"Seqirus Media Monitoring" 14th Dec 2017

Seqirus mentions
Flu vaccinations for people on the margins of society: Sant'Egidio and FIMMG to launch a campaign to give free flu vaccinations to 4,000 people
On December 13, the Community of Sant'Egidio and FIMMG (Italian Federation of General Practitioners) will offer flu shots for the more vulnerable members of society. The event is part of a broader campaign aiming to reach up to 4,000 vulnerable people across 4 Italian cities. The initiative follows last year's pilot experience when flu vaccines were administered to more than 700 people socially on the margins in Rome. This year, Mylan, Pfizer and Seqirus have made free vaccines available
Former CEO Brian McNamee to replace John Shine as CSL chair
CSL’s former boss Brian McNamee will return to its board, ready to take over as chairman next year. CSL said that Dr McNamee and Abbas Hussain had been appointed as independent non-executive directors. Mr Hussain’s most recent executive role was global president, pharmaceutical at GlaxoSmithKline, where he managed GSK’s global pharmaceuticals and vaccine business across 150 markets. “I look forward to working closely with Brian and Abbas. Their impressive experience will be additive as we continue to evolve and grow CSL as a fully integrated global biotechnology leader,” Paul Perrault said
Pandemic Influenza News
EID Journal: Changing Geographic Patterns/Risk Factors For H7N9 In China
A new study, published in the CDC's EID Journal, looks at both the increasing geographic range, and shifting risk patterns, from the H7N9 virus in China. Although the risks are difficult to quantify, the co-infection of a human with a seasonal (H1N1 or H3N2) virus and a novel virus like H7N9 is a concern since the potential for seeing a reassorted `hybrid' virus emerge cannot be ignored. When the peak of the regular flu season concides with the peak (and increase) in human H7N9 cases, the odds of seeing co-infections rises
Disinfection bins are not suitable as the only means to prevent the spread of avian influenza, according to a study by the University of California
Researchers compared the effectiveness of decontamination bins when inactivating highly pathogenic H5N8 and low pathogenic H6N2 virus on rubber boots. Surprisingly, disinfectants based on ammonia compounds could not eliminate living high and low pathogenic particles. A chlorine-containing granulate did kill the virus when it came into contact with it. In a second experiment researchers looked at the persistence of high and low pathogenic virus in litter and manure from turkeys, broilers and laying hens. In the litter of turkeys and broilers, the highly pathogenic virus remained alive for 60 hours; in litter of laying hens, the virus remained active for up to 96 hours. The low pathogenic virus remains active for a shorter period of time. This was no longer found active in the litter within 24 hours.
Evaluating the role of wild songbirds or rodents in spreading avian influenza virus across an agricultural landscape
Researchers examined small, wild birds and mammals in Iowa, one of the regions hit hardest by the 2015 avian influenza epizootic, to determine whether these animals carry AIV. Results suggest that even though influenza A viruses were present on the Iowa landscape at the time of our sampling, small, wild birds and rodents were unlikely to be frequent bridge hosts
Genetic tests reveal more about new H5N6 reassortant
The latest analysis of reassortant H5N6 avian flu viruses from South Korean wild birds and domestic ducks shows that the strain is a close relative of an H5N6 virus that first turned up in Greek poultry last season, but it has two mutations that might alter its susceptibility to neuraminidase inhibitors, according to an expert familiar the test results.
Industry News
Learning the Lessons of FluMist
FluMist is unlikely to be added back to the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendations for influenza vaccine any time soon. In an exclusive MedPage Today video, Andrew Pavia, MD, of the University of Utah, addresses key takeaways about FluMist, which was not recommended by the ACIP for use during the influenza season in 2016 or 2017. Pavia comments on how these lessons may be applicable to other potential influenza vaccines for both children and adults that may be presented to the ACIP for recommendation in the future
Eurocine Vaccines Challenges the Flu
Eurocine Vaccines prepares for the next phase of development, a second clinical study with its first vaccine candidate Immunos FLU. Empowered by the two recently granted patents, in Australia and USA, and positive results from its clinical study, Eurocine Vaccines now takes the next step towards creating the first nasal influenza vaccine approved for children under the age of two
Did Sanofi, WHO ignore warning signals on dengue vaccine?
When Sanofi published the results of clinical trials of children given its dengue vaccine two years ago, the overall findings were that it protected against the disease. But the trial also showed that in the third year after receiving the Dengvaxia inoculation, younger children were more likely to end up in hospital with a severe case of dengue than those who didn’t get the vaccine. Sanofi has rejected suggestions it ignored any risks or took any short-cuts. However, it has acknowledged that clinical tests of the vaccine did not fully investigate whether a previous dengue infection could influence the outcome.
