This week, while the spread of drug-resistant typhoid was reported in Pakistan and Lassa fever raged on in Nigeria, the WHO warned that an unknown illness ( “disease X”) could cause the next big epidemic. At the same time, the ongoing yellow fever outbreak in Brazil was hampered by false rumours, and Bill and Melinda Gates added to outbreak concerns by discussing the ongoing threat of bioterrorism.
Researchers shared their prototype for a vaccine pill against flu, which they hope will pave the way to needle-free inoculations against a range of diseases, and elsewhere scientists set to work on a Zika vaccine. Meanwhile, Gavi deputy CEO, Anuradha Gupta, raised a lesser-known vaccine-preventable threat to unborn children – rubella.
In the week of the End Tuberculosis summit in Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a campaign to eradicate tuberculosis in India by 2025. Immunisation researchers in the country also reported that phone reminders combined with other incentives could help improve childhood immunisation rates.
Finally, Gavi CEO Seth Berkley reflected on a recent Harvard study to explore the role of vaccines in keeping the poorest families out of poverty.