WBEZ | vaccine http://www.wbez.org/tags/vaccine Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en U.S. panel: Boys should get HPV vaccine, too http://www.wbez.org/story/us-panel-boys-should-get-hpv-vaccine-too-93455 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-25/AP070202060276.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>ATLANTA — A government panel is recommending that young boys also get the HPV shot. That's the vaccine now given to girls to prevent cervical cancer, which has become embroiled in the politics of the Republican presidential primary season.</p><p>Doctors argue that it could protect boys against genital warts and some kinds of cancers. But they also say vaccinating 11- and 12-year old boys could also help prevent the spread of the sexually transmitted virus to girls.</p><p>The HPV vaccine has been controversial since it was recommended for girls five years ago. And only about a third of adolescent girls have been fully vaccinated against the virus.</p><p>The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices made the recommendation Tuesday. Federal health officials usually adopt what the panel says and asks doctors and patients to follow the recommendations.</p><p>Attempts to require the vaccine for American girls sparked debate and complaints that such mandates intrude on family decisions about sex education. In Texas, lawmakers fought off a 2007 order by Gov. Rick Perry requiring the shots for sixth-grade girls amid questions about vaccine's safety, efficacy and cost. Perry's Republican opponents have made the vaccine an issue in the primary.</p></p> Tue, 25 Oct 2011 15:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/us-panel-boys-should-get-hpv-vaccine-too-93455 Scientists take big step toward a universal flu vaccine http://www.wbez.org/story/flu/scientists-take-big-step-toward-universal-flu-vaccine <p><p>&nbsp;Researchers say they&rsquo;ve taken a major step toward developing a flu vaccine that works for multiple strains of the virus, thanks to a quirk of last year&rsquo;s pandemic swine flu.</p><p>Most years, the seasonal flu virus morphs just a little, so vaccine makers have to guess what the strain will look like many months in advance. But last year&rsquo;s novel H1N1 strain may change the game. Some of the antibodies that flu generates seem to be effective across many strains, and that could be the key to a universal vaccine.</p><p>&ldquo;What the flu vaccine community would want would be antibodies that would provide immunity to all flus,&rdquo; said Patrick Wilson, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. &ldquo;Who knows? Maybe we have crossed the line &ndash; we&rsquo;re getting closer.&rdquo;</p><p>Wilson said some of the H1N1 antibodies target structures on the virus that hardly change from year to year. That means the flu bug couldn&rsquo;t outsmart the shot by mutating, though he cautioned against underestimating the crafty virus. The results are published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.</p></p> Mon, 10 Jan 2011 14:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/flu/scientists-take-big-step-toward-universal-flu-vaccine Cholera vaccine in the Caribbean: A hypothetical lifesaver http://www.wbez.org/story/health/cholera-vaccine-caribbean-hypothetical-lifesaver <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/cholera.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The official count of cholera deaths in Haiti <a href="http://www.rttnews.com/Content/MarketSensitiveNews.aspx?Id=1482640&SM=1">has surpassed 1,000</a> <strong></strong>and authorities <a href="http://new.paho.org/blogs/haiti/?p=1191">predict the disease will spread</a> to other Caribbean countries.</p><p>There are two effective oral cholera vaccines that cost as little as $1 a dose. Could they prevent a lot of sickness and death in the coming months? Hypothetically. But don't bet the farm on it.</p><p>The problem, experts tell Shots, is there are only something like 500,000 doses of the vaccine on the entire planet. You read that right. There are only 500,000 doses of vaccine for a disease that sickens up to <a href="http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs107/en/index.html">five million people a year and kills around 120,000</a>.</p><p></p><p>What's more, since each person requires two doses, there's only enough cholera vaccine to immunize, at most, 250,000 people. And if you're also trying to protect young kids, who need three doses, then even fewer people can get protected.</p><p>And anyway, meeting the immediate threat assumes the entire world's stockpile could be airlifted in the foreseeable future to island of Hispaniola, shared by Haiti and Dominican Republic. Together their population is around 18 million. <object width="560" height="340"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/SfCBoHakc34?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/SfCBoHakc34?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object></p><p><a href="http://www.paho.org/English/D/D_DD_BioNoteEng.asp">Dr. Jon Andrus</a>, deputy director of the Pan American Health Organization and an immunization expert, says PAHO recently "spent a lot of time discussing with some of the best experts in the world" whether to deploy cholera vaccine in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. There is a public health rationale for it, they decided.</p><p>But when they found out how pitiful the world's cholera vaccine stocks are, Andrus told Shots, "we dropped that discussion and didn't feel we needed to pursue it. There just wouldn't have been the supply. The question is: Who would you vaccinate?"