This week a breakthrough typhoid vaccine – with the power to save children’s lives – was approved by the World Health Organization, generating optimistic conversation around the possibilities of future use in poorer countries.
Both the New York Times and Vox picked up on 2017’s decline in measles deaths as a reason to be hopeful for the new year, though the news came with the warning that progress is threatened by low immunisation coverage in some wealthy, as well as poor, countries. More optimism was found in Bill Gates’ takeover of TIME magazine, which often mentioned his appreciation of vaccination as an investment to improve global health.
Current ongoing epidemics of diphtheria across Yemen, Bangladesh and Venezuela were also highlighted by Chatham House, who picked apart the preventable outbreaks as signs of health system failure and beyond. Under more control at present are cases of polio, which were discussed this week in The Lancet in the context of the disease’s final eradication.
Finally, a few interesting stories focussed on technology, with one study exploring the possibility of using Facebook to vaccinate contacts and prevent a serious outbreak, and another reporting on the prospect of using satellite data to stop cholera from spreading.