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Working Towards an Achievable Goal: A World without CRS

Susan Reef, MD, Rubella Team Lead, Global Immunization Division When I started focusing on rubella in 1994, it was mainly recognized as a significant public health problem in high-income countries. When the public health community realized that rubella and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) were actually significant public health issues in the entire region of the Americas, things took a turn and an elimination goal was set for 2010. In the pre-vaccine era, some 20,000 infants were born each year in the Americas region with CRS and one or more of its devastating birth defects. I look at our success in achieving the elimination goal —which occurred in 2009, a year before the target date—in terms of the lives it impacted: 20,000 of them, born free of CRS disabilities each year since then.

Ebola, Access to Medicines, and the Health Impact Fund

In this piece in the Journal of Global Health, Yale philosopher Dr. Thomas Pogge, the co-founder of the Health Impact Fund (HIF), and I look into the systemic Read More

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Simple But Impactful: Transforming Nigeria’s Vaccine Supply Chain

Vaccine supplies and logistics are a fundamental component of any immunization system. In Nigeria, any hope of achieving the goal of 87 percent vaccine coverage Read More

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Improper Storage Of $3.7M Worth Of Pentavalent Vaccine Ruins Donated Supply, Pakistani Health…

Reuters: Pakistan wastes $3.7 million worth of donated vaccine, official says “Pakistan has wasted $3.7 million worth of vaccines donated to protect children from deadly diseases because officials failed to store them properly, a senior health official told Reuters on Monday. … The ruined vaccines were pentavalent vaccines…” (Hassan, 3/2).


U.S. Response Efforts Against Ebola Were Inadequate, Slow, Presidential Commission On Bioethics…

NBC News: Report Slams U.S. Ebola Response and Readiness “The United States fumbled its response to the Ebola epidemic before it even began, neglecting experiments to make vaccines and drugs against the virus, and cutting funding to key public health agencies, a presidential commission said Thursday. Americans focused on their own almost nonexistent risk of…More


Global Community Needs To Develop, Deliver Vaccines, Treatments To Prevent Under-5 Mortality

PLOS “Speaking of Medicine”: What Kills Little Kids? Peter Hotez, co-editor in chief of PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, and Jennifer Herricks of the National School of Tropical Medicine discuss recently released global mortality data from the Global Burden of Disease Study…More


Humanosphere Podcast Examines Global Vaccine Beliefs

Humanosphere: Heidi Larson: The global picture of the ‘vaccine confidence gap’ “For today’s Humanosphere podcast, we’re talking with Heidi Larson, a professor of anthropology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who studies, among other things, public trust (and mistrust) of vaccines…,” Tom Paulson, founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere, writes (2/20).


Researchers Urge Continued Efforts To Find Ebola Vaccine, As Disease Remains Threat To West…

Agence France-Presse: Scientists warn against complacency on Ebola vaccines “A team of leading international scientists on Tuesday called for new Ebola vaccines to be made available in months rather than years and warned against complacency after a reduction in infection rates…” (2/16). Financial Times: World urged not to relax in fight against Ebola “…Speakers at…More


Working Towards an Achievable Goal: A World without CRS

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Susan Reef, MD, Rubella Team Lead, Global Immunization Division When I started focusing on rubella in 1994, it was mainly recognized as a significant public health problem in high-income countries. When the public health community realized that rubella and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) were actually significant public health issues in the entire region of the Americas, things took a turn and an elimination goal was set for 2010. In the pre-vaccine era, some 20,000 infants were born each year in the Americas region with CRS and one or more of its devastating birth defects. I look at our success in achieving the elimination goal —which occurred in 2009, a year before the target date—in terms of the lives it impacted: 20,000 of them, born free of CRS disabilities each year since then.


Ebola, Access to Medicines, and the Health Impact Fund

In this piece in the Journal of Global Health, Yale philosopher Dr. Thomas Pogge, the co-founder of the Health Impact Fund (HIF), and I look into the systemic Read More


Vaccines Represent ‘Vital Early Weapon’ For Next Ebola Outbreak

The Lancet Global Health: Ebola vaccines: an uncertain future? Zoë Mullan, editor of The Lancet Global Health “…The rapid roll-out of these [Ebola vaccine] trials has been tremendously impressive. … Vaccines are not a magic bullet. Nothing can replace the basic tenets of public health epidemiology and community mobilization. But in the early days of…More


Overcoming challenges to sustainable immunization financing: early experiences from GAVI…

Over the 5-year period ending in 2018, 16 countries with a combined birth cohort of over 6 million infants requiring life-saving immunizations are scheduled to transition (graduate) from outside financial and technical support for a number of their essential vaccines.


Vaccines Vital To Protecting Populations As Climate Change Heightens Disease Threats

Mother Jones: Vaccines Are One of Our Best Weapons Against Global Warming “…There are a number of reasons that vaccines will play an important role in our efforts to adapt to a warming world. The most obvious is their ability to protect vulnerable populations from diseases that will be made worse by climate change…” (Schulman,…More


U.S. Should Lead By Example In Efforts To Immunize Children Worldwide

Huffington Post: The Consensus Around Vaccines Caryl M. Stern, president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF “The current measles outbreak in the U.S. raises serious concerns — not just from a domestic public health standpoint, but from a global one as well.


Immunizations ‘Have Revolutionized Public Health’

New York Times: The Dangers of Vaccine Denial Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist “…If we’re going to denounce the Taliban for blocking polio vaccinations, we should be just as quick to stand up to health illiteracy in our midst. First, a word on vaccines: They have revolutionized public health. … Thus refusing to vaccinate…More


Measles, Other Vaccines Have Saved Millions Of Child Lives, But Challenges To Global…

Inter Press Service: Measles Still Kills Thousands of Children Each Year “Measles remains one of the leading causes of death for young children worldwide, even though a safe vaccine is available. … Jos Vandelaer, principal adviser on immunizations for UNICEF, the United Nations children’s agency, told IPS that the children most at risk of missing…More


As Ebola Epidemic Slows, Experts Look To Strategies To Prevent Future Outbreaks

Reuters: In pursuit of next-generation Ebola stockpile vaccines “As West Africa’s devastating Ebola outbreak begins to dwindle, scientists are looking beyond the endgame at the kind of next-generation vaccines needed for a vital stockpile to hit another epidemic hard and fast…” (Kelland/Hirschler, 2/1). SciDev.Net: SciDev.Net Podcast: Vaccines and design against Ebola “…This month, as the…More


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