</p><p>Or rather: Who would you deny the vaccine? It's not far-fetched to imagine vaccine riots.</p><p>Many public health experts say you can't use cholera vaccine during an epidemic to contain it. It moves too fast, they say. There are three infected-but-asymptomatic people for every obviously sick person, so you can't tell whom it's too late to vaccinate. It takes several weeks to vaccinate susceptible people and achieve effective immunity.</p><p>"If you're in the middle of a rip-roaring outbreak, the person you vaccinate would already have been exposed and the marginal gain from vaccination is not there," Andrus says.</p><p>Dr. John Clemens doesn't buy that. He's director-general of the <a href="http://www.ivi.int/">International Vaccine Institute</a> in Seoul, which developed one of the oral cholera vaccines with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.</p><p>"There are a lot of assumptions made by people who say you can't really contain cholera with a vaccine," Clemens told Shots. "In fact, it's never been tried so we really don't know." He points out that current vaccines give considerable protection after the first dose.</p><p>However you come down on this debate, most would acknowledge there's a difference between containment and control. Containment means acting in the short term to keep a disease within a confined area. Controlling it means reducing the toll of illness and death over a longer period of time.</p><p>Haiti will soon transition from the acute outbreak phase to longer-term spread, within its borders and beyond. That's when cholera vaccine could really make a difference.</p><p>"There have been some studies to show that if you're in a community outside the outbreak and you have time to vaccinate, there might be a benefit," Andrus says, cautiously.</p><p>Although <a href="http://new.paho.org/hq/images/Atlas_IHR/CholeraOutbreak/atlas.html">cholera is spreading rapidly in Haiti</a> – so far six of the country's 10 provinces have been affected to greater or lesser degree -- there are still communities that have been relatively unaffected. And there will be time to make a difference for many.</p><p>Computer models "project about 200,000 cases over the next six to 12 months," Andrus said during a media teleconference Tuesday. Unless Haiti does a lot better at preventing death from cholera in the near term, we can predict that something like 10,000 people will die.</p><p>Moreover, Latin America's experience with a major cholera pandemic beginning in 1991 makes it "likely that cholera will spread to other countries in the hemisphere" in the foreseeable future, Andrus adds.</p><p>The University of Washington's <a href="http://sph.washington.edu/faculty/fac_bio.asp?url_ID=Longini_Ira">Ira Longini</a> says you don't have to vaccinate everybody to have a big effect. "Once you get 60 to 70 percent coverage, you shut off transmission of cholera," Longini told Shots. It's a well-known phenomenon called <a href="http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-herd-immunity.htm">herd immunity</a>.</p><p>But using vaccines to limit the disaster would require a massive increase in production of the two vaccines – <a href="http://www.crucell.com/Products/Dukoral">Dukoral</a>, made by a Dutch company, and <a href="http://www.dancewithshadows.com/pillscribe/oral-cholera-vaccine-shanchol-from-shantha-for-india/">Shanchol</a>, a newer vaccine made by an Indian firm, Shanthal, that last year announced it was ready to turn out five million doses.</p><p>Even though there are only 250,000 or so doses of Shanchol that are ready to ship, Clemens of the International Vaccine Institute says there are many times that number available in bulk form. That vaccine could be shipped out if somebody stepped up and said we're going to do something big and bold to mitigate the Caribbean outbreak.</p><p>That would also take uncharacteristically fast footwork by the World Health Organization, which has not yet "prequalified" Shanchol – a seal of approval that clears the vaccine's purchase by agencies like PAHO.</p><p>Clemens says Shanchol "has been at the absolute back of the queue" for prequalification. "It's not even on the priority list for consideration, so certainly one thing WHO could do is move Shanchol up in the queue so it could be prequalified."</p><p>But the fundamental question is: Why is cholera vaccine in such short supply?</p><p>When Shots put that to Andrus he said: "It's hard to mobilize a commitment to produce medicines or vaccines to tackle diseases of poverty, disease of developing countries, where there might not be the profit you see with other diseases."</p><p>Longini was more blunt: "It's because of who's affected. Cholera is ignored because it's a disease of the poorest of the poor." Copyright 2010 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1290811781?&gn=Cholera+Vaccine+In++The+Caribbean%3A+A+Hypothetical++Lifesaver&ev=event2&ch=103537970&h1=Infectious+Disease,International+Health,Public+Health+%26+Prevention,Health+Headlines+Newsletter,Shots+-+Health+News+Blog,Health,World+Health,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=131384700&c7=1128&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1128&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20101117&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=126568156,126567816,126567402,121027244,103537970&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></p></p> Wed, 17 Nov 2010 09:43:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/health/cholera-vaccine-caribbean-hypothetical-lifesaver Dengue vaccine hunt heats up with big human test http://www.wbez.org/story/health/dengue-vaccine-hunt-heats-big-human-test <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/mosquito.