Archive for February, 2013

Now is the time

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 (last updated)

This three-minute video examines the growing challenges of maintaining reliable vaccine supply and logistics systems and offers potential solutions toward achieving optimized, efficient systems that reach people with the vaccines they need.

PATH Programs

Vaccines and the Autism Myth

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 (last updated)

The infamous Wakefield study kickstarted the Autism Myth, but many studies have since shown that there is no link between the MMR Vaccine and autism.

Khan Academy

Doctors Aim to Dispel Vaccine Myths

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013 (last updated)

Pediatrician Ken Haller is leading an effort to change the way doctors respond to parents’ fears of vaccines, and to raise awareness about the importance of getting children vaccinated.

Saint Louis University

Understanding Immunization and Infectious Diseases

Monday, February 25th, 2013 (last updated)

Vaccines are among the most cost-effective clinical preventive services and are a core component of any preventive services package. Childhood immunization programs provide a very high return on investment. For example, for each birth cohort vaccinated with the routine immunization schedule (this includes DTap, Td, Hib, Polio, MMR, Hep B, and varicella vaccines), society:

  • Saves 33,000 lives.
  • Prevents 14 million cases of disease.
  • Reduces direct health care costs by $9.9 billion.
  • Saves $33.4 billion in indirect costs.

Despite progress, approximately 42,000 adults and 300 children in the United States die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases.* Communities with pockets of unvaccinated and undervaccinated populations are at increased risk for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. In 2008, imported measles resulted in 140 reported cases—nearly a 3-fold increase over the previous year. The emergence of new or replacement strains of vaccine-preventable disease can result in a significant increase in serious illnesses and death.


Vaccines save lives, and to pretend otherwise is irresponsible

Monday, February 25th, 2013 (last updated)

An old gravestone which shows five children that died from diphtheria in 10 days in one family.

Vaccines save lives, and to pretend otherwise is irresponsible

Since the introduction of effective immunization, starting in the 1920s, diphtheria rates have dropped dramatically in the United States and other countries that vaccinate widely. Between 2004 and 2008, no cases of diphtheria were recorded in the United States. However, the disease continues to play a role globally. In 2007, 4,190 cases of diphtheria were reported, which is likely an underestimate of the actual number of cases.

Allie Mark

Researchers begin trial of Shigella vaccine candidates

Sunday, February 24th, 2013 (last updated)

Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health recently began an early-stage human clinical trial of two related candidate vaccines to prevent infection with Shigella bacteria.

Shigella infection, known as shigellosis, is an intestinal disease spread by contact with infected feces, by contact with a contaminated surface, or by consumption of contaminated food or water. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea and fever. The disease can lead to hospitalization or death, particularly in young children and adults with weakened immune systems.

The Phase I clinical trial will evaluate the vaccines for safety and their ability to induce immune responses among 90 healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 45.

“It seems that Shigella bacteria know our immune system better than we do,” William Alexander, a program officer in NIAID’s Enteric and Hepatic Diseases Branch, Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, said. “They’ve become very good at evading the human immune response and causing significant illness, so developing vaccines and better treatments is critical.”

The two related candidate vaccines, WRSs2 and WRSs3, were found to be safe and effective when tested in guinea pigs and non-human primates. The vaccine candidates look to improve on WRSs1, which was found to cause mild diarrhea in some patients. All three vaccines were developed by researchers at the Walter Reed Institute.

Shigellosis causes approximately 90 million cases of severe disease annually and 108,000 deaths worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. The U.S. reports 14,000 shigellosis cases each year, most occurring among children ages one to four years old.

Vaccine News Daily

Ouchless sugar needles deliver ‘dried’ vaccine

Friday, February 22nd, 2013 (last updated)

Scientists at King’s have demonstrated the ability to deliver a dried live vaccine to the skin without a traditional needle, and shown for the first time that this technique is powerful enough to enable specialised immune cells in the skin to kick-start the immunising properties of the vaccine.

Dr Linda Klavinskis from the Peter Gorer Department of Immunobiology at King’s explains the research behind the new technique and its wider potential.

“The new technique represents a huge leap forward in overcoming the challenges of delivering a vaccination program for diseases such as HIV and malaria. But these findings may also have wider implications for other infectious disease vaccination programs, for example infant vaccinations, or even other inflammatory and autoimmune conditions such as diabetes.”

King’s College London

Protect babies from whooping cough

Thursday, February 21st, 2013 (last updated)

Protect babies from whooping cough


Meet Kaite Ngoye – From vaccination opponent to polio frontliner

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 (last updated)

Some parents in DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) refuse to vaccinate their children because of their religious belief. Kaite Ngoye used to be one of them. He is now a polio frontliner.


Malaria: The BIG Picture The Swiss Malaria Group hosts an online photo contest

Monday, February 18th, 2013 (last updated)

Malaria affects the lives of millions across the world. The Swiss Malaria Group* online photo contest seeks to highlight the realities of those living at risk of malaria and the work of those dedicated to changing that reality.

The contest is open to all. Send in your photos and captions that tell a story about malaria between 15 February and 24 March via the online platform:, where you will find details of the three submission categories. The public will then vote on the finalists and a panel of expert judges select the winners.

The lucky winners – fifteen photographers from around the world – will be announced on the 22nd of April. The prizes include three brand new Fuji cameras (first prizes) or one of a series of cash prizes. In addition, the winning photographs will be posted in an online exhibition for the world to see in time for World Malaria Day on the 25th of April.

Have you got a photo that can tell a story about malaria? Then send it in!

* Acino Pharma , Biovision, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, Medicines for Malaria Venture, Medicus Mundi Schweiz, Novartis, Novartis Foundation for sustainable development, Roll Back Malaria, SoildarMed, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Swiss Malaria Foundation, Swiss Red Cross, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Syngenta, Vestergaard Frandsen

Malaria: The BIG Picture The Swiss Malaria Group hosts an online photo contest

The Swiss Malaria Group