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Powdered polio vaccine brings hope to Nigeria and Pakistan | The Guardian.

[Tue 27 Nov 2018 18.50 GMT]

Nicola K S Davis writes:

A polio vaccine that can be stored as a dried powder at room temperature could offer a new way to help eradicate the disease, according to researchers.

While existing vaccines have led to polio being eliminated in many countries around the world, including the UK, the highly contagious virus still circulates in the populations of countries including Nigeria and Pakistan, where it can cause paralysis or even death.

However, oral vaccines use a weakened live virus that can, occasionally, transform into a version of the virus that can cause paralysis. As a result, there is a push to introduce another type of vaccine called inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV), which involves an injection containing dead strains of the virus.

While this has already happened in many countries, one big barrier to widespread use is the sensitivity of IPV to temperatures above and below about 4C (39.2F).

Now researchers say they have managed to develop a way of freeze-drying IPV, such that it can be stored at elevated temperatures of up to 40C for four weeks and then dissolved for use – without losing its potency.

“We freeze-dried inactivated polio vaccine and during the freeze-drying we added some ingredients that make it more stable,” said Woo-Jin Shin, a co-author of the report from the Southern University of California.

Writing in the journal mBio, Shin and colleagues from the Southern University of California and a company called Integrity Bio Inc describe how the formulation includes among its ingredients magnesium sulphate, the amino acid histidine, and the sugar alcohol mannitol.

The researchers then stored the dried vaccine at different temperatures and looked at how levels of particular antigens changed over time, as well as testing the vaccine on small groups of mice, with both types of experiments suggesting little change in potency of the vaccine when stored for four weeks, even at elevated temperatures.

Shin said he hoped the approach would be picked up for use by charitable foundations.


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Papua New Guinea: More need polio vaccination: Aita | Post Courier.

[November 28, 2018]

THE oral polio vaccination coverage for round four in Morobe has shown that more children need to be vaccinated.

Data from the provincial emergency operations centre showed that 107 per cent of the 776,217 child population in the province have been vaccinated.

According to the deputy provincial health adviser Jack Aita, this is a growing concern.

He said round four of the vaccination campaign had ended but some districts had not reached their target which meant that many children missed out.

“The concern now is for all children to be immunised, Mr Aita said.

“We are hoping to conduct another round of vaccination in February.”

He said the overall coverage in the districts had picked up well.

Tewae Siassi and Kabwum districts recorded 86 per cent and 79 per cent coverage because of the logistics and manpower issues that affected their coverage.


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Evaluation of the genetic stability of Sabin strains and the consistency of inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine made from Sabin strains using direct deep-sequencing | Vaccine.

[Pay to View Full Text] [Received 20 September 2018, Revised 26 October 2018, Accepted 10 November 2018, Available online 19 November 2018] [In Press, Corrected Proof]

Highlights.

* Direct deep-sequencing could detect the molecular mutation in the entire genome Sabin poliovirus sensitively.

* Direct deep-sequencing can identify and quantify very small amounts of mutant viruses in sIPV preparations.

* Direct deep-sequencing is suitable for quality control and consistency monitoring of sIPV production.

Abstract.

Inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine made from Sabin strains (sIPV) has been encouraged to introduce in the “Global Polio Eradication & Endgame Strategic Plan” and increasingly used worldwide. Attenuated Sabin strains used in manufacture of oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) and sIPV may regain full or partial neurovirulence during growth in vaccine recipients and the vaccine manufacturing processes. Ensuring the molecular consistency of sIPV batches and that no mutation accumulates beyond the level present in past batches are important for quality control of vaccine manufacture process. Direct deep-sequencing allows the construction of a library of virus RNA and the detection of genetic mutations throughout the viral genome. In the present study, direct deep-sequencing was conducted to detect molecular mutations in virus passages, multiple sIPV monovalent lots, and virus monovalent lots from different polio type III strains. The results indicated that direct deep-sequencing can be used to identify and quantify small amounts of mutant viruses in vaccine preparations, trace the source of a specific virus seed, and monitor the batch-to-batch consistency of vaccines, suggesting that this technique could be suitable for the quality control and consistency monitoring of sIPV production.


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Pakistan: Polio duty allowances: K-P anti-corruption establishment probes embezzlement of funds | The Express Tribune.

[Published: November 27, 2018]

Umer Farooq writes:

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Anti-corruption Establish­ment (ACE) has started investigations of alleged embezzlements of funds donated by the government of United Arab Emirates relating to travelling allowance and dining allowance (TA-DA) for police personnel deployed to protect polio vaccinators.

Instead of the government of Pakistan or the provincial authorities, the UAE government donates funds for police personnel deputed to protect polio workers during anti-polio campaigns, but instead of reaching the beneficiaries  they somehow disappear.

National Accountability Bureau Peshawar took notice of the alleged embezzlements following anonymous complaints by officials who walk with polio workers going door to door to administer oral vaccination for the crippling disease.

NAB officials told The Express Tribune that the bureau initiated inquiry and its officials discovered that the amount in question was less than Rs100 million, therefore it was not in their domain. “NAB is designated to investigate and catch mega corruption cases of over Rs100 million,” an official said.

Subsequently, NAB officials said, they referred the case to K-P Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) adding that ACE has started investigations into the alleged embezzlements against Bannu Police.

Official sources at ACE informed that the amount was released for police personnel deployed to protect polio workers from attacks by anti-state elements.

In the past almost 45 people including polio vaccinators and the cops protecting them have been killed in the province.

They informed that the funds were released by the secretary home and tribal affairs to the commissioners and then to the deputy commissioners.

Each police constable on duty to protect polio vaccinators is entitled to Rs250 daily allowance and a supervisor for every 20 constables was supposed to get Rs500 per day.

The amount however neither reached the police constables nor to the supervisors since according to police department officials, the amount was spent on constables’ and supervisors’ transportation and lunch.

Police officials however stated that it was repeatedly communicated to the police headquarters to directly release the amount to police constables as well as supervisors and let them decide to spend the amount since the decisions should be made by the ones for whom the amount was released.

They said that the case was brought before K-P NAB last year but was now being investigated by ACE which would take it to its logical conclusion.

Risky job

There are few more less dangerous jobs in Pakistan than being a polio vaccinator. In the past, many vaccinators and policemen escorting them have been killed in separate incidents around the country.

During the height of such attacks, people were led to believe that the vaccine was a ploy of Western powers to sterilize the muslims. Besides, the issue of CIA using a vaccination campaign to locate OBL, gave non-state actors a reason to declare war on vaccinators and the policemen protecting them.

The situation has improved and so has awareness among the people. As of today only three polio cases have been reported from K-P this year.


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