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The race to develop a vaccine against dengue fever may be getting a little closer to the finish line.</p><p>The dengue virus, little known in the United States, is endemic to most countries in the tropics thanks to the <a href="http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/art98/aedrol.html"><em>Aedes aegypti</em> mosquito</a>, which thrives in pools of standing water.</p><p>But if you've ever had the illness, you're unlikely to forget it. Sometimes called bonebreak fever, dengue is excruciating with raging fevers accompanied by severe headaches, nausea, and a rash.</p><p>Years of work on a vaccine appear to be paying off.</p><p></p><p>French pharmaceutical giant <a href="http://www.sanofipasteur.com/sanofi-pasteur2/front/index.jsp?siteCode=SP_CORP&codePage=PAG_34_PR14&lang=EN&codeRubrique=34">Sanofi-Aventis</a> is putting its experimental vaccine into the kind of large clinical test that can produce the evidence needed to gain regulatory approval. This comes on the heels of what it claims were several successful smaller trials in Asia and Latin America. The latest <a href="http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01134263">study</a>, being conducted in Australia, is expected to take two years to finish .</p><p>The World Health Organization<sup> </sup>estimates that 2.5 billion people worldwide are at risk of getting dengue, and most of them are in Asia and Latin America. But it's also on the rise in Florida and Texas; <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/05/20/127016467/dengue-fever-outbreak-in-florida-portends-a-growing-problem">Key West</a> has reported 57 cases in the last two years. And on Thursday, Miami-Dade County health officials had <a href="http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/11/11/1921775/1-case-of-dengue-fever-reported.html">ominous news</a> of their own: confirmation of the first "locally acquired" case there.</p><p>At this stage, the dengue vaccine race lacks some of the unexpected twists and bitter rivalries of the <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=cTliwSU62KIC&printsec=frontcover&dq=polio+an+american+story&source=bl&ots=-kZNsDnyY1&sig=AxODZF83WMF-pVvA5IeaFwl0reQ&hl=en&ei=x2ndTLqbDoOC8ga8lvXTDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&sqi=2&ved=0CCcQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f">polio vaccine</a> race, but it's gotten steadily more interesting as more heavy hitters take the field.</p><p>Aside from Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline is conducting trials in Thailand, the United States, and Puerto<sup> </sup>Rico, while the U.S. government threw its hat into the ring with an announcement in August from the <a href="http://www.nih.gov/news/health/aug2010/niaid-09.htm">National Institutes of Health</a> that it would start its own tests. And don't underestimate dark horse Brazil: its <a href="http://revistapesquisa.fapesp.br/?art=2101&bd=1&pg=1&lg=en">Instituto Butantan</a><em>, </em>best known for a <a href="http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb3120/is_3_71/ai_n28728219/">snake farm</a> where researchers milk snakes to make antivenoms<em>, </em>is now running its own trials with the NIH strains.</p><p>Every year there are 250,000 to 500,000 cases of severe cases of dengue and more than 20,000 deaths, typically from the worst permutation of the disease called dengue hemorrhagic fever, according to the <a href="%28http:/www.who.int/vaccine_research/diseases/vector/en/index1.html%29.">World Health Organization</a>.  There is no treatment for any version of it.</p><p>Most of the vaccines in trials right now are tetravalents, meaning that they aim to protect against all four dengue viruses, or serotypes. Safety concerns about tetravalents had slowed down the race, but Sanofi's dengue honcho Jean Lang tells Shots that its results in proof-of-concept studies showed the vaccine is "safe and well-tolerated" and that it produced a solid immune response against all four type of dengue viruses after three doses</p><p>George Washington University's Dr. <a href="http://www.gwumc.edu/microbiology/faculty/hotez.htm">Peter Hotez</a>, who's president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, says the spread of dengue in middle-income countries like Singapore and Brazil had added a lot of urgency. "It's a pleasant surprise that dengue has now piqued the interest of two large pharmaceutical companies," he says. Does Hotez see  take a gander at a possible winner? No. "There really could be multiple victors," he said. Copyright 2010 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1290811785?&gn=Dengue+Vaccine+Hunt+Heats+Up+With+Big+Human+Test&ev=event2&ch=103537970&h1=Infectious+Disease,International+Health,Vaccines,Health+Headlines+Newsletter,Shots+-+Health+News+Blog,Medical+Treatments,Health,World+Health,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=131270293&c7=1128&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1128&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20101113&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=126568156,126567816,126567541,121027244,103537970&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></p></p> Sat, 13 Nov 2010 09:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/health/dengue-vaccine-hunt-heats-big-human-test