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News Scan for Jan 29, 2021

Study: Vaccinating against 10 diseases will prevent 69 million deaths

A modeling study published yesterday in The Lancet estimates that vaccination against 10 diseases from 2000 to 2030 will prevent 69 million vaccine-preventable deaths (VPDs) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

The study suggests that a baby born in 2019 in 98 LMICs countries will experience 72% lower mortality from the 10 diseases, including measles, rotavirus, human papillomavirus, and hepatitis, over their lifetime than if there were no immunizations.

“Our modelling has provided robust evidence on the effectiveness of vaccination programmes in LMICs and indicated what might be lost if current vaccination programmes are not sustained,” said Caroline Trotter, PhD, from the University of Cambridge, a co-author of the study in a Lancet press release.

The study combined data from 20 models following immunization trends, and compared outcomes to scenarios where there were no vaccinations. The authors found vaccinations against measles were the most impactful—projected to prevent 56 million deaths from 2000 to 2030.

In a commentary on the study, experts from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization suggest the models underestimate the true number of deaths the vaccines prevent in the 30-year period because they take into account LMICs only. They warn that the COVID-19 pandemic could hinder the progress made in tackling VPDs.

“This decline in coverage together with vaccine scepticism, which is being increasingly reported in low-income and middle-income countries, threatens to reverse the gains that have been achieved,” the commentary authors said.
Jan 28 Lancet
study
Jan 28 Lancet
commentary
Jan 28 Lancet
press release

H3N2v flu case reported in Wisconsin child

The CDC today reported the first variant H3N2 (H3N2v) case of the year, which involves a child from Wisconsin who lives on a farm that has pigs, according the CDC’s weekly FluView report.

The patient wasn’t hospitalized and has completely recovered.

Only one H3N2v case was reported to the CDC last year, which involved a child from Hawaii. Since the 2010-11 flu season, 431 cases have been reported to the agency. Earlier H3N2v cases were linked to swine exposure in settings such as agricultural fairs in the summer.
Jan 29 CDC FluView report
CDC
variant flu totals

 

H9N2 avian flu infects 1 more in China

China reported a new H9N2 avian flu case, this time in an adult from Fujian province, marking its first such infection of the new year, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in its weekly communicable disease threat report.

The patient is a 52-year-old woman from the city of Xiamen in Fujian province in the southeast. Her symptoms began on Jan 2. The investigation found that she didn’t have any history of exposure to poultry or birds. No other infections were found in her contacts.

China reported 16 H9N2 cases in 2020, and globally since 1998, 78 confirmed cases have been reported, mostly from China, which continues to report sporadic infections. H9N2 infections have been more common in children and are typically mild, and so far, the infections haven’t been linked to sustained transmission.
Jan 29 ECDC communicable disease update

Four countries report more vaccine-derived polio cases

Four countries in the Middle East and Africa reported more polio cases last week, all involving vaccine-derived strains, according to the latest update from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).

In the Middle East, Pakistan reported 6 more vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) cases, 2 each in Sindh, Punjab, and Balochistan provinces, raising the total for 2020 to 128 cases. Also, Yemen reported 1 circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) case, putting its overall total at 29.

Meanwhile, in Africa, Burkina Faso reported 3 more cVDPV2 cases, all in Dori, bringing its total to 59 from two different outbreaks, 1 linked to circulation in Nigeria and the other due to activity in Togo. Also, Mali reported 7 cVDPV2 cases from four different regions, raising its total for 2020 to 35.
Jan 28 GPEI update

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