Hepatitis B

At long last, Sanofi launches low-cost pentavalent in India

It's been a long road for Shan5, the low-cost pentavalent from Sanofi-owned Shantha Biotechnics. Now, after manufacturing tie-ups four years ago cost the company a $340 million contract to supply the vaccine, it's finally rolling out the product in India.
With the launch, 27 million babies born annually in India will now have access to the 5-in-1 shot, which protects children against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, Hib and hepatitis B, according to Shantha CEO Harish Iyer.

India plans to add 5-in-1 vaccine in every state

Two Indian states will add a new pentavalent vaccine into their routine immunization schedules this week.
The 5-in-1 vaccine protects against hepatitis B (hepB), Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib), and diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP).
Continuing the Phase One rollout of the vaccine, Madhya Pradesh and Rejasthan will join eight other states currently offering the vaccine for free as part of a project by the vaccine alliance, Gavi. Ten additional states will also begin offering the pentavalent vaccine before the year is over.

The Psychology of Anti-Vaxers: How Story Trumps Science

Skyler Smoot, a cooing, smiling 12-week-old baby, is in danger. His brown eyes sparkle, his toes wiggle, his hands wave, but his health lies at the heart of a controversy between parents and doctors.
“I’m just afraid, you know?” his mother, Jacklyn, says. “I’m afraid of what could happen to him.”
Skyler isn’t vaccinated.


From the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) website:

Pentavalent vaccine now available in 73 countries

The GAVI Alliance announced on Wednesday that the five-in-one pentavalent vaccine is now available in 73 countries.
South Sudan became the latest GAVI-supported country to introduce the vaccine on July 16, according to a GAVI Alliance press release.
The South Sudanese government said that 450,000 children will receive the vaccine over the next year. The GAVI Alliance estimates that more than 230 million children globally will receive the vaccine by the end of 2015.

ECDC warns hepatitis underreported, underdiagnosed in Europe

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said on Friday that viral hepatitis in Europe is both underdiagnosed and underreported.
The announcement, made before World Hepatitis Day on July 28, said that hepatitis could lead to other conditions, according to an ECDC press release.

What's the world's biggest health risk?

Infectious diseases can break out suddenly, almost anywhere in the world, and with devastating impact.
The past week has seen Ebola infecting key medical staff in Sierra Leone, a deadly Middle East virus become airborne and a whole city in China put on lock-down for fear of bubonic plague.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), a UN body that exists to protect and advise the international community about threats such as these, raised concerns in May about the "striking changes in the communicable disease situation".

WHO welcomes global momentum on viral hepatitis

On World Hepatitis Day, 28 July, WHO welcomes new progress in tackling one of the world’s most serious diseases. Viral hepatitis – a group of infectious diseases known as hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E – affects millions of people worldwide, causing acute and chronic liver disease and killing close to 1.4 million people every year.
“For years, viral hepatitis has been largely neglected,” says Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General at WHO. “But now we are beginning to see greater awareness and global momentum building to tackle it.”

WHO in the Western Pacific: Working towards a hepatitis-free Region

Viral hepatitis causes an estimated 1.4 million deaths worldwide each year—which is close to the number of deaths caused by HIV/AIDS, and more than those caused by malaria and tuberculosis. Despite the high burden on individuals, families and societies, political and financial engagement remains inadequate. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 500 million people worldwide are affected by chronic hepatitis B and C.