Showing posts with label Vaccine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vaccine. Show all posts

February 3, 2018

Fears of Dengue Immunization Will Cause An Epidemic in The Philippines

Fears over a dengue vaccine in the Philippines have led to a big drop in immunisation rates for preventable diseases, officials have warned.
Health Under-Secretary Enrique Domingo said many parents were refusing to get their children vaccinated for polio, chicken pox and tetanus.
The fears centre on Dengvaxia, a drug developed by French company Sanofi. 
Sanofi and local experts say there is no evidence linking the deaths of 14 children to the drug. 
However, the company had warned last year that the vaccine could make the disease worse in some people not infected before. 
Dengue fever affects more than 400 million people each year around the world. Dengvaxia is the world's first vaccine against dengue. 
The mosquito-borne disease is a leading cause of serious illness and death among children in some Asian and Latin American countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO)

What did Mr Domingo say about immunisation rates?

"Our programmes are suffering... (people) are scared of all vaccines now", he warned.
Mr Domingo added that vaccination rates for some preventable diseases had dropped as much as 60% in recent years - significantly lower that the nationwide target of 85%.

Image copyrightAFPImage captioMr Domingo expressed concerns about potential epidemics in the Philippines - a nation of about 100 million people, many of whom are impoverished.

Asian Tiger Mosquito       Dengue Mosquito

What triggered fears about Dengvaxia?

More than 800,000 children were vaccinated across the country in 2016-17. Fourteen of them have died.
Dengvaxia immunisations were halted last year, as the Philippines launched an investigation into what caused the deaths.
On Saturday, Doctors for Public Welfare (DPW) said a clinical review conducted by Philippine General Hospital forensic pathologists had determined that the deaths were not linked to the vaccine, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

What about Sanofi's reaction?

In a statement, the French company said: "The University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital expert panel confirmed... that there is currently no evidence directly linking the Dengvaxia vaccine to any of the 14 deaths.
"In Dengvaxia clinical trials conducted over more than a decade and the over one million doses of the vaccine administered, no deaths related to the vaccine have been reported to us.
"Clinical evidence confirms dengue vaccination in the Philippines will provide a net reduction in dengue disease."
Last November, Sanofi announced that its vaccine could worsen the potentially deadly disease in people not previously infected.
"For those not previously infected by dengue virus, however, the analysis found that in the longer term, more cases of severe disease could occur following vaccination upon a subsequent dengue infection," the firm said in a statement.
Sanofi says Dengvaxia has been registered in 19 countries and launched in 11 of them.
In its latest advice on the vaccine, the WHO said that "until a full review has been conducted, WHO recommends vaccination only in individuals with a documented past dengue infection".

BBCPresentational grey line

Recent vaccine controversies:

  • 'Anti-vax' movement: activities in the past few years by fringe campaigners against immunisation - particularly for measles - lead to falling immunisation rates in France, Italy and the US
  • Polio: Islamist militants in Pakistan have carried out attacks against workers vaccinating children in recent years. The militants say immunisation is a Western campaign to sterilise Pakistani children
  • MMR (measles, mumps and rubella): starts with a publication of a 1998 paper falsely linking the vaccine to autism. This leads to a drop in immunisation rates in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

December 4, 2017

Second Large HIV Vaccine Study Fuels Hope

Scientists announced the launch of another large HIV vaccine efficacy study on Thursday, fuelling hopes for a protective shot against the virus that causes AIDS, despite past disappointments.

The start of the new trial involving 2,600 women in southern Africa means that for the first time in more than a decade there are now two big HIV vaccine clinical trials taking place at the same time. 

The new study is testing a two-vaccine combination developed by Johnson & Johnson with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The first vaccine, also backed by NIH, began a trial last November.

Both studies aim to build on the modest success of a previous trial in Thailand in 2009 when an earlier vaccine showed a 31-percent reduction in infections.

“We’re making progress,” said J&J Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels, who believes it should be possible to achieve effectiveness above 50 percent.

“That is the goal. Hopefully, we get much higher,” he told Reuters.

The new vaccines require one dose to prime the immune system and a second shot to boost the body’s response.

Significantly, J&J’s latest vaccine uses so-called mosaic technology to combine immune-stimulating proteins from different HIV strains, representing different types of virus from around the world, which should produce a “global” vaccine.

One reason why making an HIV vaccine has proved so difficult in the past is the variability of the virus.

Although modern HIV drugs have turned the disease from a death sentence into a chronic condition, a vaccine is still seen as critical in rolling back the pandemic, since the number of people infected is still growing.

Some 37 million individuals around the world currently have HIV and around 1.8 million became newly infected last year.

For the new study, sexually active women in South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe will be given the experimental vaccine or a placebo and then followed for three years to see if it prevents infections.

Initial clinical results reported at an AIDS conference in Paris in July showed the mosaic vaccine was safe and elicited a good immune response in healthy volunteers. 

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

July 11, 2017

First Ever Gonorrhea Vaccine is Showing Protection

 A vaccine has for the first time been shown to protect against the sexually transmitted infection gonorrhoea, scientists in New Zealand say. 
There are fears gonorrhoea is becoming untreatable as antibiotics fail.
The World Health Organization sees developing a vaccine as vital in stopping the global spread of "super-gonorrhoea".
The study of 15,000 young people, published in the Lancet, showed infections were cut by about a third.
About 78 million people pick up the sexually transmitted infection each year, and it can cause infertility. 
But the body does not build up resistance no matter how many times someone is infected.

Unusual start

The vaccine, originally developed to stop an outbreak of meningitis B, was given to about a million adolescents in New Zealand between 2004 and 2006.
Researchers at the University of Auckland analysed data from sexual health clinics and found gonorrhoea cases had fallen 31% in those vaccinated. 
The bacterium that causes meningitis, Neisseria meningitidis, is a very close relative of the species that causes gonorrhoea - Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
It appears the Men B jab was giving "cross-protection" against gonorrhoea. 
Dr Helen Petousis-Harris, one of the researchers, said: "This is the first time a vaccine has shown any protection against gonorrhoea. 
"At the moment, the mechanism behind this immune response is unknown, but our findings could inform future vaccine development." 
Protection seemed to last about two years.

What is gonorrhoea? 

The disease is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae and spread by unprotected sex.
Symptoms can include a thick green or yellow discharge from sexual organs, pain when urinating and bleeding between periods. 
However, of those infected, about one in 10 heterosexual men and more than three-quarters of women and gay men have no easily recognisable symptoms.
Untreated infection can lead to infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease and be passed on to a child during pregnancy.

However, the vaccine in question - known as MeNZB - is no longer available.
Many of its components are also in a new Men B jab - called 4CMenB.
The UK is the only country in the world to be rolling 4CMenB out as a routine childhood immunisation. 
Fellow researcher Prof Steven Black, from Cincinnati Children's Hospital in the US, said: "The potential ability of a group B meningococcal vaccine to provide even moderate protection against gonorrhoea would have substantial public health benefits."
The importance of preventing people developing a gonorrhoea infection is of mounting importance as the infection is getting much harder to treat.
Last week, the World Health Organization warned about the global spread of gonorrhoea that could not be treated with antibiotics. 
Dr Teodora Wi, from the WHO, said there had even been three cases - in Japan, France and Spain - where the infection was completely untreatable. 
She said: "There are high hopes that now there's going to be some cross-protection.
"We are still a long way before we develop a vaccine for gonorrhoea, but we have now some evidence that it is possible."
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