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Afghanistan - campaign launches to vaccinate 2 million children against polio | MENAFN Business.

[9/28/2020 2:16:38 PM]

(MENAFN - Afghanistan Times) AT News

KABUL: Ministry of Public Health in a joint venture with its health partners has started anti-polio campaign in 10 provinces.

The campaign started from Monday and will be continued for five days, the ministry said in a statement.

Around two million children under five years will receive immunization drops and vaccinates against polio disease in this round in 112 districts of Paktia, Paktika, Khost, Ghazni, Logar, Maidan Wardak, Parwan, Kunduz, Baghlan and Nuristan provinces, added the statement.

Acting Minister of Public Health Dr. Jawad Osmani termed launch of the anti-polio campaign important and said that polio virus is a serious threat against children health.

He said that fortunately a good and safe vaccine is available against this disease, which through campaign children receive immunization drops and vaccinates freely by volunteer health workers.

Mr. Osmani called on parents to seriously consider the threats of the polio virus like coronavirus and vaccine their children against polio virus in each round of campaign in order to lead toward elimination of polio virus in the country.

Since the beginning of the year till now, 47 polio cases have been recorded across the country, which out of 33 cases in south region, seven cases in west region, three in southeastern region, two in eastern and one case in each north and northeastern reported.

Polio is a disease that paralysis and even kills and it won't be cured, so anti-polio vaccine is the only effective and safety way to prevent children from the disease. All children must take the anti-polio vaccine till five years old.


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Podcast and Video: TWiV 667: Building a better virus trap | This Week in Virology.

[September 27, 2020]

Daniel Griffin provides a clinical report on COVID-19, review of the phase I and II trials of the Russian prime-boost vaccine, a mouse model that recapitulates age-dependent severe disease, and listener questions.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson DespommierAlan Dove, and Rich Condit

Guest: Daniel Griffin

Watch 'virtual roundtable'; discussion on YouTube video [2:45:14]:


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Weekly Science Picks 2:28:50

Dickson – Rewilding Europe
Alan – How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell
Rich – Gene drive engineered mosquitoes
Vincent – TWiEVO 60 with 12 guests!

Intro music is by Ronald Jenkees

Send your virology questions and comments to

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Covid-19 tests that give results in minutes to be rolled out across world | The Guardian.

[Mon 28 Sep 2020 16.49 BST] Sarah Boseley, Health editor, writes:

Tests for Covid-19 that show on-the-spot results in 15 to 30 minutes are about to be rolled out across the world, potentially saving many thousands of lives and slowing the pandemic in both poor and rich countries.

In a triumph for a global initiative to get vital drugs and vaccines to fight the virus, 120m rapid antigen tests from two companies will be supplied to low- and middle-income countries for $5 (£3.90) each or even less.

The tests, which look like a pregnancy test, with two blue lines displayed for positive, are read by a health worker. One test has received emergency approval from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the other is expected to get it shortly.

The quick and easy but high-quality tests will allow mass screening of health workers, who are dying in disproportionate numbers in low income countries.

Wealthy countries that have signed up to the Access to Covid tools initiative (ACT accelerator), as the UK has, will also be able to order the tests. The initiative was launched in March by the WHO, the European commission, the Gates Foundation and the French government.

In return for a volume guarantee from the Gates Foundation, the companies are making 20% of their production available to low- and middle-income countries and 80% to the rest. Germany has already ordered 20m tests and France and Switzerland are following suit.

The UK government is keen to get rapid virus tests, which were central to the “moonshot” proposals leaked recently, but it is not clear if they intend to buy these tests. It has invested in British-made saliva tests as well as rapid antigen tests, both of which take about 90 minutes. Saliva tests are being trialled in Salford and Southampton, while DnaNudge, which uses a swab read by a Nudgebox, is in use in some NHS hospitals.

But the WHO-approved rapid antigen tests are faster and easier, as well as cheaper, and could be used for screening in schools, universities and workplaces. Countries that can afford it could screen more generally. While the tests will not pick up all cases, they could allow many infectious people to be identified before they have symptoms and go into quarantine.

