Tag Archives: vaccines

India Launches Massive Scale-Up of Pentavalent Vaccine

This month begins a massive scale-up of Pentavalent vaccine for India’s children. With the largest rate of child mortality in the world, this new, national immunization effort will help reduce the number of child deaths in India. The Pentavalent vaccine combines diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) with hepatitis B (hepB) and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). Haemophilus influenzae type b kills 72,000 Indian children each year. Currently there are 6.8 million unimmunized children in India.

With the help of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, India will roll out free Pentavalent shots in 12 states during its first phase. 8 states already have free Pentavalent immunizations. By the end of phase one 2/3 of all India’s children will have access to the Pentavalent shot, according to GAVI. Phase two will cover the remaining 16 states with the Pentavalent shot. Phase two begins in 2015.

India Pentavalent Vaccine Rollout

“India’s decision to expand access to Pentavalent vaccines through the Universal Immunization Programme will have a major long-term positive health impact by averting the deaths associated with Hib pneumonia, meningitis and hepB liver cancer,” said Dr Seth Berkley CEO of Gavi.

India has already shown that massive immunization roll-outs are in its citizens’ best interest in order to have a healthier populace. India was recently declared polio free because of its willingness to scale-up its polio vaccination programs.

Read more at GAVI.org.

Researcher Advocates New Way to Develop Malaria Vaccine

Currently there is no effective vaccine to protect against malaria even though the disease kills 600,000 people annually and 3.4 billion people worldwide are at risk of contracting the debilitating and potentially fatal disease. 90 percent of all malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa according to the World Health Organization.

The Malaria Vaccine Technology Roadmap set a strategic goal in 2006 to develop and license a vaccine by 2025, more than ten years away. While there has been some successful headway into this effort, all researchers and pharmaceutical companies that work in this field admit that a malaria vaccine is years, probably decades away.

Every year seemingly, researchers report a breakthrough in developing a malaria vaccine. Substantial chatter was made in 2013 among global health experts and the national news that the first vaccine that protected 100% of its test field against the mosquito-bourne disease was discovered. The researchers did, however, use a weakened form of malaria that was radiated and then frozen. While substantial progress was made, it is without doubt that a vaccine is light years away in research and pharmaceutical estimations.

An Australian researcher from the University of Adelaid, Associate Professor Milton McAllister, argued in his latest paper that harnessing the knowledge from animal-based protozoal vaccines will create notable progress in the development of a human malaria vaccine.

“There is one vaccine in development for malaria – but that requires three inoculations and only about half the people vaccinated are protected, and that protection only lasts for about six months”, said McAllister. “Vaccines for similar diseases in cattle and sheep, on the other hand, require only one inoculation and provide solid immunity that endures for more than a year and often covers the life of the animal.”

Cambridge University recently chose Professor McAllister’s research as their “paper of the week”.

“For human malaria, great emphasis has been placed on creating new types of futuristic vaccines using small pieces of DNA and protein from the disease-causing parasite,” says Associate Professor McAllister. “There is a great desire to make malaria vaccines very safe – as they should be – but that approach has just not been effective.”

It may be a stretch to use veterinary science to create a human malaria vaccine, but thinking outside of the box may eventually prove useful. Only time will tell.

Read Professor McAllister’s research at Successful vaccines for naturally occurring protozoaldiseases of animals should guide human vaccine research: A review of protozoal vaccines and their design.

UN Photo/Catianne Tijerina

GAVI Alliance Publishes 2012 Progress Report

Did you know there are 22 million children who still do not have access to vaccines? This is according to GAVI Alliance’s recently released 2012 Progress Report. Despite the high number of children who are not being vaccinated GAVI met and achieved many global milestones that are highlighted in its 2012 timeline including attracting $38 million US in pledges for childhood immunizations in January and securing a 67% decrease in rotavirus costs in April.

Pneumonia and diarrhea account for nearly a quarter of all deaths of children under the age of five so lowering the cost of the vaccines is critical to saving more children’s lives. Through vaccines 500,000 children’s lives can be saved annually.

In 2012 you can see the graph of GAVI supported vaccine introductions. Click to enlarge. From the graph, the standout country in 2012 was Ghana which rolled out yellow fever, pnemococcal, rotavirus, measles 2nd dose, and meningitis A vaccines. 

2012-introductions (1)

Eradication of vaccine-preventable diseases is the ultimate equity – no one has to suffer from the disease anymore. – Dr Alan Hinman, CSO representative, GAVI Board

In the report it is surprising to learn that across the 73 approved GAVI countries there is only 3% coverage of the rotavirus vaccine and 10% coverage of the pneumococcal vaccine, even though as aforementioned pneumonia and diarrhea are the leading causes of death for children under the age of 5. As of 2012 here is a graph showing the vaccine coverage.

children-immunised
GAVI is working on several goals including lowering the price of vaccines, strengthening health systems to make delivery easier, and increase the amount and availability of vaccines globally.

