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 3 March 2018
Government publishes key vaccine report [U.K.]
27 February 2018
A long-awaited report into how the government makes decisions about which vaccines to fund has been published.
It follows calls for greater transparency about why a vaccine to protect children against meningitis B was not made more widely available.
Two-year-old Faye Burdett died in 2016 – she was too old to have the vaccine.
An 820,000-signature petition calling for all children to be vaccinated was then submitted, – but the idea was rejected as “not cost effective”.
One of the recommendations in the report is lowering the cost-effectiveness threshold for immunisation, potentially making it harder for new vaccines to be approved at current prices.
Health Minister Steven Brine was due to face questions from MPs on Tuesday over why the report into the cost-effectiveness of immunisations – promised by the end of 2016 – still had not been published…
[See Milestones/Perspectives above for more detail]
Financial Times
Accessed 3 March 2018
To wipe out measles, governments must regain social trust
28 February 2018
Heidi Larson
[See Research, Reports above for full text]
Accessed 3 March 2018
This Company Is Testing A Flu Vaccine Made In Tobacco — And Philip Morris Is On Board
Arlene Weintraub, Contributor
As the FDA meets to plan next year’s flu vaccine, companies like Medicago are testing innovative technologies designed to minimize the risk of another devastating outbreak.
“Heard Immunity” — In An Age Of Vaccine Skepticism, It Is Critical To Understand Herd Immunity
Geoffrey Kabat, Contributor
The low vaccination rates for seasonal flu among Americans signal the need for better education of the public regarding the benefits of vaccines and the possibly dire consequences of of vaccine avoidance.
The Guardian
Accessed 3 March 2018
Disgraced anti-vaxxer Andrew Wakefield aims to advance his agenda in Texas election
26 February 2018
Anti-vaccine campaigners have found a growing political voice for their debunked ideas in Texas, the adopted home of discredited British researcher Andrew Wakefield, and now hope to unseat a moderate Republican in the heart of Houston.
Texas has seen rates of children opting out of vaccines for philosophical reasons skyrocket after Wakefield – the man behind the UK’s MMR vaccine controversy in the early 2000s – moved to the state’s capital, Austin, more than a decade ago.
Since the early 2000s, when he arrived, the rate of Texas children exempted from at least one vaccine has shot up by 1,900% according to one analysis, while Houston has become a battleground for anti-vaccine activists of growing clout.
Now, Wakefield sees the upcoming Republican primary in Houston on 6 March as an “an extremely important time” to advance his anti-vaccine agenda….
New York Times
Accessed 3 March 2018

All Children Should Have to Get the Flu Shot
The law requires vaccination for measles and mumps. Why not for this deadly virus?
March 1, 2018 By Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Justin Bernstein

They’re Hosting Parasitic Worms in Their Bodies to Help Treat a Neglected Disease
1 March 2018
Seventeen volunteers in the Netherlands have agreed to host parasitic worms in their bodies for 12 weeks in order to help advance research toward a vaccine for schistosomiasis, a chronic disease that afflicts more than 200 million people a year, killing thousands, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa and South America.

Middle East
Yemen’s Cholera Epidemic Likely to Intensify in Coming Months: WHO
The World Health Organization warned on Monday that a cholera epidemic in Yemen that killed more than 2,000 people could flare up again in the rainy season.
Feb. 26, 2018

Italy’s Vaccine Debate Shows Anti-Establishment Sway
26 February 2018
In Italy, the fight against measles has moved from the doctor’s office to the political battleground. The nation is facing one of its worst epidemics of measles in recent years, reporting a six-fold increase in cases last year that accounted for a quarter of all the cases in Europe. And yet the government’s response — a new law requiring parents to vaccinate their kids against measles and nine other childhood diseases — has become one of the most divisive issues going into March 4 general elections.

Washington Post
Accessed 3 March 2018
Five myths about outbreaks
No, closing borders can’t stop the spread of disease.
1 March 2018
By Seth Berkley