Most Fridays, we use this space to highlight global health news and opinions that originate outside of PATH. This week, however, we find our work at the center of media coverage.
On Tuesday, PATH’s Malaria Vaccine Initiative and partners announced clinical trial results that promise to push the leading vaccine candidate forward. On Wednesday, the World Health Organization announced that a Chinese-made vaccine against Japanese encephalitis—a vaccine uncovered and advanced by PATH—had achieved an approval crucial to its wider adoption in countries where millions of children are at risk.
In between, PATH teams, including those working on a female condom and needle-free delivery of vaccines, continued to make newsworthy progress. Here are some of the most interesting takes on a big week of news for us.
A big milestone for saving children
Impatient Optimists, October 8, 2013
You won’t see many headlines about the World Health Organization’s decision today to endorse a new Japanese encephalitis vaccine. That’s too bad, because there’s a powerful story here about the tremendous progress the world is making to save and improve the lives of the world’s poorest.
Historic moment in global health: delivering on China’s potential for combatting a deadly disease
Huffington Post, October 10, 2013
The World Health Organization has put its stamp of approval on a vaccine that will pave the way to protecting millions of children from a devastating disease called Japanese encephalitis (JE). It’s an historic moment not just because the vaccine has the potential to safeguard so many lives, but because it signals China’s foray into the global vaccine marketplace.
First malaria vaccine moves a step closer to approval
NPR, October 8, 2013
A malaria vaccine studied in more than 15,000 African children has been found to reduce the number of cases of disease by 27 to 46 percent. That’s only modest efficacy compared to most accepted vaccines. But this would be the first antimalarial immunization on the market, and its developers emphasize that it still prevents a lot of cases. Its main sponsor, GlaxoSmithKline, says it’s good enough to justify seeking regulatory approval in 2014.
World’s first malaria vaccine by 2015
New Scientist, October 8, 2013
Encouraging results from the longest and largest trial of a malaria vaccine could see the world’s first antimalaria jab approved by 2015. The disease infects more than 200 million people a year, and kills at least 660,000—mostly children. The vaccine could be used for the first time in 2016.
The next big thing (pause) in sex: female condoms
Humanosphere, October 4, 2013
Billions of male condoms are sold every year, but they put the onus on men to use them, or on women to get their male partners to use them. Sometimes those interactions are fraught with power imbalances or even threats of violence. With the female condom. . .women can be more empowered in reproductive and sexual decision-making.
No shots! No shots! How to get a shot without a needle
mental_floss, October 2, 2013
Let’s face it: nobody likes getting shots. The main pain point is the needle—it’s scary, it’s pointy, and people are afraid of it (I’ll admit, I’m no fan of needles myself). But there is another way! “Needle-free” injection technology allows many shots to go in with no needle at all. Here’s how it works, and some video of needle-free tech in action. . .including in a Batman movie.