Vaccines in practice - 2010

The importance of an effective HIV-1 vaccine
Antony Black, Tomas Hanke and Lucy Dorrell
pp 1-5
HIV type 1 (HIV-1) was identified as the causative agent of AIDS in 1983. The optimism generated by this discovery led the incumbent US Health and Human Services Secretary to announce that an HIV-1 vaccine would be available for testing within the next two years. Over 25 years later, we still have no effective HIV-1 vaccine and it is estimated that over 60 million people have become infected with HIV-1, of whom approximately 25 million have died. Approximately 7,000 new infections occurred each day in 2008.
Comment: The changing face of vaccination
George Kassianos
pp 3-3
I have often wondered how is it possible that we identified the HIV type-1 (HIV-1) virus as the causative agent of AIDS back in 1983 and yet still, after 27 years and with state of the art vaccine technology, we do not have an effective vaccine. With over 25 million deaths already from infection with this virus, the need for an effective vaccine is enormous, as is the pressure on scientists to deliver this. As Black et al point out in their article, even an HIV vaccine with just 50% efficacy given to 30% of the population will prevent 5.6 million new infections in low- and middle income countries between 2015 and 2030. Why is it so difficult to produce such a vaccine? Our guest authors give some simple explanations.
Vaccination education –more than just information campaigns
Selwyn J Hodge
pp 6-7
I am sure that no one reading this article would disagree that vaccination is one of the safest, most reliable means of health protection. Why is it, then, that we have such difficulty persuading the public to make the best use of this technology?
Immunisation programmes in Spain
Javier Díez-Domingo and Miguel Tortajada
pp 8-9
Although the smallpox vaccine had been introduced in Spain by the end of the 18th century, the first universal programme was not introduced until 1963. At that time, Spain was under Franco’s totalitarian regime and there were contradictory recommendations from two different ministries: one recommending the use of inactivated, injected polio vaccine (IPV), and the other recommending the live, oral polio vaccine (OPV). This programme, combined with the World Health Organization-sponsored international vaccination programme, played a part in bringing the polio epidemics that were occurring all over Europe under control.
Will the immunisation co-ordinator please stand up and take a bow?
Julia Rosser, Kenneth Lamden, Kevin Perrett, Sam Ghebrehewet and Rosemary McCann
pp 9-11
The previous paper in this three-part series ‘Improving immunisation uptake’ outlined the strategy employed by one primary care trust (PCT) to improve the success of their local immunisation programme, and the role of the immunisation co-ordinator (IC) in achieving this. ICs may not always be highly visible, but they have a key role in ensuring the local immunisation programme is successfully delivered. In this second paper, we discuss the role of ICs in PCTs, and how this position has been developed in the north-west of England.