More news on cholera vaccination campaign in Haiti

From the Shots blog at NPR:

Sebelius Lends Support To Vaccination Projects In Haiti:  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is in Haiti today(4/17) to support two big vaccination initiatives.

One, a pilot project to prevent cholera, is already under way. The other, aimed at five childhood diseases, is set to begin later this week against .

The wider campaign aims to vaccinate 211,000 infants across the country with a five-in-one vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type B, a cause of bacterial meningitis). Children will also get vaccinated against polio and rubella.

Sebelius’s personal support of the cholera campaign is surprising, since U.S. health officials have been cool to that pilot project behind the scenes.

According to Haitian health workers, American officials have expressed skepticism about the plan vaccinate 100,000 Haitians against cholera. They say U.S. officials have viewed the cholera vaccination pilot project as a distraction, and have urged Haitians to focus instead on cleaning up their water supply, providing decent sanitation, urging people to wash their hands faithfully, and treating cholera.

To read the complete post, click here.

CDC Chief: New Vaccines In Haiti Will Save Tens Of Thousands:  A campaign to introduce new childhood vaccines to Haiti will save tens of thousands of lives over the next decade, Dr. Thomas Frieden told Shots at the end of a two-day tour of the beleaguered country.

“This is an enormous step forward for Haiti,” says Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “This is a big deal.”

The crash campaign will start this weekend. Just 3 of the 10 vaccines being deployed in the next two years “will prevent 20,000 to 50,000 deaths among children in Haiti over the next decade,” Frieden said before boarding a plane home.

To read the complete post, click here.

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