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IVAC News Archive

By Year

To read the most recent entries, click here.

Costing Dengue Cases and Outbreaks: A Guide to Current Practices and Procedures

December 20, 2012

In response to the growing need to answer the question of cost in order to weigh the benefits of future introduction of vaccines against dengue, IVAC convened an expert panel in March 2012 to discuss and develop a standardized methodology for estimating costs of dengue in the Americas. The resulting guidelines aim to ensure robust assessment of the economic burden of dengue infections and to make the results of future dengue cost studies more comparable among Latin-American countries.

Listen up: The Pneumonia Revolution is Coming

November 8, 2012

Accurately diagnosing pneumonia can be very difficult in the resource-challenged settings of developing nations. IVAC’s PERCH study allows the opportunity to explore a new technology that can help improve the accuracy and speed of pneumonia diagnoses. This type of innovation enables us to reach more children and save more lives, while also furthering our understanding of the epidemiology of this disease. In advance of World Pneumonia Day, marked each year on November 12, Dr. Eric McCollum offers a look at the digital future of using state-of-the-art technology in diagnosing and treating respiratory illness in the world’s poorest settings.

IVAC Announces Grant Recipients For World Pneumonia Day Advocacy Program

September 24, 2012

Today IVAC announced the recipients of the 2012 Small Grants for World Pneumonia Day Advocacy Program. The Small Grants Program supports events and activities that promote pneumonia prevention and control in countries where childhood pneumonia has the greatest impact. In this, the 4th year of the small grants program, 12 grants have been awarded thus far and additional grants may be announced later in the year. Congratulations to this year's Recipient Organizations!

Overcoming Barriers to Vaccination in Nigeria: Seminar at the Center for Global Development

August 28, 2012

On August 29th, IVAC's Dr. Chizoba Wonodi and Ms. Cecily Stokes-Prindle will present findings from the Landscape Analysis of Routine Immunization (LARI) in Nigeria during a seminar at the Center for Global Development in Washington, DC. The presentation will include an overview of barriers to routine immunization in Nigeria and a discussion of potential solutions to improve coverage rates. See the LARI White Paper and Policy Brief for more information. Please click here to learn more about the event.

Kate O'Brien Named IVAC's Acting Executive Director as Orin Levine Accepts New Position

August 10, 2012

IVAC’s Executive Director, Dr. Orin Levine, will be taking up a new position at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as the Director of Vaccine Delivery starting October 1st. As of late September, Dr. Kate O’Brien, IVAC's Deputy Director, will serve as Acting Executive Director for IVAC, while a process takes place to name a permanent Executive Director.

Nigeria's World Pneumonia Day Report Released

July 9, 2012

As part of the World Pneumonia Day 2011 Small Grants Program, six organizations hosted events across Nigeria to advocate for pneumonia prevention and treatment. This year's report summarizes the recent achievements and future challenges of pneumonia control in Nigeria. See our Nigeria page to view other projects in the country.

Reflecting on Nigeria's First-ever National Vaccine Summit

June 11, 2012

Nearly two years in the making, Nigeria’s plan to convene a National Vaccine Summit came to pass in April. More than 1000 delegates from all walks of life - from political big wigs to orphan children – assembled in the majestic International Conference Centre Abuja. The colorful atmosphere and vibrant mood belied the somber reason for holding the Summit in the first place – that far too many children were dying every year from diseased that can be prevented by vaccines; the country needed to do better. In a new blog post, Dr. Wonodi talks more about the Summit, its outcomes and it's implications.

First Lady Rosalynn Carter Speaks Out in Support of USAID Child Survival Summit and Urges Action on Immunization

June 1, 2012

In a new video released today, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter released a video calling for leaders to support immunization programs across the globe, when they gather in Washington DC at the USAID-sponsored Child Survival Summit later this month. Watch the video!

IVAC to Host Experts to Examine Issues of Vaccine Container Size in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

April 20, 2012

Question surrounding primary vaccine container selection have not typically been a focus of vaccine discussions, despite their considerable impact. In recognition of the growing importance of this issue, and the need for the viewpoints of many stakeholders to be considered, a roundtable of worldwide experts is being convened in Washington, DC on May 9th and 10th to review the available evidence and develop a framework for improving decision-making. Read more about the roundtable.

