"Seqirus Media Monitoring" 1st Dec 2017

Seqirus mentions
FDA Approves Four-Strain Flu Vaccine for Children
The U.S. FDA recently expanded the age indication for Seqirus’ Afluria Quadrivalent influenza vaccine to include patients aged five years or older. Approval was based on a randomized trial including 2,278 children aged five to 17 years in which Afluria Quadrivalent demonstrated non-inferiority to a comparator vaccine containing the same virus strain targets
Why Your Excuses for Not Getting a Flu Shot Stink
Teens and adults should consider a quadrivalent vaccine, which protects against four flu strains. People 50 and older have the option of Flublok Quadrivalent, which has triple the dose of other quadrivalents. Those 65 and older have two more choices: Fluzone High-Dose and Fluad. Both protect against only three strains, but Fluzone has four times the dose and Fluad adds an ingredient to boost the immune system’s response
New Smithsonian Exhibition Explores Pandemics and Emerging Infectious Diseases
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History will mark the 100th anniversary of the Spanish Flu Pandemic with a new exhibition, “Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World,” which will open May 18 and remain for three years.The National Museum of Natural History acknowledges the support of Rockefeller Foundation, Lyda Hill Foundation, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Open Philanthropy, Skoll Global Threats Fund, Page Family Foundation Donor Advised Fund, Seqirus, Anders Foundation, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Infectious Diseases Society of America and RTI International
Pandemic Influenza News
40,000 chickens culled due to avian flu scare in Nueva Ecija
A poultry farm in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, in the Philippines, possibly hit by avian influenza virus is being monitored by the Department of Agriculture after it culled at least 40,000 of its livestock. Cabiao is near San Isidro, where more than 300,000 birds were culled after the DA declared the area under quarantine last August due to an avian flu virus outbreak. Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol commended the farm owner and local veterinarians for making an early call to contain the suspected contagion without waiting for a confirmatory test
New document guides hospitals in responding to infectious disease outbreaks
A new expert guidance document for hospitals to use in preparing for and containing outbreaks has been published by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, with the support of the CDC. The document is part of a partnership between SHEA and CDC to prepare for emerging and re-emerging infections by providing training, educational resources, and expert guidance for dealing with outbreaks in healthcare facilities
Tottori University: Shimane HPAI H5N6 A New Reassortment
On Monday, we learned that South Korea's recent outbreak of H5N6 was not simply a return of last year's Asian-origin virus, but an entirely new reassortment comprised of last year's European H5N8 virus and the NA from a European H3N6. Now, testing at Tottori University shows that the virus samples collected two weeks ago from Shimane Prefecture in Japan are a similar reassortant virus
Industry News
Johns Hopkins researchers discover mutation that may be key to return of popular nasal spray version of flu vaccine
Researchers believe they’ve figured out how to fix FluMist, which federal authorities told people to stop using last year because it offered little protection from the flu. A spokeswoman for MedImmune’s parent company, AstraZeneca, said they were aware of the findings and “look forward to reviewing the research.” The company, meanwhile, also has identified “multiple potential root causes and potential contributing factors” for the vaccine’s reduced effectiveness, she said
Flu Scan for Nov 30, 2017; Feds on flu vaccine challenges; Mutation alteration for FluMist
Recent reports of mutations introduced by egg-based flu vaccine production arriving on the heels of a tough flu season in Australia raise worries about a similarly difficult season ahead for the U.S., experts said in a NEJM commentary. Researchers have identified a genetic mutation in the FluMist inhaled flu vaccine that might be used to restore the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Academic studies
Experts offer research strategies to yield more protective flu vaccine candidates
In a New England Journal of Medicine perspective, experts from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza in Melbourne discuss how the process of preparing seasonal influenza vaccines in eggs may contribute to their limited effectiveness. The authors offer research strategies that might yield more protective vaccine candidates
Pediatric influenza news
Medics backing vital flu vaccine
In Scotland, mums-to-be are being urged to get their flu vaccine to protect themselves and their unborn babies. The Royal College of Midwives is among those making the call after statistics revealed only half of those pregnant in Forth Valley received their vaccine last winter
Are children's nurses fit for the future? I think so
Sue Morrish, a mother whose young son died from sepsis spoke at a nurses conference; she has become a campaigner on sepsis awareness. Her three-year-old son Sam died after contracting flu and because of failures by the health service to identify, and communicate that he had become seriously unwell. Sue has made a video which is being promoted by Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group and others in which she urges parents to have their children immunised with the flu vaccine
Over 65’s influenza news
Flu vaccination is being shunned by the over 65s in Brittany according to figures
Since the launch of the seasonal flu vaccination campaign at the start of October, 114,686 Bretons have received an invitation to get vaccinated free of charge by Health Insurance Fund (CPAM). But only about 40,500, or 35.3% have responded to date. That's five percentage points less than last year at the same time. The concern for health experts is this at risk group, people aged over 65, are most in the firing line for dangerous secondary consequences of the flu
General Influenza News
Vaccinations in pharmacies becoming more popular
From January 2018, pharmacists in the Swiss canton of Bern will also be allowed to vaccinate. A few days ago, the government council created the legal basis for vaccinating in pharmacies, following on the back of a trial pilot involving a few trained pharmacists. In other cantons, it has become apparent that pharmacy-based vaccinations are becoming increasingly popular with the public, as their main contact point, especially with regard to the flu vaccine. According to the pharmacy association PharmaSuisse, demand has doubled during this season compared to a year earlier
Diabetics ought to get vaccinated against flu this winter
Doctors at the Center for Diabetes, at the CJD Berchtesgaden, recommend that people with diabetes should be vaccinated to protect themselves from the flu during the winter months. These experts published a press release, pointing out the special risks diabetics run if they do not get vaccinated
