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This week in vaccines – 15th April 2018

This week the cancer-preventing properties of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine were in the headlines, as Tanzania (pictured) introduced the shot into its routine immunisation programme, Zimbabwe prepared to do the same, and new research found that parents in the UK want the HPV vaccine for their sons too.

As part of plans launched this week to eliminate yellow fever epidemics in Africa, WHO, UNICEF and Gavi announced the aim to vaccinate nearly one billion people against the disease by 2026. Elsewhere, Brazil’s ongoing yellow fever outbreak emphasised the need to tackle the disease globally.

Both Afghanistan and Pakistan launched polio vaccination campaigns, and, as STAT news warned of the remaining challenges faced in eradicating the disease, reports of Pakistan’s first polio case of the year in Balochistan were discussed.  

Meanwhile, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI) awarded $56 million to Inovio to advance DNA vaccines against Lassa fever and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Gavi CEO Dr Seth Berkley also emphasised the role of digital technology in putting children at the centre of global health and vaccination.  

Ahead of World Immunization Week, The Lancet editorial emphasised that #VaccinesWork, but that everyone must work together to increase immunisation coverage.

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