Using Social Network Analysis to Examine the Decision-Making Process on New Vaccine Introduction in Nigeria

April 19, 2012

The introduction of new vaccines into a national vaccination program is a complex process with many stakeholders and diverse interests. IVAC researchers used Social Network Analysis (SNA) to examine the structure and relatedness of the network of actors involved in Nigeria's decision-making process, and have just published their findings in Health Policy and Planning. Their results show a robust engagement of key stakeholders, and also identify areas that may need strengthening through the central involvement of other stakeholders. Read the full paper by clicking here.

BBC World Service Breakfast Africa Interviews Orin Levine on Improving Vaccine Access in Nigeria

April 17, 2012

As Nigeria's leaders gather to discuss issues of increasing vaccine access to save lives across the country, the BBC spoke with IVAC's Executive Director, Dr. Orin Levine, about the landscape of vaccines in Nigeria, and solutions that can be implemented to save lives. Listen to the audio of the interview (4:30, MP3).

IVAC Releases Policy Brief on Landscape Analysis of Routine Immunization (LARI) in Nigeria

April 11, 2012

In advance of Nigeria's National Vaccine Summit, IVAC has released a policy brief that examines the landscape of vaccines in Nigeria. More information about IVAC's focus on Nigeria is available in our Projects section.

The Decade of Vaccines Vision: Taking Stock of History – Seizing Our Opportunity

April 10, 2012

After a visit to the WHO Archive in Geneva, David R. Curry reflects on the Decade of Vaccines Collaboration and how WHO's immunization documents from 1949 and 1974 still provide inspiration for today's global health efforts.


March 21, 2012

IVAC team members presented more than 15 posters and talks at the 8th bi-annual International Symposium on Pneumococci and Pneumococcal Diseases (ISPPD8), held in Iguacu Falls, Brazil in March, 2012. Now you can download the posters and other resources from the IVAC team.

Sizing Up A Killer: Understanding Meningococcal Disease in Latin America

March 20, 2012

In a new blog post, IVAC's Dr. Dagna Constenla talks about Latin America's first Regional Meningococcal Symposium, where stakeholders from the region have gathered to discuss and exchange ideas on understanding this deadly disease, and ways to overcome financial, logistical, and political obstacles to meningococcal prevention through vaccination.

Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health (PERCH) Publishes Clinical Infectious Disease Supplement

March 8, 2012

In a new publication, IVAC outlines new insight and understanding into one of the largest studies ever conducted on the causes of pneumonia among children in the developing world. For more information on this landmark PERCH publication, please click here.

Dengue Experts Gather at IVAC to Lay Groundwork for New Vaccines

March 2, 2012

As a part of the Dengue Vaccine Initiative and in partnership with the Pan-American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF), experts will gather in Baltimore in March to discuss dengue vaccines. In a new blog post from IVAC's Dr. Dagna Constenla, find out how this meeting will lay the groundwork for the future of dengue economics research.

IVAC Commends India on Major Polio Milestone - 1 Year With No New Cases

January 13, 2012

IVAC commends India, partners such as Rotary International, WHO, UNICEF, CDC, the millions of community leaders, health workers, volunteers and the global health community on this important milestone: reaching 1 year without a new case of wild poliovirus. This could never have been accomplished without the commitment and leadership of all. This is an important step forward for both India and the world in the fight to stop this debilitating disease. IVAC supports continuing efforts to immunize against polio and other deadly diseases to help ensure a healthy future for all children. Read more about this polio milestone and what it means for India and other polio-endemic countries.

Learn about Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health (PERCH)!

January 11, 2012

Click here to find out more about IVAC’s PERCH study, recently mentioned by Melinda Gates in her interview with Nick Kristof in The New York Times.

Hib in India: Progress and Hope

December 14, 2011

IVAC's Dr. Mathu Santosham reflects on today's introduction of the Hib vaccine in the Indian state of Kerala, and his hope for the children of India.

