General Vaccination News: November 2006 Archives

Federal Vaccination Plan Inadequate

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vaccineA U.S. scientist is criticizing the effectiveness of a federal plan to vaccinate hospital healthcare workers against a threat of smallpox.

Temple University researchers who conducted the first metric analysis of the prophylactic health program say it fell short on several levels and raises questions about future preparedness.

In 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked each state to vaccinate at least 50 to 100 healthcare workers per hospital -- a number the government considered large enough to respond to a possible smallpox outbreak.

Rich nations contribute $200 million for vaccine program

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GAVINEW YORK - Some of the wealthy nations of the world are collectively donating $200 million to a project to fight diseases in poor countries.

The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI), which has brought these nations together on a common platform, said Wednesday the fund will be used to help the poor countries around the world to receive vaccines that prevent diseases like rotavirus and pneumococcus in a timely manner.

The plan is to supply newly-licensed vaccines for preventable diseases to the developing nations avoiding the usual delay for these vaccines to reach these countries where these are required most.
acambis LONDON (AFX) - Biotechnology company Acambis PLC confirmed that it has requested a meeting with the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to discuss its rationale for excluding Acambis from the ongoing Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) procurement process.

Acambis is developing an investigational smallpox vaccine, ACAM2000.

DHHS determined that Acambis' technical proposal was no longer in the competitive range for award, and to-date, DHHS has not provided a specific reason for the decision.

Taking a global shot

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research in indiaWhile there is no doubt that biotechnology is unlocking a new vista for tackling various complex problems of world food security, human diseases, etc, it is the rapid progress being seen by India in order to emerge as a significant player in the global biotech arena that is drawing global attention. Early this month, it caught the attention of French biotech billionaire Alain Merieux —whose father Marcel Merieux was a former laboratory aide to Louis Pasteur—when his vaccine behemoth Merieux Alliance (2005 turnover: 1.128 billion Euros) acquired a majority stake in Hyderabad-based bio-pharmaceuti cals company Shantha Biotechnics. The Indian company specialises in the development and production of vaccines, therapeutic proteins and monoclonal antibodies.

In association with Shantha Biotechnics, the European company, which has a strong presence in preventive medicine, aims to develop a global strategy for managing the infectious diseases segment. Specifically, it will have access to the Indian company’s indigenous proprietary R&D and a branded product base in recombinants.

Campaign to immunise 60,000 children begins

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God, bless these children... 

mass-vaccination in qatarQATAR - MORE than 60,000 children will be vaccinated over a five-day period in the first phase of the multi-antigen mass immunisation campaign launched yesterday by the National Health Authority’s (NHA) Communicable Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention section.

NHA chief executive officer Dr Michael Walsh inaugurated the campaign at the vaccination unit at Abu Hamour. Chairman of the Expert Committee on Immunisation, Dr Mohamed al-Janahi, CDC head Dr Syed Fazal Shah, and NHA director of communications Abdul Azeez al-Sulaiti were also present.

Walsh told a press conference at the NHA headquarters on Thursday that all children aged two months to five years would be administered two doses of oral polio vaccine (OPV) and a dose of pneumocococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) in the current round.

EU: more importance to vaccination

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animal diseasesMany EU countries feel that vaccination should be more important for preventing and fighting animal diseases.
 
This thought was clearly expressed at an EU conference on animal diseases, held this week. Both member states and organisations involved discussed about a new strategy for the years to come until 2013.
 
Ultimate goal of the conference is to create a coherent European policy on animal diseases.

helping poor childrenInvestors around the world vied with each other on Tuesday to buy into a $1-billion US bond offering to fund vaccinations for children in some of the world's poorest countries.

The securities — the first of their kind — were so popular that there were twice as many bids as there were bonds.

Among those rushing to invest were rock stars such as Bono and Bob Geldof, religious leaders ranging from the Pope to the Archbishop of Canterbury and Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sachs of United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth.

Investors also included the Muslim Council of Britain, the Hindu Forum of Britain and the Network of Sikh Organisations.

Pope to buy 'vaccination' bond

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Pope Benedict (ANSA) - Vatican City, November 6 - Pope Benedict will on Tuesday become the holder of the first bond issued by the British government to help fund vaccination programmes for children in the Developing World .

Cardinal Renato Martino, one of Benedict's top aides, was scheduled to fly to London to attend the bond sale on behalf of the German pontiff .

"In this way, Benedict XVI wants to show his full support for this initiative," said the Italian prelate, who heads the Vatican's 'Justice and Peace' department .

Serena Williams assists Ghana vaccination Campaign

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Serena Williams with kids (c) Voice of AmericaHundreds of mothers with babies, and curious children and adults, turned out at this vaccination center, one of 95,000 across the country. Serena Williams winced, as she watched as health workers administered vaccines to children five years and younger.  "I hate shots," said Williams.

UNICEF Ghana's chief of health and nutrition, Mark Young, explained the process of administering polio vaccine. "Polio is just given in drops, two drops, is not by injection, an oral polio [vaccine]," he explained.

The two time Wimbledon champion was offered a bowl of water to wash her hands, after which she administered oral polio vaccine to babies.

CDC shifts focus on vaccination data

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CDCWASHINGTON -- Federal health officials have decided to forgo gathering detailed data on whether children in 22 big cities are receiving recommended immunizations and instead will survey teenagers, who are the target of several new vaccines.

The decision is drawing protests from local health officials, who say the soon-to-be-lost information is essential to their efforts to make sure that infants and toddlers, many from poor families, are protected against childhood infections.

"Unfortunately, we are going backward here," said Jeffrey Duchin, chief of the communicable-disease section of Seattle's health department. "At a time when we need more information, we are getting less about what is happening in little kids."

 

VaxGen Inc.'s troubled $877.5 million federal contract to produce a new anthrax vaccine hit another snag Friday that delayed delivery of the shots a third time and jeopardized the struggling company's future.

The Food and Drug Administration is concerned the vaccine will lose its potency too fast to be effective and halted a pivotal human test of the experimental drug, the company said. In a conference call with analysts, VaxGen officials said the vaccine lost potency over time, but its scientists didn't believe the loss was significant.

Chief Executive Officer Lance Gordon said company officials hoped to meet with FDA officials soon to discuss the agency's refusal to allow the human test to begin.

Anti-vaccination author will speak in Waterloo

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Leonard HorowitzWATERLOO - Controversial consumer health advocate Dr. Leonard Horowitz will stop by the Holiday Inn next week to discuss what he believes are religious and civil rights violations related to personal and public health.

Horowitz, a former dentist, has authored 16 books, including three national best-sellers, on topics ranging from emerging diseases to vaccination risks. He is also the founder of the Tetrahedron Publishing Group, a non-profit health education corporation.

"Public health and school officials nationwide are poisoning people, violating civil rights, religious freedoms, state statutes and federal laws, including your right to abstain from risky medical procedures," Horowitz said, adding that he believes vaccinations and tuberculosis skin tests are causing the bulk of newly emerging diseases.