Supply and safety of medicines at risk due to Brexit, assessments show
The UK and EU have made enough progress to move on to a second phase of Brexit talks focusing on trade. But pharma and biotech trade groups in the UK want health to be the primary concern for both parties in the next round of talks, they have made clear. The BIA and ABPI have published a new report on the public health implications of Brexit, showing that these will be more severe if cooperation and trade relationships decline, having a detrimental effect on patients across the EU, the European Economic Area and in the UK
BIA and ABPI release research on impact of Brexit, highlighting the need to safeguard public health
The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) have released new research evaluating the impact of the UK’s exit from Europe. This collaborative research was used by Steve Bates (CEO of the BIA) in his evidence session to urge the UK government and that of the European Union to ‘safeguard public health in the UK and Europe by making the regulation and supply of medicines the first priority in phase two of Brexit talks’.
Sanofi to Highlight R&D Strategy and Innovative Pipeline at Analyst Meeting in Paris
Sanofi is hosting an analyst meeting in Paris to discuss its R&D strategy, development pipeline and milestones for 2018. The company will highlight the progress it has made against "Sustaining Innovation", a key pillar of its 2020 strategic roadmap, and advancing a differentiated portfolio addressing unmet needs. The company's pipeline spans 71 R&D projects, which includes 37 new molecular entities and novel vaccines
Academic studies
Seasonal flu kills more globally than previously thought -U.S. study
As many as 646,000 people are dying globally from seasonal influenza each year, U.S. health officials said on Wednesday, a rise from earlier assessments of the disease’s death toll. Global death rates from seasonal influenza are likely between 291,000 and 646,000 people each year, depending on the severity of the circulating flu strain, they said. Dr Peter Salama, executive director of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Program, said the findings “highlight the importance of influenza prevention for seasonal epidemics, as well as preparedness for pandemics.”
Lactic Acid Bacteria Can Protect Against Influenza A Virus, Study Finds
Lactic acid bacteria, commonly used as probiotics to improve digestive health, can offer protection against different subtypes of influenza A virus, resulting in reduced weight loss after virus infection and lower amounts of virus replication in the lungs, according to a study led by Georgia State University. The study’s results suggest that pretreatment with lactic acid bacteria, specifically DK128, equips mice with the capacity to have protective immunity against a broad range of primary and secondary influenza A virus infections
Researchers Developing, Testing Nanovaccine to Protect Against the Flu Virus
Researchers from Iowa State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Wisconsin-Madison - all of them affiliated with Iowa State's Nanovaccine Institute - are working together to develop and test what they think could be a better way to fight the flu. What the researchers are doing is loading synthesized influenza proteins into nanoparticles. Those nanoparticles are about 300 billionths of a meter across and are made from biodegradable polymers. The nanoparticles are incorporated into a nasal spray and delivered with a sniff
New Research Highlights Strengths & Weaknesses of the Flu Shot
In flu research news, a new paper from researchers in Singapore suggests that flu vaccine effectiveness for some influenza A and influenza B viruses drops within 6 months of vaccination. In another recent study published in the same journal, researchers in Japan found that pregnant women who receive the flu shot during pregnancy, and postpartum women who are vaccinated while their infants are too young to receive a flu shot, impart a good amount of flu protection on to their babies
Influenza Vaccination Rates Moderately Increase With Text Message Reminders
Short message service (SMS) reminders are a moderately effective way to increase the rate of influenza vaccination among high-risk patients, according to a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine. The effect was greatest for children aged younger than 5 years, with parental receipt of an SMS reminder associated with a more than twofold increase in the likelihood of parents having their child vaccinated
Pediatric influenza news
CDC: 64% of pregnant women not vaccinated against flu
In the U.S., nearly two-thirds of pregnant women have not been vaccinated against flu this season, leaving their infants vulnerable to serious illness, according to federal health officials. As of early November, 39% of people in the U.S. had been vaccinated. That includes 49% of children ages 6 months to 4 years, 39% of children ages 5-12 years and 30% of teenagers. Roughly 68% of health care providers have been vaccinated this season, including 83% of physicians
Concerns at low uptake in flu vaccine for pre-schoolers in Northern Ireland
Fewer than half of pre-schoolers in Northern Ireland have received this year's flu vaccine, the Public Health Agency has revealed. The agency is urging parents to get young children vaccinated with the nasal spray ahead of Christmas to help protect not only them, but also family members
Should you have a flu jab if you’re pregnant?