GAVI takes first steps to introduce vaccines against cervical cancer and rubella

November 18, 2011

Responding to demand from developing countries, the GAVI Alliance will take the first steps towards the introduction of Human papillomavirus (HPV) and rubella vaccines in developing countries, the GAVI Board announced on Thursday, November 17. If negotiations to secure a sustainable price from manufacturers are successful and countries can demonstrate their ability to deliver the vaccines, up to two million women and girls in nine countries could be protected from cervical cancer by 2015.

Responding to projected demand from 30 countries and World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations, the Board also agreed to open a funding window for vaccines against the rubella virus, which threatens pregnancies and child health. The plan is to reach 588 million children by 2015.

“These two initiatives have huge potential impact for women and families in the developing world,” said Seth Berkley MD, CEO of GAVI, which supports seven other vaccines.

Read more about this important news from GAVI.

IVAC's Work Featured in PBS NewsHour Report about PCV in Nicaragua

November 12, 2011

PBS Correspondent Ray Suarez speaks with IVAC's Dr. Orin Levine and GAVI's Dr. Seth Berkley about Nicaragua's fight against pneumonia using the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine, and the price mechanisms used to implement the vaccine's introduction in the country. Watch the report.

New research examines cost-effectiveness of PCV in low- and middle-income countries

November 11, 2011

In a paper published November 9, 2011 in the journal International Health, research led by Dr. Anushua Sinha estimates that two pneumococcal vaccines being introduced in the world’s poorest countries with support from the GAVI Alliance could save the lives of 3 to 4 million children over the next 10 years, and indicate that the vaccines are a highly cost-effective investment for developing countries. With GAVI’s support, 15 of the world’s poorest countries have introduced the newest-generation vaccines that protect against pneumococcal disease. Nearly 60 countries are expected to introduce this vaccine by 2015.

"Policy-makers increasingly rely on cost-effectiveness analysis, in addition to clinical effectiveness, when considering the introduction of new childhood vaccines. A previous analysis determined vaccination of infants with 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) to be highly cost effective in preventing child mortality in countries eligible for financial support from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). We aimed to update this analysis by incorporating recent data on global disease burden, indirect effects and higher valency vaccines."

In a separate paper, published in the same issue of the journal, the researchers also examined the economic impact of PCV in middle-income countries. Their findings indicate that "Vaccination would be cost effective for 72 countries with the 7-valent vaccine and for all countries with the 10- or 13-valent vaccines. The economic case for vaccination is compelling for middle-income countries."

2011 Pneumonia Progress Report is Released

November 8, 2011

An annual production by the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the 2011 Pneumonia Progress Report examines data on several key pneumonia interventions – including exclusive breastfeeding, access to a health care facility, antibiotic treatment and vaccination against pneumonia’s four leading causes – in the 15 countries with the most child pneumonia deaths. Read more about this year's Progress Report here.

New Research: Worldwide Child Mortality from Rotavirus Remains High

October 25, 2011

Findings from a study published today in The Lancet show that child mortality from rotavirus remains high. 95% of these deaths occurred in countries that are eligible for vaccine subsidies through GAVI, representing a tremendous opportunity to save lives with rotavirus vaccines. Learn more about this new research.

IVAC's Deputy Director Honored by President Obama

October 17, 2011

Dr. Katherine O'Brien MD, IVAC's Deputy Director, was among the scientists honored by President Obama, as they received the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. For more, see the White House's announcement and a photo from the East Room.

From the Field: Pneumococcal Vaccine Research in The Gambia

September 22, 2011

Dustin Gibson, a PhD Student in International Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health talks about his research on vaccine delivery and pneumonia case detection in The Gambia.

A vaccine's whisper of hope: Perspectives from Kenya

September 9, 2011

IVAC's Director of Epidiemiology, Dr. Daniel Feiken, returns to Kenya after a year away, and finds reasons to be optimistic that Kenya's recent introduction of pneumococcal vaccine will result in a reduction in child mortality and a corresponding rise in the Kenyan economy.

