Routine Meningitis A Immunizations Required In Africa To Prevent Future Epidemic, WHO Says

News outlets continue to report on a collection of articles and studies published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases noting progress in efforts by the Meningitis Vaccine Project to eliminate meningitis A in Africa.

Agence France-Presse: WHO urges routine meningitis vaccine to avoid resurgence in Africa
“Meningitis A has almost been eradicated in Africa but could stage a ‘catastrophic’ comeback if countries fail to include a groundbreaking vaccine in routine immunization, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned Tuesday…” (11/10).

CIDRAP News: Reports show meningitis vaccine’s huge impact in Africa
“…Reports that document the impact of the vaccine, introduced to African countries in 2010, and those that sort out further clinical questions and policy issues, were published yesterday in a Clinical Infectious Diseases supplement supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the group that provided the $70 million in seed money in 2001 that got vaccine development started…” (Schnirring, 11/10).

Nature: New meningitis strains could thrive following vaccine success
“…The successful elimination of meningitis A, which is documented in a series of articles published on 10 November in Clinical Infectious Diseases, might already be allowing other deadly varieties to become more dominant, adds Brian Greenwood, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine…” (Callaway, 11/10).

NPR: They’re Calling This Vaccine A ‘Stunning Success’
“… ‘We’re seeing a game-changer in global health with a new vaccine that has the potential to move toward elimination of this disease,’ says Steve Davis, president and CEO of PATH, an international nonprofit organization that, with partners including the World Health Organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and African government officials, worked to research, develop, and deliver a meningitis A vaccine…” (Brink, 11/10).

U.N. News Centre: Affordable vaccine brings Africa near elimination of meningitis A — U.N. health agency
“…WHO said in 2013, only four laboratory-confirmed cases of meningitis A were reported by the 26 countries in the belt. ‘We have nearly eliminated meningitis A epidemics from Africa, but the fact is the job is not yet done,’ said Dr Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele, WHO’s director of immunization, vaccines, and biologicals…” (11/10).

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