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Ghana: Make your children available for polio Immunisation-GHS | News Ghana.

[Sep 5, 2020] [Ghana News Agency]

Mr Joseph Kwami Degley, the Ketu South Municipal Director, Ghana Health Service (GHS), has urged the residents in the Municipality to make their children available for polio vaccination.

He said the immunisation exercise is scheduled for 10 to 13 September in the communities in the Municipality.

The second round will run from 8 to 12 October, this year.

He said children up to five years were targeted for the exercise and asked mothers and care-givers to make their children available.

Mr Degley made the call at a stakeholder’s meeting at the Municipal Assembly to solicit the support of everyone in disseminating information on the impending polio vaccination.

He urged the residents to get involved in the exercise to kick the disease out of the country.

“Following the recent risk assessment of the polio situation in Ghana, the Polio Advisory Group has approved an immediate response which includes two immunisation rounds of a campaign in the country including Volta, Ashanti and Eastern Regions targeting 4,734,221 children under five years,” he explained.

The Municipal Director of Health Services said the monovalent oral vaccine which would be given to the children during the exercise would protect them from infectious agents that could cause polio which effects could be temporary or permanent paralysis, lifetime disability and even death.

He said the team of volunteers for the exercise would comply strictly with COVID-19 protocols during their visit to places, including homes, markets and schools and appealed to mothers to also do so in the interest of all.

At the meeting, market queens pledged their support for the immunisation exercise, saying they would convey the message to their colleagues at the market centres and help arrange sheds during the period to ensure the exercise success.

Madam Evelyn Klokpodzi, Municipal Director of National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), expressed the readiness of NCCE to sensitise the people on the exercise to receive the needed cooperation from the public.


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[1 September] Apple and Google make COVID-19 exposure notifications available without an app | Android Authority.

[September 1, 2020]

covid 19 exposure notifications express android ios iphone

Credit: Apple / Google

Jon Fingas writes:

  • Apple and Google have introduced Exposure Notifications Express, which alerts you to possible COVID-19 without an app in some cases.
  • It’ll be built into iOS 13.7, while Google will make apps to use the new framework.
  • Existing notification apps will continue to work.

Apple and Google are making it easier to get COVID-19 exposure notifications on your phone — in some cases, without requiring an app. They’re introducing an Exposure Notifications Express system that makes it easier for public health authorities to notify Android and iOS users if they’ve been close to infected people for extended periods.

Health organizations no longer need to write and run their own apps. They now just have to supply Apple and Google with contact information, criteria for alerting users to exposure, and the information to present if there’s a notification. Apple and Google will run the Exposure Notification System themselves.

The seamlessness of the experience will depend on your platform. On the iPhone, an impending iOS 13.7 update will let you know if notifications are available in your area. Tap it and you’ll have the option to turn on notifications without needing an app. You’ll get a similar brief if you’re on Android, but you’ll still need an app at the moment — Google will simply generate the app on the public health unit’s behalf.

Read more: Why you need to stay at home during the pandemic

The Android and iOS systems will still talk to each other, and existing exposure notification apps will continue to work and receive full support. The companies are promising the same anonymized approach that should protect both privacy and security.

Maryland, Nevada, Virginia, and Washington, DC will be the first states in the US to use Exposure Notifications Express. It could come to other states this fall, although it depends on their governments choosing to adopt the system. International details weren’t available.

This could significantly improve adoption of exposure notifications by eliminating some of the barriers to enabling alerts. You won’t have to wait for your government to develop an app. That, in turn, could be crucial to keeping COVID-19 in check — these systems are only truly effective when large portions of the population volunteer to use them, whether on their phones or through wearables.

There’s no guarantee this will be enough by itself. It still requires consent, and some are still concerned about privacy or effectiveness, even if they’re sometimes unfounded. It could be difficult to convince skeptics that ENE won’t track their locations, for example. Still, it’s an important move that could overcome some of the hesitation that has limited use so far.


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Pakistan: Anti-polio drive from Sept 21 | The Express Tribune.

