 (pp. 573–588)
:: Armenia, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan certified malaria-free
:: Malaria elimination: report from the inaugural global forum of countries with potential to eliminate malaria by 2020
:: Monthly report on dracunculiasis cases, January-August 2017
 
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Request for proposals: Website administrator/developer for the TechNet-21 website
pdf, 254kb
29 September 2017 Application deadline: 3 November 2017
 
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WHO Regional Offices
Selected Press Releases, Announcements
WHO African Region AFRO
:: Uganda commits to scaling up collaboration between veterinary health and the public health sector  29 September 2017
:: WHO and partners meet to reflect on progress made in expanding access to medicines through the EC/ACP/WHO Renewed Partnership Project  28 September 2017
:: WHO’s emergency mobile medical teams provide lifesaving health services in famine-affected and hard-to-reach areas of South Sudan  27 September 2017
:: Sixth Meeting of African Ministers of Health of Small Island Developing States opens in Seychelles  27 September 2017
:: South Sudan completes the self-assessment for the implementation of the Joint External Evaluation of the International Health Regulations (2005)  27 September 2017
:: President Danny Faure calls on small island developing nations to continue to ‘Work together as One’  27 September 2017
: Uganda hosts Inter-agency meeting on Neonatal health for Eastern and Southern Africa
25 September 2017
:: Tackling the common health challenges of African Small Island Developing States 25 September 2017

WHO Region of the Americas PAHO
:: PAHO aims to reduce shortage of health workers in the Americas, improve distribution, and enhance skills to achieve SDGs (09/28/2017)
::  Agreements reached on new sustainable health agenda, tobacco control and maintenance of measles and rubella elimination (09/28/2017)
::  Region of the Americas aims to be smoke-free by 2022 (09/28/2017)
::  Dr. Carissa F. Etienne re-elected for second term as PAHO Director (09/27/2017)
:: The Americas adopt ambitious agenda to build sustainable and universal health by 2030 (09/27/2017)
::  Countries of the Americas pledge to improve the health of ethnic groups (09/26/2017)
::  Life expectancy in the Americas increases to 75 years (09/26/2017)
::  PAHO Director highlights regional health achievements and challenges during 2013-2017 (09/25/2017)
::  Health ministers’ meeting at PAHO opens with somber tone after recent disasters (09/25/2017)

WHO South-East Asia Region SEARO
:: 900,000 vaccines “en route” to Cox’s Bazar to prevent cholera  29 Sep 2017
[See Cholera above for more detail]

WHO European Region EURO
:: Living longer, healthier lives – working towards integrated, people-centred care for older persons 29-09-2017
::  Over 100 cases of Chikungunya confirmed in Italy 29-09-2017
::  WHO and Italy sign first country cooperation strategy 26-09-2017
::  Endemic measles interrupted in 42 out of 53 countries in the Region 26-09-2017
[See Milestones above for more detail]

CDC/ACIP [to 30 September 2017]

CDC/ACIP [to 30 September 2017]
http://www.cdc.gov/media/index.html

Press Release  September 29, 2017
CDC Is Deactivating the Emergency Operations Center for the Zika Response
CDC is deactivating its emergency response for Zika virus (Zika) to transition efforts to normal program operations on September 29, 2017. On January 22, 2016, CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in response to the devastating effects of Zika virus infection during pregnancy. A team of experts from across the agency, called the Zika Coordination and Operations Transition Team (ZCOTT), will lead the transition from EOC activation to routine, long-term activities and will ensure timely coordination and collaboration on scientific, communication, and policy activities..
 
Press Release  September 28, 2017
New study shows Tdap vaccination during pregnancy can prevent whooping cough in babies
Less than half of pregnant women in the United States take advantage of vaccination
A new CDC study published today in Clinical Infectious Diseases reported that vaccination with whooping cough vaccine, Tdap, during the third trimester of pregnancy prevented more than three out of four (78 percent) cases of whooping cough (also known as pertussis) in babies younger than two months. However, only 49 percent of pregnant women who delivered between fall 2015 and spring 2016 received the vaccine. CDC recommends women get Tdap during each pregnancy to provide critical short-term protection to babies when they are most at risk for this life-threatening illness…

MMWR News Synopsis for September 28, 2017
:: Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among Health Care Personnel – United States, 2016-17 Influenza Season
CDC and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) recommend that all U.S. health care workers get vaccinated annually against influenza. CDC recommends that all health care personnel (HCP) receive an annual flu vaccination to reduce flu-related morbidity and mortality among HCP and their patients. We analyzed data from an internet panel survey to measure what proportion of HCP received the flu vaccine during the 2016-17 flu season. Based on the data:
:: 79 percent of survey respondents reported receiving vaccination, which is similar coverage during the past three flu seasons.
:: Vaccination coverage continued to be higher among HCP working in hospitals (92 percent) and lower among HCP working in ambulatory (76 percent) and long-term care settings (68 percent).
:: As in previous seasons, coverage was highest among HCP who were required by their employer to be vaccinated (97 percent) and lowest among HCP working in settings where vaccination was not required, promoted, or offered onsite (46 percent).
 
:: Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among Pregnant Women – United States, 2016-17 Influenza Season
CDC recommends that pregnant women get a flu shot during any trimester of their pregnancy to protect themselves and their newborn babies from flu. Pregnant women are at risk for severe flu-associated illness and, since 2004, CDC has recommended flu vaccination for all women who are or will be pregnant during the flu season. We analyzed data from an internet panel survey to measure what proportion of pregnant women received the flu vaccine during the 2016-17 flu season. Based on the data:
:: 54 percent of pregnant women reported being vaccinated before (16 percent) or during (37 percent) pregnancy, which is similar to coverage during the past four flu seasons.
:: 67 percent of women reported receiving a provider offer for influenza vaccination, 12 percent received a recommendation but no offer, and 21 percent received no recommendation; among these women, influenza vaccination coverage was 71 percent, 44 percent, and 15 percent, respectively.
 
:: Evaluation of the Impact of Mandating Health Care Providers to Offer Hepatitis C Virus Screening to All Persons Born During 1945-1965 – New York, 2014

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Announcements

Announcements
 
FDA [to 30 September 2017]
http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/default.htm
September 28, 2017 –
FDA improves access to reports of adverse drug reactions
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today launched a new user-friendly search tool that improves access to data on adverse events associated with drug and biologic products through the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS). The tool is designed to make it easier for consumers, providers, and researchers to access this information.

What’s New for Biologics
:: Important Information for Human Cell, Tissue, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Product (HCT/P) Establishments Regarding Zika Virus Transmission Risk in the World (PDF – 162KB)
Posted: 9/28/2017
:: Important Information for Blood Establishments Regarding Zika Virus Transmission Risk in the World (PDF – 143KB)
Posted: 9/28/2017
:: Influenza Virus Vaccine for the 2017-2018 Season
Updated: 9/28/2017
 
Gavi [to 30 September 2017]
http://www.gavi.org/library/news/press-releases/
29 September 2017
900,000 vaccines ‘en route’ to Cox’s Bazar to prevent cholera
Oral cholera vaccine will protect Rohingya refugees seeking shelter in Bangladesh as well as resident population.
 [See Cholera above for more detail]
 
Korea commits US$4 million to immunise children in world’s poorest countries
South Korea renews pledge to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance for 2018
Geneva, 25 September 2017 – The Republic of Korea has committed US$4 million to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to fund its work over 2018, helping to reach hundreds of thousands of children across the developing world with lifesaving vaccines.
South Korea became the first East Asian donor to Gavi in 2010, and has since provided $15 million to the Vaccine Alliance. Today’s $4 million commitment, made at a signing ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in Seoul, will be delivered in 2018 and will be funded through Korea’s Global Disease Eradication Fund…
 
Hilleman Laboratories   [to 30 September 2017]
http://www.hillemanlabs.org/
28/09/2017
Hilleman Laboratories receives Indo-Swedish grant for developing – Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV)
New Delhi: Hilleman Laboratories, a joint-venture partnership between MSD and Wellcome Trust, received a 6 million krona Indo – Swedish grant for the project ‘Improved, affordable single strain whole cell-B subunit oral cholera vaccine’.
The proposed project carried out by Hilleman Laboratories, is being jointly funded by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India and Vinnova, the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems.
The project will fuel further Research & Development of the Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) with knowledge exchange and transfer of scientists across India and Sweden.
Speaking on the partnership, Dr. Davinder Gill, CEO Hilleman Laboratories said, “Cholera remains a threat to global public health and is a barometer of health inequity and lack of social development. Considering the urgent need for effective and affordable Cholera vaccines, both for use in Cholera outbreaks and in mass vaccination campaigns, we would like to accelerate development of our simplified Oral Cholera Vaccine, HILLCHOLTM.” …
 
Human Vaccines Project   [to 30 September 2017]
http://www.humanvaccinesproject.org/media/press-releases/
Sep 26, 2017, 09:04 ET
Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny Appointed To The Human Vaccines Project Board Of Directors
PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Human Vaccines Project, a nonprofit public-private partnership focused on decoding the immune system to improve human health, welcomes Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny to its Board of Directors. Dr. Kieny is currently Director of Research at Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherché Médicale (INSERM) where she connects INSERM with the international health research community, and has held several positions at the World Health Organization (WHO)….
 
