Vaccination reminder band tipped to boost global child inoculation rates

Efforts to increase the number of children who are vaccinated against infectious diseases such as polio and measles have been boosted by the launch of a new ankle band that changes colour to remind parents when their child’s next vaccine shot should be given.
The band, announced by Pakistani researchers last week, is designed to alert parents when each round of vaccine is needed by sending “clear visual markers” over the first four months of a child’s life.

First measles vaccine batch arrives in Sudan amid outbreak

Sudan received the first batch of 2 million measles vaccine doses on Monday to help stem the outbreak that has impacted 23 different states in recent months.
The doses, ordered by the Federal Ministry of Health, UNICEF and World Health Organization (WHO), arrived at  Khartoum International Airport. This is the first batch of the 9.6 million doses needed for a mass immunization campaign in Sudan’s affected states.

EU/EEA Member States prepare for next round in annual reporting for verification of measles and rubella elimination

Annual reporting of immunization activities and disease burden by an independent national verification committee (NVC).in each Member State is required to verify the status of measles and rubella elimination in the European Region. After two rounds of reporting by Member States to the Regional Verification Commission (RVC) for the elimination of measles and rubella, WHO/Europe has initiated a series of intercountry meetings to discuss the verification process with stakeholders.

Don Cayo: The worst health risks aren’t what most think

For the doctor who heads a $2-billion-plus a year international initiative to vaccinate hundreds of millions of children in the world’s poorest countries, what disease do you think is top of mind?
If you guessed Ebola, you’re ... not even in the right ballpark.
It’s measles, says Seth Berkley, the epidemiologist who heads the Geneva-based GAVI Alliance, an organization set up 15 years ago by private and public donors — Canada is a big supporter — to provide equal access in every country to new and underused vaccines for children.

Officials say parents instrumental to preventing measles spread

U.S. health professionals say parents are crucial to preventing a measles outbreak, as children must be vaccinated to stop the disease from spreading.
Over 130 measles cases have been confirmed in California since December. Most correlate with an outbreak from Disneyland, and most of the people who contracted the illness were not vaccinated for measles. Measles was previously believed to be eliminated in the U.S., and officials the have traced this outbreak to foreign travelers.

Immunization coverage

Key facts
  • Immunization prevents illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases including cervical cancer, diphtheria, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, pertussis, pneumonia, polio, rotavirus diarrhoea, rubella and tetanus.
  • Global vaccination coverage is holding steady.
  • Immunization currently averts an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year.
  • But an estimated 21.8 million infants worldwide are still missing out on basic vaccines.

Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Japan verified as achieving measles elimination

Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia and Japan have been verified as having achieved measles elimination by the Measles Regional Verification Commission. The three countries join Australia, Macao SAR (China), Mongolia and the Republic of Korea as countries and areas in the Western Pacific Region that have successfully eliminated measles.
The Region has made substantial progress, with measles deaths dropping to 1500 in 2013 from 10 400 in 2000. Measles cases also dropped dramatically to 31 706 cases in 2013 from 177 052 cases in 2000.

WHO urges boost in routine vaccination efforts in West Africa

There has been a growing risk of outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses in West Africa’s Ebola-ravaged nations, as health resources have been concentrated on Ebola-response measures.
Health professionals are concerned about the heightened risk, specifically of pertussis (whooping cough) and measles, as well as other diseases.
To counteract this imbalance of resources during the Ebola response, the World Health Organization (WHO) has encouraged health care workers in the affected nations to heighten routine immunization measures.

Chikungunya vaccine looks promising in phase 1 trial

A chikungunya vaccine based on a weakened measles virus looked promising in a phase 1 trial, with most recipients developing neutralizing antibodies after one dose, according to a report published today in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
Meanwhile, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reported over the weekend that the chikungunya count in the Americas edged upward by about 2,800 cases in the preceding week, to 1,250,895, a much smaller increase than the week before.
Third vaccine tested

Kyrgyzstan initiates mass vaccination campaign as measles cases continue to soar

In response to a large-scale measles outbreak, Kyrgyzstan will initiate a mass measles vaccination campaign on 16 March 2015, targeting over 2 million people aged 1–20 years in the country. The outbreak, which began in early 2014, has caused over 11 300 suspected cases to date and continues to increase by 120–250 suspected cases every day.