[September 06, 2020] [APP]

Polio vaccine drops will be administered to over 900,000 children under five years of age.

MULTAN: A five-day anti-polio campaign will commence from September 21 across the district. A meeting led by Additional Deputy Commissioner Revenue (ADCR) Tayyib Khan was held to review the anti-polio drive on Saturday. While talking to the media, the ADCR said that the presence of poliovirus in Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur is alarming. He directed officials to focus on flood-hit areas, transit points at railway stations, bus and wagon stands during the drive. Khan asked the officials to keep in view the coronavirus SOPs and adopt a modern approach during the drive. The chief executive officer health, while giving a briefing, said polio vaccine drops will be administered to over 900,000 children under five years of age.


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Let’s get real. No vaccine will work as if by magic, returning us to ‘normal’ | The Guardian

[Sun 6 Sep 2020 09.15 BST; Last modified on Sun 6 Sep 2020 14.10 BST]

To dream of imminent solutions is only human. But progress will come from controlled expectations.

A lab technician, wearing personal protective equipment, prepares stainless steel tanks for manufacturing vaccines

A lab technician at Sanofi’s world distribution centre in Val-de-Reuil, France. The French pharmaceutical company has agreed to supply the UK with up to 60m doses of a potential Covid vaccine. Photograph: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

Jeremy Farrar writes:

At the end of any summer we brace ourselves – for back to school, returning to work and even for Christmas plans. But this year, the reality bump is like no other.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to reverberate globally, there is no doubt that we must be ready to face a long road ahead, certainly beyond the end of this year. The fact that a vaccine, alongside effective treatments, is our only true exit strategy remains unchanged. The speed and scale of vaccine development have been remarkable but it’s important to avoid false hope.

I am optimistic that we will soon see results from the first vaccines coming through late-stage clinical trials. However, we must temper this optimism, this talk of the perfect vaccine “just around the corner” or the idea that it will be a complete and immediate solution.

Over the summer, the UK vaccine taskforce has done an impressive job of securing access to a broad portfolio of potential Covid-19 vaccines. But I worry that, beyond the taskforce, too much hype is being applied to the first vaccines and in some countries too much focus on a political agenda and domestic provision. There should be no place for notions of vaccine nationalism, with nations posturing that “their” vaccine will cross the finish line first and be fully deployed by Christmas or for a political moment.

The “first” vaccine, or even the first generation of vaccines, will most likely not be perfect; we need to be pragmatic and transparent on that front. The reality is that with these vaccines, we will be taking small steps to return to a sense of normality.

Plenty is attached to the word vaccine. When we hear it, we think of one of the greatest advances in human health, one that eliminates smallpox and saves millions every year from polio and tetanus, from HPV and the flu.

However, the first generation of Covid-19 vaccines will probably be only partially effective. They might not be completely effective in all ages or appropriate in all health systems. It is very possible that they might provide immunity only for a limited period, even as short as 12 to 18 months. This might not be what we are used to from a vaccine, but there is no doubt that the first effective vaccines, even imperfect ones, can have a major impact and be a precious commodity.

Urgency must not be misunderstood; accelerating vaccine development must not mean compromising safety. Transparent, rigorous assessment by independent regulatory bodies without political interference is non-negotiable. Trust is our most important tool in public health and we must do everything we can to avoid putting that in doubt. It cannot be bought on short-term promises. Already, there are worrying signs of diminishing trust in potential Covid-19 vaccines. Polls suggest that in countries with some of the highest global case numbers, such as the United States, there could be low uptake of any Covid-19 vaccine, no matter how effective. This must not become a polarised political issue; public health is too important.

Most importantly, fair access to any vaccine must be addressed. No matter where the first vaccines originate, they must initially reach priority groups worldwide, particularly frontline healthcare workers and the most vulnerable. Global cooperation is key to advancing these vaccines and restarting the economy. If large parts of the world remain shut down because of the selfish hoarding of initial supplies by richer nations, we all suffer for it.

It is not, however, enough to simply promise support for fair, global allocation. More nations must act with urgency and buy into a collective and pooled approach to vaccine access, all governments being clear they will buy doses only for the most at risk in their populations.

