Apr 27, 2012

Sanofi-Aventis Says Japanese Health Authorities Oks Its IMOVAX POLIO

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi (SNY, SNYNF.PK), announced that the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has approved the company's standalone Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine against acute flaccid poliomyelitis (IMOVAX POLIO). IMOVAX POLIO will be added to the country's public immunization program on September 1.
According to Olivier Charmeil, president and CEO of Sanofi Pasteur, "Inactivated poliovirus vaccine is the standard of care for polio vaccination in polio-free countries. Sanofi Pasteur is committed to doing its utmost to contribute to protecting as many infants as possible in Japan from polio."
(RTTNews.com) -

Apr 25, 2012

In Central African Republic, polio eradication is a national priority

Leonie Gnapelet, with three of her six children in their home in Bangui, Central African Republic. She has ensured that all her children are vaccinated against polio.

The first-ever World Immunization Week takes place from 21-28 April 2012. UNICEF offices around the world are engaging in immunization campaigns and raising awareness about the importance of vaccines to child survival. UNICEF is the world’s largest buyer of vaccines for the world’s poorest countries, and has been supplying vaccines to children for over 50 years.
By Linda Tom
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 20 April 2012 – At 7 a.m. one Sunday, the Mamadou-Mbaiki Heath Centre is buzzing with activity. Insulated boxes are being filled with cooling packs and polio vaccines. Vaccination teams – consisting of a vaccinator, a social mobilization specialist and a volunteer – are preparing to depart, getting an early start to the third day of the three-day National Polio Vaccination campaign.
During the campaign, the teams spread out, travelling from house to house, and to schools, train stations, churches, mosques and wherever else children might be found, vaccinating all the children they encountered against the polio virus.
“My son did not even cry when he was vaccinated. He is a smart boy,” Leonie Gnapelet said with pride after her 3-year-old son received the vaccine. “I have two boys and four girls, and now all my children are vaccinated. I know the benefits of immunization because I was trained as a childcare worker."
Social mobilization critical
Yet not all parents are convinced of the benefits of the polio vaccine. Rumours that the vaccine will make children sick have led two parents in Ms. Gnapelet’s neighbourhood to refuse to allow their children to be immunized.
“After my child was vaccinated, he got diarrhoea and I had to bring him to the health clinic. It costs me 1000 CFA (approximately US$2) to see a doctor, and then I also needed to buy medication,” one of the parents explained. While a small percentage of children do suffer from these side effects, the benefits of immunization far outweigh the risks, yet persistent misinformation and lack of access to health services contributes to vaccine refusal.
Polio can be disabling or deadly and is highly contagious; in crowded neighbourhoods like Ms. Gnapelet’s, refusing vaccination can jeopardize not only the individual but also others in the community.
Leonie Gnapelet's children stand in front of their home in Bangui, Central African Republic. Ms. Gnapelet's 3-year-old son (front) has just received the oral polio vaccine.
Social mobilization is crucial to the success of the vaccination campaign. UNICEF is engaging with young people, media, and community, religious and political leaders to increase awareness of the campaign and to ensure that parents and caregivers understand the benefits of immunization.
“We need to present parents with the facts,” said Claudine Madazou, a vaccinator in Bangui. “We have to go door-to-door and help parents understand the risks of not vaccinating their children. I also live in this area, so these are all my neighbours. I can do it because this is where I live.”
Private sector actors are also playing a role. Mobile phone companies in the country, Azur, Telecel, Orange and Moov, are sending free SMS messages to all subscribers with updates about the polio campaign, urging all recipients to ensure their children are vaccinated.