IVAC Extends Condolences to United Nations Staff in Abuja, Nigeria

August 29, 2011

The International Vaccine Access Center extends its deepest condolences to the United Nations staff, their families and colleagues, who suffered in the attack in Abuja, Nigeria, on Friday, August 25th.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire U.N. family and its staff in Nigeria who have been affected by this tragedy,” said Dr. Chizoba Wonodi, Manager of Nigeria Projects for IVAC.
IVAC continues to work with the Nigerian Government and the U.N. Organizations to promote health and progress in Nigeria, and will remain dedicated to improving the lives of its citizens by combating vaccine-preventable diseases and strengthening health systems across the country.

Largest Global Childhood Pneumonia Etiology Study Launched

August 16, 2011

Pneumonia kills more children around the world than any other disease, but the last major effort to study the causes of childhood pneumonia across many countries was conducted in the 1980’s. This week, a groundbreaking new study called the Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health (PERCH) study gets off the ground. A collaboration between 5 African and 2 Asian research sites coordinated by the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the study will systematically look at current and likely future causes of childhood pneumonia in some of the world’s hardest hit populations.

Aiming to enroll more than 12,000 children in seven different countries, PERCH will be the largest, multi-country study of its kind in over 20 years. The study is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is expected to inform global efforts against pneumonia – the world’s biggest killer of young children – in the years to come. The study is being conducted in Bangladesh, The Gambia, Kenya, Mali, South Africa, Thailand, and Zambia, and in collaboration with local and international research stations and universities, including laboratory support from the University of Otago and Canterbury Health Laboratories, New Zealand.

“Every child in the world is at risk of pneumonia. While we’re preventing lots of pneumonia with vaccines due to some germs, we need a new evidence-base on pneumonia to assure that we use effective treatments and develop the right vaccines for the next decade,” said Orin Levine, lead investigator on the study and professor of International Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The full press release for the PERCH launch is available here. More information on the study protocol and the PERCH project is available here.

International Symposium on Influenza and Other Respiratory Infections

June 29, 2011

International Symposium on Influenza and Other Respiratory Infections, hosted by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC, Beijing), the Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA, and the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, USA, will take place on August 2-4, 2011, in Beijing, China. For more information, please visit their website.

Why is Coke available in every village around Timbuktu, but antibiotics are not?

June 20, 2011

A new report from IVAC asks why products like Coca Cola can reach remote villages in developing nations while essential medicines like antibiotics cannot always be found. The report, entitled, Improving Access to Essential Medicines Through Public-Private Partnership, documents the poor availability of essential health products (EHPs) in sub-Saharan Africa and explores how to improve EHP distribution via collaborations with the private sector.

Focusing on the distribution stage in the EHP supply chain, the report examines the causes of bottlenecks at this stage. Distributors of consumer packaged goods (CPGs), such as food, beverages, tobacco, and mobile phone refill cards, have been more successful at reaching remote locations under difficult conditions than distributors of essential medicines. In the most remote villages of Africa, a person is more likely to find a kiosk with mobile phone cards in stock than clinic with the basic antibiotics in stock.

Public-private partnerships between the global health community and private sector can leverage the strengths of CPG companies to improve availability of essential medicines via knowledge exchange, shared infrastructure, generating appropriate performance monitoring metrics, and investing in product innovation.

"IVAC's report highlights potential savings in the hundreds of millions of dollars if learning from and partnership with the private sector could be leveraged to improve distribution of essential health products. We need to take a page out of the book of big business to improve the efficiency of tight health budgets in developing countries and save more lives," - Amanda Glassman, Director of Global Health Policy, Center for Global Development

To find out more, download the full report here.

Estimated Economic Benefits in 72 Poorest Countries During The Decade Of Vaccines: $6.2 Billion In Treatment Savings, $145 Billion In Higher Output

June 9, 2011
New research from IVAC on the economic impact of increasing vaccine coverage has been released at an event hosted by Health Affairs, the leading public health policy journal, in Washington, DC, on June 9, 2011. In two articles in the June issue, this work presents an examination of the estimated economic benefits that could be expected during the next decade, the "Decade of Vaccines." An estimated 6.4 million child deaths could be averted while saving $145 billion dollars by increasing coverage with a package of 6 key vaccines between 2011-2020. Read More

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