The Guinean Government with WHO initiated the very first efficacy trial of an Ebola vaccine this week in an affected community of the Basse-Guinée, one of the areas where most Ebola cases are found in the country. Ring vaccination tests of VSV-EBOV, a lead Ebola vaccine developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada, received an excellent response from the community in a small village in the Coyah prefecture, where the trial team arrived on 23 March 2015.
The inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) was introduced in Bangladesh at a dual launch in Dhaka on 21 March 2015. The dual introduction was made possible through the collaboration of the Government of Bangladesh with WHO, UNICEF and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
PCV will benefit more than 3 million children, and the introduction of IPV is a crucial part of objective 2 of the Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan.
A growing risk of outbreaks of measles, pertussis, and other vaccine-preventable diseases in countries affected by Ebola must be countered by urgent scaling up of routine immunization activities. The Ebola outbreak, which has infected some 24 000 people and killed around 10 000 of them, has reduced vaccination coverage in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, as health facilities and staff focus on halting the outbreak.
Today, WHO issued its first-ever guidance for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B, a viral infection which is spread through blood and body fluids, attacking the liver and resulting in an estimated 650 000 deaths each year. Worldwide, some 240 million people have chronic hepatitis B virus and are at increased risk of dying from cirrhosis and liver cancer.
WHO recommends that all children are vaccinated against hepatitis B, with a first dose given at birth. Effective medicines exist that can prevent people developing these conditions so they live longer.
75%drop in global measles deathsGlobal progress towards regional measles elimination
84%of infants vaccinated with 3 doses of DTP vaccine in 2013Immunization coverage fact sheet
21.8 millioninfants still missing out on basic vaccinesGlobal routine vaccination coverage 2013