Pharmacies seeing a 12% drop in flu vaccine sales this year
Portuguese pharmacies sold 57,000 flu vaccines less this year than at the same period last year, the National Association of Pharmacies (ANF) said on Thursday. There are 2,500 pharmacies that are authorized to administer the vaccine. In contrast, on Tuesday, the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) revealed that more than 1 million influenza vaccines have been administered by the National Health Service (NHS) since October, an increase of 19 percent over the same period of last year
Thirty Neuchatel pharmacists now authorized to vaccinate the public
This Friday, about twenty Neuchâtel (Switzerland) pharmacies will offer their customers the chance to be vaccinated against the flu, without prescription, for a recommended price of 30 francs. Even though the Swiss National Vaccination Day of November 3rd is long past, the campaign to get people vaccinated against the flu continues apace
Ahued Ortega: Influenza vaccine is free and it is very effective
The Secretary of Health of the Government of Mexico City, Armando Ahued Ortega, called for people in the capital to get vaccinated against influenza, as he says it is very effective and free. Ahued Ortega asked them to ignore myths about flu vaccinations and protect themselves during the winter season, since flu shots are safe and free and protect against three strains of the virus: A H1N1, A H3N2 and type B and the maximum level of protection is reached within 40 days
The flu season gets off to an early start — and may shift into high gear around the holidays
Flu season in North America is off to an early start this year, and may be on track to peak over the holidays, influenza experts say. The H3N2 component in this year’s flu shot is identical to the one that was in last year’s flu shot (when it only lowered the risk of infection with H3 viruses by about 34%). In Australia — where the same component was used — the protection was lower still. A commentary published in the NEJM pegged the preliminary vaccine effectiveness estimate for the H3N2 component of the vaccine at 10% because of a major mutation that developed when those viruses were grown in eggs
Australia's flu season has US health officials bracing for a bad winter — and wishing for a new vaccine
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the NIAID, warned that the U.S. could experience a “relatively severe influenza season.” If so, it would extend a run of bad luck that began in 2014, when the available flu vaccines proved to be a poor match for the most common viruses in circulation. In Australia, public health officials reported record-high rates of flu, as well as above-average numbers of hospitalizations and deaths. The most common flu strain there was the influenza A virus known as H3N2, and the vaccine given to Australians had an effectiveness of only 10%
Health worker firings spark debate on mandating flu vaccine
Essentia Health employees with any patient contact were required to get vaccinated against the flu or risk termination, which has now happened to 50 of them. Gaston De Serres, MD an epidemiologist at the Institute National de Sante Publique du Quebec, said that mandates like Essentia's are at best misguided attempts at patient protection, and at worst, a rule that's based more on ideology than science. "I have concern that when you mandate immunization this way, it's as if it were a magic bullet," said De Serres. "A healthcare worker who comes to work when sick is of much greater concern as a danger to patients." Earlier this year, De Serres co-authored a paper published in PloS One that showed little or no protection was extended to patients when healthcare workers had received flu shots
CVS Health to mark National Influenza Vaccination Week
With flu season set to kick into gear soon, CVS Health is marking National Influenza Vaccination Week by reminding patients to get their flu shots. The CDC established the week of awareness to remind patients to get vaccinated. CVS recently ran a survey that found that 61% of patients get a flu vaccine every year, or plan to get one this year
Chasing Seasonal Influenza — The Need for a Universal Influenza Vaccine
Reports from Australia have caused mounting concern, with record-high numbers of laboratory-confirmed influenza notifications and outbreaks and higher-than-average numbers of hospitalizations and deaths. Influenza A (H3N2) viruses predominated, and the preliminary estimate of vaccine effectiveness against influenza A (H3N2) was only 10%. The implications for the Northern Hemisphere are not clear, but it is of note that the vaccine for this upcoming season has the same composition as that used in the Southern Hemisphere. It is time to consider whether our current vaccines can be improved and whether longer-term, transformative vaccine approaches are needed to minimize influenza-related morbidity and mortality
Flu cases continue to climb in Colorado
More people are being hospitalized with the flu this year than this time in the last five years, and doctors in Colorado predicted it would be an active season. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released its latest numbers Wednesday. So far, 210 Coloradans have been hospitalized with flu this year. That's compared to 64 people at this time in 2016, the release said. It's the highest rate of hospitalizations compared to the last five flu seasons.
Burden of disease
SRHD reports Eastern Washington's first flu-related death this season
A Spokane County adult died this week from the flu, marking Eastern Washington's first flu-related death this season. The man was in his 60s. "Unfortunately, this is an example of how serious flu can be," said Dr. Bob Lutz, Spokane Regional Health District’s health officer. “Your best chance at protecting yourself and loved ones is to get a flu shot soon.”
Health officials: 2 Oklahomans die from the flu
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, two people have died from the flu within the last week. Officials say both deaths occurred in patients who were over the age of 65. Experts say 19 Oklahomans had to be hospitalized between Nov. 22 and Nov. 28 due to the flu. So far, there have been 105 hospitalizations associated with the flu statewide
Flu looking fierce in San Diego
San Diego County’s flu season continues to gain momentum, rapidly outpacing recent years, according to the latest weekly report from the county Health and Human Services Agency. An additional 107 confirmed cases were recorded last week, pushing the year’s total to 680, a number three times larger than the same July-through-November period last year and 400 percent greater than the prior three-year average
Three cases of H3N2 confirmed in Ciudad Valles region
The Health Secretary has confirmed that in Ciudad Valles, Mexico, there are 3 confirmed cases of H3N2, which is one of the dangerous serotypes circulating in Mexico this winter. He stressed those groups at most risk really need to get vaccinated as they are the ones highly likely to suffer serious health complications if they catch influenza