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BULLETIN OF THE PAN AMERICAN HEALTH ORGANIZATION. 1984; 18(2):188-92.Outbreaks of yellow fever in recent years in the Americas have prompted concern about the possible urbanization of jungle fever. Vaccination, using the 17D strain of yellow fever virus, provides an effective, practical method of large scale protection against the disease. Because yellow fever can reappear in certain areas after a 2-year dormancy period, some countries maintain routine vaccination programs in areas where jungle yellow fever is endemic. The size of the endemic area (approximately half of South America), transportation and communication difficulties, and the inability to ensure a reliable cold chain are problems facing these programs. In addition, the problem of reaching dispersed and isolated populations has been addressed by the use of mobile teams, radio monitoring, and educational methods. During yellow fever outbreaks, many countries institute massive vaccination campaigns, targeted at temporary workers and migrants. Because epidemics in South America may involve extensive areas, these campaigns may not effectively address the problem. The ped-o-jet injector method, used in Brazil and Colombia, should be used in outbreak situations, as it is effective for large-scale vaccination. Vaccine by needle, suggested for maintenance programs, should be administered to those above 1 year of age. An efficient monitoring method to avoid revaccination, and to assess immunity, should be developed. The 17D strain produces seroconversion in 95% of recipients, and most is prepared in Brazil and Colombia. But, problems with storage methods, instability in seed lots, and difficulties in large-scale production were identified in 1981 by the Pan American Health Organization and WHO. The group recommended modernization of current production techniques and further research to develop a vaccine that could be produced in cell cultures. Brazil and Colombia have acted on these recommendations, modernizing vaccine production and researching thermostabilizing media for yellow fever vaccine.
INFECTION CONTROL. 1984 Nov; 5(11):538-41.In 1978 the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MHSW) of Liberia launched the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) with the 5-year objective of establishing an 80% reduction in child mortality and morbidity from measles, polio, diphtheria, neonatal tetanus, pertussis, and tuberculosis. The program at first adopted a strategy of using 15 mobile units in 11 operational zones to deliver vaccinations throughout the country. However, by 1980, despite support from the Baptist World Alliance, the UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and the World Health Organization (WHO), it became evident that the mobile strategy was neither economically feasible nor practical. Therefore, with support from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the EPI shifted to a strategy of integrating immunization activities into the existing network of state health facilities. After 5 years, in 1982, the Program was evaluated by a team from the MHSW, WHO, USAID, and the Centers for Disease Control. The evaluating team felt that the EPI's strategy was good, but its goals were not being achieved due to deficiencies in funding, clinic supervision, and rural community outreach, as well as shortages of kerosene and spare parts needs to keep the essential refrigerators in operating condition. Measles remains endemic; in the capital, Monrovia, only 9% of the children have been vaccinated against it. Immunization coverage is particularly low in the capital the countries. Other reasons for low vaccination coverage in Liberia are lack of community awareness of existing facilities and the importance of vaccination and lack of coordination at the community level to use the existing facilities efficiently. International assistance is still needed, especially to develop heat-stable vaccines, so that maintenance of refrigerators will not be necessary.