Filipina Harvard scientist helps with breakthrough discovery in newborn vaccinations

A Filipina Harvard scientist is among a team of international scientists that cracked the code in newborn immunity.

Fil-Am vaccine scientist Joann Diray Arce is part of a team that successfully studied a much smaller sample of blood from a number of baby subjects.

For the first time, the international research team mapped the pathway in the newborn’s life in their first week of life — a breakthrough in understanding how to protect babies from infection and optimize the function of vaccines in early life.

The World Health Organization, or WHO, reported that in 2017, 5.4 million deaths —  roughly 47% — of all under-five deaths occur during the first 28 days of life.

This translates to seven thousand newborn deaths every day worldwide, with 34,000 deaths in the Philippines in the year 2015 alone.

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