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Some Public Health Experts Raise Concerns Over Plans To Immunize Haitians Against Cholera, AP Reports

The Associated Press/Washington Times reports on a pilot project plan by Partners In Health (PIH) and GHESKIO to vaccinate Haitians against cholera, which “has set off a debate among some public health experts who question the wisdom of [the] program that will inoculate only one percent of the population and could deplete the world’s stock of available cholera vaccine, potentially putting people at risk in other vulnerable places.” The program will cost an estimated $870,000, money that some experts say would be better spent cleaning up contaminated waterways, according to the AP.

Jon Weigel of PIH said, “We’re not doing this at the exclusion of water and sanitation. … We really think that it’s faulty logic to think that it’s one or the other,” the news service notes. Peter Graaff, the Haiti representative of the WHO, “acknowledged complications associated with the program,” the AP writes, adding that Graaff “point[ed] out the need for a second dose and refrigeration for the vaccine and the limited vaccine supply worldwide.” “It’s obviously one of a number of preventative measures,” he added, the AP reports (Daniel, 10/14).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.