This World Immunisation Week, the World Health Organisation urged everyone to make vaccination a priority, with nearly 20 million children worldwide still missing out on life-saving vaccines. African Vaccination Week was also launched in Madagascar, whilst in Germany, Gavi CEO Seth Berkley discussed the challenges of working to increase vaccination coverage across African countries.
Nature reminded us that vaccines work and discussed what’s next for vaccine technology. Orin Levine imagined a world without vaccines and Dr. Seth Berkley explained how immunisation can help improve girls’ education. UNICEF educated us all with twelve things you didn’t know about immunisation.
India saw significant progress in the number of vaccinated children, and Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan highlighted the huge success of vaccination in helping eradicate polio from the country. Meanwhile, neighbouring Pakistan are pinning their hopes on the typhoid vaccine as they battle an outbreak of drug-resistant typhoid.
With World Malaria Day also falling this week, the Wall Street Journal asked: how long until the final one? While experts say that global malaria elimination hinges on Africa, Bill Gates shone a spotlight on Swaziland’s approach to the disease, arguing it could be the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to defeat malaria. Promising new research suggested dosing whole populations with anti-malaria drugs could eliminate the disease in South-East Asia. Another study this week concluded that a similar approach using antibiotics might help reduce infant mortality rates across Africa.