You can read the entire 2012 Progress Report at gaviprogressreport.org.

Photos: United Nations and GAVI

The Plight of Female Frontline Health Workers

We have written at length about the power of frontline health workers from documenting female frontline health workers in Ethiopia to discussing the importance of their work as they provide health care to those without access to health centers and hospitals. While we know that frontline health workers are pivotal to the overall health of a country, it is also important to note that many put their lives on the line in the name of global health.

Today news emerged from Nigeria that nine female polio health workers were killed by gunmen. There are only three countries where the polio is endemic – Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Female health workers in Pakistan were also targeted and killed in Pakistan in December and January.

The global health community is extremely close to eradicating polio globally through lifesaving vaccines, but a stubborn virus coupled with human opposition to erasing it from the planet continue to keep polio alive in Asia and Africa.

Learn more about how you can help end polio at www.endpolio.org.

UN Photo/Jawad Jalali

Using Your Storytelling Powers for Good Session at EVO

Above: Tracey Clark and Kristen Doyle discuss how they were able to raise money and awareness about the Shot@Life campaign through their #Shot4Shot campaign. Shot@Life educates, connects and empowers Americans to champion vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save the lives of children in developing countries.


Devi Thomas, Director of Shot@Life campaign, talks about the power of storytelling for good.
Last Saturday the UN Foundation and its Shot@Life campaign sponsored a session at EVO social media conference for women entitled Using Your Storytelling Powers for Good.

Speaking on the panel were Devi Thomas, Director of Shot@Life, Tracey Clark (traceyclark.com), Kristen Doyle (dineanddish.com), Chrysula Winegar (whenuwakeupamother.com and millionmomschallenge.com) and me (socialgoodmoms.com).

The overarching theme of the session centered around storytelling and how to effectively incorporate social good into one’s blog. Using the power of authentic stories, causes and non-profits can be successfully amplified on a personal blog especially if the cause or non-profit is something you deeply care about.

Devi Thomas, Director of Shot@Life, drove home the importance of storytelling to better discuss weighty issues.

Working with non-profits, whether they are local, national, or global, is quite easy. Many of these organizations are limited and cash-strapped. Any help a blogger can offer them will always be well-received. Do not hesitate to contact non-profits via traditional email or even via social media (especially Twitter) if they are active on the medium.

Some audience members at the Social Good Session at Evo; Devi Thomas (Director Shot@Life front left)

If you are going to write about and support causes be sure to stay around for the long haul. You don’t simply want to write about a cause and forget about it. Choose causes carefully and be fully invested in them.

Also, be sure to educate yourself as much as possible about the cause you care about and bring your readers and followers along on your journey.

Once you have identified a cause that you care about it becomes easier to discuss them on your blog by sharing stories that relate to the cause. It helps your readers become more interested in the cause and helps relay your passion for it.

Chrysula Winegar discussed hooks and anchors she used to write about Shot@Life from her mother’s friend who has polio to meeting Nelson Mandela.

Learn more about Shot@Life at ShotatLife.org.

Photo of Devi Thomas: Kim Orlandini Photography

All other photos: Jennifer James

I was invited by the UN Foundation to be a panelist on the Storytelling Powers for Good Session and received a stipend to cover travel and expenses.

Join the Shot@Life Dad Chat – May 31 from 9-10 PM EST

This Thursday our partner Shot@Life is the featured campaign for this week’s #DadsChat with Bruce Sallen.

Shot@Life champions will be special guests during the chat to talk about the events and activities they have done to teach their children how to give back and also spread the word about Shot@Life.

What is a dad chat? Bruce Sallan is the author of “A Dad’s Point-of-View: We ARE Half the Equation” and radio host of “The Bruce Sallan Show – A Dad’s Point-of-View.” He gave up a long-term showbiz career to become a stay-at-home-dad. He has dedicated his new career to becoming the Dad advocate.

Bruce Sallan carries on his mission not only through his book and radio show, but also with his column “A Dad’s Point-of-View”, syndicated in over 100 newspapers and websites worldwide, as well as with his dedication to his community on Facebook and Twitter. Every Thursday from 9pm -10pm ET, Bruce hosts a #DadChat. He recently started incorporating causes into some of the chats by auctioning off prizes and giving all of the money to the featured charity of the night. Recent Dad Chats have been incredibly successful – 10 million impressions, 1,000-2,000 tweets, and a reach of a million people!

Shot@Life Dad Chat:
· May 31, 2012, 9-10pm ET via #dadchat

· Paying it forward: Teaching your kids how to give back

· Co-hosted by Ted Rubin

· Prizes: Two Shot@Life iPods and a trip for 2 to Vegas

· On May 31, anyone who donates to Shot@Life will receive Shot@Life swag (water bottles, tshirts, jellybeans, etc.)

