"Seqirus Media Monitoring" 18th Dec 2017

Seqirus mentions
Expansion just the right medicine
In Australia, two hundred new jobs have been created in Broadmeadows following the expansion of a world-class medical manufacturing plant. CSL opened the $230 million extension to its Broadmeadows plant earlier this month, where it will manufacture albumin. Chief executive Paul Perreault said the new jobs would be created by 2026.
Mum's anguish after egg-free flu vaccine is no longer available for autistic son
In the UK, a mum-of-two says she feels “let down” after being told that an egg-free flu vaccine is no longer available for her son who has a severe allergy. Nathan, 18, has been immunised every year until 2016 with Optaflu – which is egg-free. However, the company has stopped making it in Europe. The Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group wrote that "the marketing authorisation holders, Seqirus GmbH, have not applied to extend the license and there is no equivalent egg-free vaccine available"
Many GPs unaware of poor flu vaccine efficacy in 2016/17
Many GPs were unaware of a recent announcement by Public Health England regarding the poor performance of existing flu vaccines in the most recent flu season (2016/17), research by medeConnect has revealed. The survey showed that there was a low awareness amongst GPs regarding the availability of a new adjuvanted flu vaccine, which the JCVI states has been shown to be work better than nonadjuvanted vaccines in the 65+ population, and which is available to order for use in the 2018-19 flu season. This new vaccine, called FLUAD, aims to address the disappointingly low efficacy issues seen with current flu vaccines in these older patients.
Pandemic Influenza News
Netherlands: Wild Birds Detected With HPAI H5N6
In Biddinghuizen, Netherlands, there was an HPAI outbreak in poultry affecting roughly 16,000 ducks. The following day, we learned that the virus was remarkably similar to a reassorted H5N6 virus which recently showed up in South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Today, in an updated announcement on the Wageningen Bioveterinary Research Institute website, we learn that wild birds found dead along the shores of Lake Veluwe - several miles from the original poultry outbreak in Biddinghuizen - have now tested positive for this newly arrived reassorted H5N6 virus
NIAID Director Discusses Readying for Next Infectious Disease Threat
Anthony Fauci, MD, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), explains how experiences responding to infectious disease outbreaks have helped to prepare for future threats. He is also looking toward a considerable, concerted effort to develop a universal influenza vaccine. "Influenza is always a threat — at the seasonal level and at the potential for a pandemic level," he said. "For that reason, we need to get a vaccine that we can stockpile and have ready for an emergency, instead of chasing it when it occurs."
Where Would Pandemic Flu Wreak the Most Havoc?
When the next flu pandemic hits, a nation’s successful response depends on strong health resources, infrastructure and leadership. That means many developing countries already struggling to provide adequate health care will likely be overwhelmed. And developed countries—with well-trained health workforces, efficient disease surveillance systems, and advanced health facilities—could be pushed to their limits.
News Scan for Dec 15, 2017 - CIDRAP
In the latest avian flu outbreak developments, the Netherlands said the new highly pathogenic H5N6 reassortant was detected in mute swans found dead in a wetland area, and the Dominican Republic, Taiwan, and South Africa each reported new outbreaks involving different strains, some of which pertain to events in September and October.
Industry News
All details about ageing, vaccination and public spending up for discussion
Massimiliano Di Domenico , head of institutional relations and communication for GSK Italia. "We believe that an aging population with an increased life expectancy, must be supported by an improvement in the quality of life across these sections of the population". Consequently vaccinations have become increasingly important, precisely for the elderly population, as a main way to prevent serious diseases. "In this context - commented Di Domenico - our company mission 'do more, feel better, live longer', has pushed us into organizing a meeting with representatives of the highest level of the political-institutional world, of civil society, of both the entrepreneurial and journalistic world - in order to discuss in a proactive and constructive manner - the importance of disease prevention in adulthood and, within this notion, the fundamental role of vaccination as an effective tool of primary prevention in these most advanced age groups ".
