Two Vaccines for One Polio-free World

Lee Hampton, MD, Medical Officer, Vaccine Introduction Team, Global Immunization Division Polio was once considered one of the most frightening diseases in the world until a team led by Dr. Jonas Salk developed the first successful polio vaccine. World Polio Day, held every October 24 to celebrate Salk’s birthday, is an opportunity for everyone working to eradicate polio to renew their commitment to creating a polio-free world for future generations. Today most of the world is polio-free, but the disease continues to disable children in some countries. And as long as polio exists anywhere, the disease remains a threat everywhere.

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First MERS vaccine heads for human trials

Firms plan to take on research after tests show vaccine protects monkeys from Middle East respiratory syndrome.

Cynthia GoldsmithThis colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealed some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virion. See PHIL 1832 for a black and white version of this image.Where is Ebola virus found in nature?The exact origin, locations, and natural habitat (known as the "natural reservoir") of Ebola virus remain unknown. However, on the basis of available evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is zoonotic (animal-borne) and is normally maintained in an animal host that is native to the African continent. A similar host is probably associated with Ebola-Reston which was isolated from infected cynomolgous monkeys that were imported to the United States and Italy from the Philippines. The virus is not known to be native to other continents, such as North America.

Ebola Vaccine Candidates: Phase 1 Trial Results (NEJM)

This week, preliminary results from two phase 1 trials were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Overall, the trials demonstrated safety and the Read More


Statement on the Seventh IHR Emergency Committee meeting regarding the international spread of…

The seventh meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) regarding the international spread of poliovirus was convened via teleconference by the Director-General on 10 November 2015. The Director General of WHO had noted the concerns expressed by the Emergency Committee in its August 2015 report with respect to circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV). In response, she convened this meeting of the Emergency Committee with broader terms than was previously the case to also look at outbreaks of cVDPV. During the current polio endgame cVDPVs reflect serious gaps in immunity to poliovirus due to weaknesses in routine immunization coverage in otherwise polio-free countries.

Global Health Community Cautiously Optimistic On Polio Eradication By 2019 After Elimination Of…

Devex: Time for cautious optimism on a polio-free future “A quarter of a century ago, Rotary International, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization set out on a quest to stamp out polio throughout the world. … The global health community is optimistic about achieving full, worldwide eradication…More

Sustained Research, Development Of Ebola Vaccine Critical To Ending Epidemic, Future Disease…

The Guardian: Ebola will always return unless we develop the tools to end it Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and professor of global health, and Paul Stoffels, chief scientific officer and worldwide chair of Johnson & Johnson “…The biggest lesson we have learned with Ebola is that it…More

Polio Eradication Possible With Sustained Surveillance, Vaccine Coverage

Devex: How to make a virus disappear Jay Wenger, director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s polio eradication efforts within the Global Development Program “…Polio’s shrinking geographic territory and genetic diversity show that eradication — one of the most ambitious public health goals ever pursued — is not only achievable but, with continued high…More

Meningitis Vaccine Project Partnership Acts As ‘Virtual Pharmaceutical Company,’ IRIN…

IRIN: Africa’s meningitis A vaccine: how partnership replaced ‘Big Pharma’ “…[I]n response to the appeal from African governments, the WHO and PATH set up the Meningitis Vaccine Project with the objective of getting a vaccine approved and into production. With $70 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to oil the wheels, they began…More

In Post-Election Myanmar PATH Forges Ahead Amidst Excitement and Uncertainty

Here in Yangon, Myanmar, the nervous excitement surrounding the historic election that were held this month has pervaded every facet of life. As PATH forges ahead with our projects to improve health and nutrition, we are closely monitoring the developments and anticipating how they might impact our work. Essentially, this is the first real election […] ; ; ; ;Related StoriesA brainstorming session with one of PATH’s global leadersMonks, mobile phones, and motorbikes: tradition and change in SE AsiaPhilanthropy: the fuel that powers lifesaving innovation ;

