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 10 March 2018
Disease X Is What May Become The Biggest Infectious Threat To Our World
Bruce Y. Lee, Contributor
Disease X appeared in a World Health Organization (WHO) list of pathogens that could cause a public health emergency and for which there aren’t adequate drugs and/or vaccines.
New York Times
Accessed 10 March 2018
Sanofi may seek U.S. approval for Dengvaxia despite Philippines outrage
7 March 2018
PARIS — Sanofi will decide shortly whether to seek regulatory approval for its dengue vaccine Dengvaxia in the United States and remains committed to the medicine despite a health scare in the Philippines, a senior executive said on Wednesday.

David Loew, head of Sanofi Pasteur, the French drugmaker’s vaccines division, said his teams had complied with all regulations regarding Dengvaxia and had no regrets about the way the product had been developed.

The Philippines, where more than 800,000 school-age children were vaccinated in 2016, suspended a vast public immunisation programme last year because of safety concerns.
Sanofi warned in November that the use of Dengvaxia was to be limited due to evidence it can worsen the disease in people who have not previously been exposed to the infection.

In February, a Philippine government agency filed a lawsuit against Sanofi, demanding compensation for the parents of a 10-year-old girl who the agency said had died as a result of receiving Dengvaxia.
Sanofi has repeatedly said it knew of no deaths resulting from the vaccine. While some experts have said the company and regulators might have ignored warnings about how the vaccine was developed, executives at Sanofi deny any wrongdoing.

“On the whole path of development, we always worked with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and experts in the dengue community. We were always transparent,” Loew told Reuters in an interview, referring to the WHO and other regulators.

“You need to ask yourself: what was done with the information that was available at the time? Looking back, I would say no, we would not have done anything differently.”…
Loew said the company would decide within two months whether to make a regulatory filing for Dengvaxia with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

He also said Sanofi was holding discussions with external partners and universities to come up with a test which would be applicable before vaccination. Such a test would take at least two years to bring to the market.

“We operate in environments where the temperature is 30-40 degrees Celsius so you want to be sure that the tests resist (…) If you have a vaccination campaign taking place in a school for example, you want to make sure it is ‘implementable,'” he said.

Dengvaxia has been approved and registered in 19 countries so far, mostly in the developing world. It is currently under review by the European Medicines Agency.

Yellow Fever Circles Brazil’s Huge Cities
5 March 2018
“Good morning!” a loudspeaker blared recently in the working class São Paulo suburb called Jardim Monte Alegre. “We’ve got your yellow fever vaccine, and today we’re going house to house! You better wake up because mosquitoes never sleep!” Twenty health workers piled out of cars. Though they laughed and chatted with locals, their mission was deadly serious…
Scientific American
Accessed 10 March 2018
How to Understand, and Help, the Vaccine Doubters
Understand the values behind people’s fears
By Avnika B. Amin, Saad B. Omer, Jesse Graham
6 March 2018
We are in the golden age for vaccines. We have dozens of highly effective vaccines licensed for infectious disease, promising new technologies contributing to massive advancement of vaccine development, and several promising vaccines on the horizon. Unfortunately, vaccines have been a victim of their own success. With the drastic reduction of once-devastating diseases like whooping cough and measles, it seems like some parents think that the vaccines themselves are the new danger. But the threat isn’t gone; it’s been kept at bay by vaccinations. With clusters of vaccine-hesitant individuals especially worrisome, we need to find effective ways to convince people that the true danger is still disease…
Washington Post
Accessed 10 March 2018
FDA did not issue new statement on vaccines and autism
By Associated Press March 7
Some health websites have misrepresented the fine print on an old vaccine label to falsely claim that the “FDA announced that vaccines are causing autism.” Vaccines do not cause autism and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration did not make any new statement this week about the long-debunked claim.
Autism was listed as one of many “adverse events” on the 2005 label of Sanofi Pasteur’s Tripedia childhood vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. When the vaccine was first approved, such reports were generated voluntarily by consumers and were automatically added to the FDA label, even if there was no plausible connection to the product.
The 2005 label notes that such reports do not “establish a causal relationship” to the vaccine. Since then, the FDA has changed its labeling rules and now only includes adverse events “for which there is some basis to believe there is a causal relationship,” the agency said in a statement.