The polio outbreak in Syria has the World Health Organization worried. Just weeks after outlining a two-month, 10-million dose vaccination campaign, the United Nations' public health arm has escalated its plans. The new goal is to vaccinate 50 million kids across the Middle East over the next 8 months.
Having ticked candidates to protect against respiratory syncytial virus, dengue and norovirus off its list of areas of interest as part of its plans to establish a global vaccine business, Takeda has invested in another stated target: cytomegalovirus.
An investigation has found that children who received their first dose of the measles vaccine later in life were less likely to become ill during an outbreak.
While doubts about the effectiveness of whooping cough vaccines from GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi have mounted over the past year, health authorities have stressed the vaccines are helping. These voices gained supporting data this week when researchers found evidence of herd immunity effects.
The debate around vaccines has become as entrenched, polarized and vitriolic as any in popular culture. Antivaccinators are often called stupid, but this label is ill-suited to the wealthy, educated parents that form part of the resistance. So why are they against vaccines?
Polio has reportedly crippled dozens of children in Pakistan over the past 6 months. For now, these outbreaks are contained, but with authorities finding the polio virus in sewage samples in major cities, there are fears the disease will spread.
In the 15 years since The Lancet published the now-discredited paper that sparked the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine autism scare, the fears it provoked have only partly lessened. In the United Kingdom, emotions are still strong enough to cause court cases.
Late-phase data has tempered expectations for GlaxoSmithKline's malaria vaccine. Yet while the vaccine prevents fewer cases than hoped and immunity wanes, it still has the potential to cut incidence of disease. Glaxo is readying for a regulatory submission. A malaria vaccine could arrive in 2015.
Congress' failure to find a budget compromise and subsequent government shutdown has left CDC without the staff to carry out many of its functions, including the seasonal influenza program.
On the surface, measles looks like a success story for the U.S. childhood immunization program, with vaccination rates topping targets in each of the past 5 years. Yet 2013 has seen a spate of measles outbreaks, resulting in one of the worst years since the U.S. declared it had eliminated the disease in 2000.