Friday, April 29, 2016
With the death toll for the Angola yellow fever outbreak above 250 people and the WHO fighting a global vaccine shortage, some experts are calling on the health authority to employ a novel strategy in its efforts against the epidemic: cut vaccine doses by 90%.
That’s the recommendation from retired virologist Jack Woodall and colleagues, who argue in a Lancet article that the WHO should consider invoking an emergency protocol to allow for the use of a lower dose to stretch supplies fivefold. According to previous clinical trials, a one-tenth dose is as effective as the full dose in rapidly stimulating immunity, the team said.
The WHO contends, however, that more research is needed in children and on the duration of protection from a lower dose, Reuters reported. The availability of syringes could hinder a move to follow the suggestion, a WHO spokesperson added.
The proposal comes as the international health authority is grappling with depleted yellow fever vaccine stockpiles and as cases have been reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and China. The WHO says the cases in those countries--imported from Angola--demonstrate that the virus “constitutes a potential threat for the entire world.”
Spread by the same mosquitoes that transmit Zika and dengue, yellow fever can kill at least half of severely affected patients who don't receive treatment within 10 to 14 days. In Angola, the WHO’s nationwide vaccination drive has reached 7 million people.
Sanofi Pasteur, the Institut Pasteur Foundation in Dakar, Brazil’s Bio-Manguinhos/Fiocruz and a state-owned manufacturer are makers of yellow fever vaccines, according to WHO listings. In February, the Institut Pasteur Foundation in Dakar announced a plan to build a $25 million yellow fever vaccine plant there, though that facility isn’t expected to be ready until 2019.
Woodall and colleagues note that annual production of yellow fever vaccines is about 80 million doses, with the global supply sitting at about 5 million doses.
Friday, April 22, 2016
We've had a yellow fever vaccine since 1936, but the global stockpile is running low
Researchers fear spread beyond Angola
Why yellow fever started to spread in Angola is still a mystery
Monday, April 18, 2016
Friday, April 1, 2016
LUANDA, March 28 (Xinhua) -- A 10-member Chinese medical team started epidemic research and vaccinated over 120 chinese nationals working in Angola as part of the bilateral cooperation between the two countries to combat an on-going out-break of yellow fever in the African country.
The team, sent by China's State General Administration for Quality Supervision and Inspection and Quarantine, conducted physical checks over 200 Chinese in the clinic under the Group 14 of the China's Railway Construction Company in southern Luanda, and diagnosed one Chinese woman as a new victim of yellow fever which had killed at least eight Chinese working in the African country.
The team was expected to vaccinate Chinese against yellow fever and conduct education and prevention campaigns for Chinese companies working in Angola, and to carry out epidemic studies and evaluation of the impact of the disease in the country, said Jin Xia, a leading epidemic expert in the team.
At least 189 Angolans, in the capital city of Luanda alone, were killed by yellow fever, a disease transmitted by mosquitoes, since the first cases were reported in Luanda since the end of 2015. The disease is highly preventable by vaccination.
The Angolan government has ordered some 5.7 million doses of vaccine and vaccinated over 75 percent of the population in Luanda against yellow fever, while vaccination campaigns were conducted in other provinces, according to local press reports.