Telling Stories from Africa: Holly Pavlika Visits Tanzania With Shot@Life

Holly Pavlika, the President of MOMentum/Big Fuel and marketing to moms expert is in Tanzania this week with Shot@Life where she serves as a Shot@Life ChampionShot@Life educates, connects and empowers Americans to champion vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save children’s lives in developing countries. (Disclosure: Shot@Life is a partner Mom Bloggers for Social Good).

After overcoming a rough start to her journey in Africa Pavlika is now sharing poignant stories and social media updates as she visits clinics and sees the power of vaccinations for children in an area of the world where vaccines mean the difference between life and death for a child. Pneumonia and diarrhea are two of the leading causes of death for children under the age of five in developing countries.

“I will be traveling with a videographer and photographer and it will be our job to collect stories and information to be shared through social media channels and to share at an event in the fall,” Pavlika recently wrote on her blog.

Read more about Holly Pavlika’s journey on her blog, Mom-entum. I have enjoyed, “Oh, yes, there is a global motherhood” and “The tree of life outside the town of Tanga.” Follow Holly Pavlika at @hollypavlika.

Photo: Stuart Ramson: UN Foundation

Vaccine Effectiveness – 1980 Through Today

In listening to a talk last week in Atlanta given by Dr. Jacob Kumaresan, the Executive Director, WHO Office at the United Nations in New York, I learned a fascinating statistic about vaccine effectiveness.

In 1980 before the mass roll-out of vaccines there was one child death per second from deadly, yet preventable diseases like pneumonia, rotavirus, and measles. By 2000 the death rate was one death per minute. By 2010 the death rate was one death every four minutes. That shows progress, but the number of child deaths is still too high. By 2015 the United Nations has called for a reduction of child deaths by 2/3. Recent data by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund shows that MDG #4 (Child health) likely will not be reached, but that does not mean progress should slow.

One of the highest priorities in the global health community is to vaccinate children. In fact, it is one of the best global health buys to keep children alive.

“Immunizations have the power to save lives and transform lives,” said Kumaresan. “We can give the opportunity for a child to be healthy and grow without diseases.”

According to Kumaresan in 2010 109 million children were vaccinated with the DPT vaccine that fights against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) and tetanus. 19.3 million children did not receive the vaccines and 70% of those children live in 10 developing countries.

The ultimate goal of global health agencies is to increase the vaccination rate to 90% worldwide in order eradicate these preventable diseases. In the developing world, however, there are challenges intrinsic to immunizing children. Many people live in informal settlements (slums) and in war-torn areas making vaccinations in this areas difficult.

Since 2010 the GAVI Alliance has supported the immunization of 3.6 million children with the pneumococcal vaccine. Pneumonia is the leading cause of death for children under the age of five. GAVI’s mission is to save children’s lives in poor countries through immunization.

The Measles & Rubella Initiative

Five key partners make up the Measles Rubella Initiative including the American Red Cross, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United Nations Children’s Fund, United Nations Foundation and World Health Organization. These partners have set a strategic plan to reduce measles and rubella to zero by 2020 in at least five WHO regions. According to WHO the plan will be implemented through:

  • high vaccination coverage;
  • monitoring spread of disease using laboratory-backed surveillance;
  • outbreak preparedness and response and measles case management;
  • communication and community engagement; and
  • research and development.

The goal is within reach. In fact sub-Saharan Africa made saw a significant 85% drop in measles deaths between 2000 and 2010 due to vaccinations.

“It’s a moral imperative in today’s world,” said Kumeresan. “Every child should be reached. We need to make vaccines accessible and affordable to the people who need it.”

Ghana Set to Roll Out Two Vaccines Next Week

Starting on April 21 through April 28 the world will celebrate World Immunization Month. It’s a pivotal time for global health to celebrate milestones in the advancement of vaccine awareness and implementation.

On Thursday, April 26 Ghana will roll out two vaccines – pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines –  in order to drastically reduce the number of childhood deaths in their country that can be prevented. With the help of the GAVI Alliance, UNICEF, the WHO, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and various governments Ghana has trained health workers, built cooling facilities to house the vaccines and created a roll-out schedule and plan to begin immunizing its children again diarrhea and pneumonia.

 

Vote for Our Partner Shot @ Life for the Women Deliver 50

Our partner, Shot @ Life, a United Nations Foundation project that educates, connects and empowers Americans to champion vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save the lives of children in developing countries, has been nominated for Women Deliver 50. Women Deliver spotlights the top 50 inspiring ideas and solutions that are making the world a better place for women and girls.

Out of over 500 submissions, a selection committee of experts and advocates from leading global NGOs and foundations chose 25 per category. Shot@Life was chosen as one of the top 25 in the Advocacy and Awareness Campaigns category. 50 winners (10 per category) will be announced on March 8th, International Women’s Day.

Please support our partner by voting on the Women Deliver Facebook page. Voting ends this Friday, March 2.

Photo copyright: Shot at Life