The United States not joining the vital Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility (Covax), which aims to ensure equal access to affordable vaccines, is disappointing. It is more imperative than ever that those in stronger positions, with considerable resources, lead by example in fair allocation.

A technician at the Covid-19 testing lab at Queen Elizabeth University hospital in Glasgow

A technician at the Covid-19 testing lab at Queen Elizabeth University hospital in Glasgow. Photograph: WPA/Getty Images

The UK has manoeuvred itself into such a leading position. It has options on a 340m-dose stockpile, the highest access per capita of any country. Yet only 20%-30% of the UK population will require access to a vaccine in the first few months. The UK’s position could be even stronger through firm commitments to pooling surplus doses through Covax. The European commission has also shown important leadership and has committed €400m (£360m), but it too is in a strong position to do more. Such enlightened global leadership is badly needed at this time of crisis.

As we move through autumn and winter, we will see an increase in community transmission. Without urgent action to stop the current increased community transmission among young adults leading to transmission in hospitals and in social care, and thereby severe illness and deaths in vulnerable people, we will be facing a chaotic stop-start winter for schools and businesses.

We have to do everything possible to avoid this. The first vaccine may not be a magic bullet that sends us back to normal in a matter of months. However, by using doses wisely on the people who most need them – and doing this alongside truthful, considered public health messaging that does not deal in false expectations – we will be in a strong position to avoid a repeat of early 2020.

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Jeremy Farrar is director of the Wellcome Trust.


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Positive Cytosolic 5-Nucleotidase 1A Antibodies in Motor Neuron Disease | Journal of Clinical Neuromuscular Disease.

[Pay to View Full Text] [September 2020 - Volume 22 - Issue 1 - p 50-52]

Abstract.

Inclusion body myositis (IBM) is the most common acquired myopathy in adults older than 50 years. Muscle biopsy remains the gold standard for diagnosis. Recently described serum antibodies against cytosolic 5-nucleotidase 1A (cN1A) are considered highly specific for IBM. However, positive cN1A antibodies in diseases other than IBM are recently reported. We review 2 cases in which serum antibodies were positive but ancillary testing revealed motor neuron disease. A 68-year-old man presented with asymmetric quadriceps and handgrip weakness prompting concern for IBM. However, electromyography showed purely chronic neurogenic abnormalities, and muscle biopsy was consistent with post-polio syndrome. A 60-year-old woman reported a history of progressive muscle weakness. Despite positive antibodies, examination and electromyography were indicative of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Serum cN1A antibodies are not 100% specific for the diagnosis of IBM. Careful clinical, electrophysiologic, and histopathologic correlation is required in workup of individuals with neuromuscular weakness and positive antibodies.


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Mass vaccination against COVID-19 may require replays of the polio vaccination drives | EClinicalMedicine - Published by The Lancet.

[Open Access] [Received: July 13, 2020; Received in revised form: July 23, 2020; Accepted: July 27, 2020; Published: August 18, 2020]

Opening Paragraph.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) was built on the wisdom gained from smallpox eradication programs. In 1980s, polio used to cause paralysis of >1000 children daily but since then GPEI has achieved >99% reduction in polio. Surges in SARS-CoV-2 infections have catalysed numerous vaccine development projects. However, deployment of an efficacious COVID-19 vaccine will need resolution of several notable issues on which preparatory analysis must be initiated now. Risk groups including the elderly, those with co-morbidities and healthcare workers may be prioritized. Widening the vaccine target groups will increase supply chain burden. As COVID-19 vaccination window may be short, there will be added pressure on supply chains. Dosages (single versus multiple) and routes of administration will have direct consequences for costs and logistics. Route(s) of administration including injectable, intranasal, microneedle array patches, next-generation jet injectors, oral tablets or sublingual oral gels would necessitate additional training of healthcare workers. Robust epidemiological estimates of herd immunity will be required to optimize population coverage, though individual protection for target groups will remain pivotal. Indeed, high vaccine coverage may be targeted to ablate reservoirs of infection.


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