#3: Bacteria-Related Pediatric Deaths in France Linked to Late Vaccination
New research presented at the recent 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Meeting at the beginning of the month has shown that, “1 in 4 deaths caused by pediatric community-onset severe bacterial infections (COSBIs) in France could have been prevented if vaccines had been administered in a timely fashion.”
The data was presented by ChristFle Gras-Leguen, a pediatrician in the Pediatric Emergency Department at Nantes University Hospital in Nantes, France, and was representative on an area in Western France “that is known for vaccine hesitancy.” According to Dr. Gras-Leguen, “vaccine hesitancy has resulted in suboptimal coverage regarding meningococcal C vaccine (MnC) and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) in the French county of Pasteur.”
The hesitancy to administer vaccines often leads to delays in the vaccination schedule or “untimely vaccinations” that occur after the recommended vaccination dates. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have published a “catch-up schedule for infants and children who are more than 1 month behind on their vaccinations,” this altered schedule can result in altered doses and “impaired immunity in some cases.” Had the children included in the French study been vaccinated according to the regular schedules, the researchers posited that incidents of “vaccine-preventable COSBIs” may have been avoided.
Read more about the bacteria-related pediatric deaths in France, here
#2: Zika Vaccine May Not Be Too Far Off, But at What Cost?
Those awaiting the development of reliable diagnostic testing for the Zika virus may not have much longer to wait. Royal Oak urology scientist Laura Lamb, PhD, and researchers from Beaumont Hospital in Michigan “have developed a ‘quick, simple test’ for the virus, where you ‘don’t even need a doctor.’” Indeed, this new test is able to detect the presence of Zika virus in a urine sample in as little as 30 minutes.
Although the test is currently still in the research phase, when speaking on the team’s findings, Dr. Lamb remarked in a press release, “We are currently working on developing a urine-based test that would allow for rapid and accurate detection of not only Zika, but also viruses such as Dengue, yellow fever, Chikungunya, and West Nile virus.”
Detecting the presence of the virus is only half the battle; researchers still need to create a vaccine to protect individuals from becoming infected with the Zika in the first place. Pharmaceutical companies and government research organizations alike are furiously working on developing a vaccine, but the process is not without controversy. Recently, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) “filed a patent appeal with the US Department of Defense” on the heels of recent reports that pharmaceutical giant Sanofi “declined the US Army’s request to lower Zika vaccine costs in the United States.” The vaccine would be sold exclusively by Sanofi, and thus, at the cost that they set.
Learn more about the diagnostic test for Zika and controversy surrounding Sanofi’s vaccine, here