Many pregnant women are avoiding flu jabs for fear it may harm their baby - but experts say that it's safe and sensible to get to the vaccine. Mandy Forrester, head of quality and standards at the Royal College of Midwives, explains why getting a flu shot is recommended to pregnant women
Over 65’s influenza news
Aging impairs innate immune response to flu
Aging impairs the immune system's response to the flu virus in multiple ways, weakening resistance in older adults, according to a Yale study. The research reveals why older people are at increased risk of illness and death from flu, the researchers said. They concluded that "in older adults, we might have to use a different strategy to treat and immunize against flu.` `We need to find a way to boost antiviral defense that does not rely on interferon production. For vaccines, we need to find an adjuvant that would still stimulate the innate immune response in older adults.`
CPAM and CHU launch innovative hospital vaccination scheme
People with long-term afflictions are at an increased risk of severe infections with significant comorbidity and mortality risks so remain the group least well covered by immunization coverage, including flu vaccination. Consequently, CPAM and the University Hospital of Clermont-Ferrand have devised a method that allows for these people to be vaccinated directly by their medical specialist during an outpatient visit to the hospital
General Influenza News
Flu now prevalent in NY; Unvaccinated health care workers must wear face masks
It's time for New York health care workers who have not received flu shots to don face masks when working with patients. The state Health Department announced today influenza is now prevalent statewide, triggering the face mask rule. Unvaccinated nurses and other health care workers in hospitals and other facilities are required by state regulations to wear surgical or procedure masks around patients when flu is prevalent
Don’t ‘relax’ in tackling swine flu – Pharmacist tells Gov’t
Following claims by health officials that the outbreak of swine flu at Kumasi Academy in the Ashanti Region has been contained, a Clinical Pharmacist, Dr. Marc Dzradosi, has asked public health officials not to rest on their oars. He said guidelines on how to manage diseases, especially the contagious ones, are urgently needed.
People with learning disabilities urged to get free flu vaccine this winter
UK health chiefs are urging people with learning disabilities to ensure they are vaccinated against flu this winter. Anyone with a learning disability is entitled to receive a free vaccination. They can be more susceptible to the effects of flu and have a higher risk of developing complications such as bronchitis or pneumonia.
A scientist set out to prove that man flu is real so he could justify whining about his seasonal colds — what he found isn't helpful
Dr Kyle Sue's study on 'man flu' in the lighthearted Christmas edition of the BMJ has been widely reported. While some of the studies he cites hinge on reputable, peer-reviewed sources, many of them are taken from research on very small sample sizes. Other areas of his paper are based on inconclusive study results and self-reported surveys. Sue even cites one 2006 BMJ review that lambasted a British pinup magazine for suggesting (based on an online survey of 2,000 magazine readers) that ‘man flu’ was real. Social Psychologist Petra Boynton, who authored that critical report, was livid to discover that her work was being cited to support the existence of a man flu. She says her 2006 article was specifically pointing out how press coverage of the so-called man flu was based on unscientific magazine surveys and not actual public health research. She said it’s “disappointing” to see so much media coverage of an unserious study.
The chance to get vaccinated against influenza should not be missed in San Miguelito
Nearly 3,000 flu vaccines available to San Miguelito Regional Health are at risk of expiration if not applied before the end of this month. These doses were recently delivered to meet the demand of those people who have not yet come to the medical facilities to receive the vaccine. Mariela de Beckford, regional chief nurse of Health in San Miguelito, said that it is not only that the vaccines will expire this year, but also that in 2018 another virus will come on the scene which will require a new vaccine strain
Needle phobia? There are alternatives to the syringe
A young Ecuadorian has invented a device that could help those who have needle phobia and therefore prefer not to inject. It is Biobyte, a device that loads the medicine in question and then sends the desired substance through the skin by means of ultrasound waves. "The ultrasound it carries out is due to it being in contact with the skin which allows us to permeabilize the tissue, then we can have an access channel to the subcutaneous area and after that the vaccine enters the body," said Fidel Mena Nogales, inventor of the device
Anvisa authorises vaccination for flu in pharmacies
In Brazil, Anvisa backs flu vaccinations in pharmacies. Under the new proposal, any health facility will be able to carry out vaccinations
Influenza peak expected by Christmas
The incidence of influenza will increase towards Christmas, but it is probably not until after the new year that a big flu outbreak will come. These are the findings of a new report from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
Flu season brings questions AND concerns on effectiveness of immunizations
From Oklahoma, to Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky and now Texas, school districts across the country are canceling classes to prevent further cases of the flu. The latest case happened Insunnyvale, Texas, near Mesquite, when the flu outbreak forced Sunnyvale ISD to close schools as more and more students were absent because of illness.
Brazos Co. epidemiologist: Report about flu vaccine efficacy is "not valid" for U.S.
A report from the NEJM has been circulating in the headlines, telling of a 10 percent efficacy of the flu vaccine in Australia. Often, these reports link the Australia numbers with the flu vaccine efficacy in the United States. The Brazos County Health Department says there is no connection. "There is no validity to that estimation," said Yao Akpalu, the Brazos County Health Department's epidemiologist. "That report originated in Australia... It does not reflect or predict what happens in the United States."
