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.

Accessed 2 September 2017
A Serious Reaction After Vaccination Rarely Occurs Again With Later Immunization, Study Finds
Tara Haelle, Contributor
Aug 28, 2017
Very few serious adverse events after a vaccination occur with another vaccination, a new study finds.

New Yorker
Accessed 2 September 2017
Annals of Medicine
August 22, 2016 Issue
The Race for a Zika Vaccine
In the throes of an epidemic, researchers investigate how to inoculate against the disease.
By Siddhartha Mukherjee

New York Times
Accessed 2 September 2017
Court Dismisses Remaining Lawsuit Against U.N. on Haiti Cholera
24 August 2017
The last remaining class-action lawsuit against the United Nations over the cholera epidemic in Haiti was thrown out Thursday by a federal judge, who upheld the organization’s assertion of diplomatic immunity.
In an order filed in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, Judge Sandra L. Townes said the lawsuit, which accused the United Nations of responsibility because the cholera was introduced into Haiti by infected United Nations peacekeepers from Nepal seven years ago, had been dismissed for “lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.”…

Washington Post
Accessed 2 September 2017
FDA cracks down on stem-cell clinics, including one using smallpox vaccine in cancer patients
28 August 2017
The Food and Drug Administration on Monday announced a crackdown on stem-cell clinics offering on “unapproved and potentially dangerous” treatments, including an outfit in California that has been using the smallpox vaccine on seriously ill cancer patients.
U.S. marshals on Friday raided San Diego-based StemImmune Inc. and seized the vaccine, which the FDA said had been combined with stem cells derived from fat to create an unapproved product. The concoction was injected intravenously and directly into patients’ tumors at the California Stem Cell Treatment Centers in Rancho Mirage and Beverly Hills, the agency said.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, in a statement on the case, said the agency “will not allow deceitful actors to take advantage of vulnerable patients by purporting to have treatments or cures for serious diseases without any proof that they actually work.”…
In the California case, the FDA said it had “serious concerns” about how StemImmune obtained the smallpox vaccine, which is not commercially available. The vaccine typically is reserved for people at high risk for smallpox, such as members of the military.
The vaccine is made from a live virus called vaccinia, which is a poxvirus that is similar to smallpox but less harmful. The vaccine can’t cause smallpox, but for people with compromised immune systems — as is the case with many cancer patients — exposure can result in life-threatening medical problems, including myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart muscle.
StemImmune obtained at least some of the vaccine from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which controls the civilian supply. Thomas Skinner, a CDC spokesman said that the company had requested the vaccine to inoculate researchers who were doing cancer research involving the vaccinia virus.
In recent years, the vaccine, which was used to stamp out smallpox, has increasingly been tested as an anti-cancer tool, including as a way to prompt the immune system to attack malignancies…