A national priority
These efforts are a response to four cases of polio reported in the country in 2011, prompting the government to declare a national emergency, placing polio eradication at the highest level of importance.
The country is particularly vulnerable to the spread of disease, sharing numerous borders with countries where the wild polio virus is still circulating. And years of conflict and insecurity have destroyed much of the infrastructure in affected areas, leaving even the most basic health services out of the reach of the majority of Central African Republic’s 4.4 million people.
Even in the capital, health facilities are overcrowded, much of the medical equipment is outdated, and trained staff and medicines are in short supply. Consequently, an estimated 159 out of 1,000 children in the country will die before their fifth birthday, mainly from preventable diseases such as malaria, diarrhoea, respiratory infections, malnutrition and measles.
The immediate priorities are to ensure sustained national immunization campaigns and to strengthen routine immunization to protect against the outbreak of disease. Furthermore, innovative and effective methods need to be implemented to ensure health services are accessible to all communities, with a special emphasis on hard-to-reach populations living in conflict and post-conflict zones.
“We all need to be educated on the risks of diseases like polio. Our lack of knowledge is what is keeping Central Africans from advancing,” said Ms. Gnapelet.
México a la vanguardia en el Síndrome de Post Polio

Apr 23, 2012

Amitabh’s Beti B Gets Her Polio Vaccine

When your grandfather is the brand ambassador for the polio vaccination drive, you will surely get your dose when you should.
Hence, Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s granddaughter, popularly known as Beti B, has already been given her polio vaccine dose — in his presence.
The actor has been goodwill ambassador for a UNICEF campaign on polio since 2005.
Speaking about Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan’s baby girl, Bachchan proudly revealed that, “The little granddaughter was given a dose of polio two days back in my presence.”
According to UNICEF, only one case of polio was reported in India in 2011, as against 41 in 2010.
“We must assure that there are no polio cases for three consecutive years…we have just crossed one year. I feel we still have a long way to go,” Bachchan said.
“I am happy that my angry young man act campaign for polio has gone down well with the masses….We always have to ensure it does not re-penetrate again. One should not treat this as a frivolous operation. We allhave to continue working towards eradicating polio completely,” the 69-year-old actor said.

México a la vanguardia en el Síndrome de Post Polio

Apr 22, 2012

Study of patients whit Postpolioylitis in Neuromuscular Symptmos

A "post-polio" syndrome characterized by new neuromuscular symptoms, including muscle weakness, may develop years after recovery from acute paralytic poliomyelitis. We studied 27 patients (mean age, 50.6 years) in whom new muscle weakness developed a mean of 28.8 years after recovery from acute polio. We reevaluated these patients during a mean follow-up period of 8.2 years (range, 4.5 to 20) after they were originally studied at the National Institutes of Health. The total mean follow-up period after the onset of new weakness was 12.2 years (range, 6 to 29). The patients were assessed with quantitative muscle testing, muscle biopsy, electromyography, and virologic and immunologic examination of the cerebrospinal fluid.
Muscle strength had declined in all patients. The rate of decline averaged 1 percent per year. The decrease was irregular, with subjective plateau periods that ranged from 1 to 10 years. None of the patients had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Oligoclonal bands (IgG) were found in the cerebrospinal fluid of 7 of 13 patients studied, but no specific elevation of antibodies to poliovirus was observed in the cerebrospinal fluid. The newly affected muscles that were evaluated longitudinally with follow-up muscle biopsies and electromyography showed signs of chronic and new denervation. Groups of atrophic muscle fibers (group atrophy) and "neurogenic jitter" were not present.
New post-polio muscle weakness is not a life-threatening form of motor-neuron deterioration. It appears that this weakness is not due to a loss of whole motor neurons, as in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but that it is due to a dysfunction of the surviving motor neurons that causes a slow disintegration of the terminals of individual nerve axons. (N Engl J Med 1986; 314:959–63.)


From the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md. Address reprint requests to Dr. Dalakas at Bldg. 36, Rm. 5D06, NIH, NINCDS, Bethesda, MD 20892.


FIGURE 1Progression of Muscle Weakness in 12 Patients with Post-Poliomyelitis Muscular Atrophy, Expressed as Total Points of Estimated Neuromuscular Function at Various Years of Age.
FIGURE 2Transverse Frozen Section of a Muscle Biopsy Specimen from Patient No. 2.

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