News & Perspective

May 24, 2011

May 24, 2011

WHA delays decision on smallpox virus destruction

(CIDRAP News) – After a second round of committee negotiations today, the World Health Assembly (WHA) agreed to postpone setting a date for destruction of the world's remaining smallpox virus stocks for another 3 years.

May 23, 2011

May 23, 2011

Smallpox virus destruction talks falter at WHA

(CIDRAP News) – A World Health Assembly (WHA)committee that took up a resolution to destroy the remaining stocks of smallpox virus failed to reach an agreement today, despite a working group's attempts to find an acceptable solution.

May 18, 2011

May 18, 2011

Experts: Regulatory issues are main reason for keeping smallpox virus

(CIDRAP News) – When the World Health Assembly (WHA) considers the fate of the remaining stocks of smallpox virus this week, the debate is likely to be framed in part by a report from a group of independent experts that says the only strong reason for keeping the virus is to satisfy strict regulatory requirements for new vaccines and antivirals.

May 16, 2011

May 16, 2011

World Health Assembly opens 64th session in Geneva

(CIDRAP News) – Delegates from 193 countries met today in Geneva at the start of the World Health Assembly (WHA), which will address several infectious disease topics, including a report from an independent pandemic review committee, a virus-sharing agreement, and the fate of the world's remaining smallpox virus stocks.

Nov 15, 2007

Nov 15, 2007

THE PANDEMIC VACCINE PUZZLE Can we vaccinate enough people in time to matter?

Maryn McKennaContributing Writer

(CIDRAP News) – This in-depth article investigates the prospects for development of vaccines to head off the threat of an influenza pandemic posed by the H5N1 avian influenza virus. Its seven parts put advances in vaccine technology in perspective by illuminating the formidable barriers to producing an effective and widely usable vaccine in a short time frame.

Apr 18, 2007

Apr 18, 2007

Danish firm expects to sell smallpox vaccine to US

(CIDRAP News) – Bavarian Nordic, a Danish company, announced this week that the US government plans to buy 20 million doses of the company's Imvamune smallpox vaccine, but a US official said no decision has been made yet.

Imvamune is Bavarian's version of modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA), which is considered safer than the conventional smallpox vaccine, particularly for people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, and children.

Oct 25, 2002

Oct 25, 2002

CDC notes 25th anniversary of world's last smallpox case

(CIDRAP News) – The world's last naturally acquired case of smallpox occurred almost exactly 25 years ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes in today's issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The smallpox case occurred in the Merca District of Somalia on Oct 26, 1977, the CDC says. Less than 3 years later, in May 1980, the World Health Organization declared the world free of naturally occurring smallpox.

Sep 18, 2002

Sep 18, 2002

Public health group gives nation mixed grades for preparedness efforts

(CIDRAP News) – The United States deserves good marks for its efforts to improve core aspects of public health preparedness in the past year, but the nation performed generally poorly in international aid and cooperation to reduce threats to public health, according to the American Public Health Association (APHA).

Mar 25, 2002

Mar 25, 2002

In simulated smallpox attack, vaccine shortage crippled national response

(CIDRAP News) – It is 13 days since the emergence of a hypothetical smallpox epidemic caused by the release of virus in three US shopping malls. Some 16,000 cases have been reported, 1,000 people have died, and the nation is running out of vaccine. Hospitals are overflowing, and federal and state officials are at odds over how to contain the epidemic.

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