One of the tests, from the South Korean company SD BioSensor, has just been given emergency approval by the WHO, while the other, from the US company Abbott, is expected to get it shortly for a test it manufactures in South Korea.

Catharina Boehme, CEO of the non-profit Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (Find), a key player in the initiative, said they had put in bulk orders for the tests quickly so that low- and middle-income countries would not lose out in the global scramble for rapid tests, as they did when the PCR tests came out. “We see the pressure of supply building rapidly. That’s why we need this volume guarantee. We needed to secure volumes for low- and middle-income countries, before all the other countries place their orders and the poor populations again lose out.

“For us the message is about unprecedented collaboration. We are really able to show what can be achieved when the world and leading global health partners come together with a shared priority.”

Also in the partnership that has secured the deal are the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, the Global Fund and Unitaid.

Peter Sands, executive director of the Global Fund, said: “This is the ACT-Accelerator in action. It is proof that by working together at a massive global scale, we can develop and deploy a vital new tool to help contain and fight the pandemic. This is not just a new test – it’s the money and the deployment plan to get it to where it’s needed, fast. This is the power of global collaboration.”

The companies claim their tests are about 97% accurate, but that is in optimal conditions. Find puts their sensitivity between 80% and 90% in real-world conditions. That would pick up most infections. There is relatively little testing in most low- and middle-income countries at present. While North America tests 395 people per 100,000 population daily and Europe tests 243, Africa tests fewer than 16 – and most of those are in Morocco, Kenya and Senegal.

There are rapid antigen tests available for sale online, but these are the first to meet the WHO’s specifications and some tests have fallen short. Spain had to send back two batches of rapid tests it bought from unlicensed companies in China in March, because they were said to be faulty.

The ACT accelerator initiative is also working on bulk-buying and distributing drugs to treat Covid-19 around the world – and will share its global portfolio of vaccines when one of them is proved to work.

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Pakistan: Polio refusal cases addressed in Lakki | DAWN.

[26 Sep 2020]

LAKKI MARWAT: Over 140 children under age five were given oral polio vaccine (OPV) during a special campaign arranged here on Friday to cover polio refusal cases.

An official said the refusal cases were reported to the health department from several localities during the ongoing five-day anti-polio campaign.

He said the district health officials shared the data of unvaccinated children with deputy commissioner Abdul Haseeb who asked additional assistant commissioners to visit the rural and urban localities and convince the reluctant parents on immunisation of their children against the crippling disease.

Additional AC Sultan Haider met several parents in Ghaznikhel union council and informed them about the usefulness of OPV for children.

The parents said they had been facing drinking water shortage and other problems, but authorities concerned did not bother to resolve them. Mr Haider issued orders to the officials of Public Health Engineering Department and local government department to repair the faulty tube wells and resolve other problems faced by the villagers.

The reluctant parents then allowed the polio teams to administer OPV to 114 children in the area. In Lakki city union council, polio teams immunised 35 children of reluctant parents against the crippling disease.

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Afghanistan - Two polio cases detected in Badakhshan | MENAFN Business.

[9/27/2020 2:18:01 PM]

(MENAFN - Afghanistan Times) AT News

KABUL: Health officials said that two new positive cases of polio were recorded in northern Badakhshan province.

Deputy Head of Badakhshan Public Health, Noshin Karimi said Sunday that the disease originated from the eastern province of Nangarhar.

'Two polio cases in Kisham and Yamgan district registered,' she added. 'It means that the individuals working in national army there (Nangarhar), brought the virus with themselves to Badakhshan.'

Badakhshan didn't record any polio case in the past 14 years, according to her. Karimi called on the Taliban not to oppose the vaccination campaign and let the health employees to implement the vaccine.  

But the Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid said that the group didn't pose any hurdle on the path of the implementation of polio vaccination.

Polio is a contagious disease which is currently only dynamic in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.


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