Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

A Mother’s Gift: Vaccinating Mom Can Protect Baby Too

A landmark study shows that influenza vaccination of pregnant women is safe and protects women and their infants against the flu.

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Lao PDR to Immunize more than 760,000 people against seasonal influenza

On April 30th, the Ministry of Health in Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR) will roll out the 2014 campaign to immunize more than 760,000 people against seasonal influenza. Pregnant women are the primary focus of the effort. This represents the first activity of the Partnership for Influenza Vaccine Introduction (PIVI), which began as a 2012 collaboration between the Government of Lao PDR, Walgreens Company, UPS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO) to support introduction of seasonal influenza vaccination in low and middle income countries. Pregnant women are targeted because they have a high risk of severe complications of influenza if they get infected, and there is compelling evidence that influenza vaccination during pregnancy can have positive health effect both on the woman and her baby. As a direct result of the partners’ contributions, Lao PDR conducted its first-ever seasonal influenza vaccination campaign in the spring of 2012, administering 355,000 doses of influenza vaccine. The following year, Nicaragua joined the project and Walgreens, UPS, bioCSL, Becton Dickinson and Company, and the U.S. Air Force each donated resources.

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Who Would Have Imagined?

Pneumococcal disease, a bacterial infection, is the most common cause of pneumonia. Pneumonia is the leading killer of children under five in Yemen, accounting for almost one-quarter of the country’s infant deaths.

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Uncommon Rewards

"Global health? You must find your work so rewarding!" said a flight attendant who chatted me up on my recent trip from Seattle to Washington.

"Indeed I do," I replied, and especially right now.

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Discovery Science – Taking the Challenge

This week in Seattle, I’ll be speaking at our annual Grand Challenges in Global Health (GCGH) conference. We’ll be looking at what has been accomplished and what we’ve learned since awarding the first round of GCGH grants in 2005.

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