Seasonal flu: Is it worthwhile to get yourself vaccinated if you are between the ages of 20 and 60 when you are in good health?
As part of the national flu vaccination campaign each year, people over 65 and immunocompromised patients are invited to get a flu jab free of charge to protect them from the virus that can be particularly virulent for them. For others, the young and healthy adults, the vaccination strategy around the flu does not really target them. But for all 20-60 year olds wanting to protect themselves against the flu, is it still worth it to get vaccinated? 20minutes discusses the issue
Burden of disease
Delaware reports first flu-related death of season
Health officials have confirmed Delaware’s first flu-related death of this year’s flu season. Delaware’s Division of Public Health announced that a 47-year-old resident of a long-term care facility died last week at a hospital. He had influenza and a number of underlying health conditions. Officials are urging anyone over six months old to get the flu vaccine if they have not yet been vaccinated
KUMACA deaths: Sue gov’t for negligence – Muntaka to parents
In Ghana, the Minority Chief Whip in Parliament has urged families of the four students who died at the Kumasi Academy following the outbreak of Influenza H1N1 to sue the government for negligence. According to him, the government’s handling of the virus outbreak at the Academy had been woeful, and since the confirmation of the outbreak as Influenza H1N1 2009, the students are yet to be vaccinate
Two flu-related deaths in Imperial County
In California, the Imperial County Public Health Department announced Tuesday that two elderly individuals died earlier this month of complications due to influenza. These are the first flu-related deaths reported this flu season. One had received the flu shot and it is unknown if the second individual had received one
Tunisia: A pregnant woman died from H1N1 virus
A pregnant woman has died of H1N1 influenza in Tunisia after a brief hospitalisation. She is the second flu related fatality in the country this flu season. There are 300,000 flu vaccine doses available in the country against H1N1 at the moment
Flu prompts temporary closure of Dallas area school district
Officials with the Sunnyvale Independent School District in Dallas County announced the cancellation of classes for Tuesday and Wednesday after seeing increased numbers of students and staff members exhibiting flu-like symptoms. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported an overall slight increase in flu activity in the country with H3N2 influenza A being the predominant strain seen
Health Officials Say 6,000 Flu Hospitalizations Could Have Been Prevented
The CDC reported last week that flu activity has been increasing since the start of November. It is now higher than usual for this time of year said the report. As of last week, seven children had died from influenza. The CDC reports only half of the U.S. population reported getting the vaccine last season. They estimate that if only 5 percent more people had gotten the shot, more than 500,000 illness could have been prevented, along with 6,000 hospitalizations.
Indiana records first flu-related death of the season
The Indiana State Department of Health is reporting the first influenza-related death in Indiana of the 2017-2018 flu season. The patient was under age 18. State health officials report influenza, or flu, activity is increasing in some areas of the state, with outbreaks being reported at some long-term care facilities. Fifty-four percent of the influenza-like illness specimens submitted to the ISDH Laboratory tested positive for flu in the week ending Dec. 2.
Flu season gaining momentum in the Mid-South
The flu season is gaining momentum in the Mid-South. It's now higher than usual this time of year. Doctors said they're also seeing a lot of children with the flu and other viral infections. "We have been very busy here both in the emergency department and within the hospital. A lot of kids with viral infections," said Chief Pediatrician John McCullers. He said many of those kids have the flu. He said it's also not too late to get a flu shot, even though some are concerned it may not be as effective this season
Dallas Positive Flu Cases Climb 3 Percent: Dallas County Health and Human Services
Dallas County Health and Human Services report a three percent increase in positive flu tests between Nov. 25 and Dec. 2, the most recent week with reporting data. Positive flu tests have been climbing since the week of Oct. 28 when they were at 3.9 percent, except for a dip Nov. 25 when the dropped from 10.1 percent to 9.8 percent. Positive tests for the week of Dec. 2 were 12.8 percent. Of the 267 positive tests returned, 223 were positive influenza A tests while 44 were B tests
One Flu Death Reported As Connecticut Flu Season Ramps Up
Flu season is ramping up with winter coming and state officials say at least one death has been reported. Officials stress it is important to get the vaccine. In a report released last week, the state’s Department of Public Health said an individual older than 65 died from the flu. This was the first weekly flu report of the season to report a death
The flu persists, Salmonellosis is still being reported
In Tahiti, there is a continuing flu epidemic. Between November 20th and December 3rd, 312 new cases were reported. The flu epidemic has not increased in recent weeks, but has nevertheless remained at a high level of spread in Polynesia. During the weeks of November 20 to December 3, 312 cases were reported and 46 samples were positive, two of which were influenza A (H3N2).