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As Malaria Vaccine Research Goes On, Continue To Support Existing Prevention Tools To Save Lives

In this Huffington Post opinion piece, Tido von Schoen-Angerer, executive director of the Doctors Without Borders Access to Essential Medicines Campaign, responds to the results of the RTS,S malaria vaccine clinical trial announced last week, writing, “A malaria vaccine that works would be a major breakthrough. But while the latest advance toward the development is scientifically important, there are several reasons to be cautious about the difference this vaccine could make, on the basis of current results.”

Center for Global Health R&D Policy Assessment Blog Reflects On IOM Annual Meeting

This post in the Center for Global Health R&D Policy Assessment blog reflects on this year’s Institute Of Medicine (IOM) Annual Meeting, “Vaccines: The Science, Policy, and Practice of Immunization,” which took place on October 17. According to the blog, the event was “an opportunity to both relish recent accomplishments in immunization such as…

Reform Necessary To Overcome Challenges To Polio Eradication Efforts In Pakistan

In this Huffington Post opinion piece, Sania Nishtar, founder of Heartfile and the recently launched Sania Nishtar Health Fund, writes that “[a]fter 23 years of commencing the World Health Organisation-led Global Polio Eradication initiative, billions of dollars in investment, mobilization of 20 million health workers and a population wide intervention in 125 countries, vaccinating more than two billion children, there are only four countries in the world which continue to harbor the disease,” and Pakistan is “a living threat to the global goal of eradicating a disease for the second time from the face of this planet.”

British Researchers Discover Receptor Necessary For Malaria Parasite To Invade Red Blood Cells, Offering New Vaccine Hope

Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the U.K. have “made a critical discovery about the way the most deadly species of malaria parasite invades human red blood cells,” Reuters reports. They “pinpointed a single receptor for a protein that is critical for the parasite to gain entry into red blood cells before multiplying and spreading,” according to a study published in Nature on Wednesday (Kelland, 11/9). “The researchers hope the finding will help them design a new malaria vaccine,” which “has been ‘a difficult nut to crack,’ Gavin Wright of the [Sanger Institute] said at a press briefing about the study in London on Monday,” ScienceNOW notes (Reardon, 11/9).

Push For Experimental Smallpox Drug Contract By Obama Administration Raises Questions, L.A. Times Reports

“Over the last year, the Obama administration has aggressively pushed a $433 million plan to buy an experimental smallpox drug, despite uncertainty over whether it is needed or will work,” the Los Angeles Times reports. “Senior officials have taken unusual steps to secure the contract for New York-based Siga Technologies Inc., whose controlling shareholder is billionaire Ronald Perelman, one of the world’s richest men and a longtime Democratic Party donor,” including “replac[ed] the government’s lead negotiator for the deal” and “blocked other firms from competing,” the newspaper adds.

Balanced Approach Needed To Fight Cholera Outbreaks In Haiti

Jason Nickerson, a respiratory therapist and doctoral candidate in Population Health at the University of Ottawa, in this Global Health Hub post, recounts recent controversy surrounding “the health and humanitarian response to the earthquake and cholera outbreaks” in Haiti, noting tension “between the provision of [a cholera] vaccine as opposed to spending…

Pakistan Records 306 Measles Deaths In 2012, Compared With 64 In 2011, WHO Reports

“Measles cases surged in Pakistan in 2012, and hundreds of children died from the disease, an international health body said Tuesday,” the Associated Press/CBS News reports. “A spokeswoman for the World Health Organization, Maryam Yunus, said that 306 children died in Pakistan of measles in 2012, compared to 64 the year before,” the news agency writes (1/2). “She added that most of the children who died were from districts affected by floods for the past three years, and that malnourishment was a major reason for the high rate of measles deaths in Sindh,” GlobalPost writes (Langlois, 1/1).

Researchers Map Immune Response To HIV, Say Findings Could Inform Vaccine Science

In research that could help in the search for an HIV vaccine, “American researchers have minutely tracked one person’s powerful immune response to the virus to see how a series of mutations led to an antibody that can defeat many HIV strains,” the New York Times reports (McNeil, 4/3). “In a study…

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