IAVI  [to 30 September 2017]
https://www.iavi.org/
September 29, 2017
New IAVI Collaboration Seeks to Expand Evolutionary Data on Cancer and HIV
What do HIV and cancer have in common?
The scientific question gets a fresh start this month as IAVI’s Jonathan Hare and Charles Swanton of the Francis Crick Institute and Cancer Research UK (CRUK) initiate their CRUK Pioneer Award. The £200,000 grant over two years funds their search for immunological parallels between HIV/AIDS and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC).
Jonathan Hare is senior manager of IAVI’s Human Immunology Lab in London and winner of a CRUK Pioneer Award to expand evolutionary data on HIV and cancer.“ Scientists have ruminated on the crossover between cancer and HIV for years,” said Hare, who is senior manager of IAVI’s Human Immunology Lab at Imperial College London. “Though some data exists to suggest a connection, we can now get started on a more systematic approach to identifying common ground.”…
 
MSF/Médecins Sans Frontières  [to 30 September 2017]
http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news-stories/press/press-releases
Press release
Intensified Bombings Decimate Health Facilities Across Northwestern Syria
Brussels/New York, September 28, 2017—An escalation in the bombing of medical facilities since September 19 has forced the closure and evacuation of hospitals throughout northwestern Syria, leaving people trapped in a war zone without access to health care, said the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in a statement today.

Press release
Yemen: Government Health Staff are Saving Lives Without Salaries in War-Torn Country
September 28, 2017
Yemen’s public health staff have not received their regular salaries in a year, bringing medical services to the edge of collapse, said the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in a report released today.
 
NIH  [to 30 September 2017]
http://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases
September 28, 2017
Disease resistance successfully spread from modified to wild mosquitoes
— NIAID-funded group assesses mating of genetically modified species
 
PATH  [to 30 September 2017]
http://www.path.org/news/index.php
Press release | September 28, 2017
New global initiative will connect the world for better health through digital technology
Digital Square, led by PATH, will align multi-sector investments into scalable solutions that strengthen national digital health systems

Announcement | September 26, 2017
PATH welcomes $10.5 million grant to expand contraceptive choice and access
Subcutaneous DMPA Access Collaborative will provide coordination and technical assistance for product introduction and scale-up in family planning programs

Press release | September 26, 2017
Serum Institute’s vaccine demonstrates significant efficacy against severe rotavirus gastroenteritis
Indian Government orders the vaccine for use in Universal Immunization Programme

UNAIDS [to 30 September 2017]
http://www.unaids.org/en
Update
Governments of Belarus and the Netherlands exchange best practices
29 September 2017
During a two-day visit on 25 and 26 September to Belarus, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director Luiz Loures and the Ambassador for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights & HIV/AIDS of the Netherlands, Lambert Grijns, met with civil society organizations and communities of people who inject drugs, women living with HIV, men who have sex with men and sex workers to hear their perspectives on the current needs and challenges of the AIDS response in the country.
 
Wellcome Trust  [to 30 September 2017]
https://wellcome.ac.uk/news
News / Published: 29 September 2017
New typhoid vaccine could halve infection rate
Researchers have shown that a new typhoid vaccine called Vi-TT is safe, well-tolerated and could be effective in tackling typhoid rates in affected areas.
 
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DCVMN – Developing Country Vaccine Manufacturers Network  [to 30 September 2017]
http://www.dcvmn.org/
25 September 2017 to 28 September 2017
DCVMN Annual General Meeting
Seoul / Korea
Download the Agenda
 
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Industry Watch
:: Moderna Announces Publication in Molecular Therapy Characterizing Potent Immune Response Generated by Its mRNA Prophylactic Vaccines
–Research led by Karolinska Institutet describes how Moderna’s vaccines target key antigen-presenting cells, leading to both B cell and T cell responses–
September 26, 2017 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Moderna Therapeutics, a clinical stage biotechnology company that is pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines to create a new generation of transformative medicines for patients, announced a new publication in Molecular Therapy that provides mechanistic insights about its mRNA prophylactic vaccines. The research, led by Professor Karin Loré, Ph.D., and her group at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, characterizes how Moderna’s vaccines target key antigen-presenting cells, leading to both B cell and T cell activation, which yields a potent immune response.
The study utilized a research version of Moderna’s influenza H10N8 vaccine, which encodes for the viral antigenic protein hemagglutinin (HA) encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles (LNPs). In the study, the H10N8 vaccine induced protective titers of HA antibody, as well as CD4+ T cell responses, after intramuscular or intradermal injection into non-human primates (NHPs)…
 
“Given the software-like nature of our medicines, these findings should translate across our vaccine platform. We look forward to publishing additional mechanism of action insights as we continue to advance our ambitious pipeline of prophylactic vaccines.”

Journal Watch

Journal Watch

   Vaccines and Global Health: The Week in Review continues its weekly scanning of key peer-reviewed journals to identify and cite articles, commentary and editorials, books reviews and other content supporting our focus on vaccine ethics and policy. Journal Watch is not intended to be exhaustive, but indicative of themes and issues the Center is actively tracking. We selectively provide full text of some editorial and comment articles that are specifically relevant to our work. Successful access to some of the links provided may require subscription or other access arrangement unique to the publisher.

If you would like to suggest other journal titles to include in this service, please contact David Curry at: david.r.curry@centerforvaccineethicsandpolicy.org