Antimicrobial Resistance—A Global Imperative

Benjamin J. Park, MD, Chief, International Infection Control Program Antibiotics were the superhero of the 20th century—saving millions of lives around the world from bacterial infections including pneumonia, foodborne illness, and healthcare associated infections. However, microbes can evolve to resist the effects of drugs that prevent and treat a range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi. Antibiotic resistance is a natural phenomenon but it is exacerbated by inappropriate treatment practices, poor regulation of access to medicines, and lack of infection control programs. The rise of super-resistant organisms threatens the successes of modern medicine, including our ability to treat common infections, and poses a significant economic and public health challenge

Price Of Pfizer’s Childhood Pneumonia Vaccine Too High, MSF Says In Protest

Al Jazeera America: MSF protests price of Pfizer pneumonia vaccine “Children in poor countries are going without pneumonia vaccine because of the high price of the shots, manufactured by pharmaceutical company Pfizer, members of humanitarian group Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) said at a rally Thursday outside Pfizer’s headquarters in Manhattan…” (Dizard, 11/12).

17M Lives Saved From Measles Since 2000; More Effort Needed To Broaden Vaccination Coverage,…

News outlets report on new data on measles immunizations released by WHO for the Measles & Rubella Initiative, and published in the WHO’s Weekly Epidemiological Report and the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Agence France-Presse: Measles vaccines save 17 mn lives since 2000, but progress stalled: WHO “Measles vaccines have saved more than 17…More

Smartphone App, Incentives Could Improve Effectiveness Of Pakistan’s Polio Vaccination…

The Conversation: Could a smartphone app help stop the next polio outbreak in Pakistan? Michael Callen, assistant professor of public policy at Harvard University “…The reason Pakistan was having so much trouble [eliminating polio through vaccination efforts] didn’t come down to having enough doses of the vaccines or health workers to administer them — the…More

Measles vaccination has saved an estimated 17.1 million lives since 2000

The number of measles-related deaths has decreased 79% from 546 800 at the beginning of the century to 114 900 in 2014. New data released by WHO for the Measles & Rubella Initiative, estimates that 17.1 million lives have been saved since 2000, largely due to increased vaccination coverage against this highly contagious viral disease. Measles vaccination has played a key role in reducing child mortality and in progress towards Millennium Development Goal 4. However, the new data published in this week’s edition of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC), “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report” and WHO’s “Weekly Epidemiological Record”, shows that overall progress towards increasing global immunization coverage has recently stagnated. While coverage with the first dose of the measles vaccine increased globally from 72% to 85% between 2000 and 2010, it has remained unchanged the past 4 years.

A brainstorming session with one of PATH’s global leaders

I recently had the privilege of meeting with a group of entrepreneurs, engineers, attorneys, inventors, and donors at an Innovation Salon hosted by PATH in San Francisco. Our conversation touched on recent advances in global health and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in the quest to achieve greater health equity around the world. […] ; ; ; ;Related StoriesPATH works to end the cycle of an insidious diseaseKeeping development relevant during the innovation crazeTransferring the malaria baton ;

Pneumonia and Malaria – similar challenges and pathways to success

World Pneumonia Day (WPD) helps us focus on the major killers of children globally. While Pneumonia is responsible for more child mortality across the world, in tropical malaria endemic areas both create nearly equal damage (see WPD graphic showing Nigeria and DRC which are both have the highest burden for pneumonia, but also malaria). Of particular concern is case management at the clinic and community level where there is great need to differentiate between these two forms of febrile illness so that the right care is given and lives are saved. Diagnostics are a particular challenge.

Increased Access To Pneumonia Vaccines, Integrated Health Systems Critical To Childhood Health

Devex: Tackling the world’s deadliest childhood disease Anuradha Gupta, deputy CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance “…Increasing access to vaccines against childhood killers like pneumonia will increase protection rates in the world’s poorest countries and will, in turn, avert billions of dollars in treatment costs and productivity losses. … Immunization often acts as a powerful…More

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