Drug Company Under Fire After Revealing Dengue Vaccine May Harm Some
The Philippines government has begun investigations into the rollout of the dengue immunization program by Sanofi, which has come under fire for discounting early warnings that its vaccine could put some people at heightened risk of a severe form of the disease. The situation has become a public-relations debacle for the drugmaker, and the backlash has alarmed researchers who worry that Sanofi’s stumble could stoke mistrust in vaccines around the globe
Arkansas pharmacies struggling to keep Tamiflu in stock
The Arkansas Department of Health says they are seeing a higher number of flu cases reported this week compared to the same week last year and the year before. With the recent uptick in flu cases, many central Arkansas pharmacies weren't quite prepared and many have been struggling to keep Tamiflu in stock
Sanofi ordered to pull dengue vaccine
Sanofi’s Dengvaxia dengue vaccine has been withdrawn in the Philippines, and the government is demanding a refund from the company of the PHP3.5 billion (£52 million) it had paid for the vaccines as part of an immunisation programme. The company was criticised by a joint hearing of the government’s public accountability and health & good government committees, according to a report in The Philippine Daily Inquirer
Generic companies are flooding Korea with Tamiflu copies
The anti-influenza drug Tamiflu from Roche has lost patent protection - and South Korea generic companies are already pouncing to get a piece of the market pie by producing generic imitations . A total of 134 generic companies are registered across Southeast Asia's 50 million state seeking to copy the world's third best-known medicine after Viagra and Prozac.
When will we get a drug that can actually cure the flu?
Various avenues are being explored by scientists to discover a drug that will cure the flu. There are medicines available now such as Tamiflu, but their effectiveness is limited as it has been used for 15 years now and many strains are resistant to it. Both Tamiflu and Relenza fight the replication process of the virus rather than the damage caused by inflammation of tissues. New medications targeting cells rather than the virus itself are more interesting, and likely to deliver better anti-flu drugs
Swine flu vaccines stuck in Korea as KUMACA health crisis continues
The Ghana Health Service says the arrival of vaccines against swine flu as well as Tamiflu will be delayed for a few more days. The vaccines were expected in the country on Saturday but the Korean suppliers said that was not possible because of transport challenges. The GHS Director of Public Health said the Ghana Health Service will use Relenza (Zanamivir) to treat the students until the arrival of the vaccine
H1N1 outbreak: WHO’s antiviral drugs arrive today
Antiviral drugs – Tamiflu – for the treatment of the H1N1 Influenza which has killed four students of the Kumasi Academy (KUMACA) were expected in Ghana on Friday. The WHO is supplying the drugs based on a request from government as it struggles to contain the situation at the school and other areas. Vaccines for the swine flu are also expected over the weekend.
Academic studies
Protect yourself from the chill: Seasonal flu can be fatal
As many as 646,000 people are dying globally from seasonal influenza each year, U.S. health officials said, 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. That is up from a prior estimate range of 250,000 to 500,000 deaths, according to a study published in The Lancet
Researchers Developing, Testing Nanovaccine to Protect against the Flu Virus
Researchers are loading synthesized influenza proteins into nanoparticles. Those nanoparticles are incorporated into a nasal spray and delivered with a sniff. Based on preliminary studies, researchers believe the nanovaccine will activate both kinds of immune cells (T cells and B cells) and provide protection in the upper airway and the lower airway. All of that could mean better flu protection than today’s typical flu shot
Researchers at ISU develop new flu vaccine
Researchers at ISU are developing a new flu vaccine that would be better and more effective than ever. "We have created a new family of vaccines which are based on nanotechnology and medicine," said Balaji Narasimhan, with the ISU Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. "Our nanovaccine has the ability to incorporate proteins from multiple different strains of influenza so you don't have to guess at this point with respect to what season because some of the proteins we incorporate into our nanovaccine are preserved across all strains of flu," said Narasimhan
Cancer, infection, and autoimmunity in 2018: Will we win the war?
Biomaterials hold a lot of potential to revolutionize vaccines and immunotherapy. One way to improve vaccinations is through microneedles. Using a dissolvable microneedle to deliver a vaccine against the flu virus in the first trial in humans showed that this technology achieved comparable results with a standard flu shot, even when study subjects applied the painless microneedle patch themselves
Flu Vaccine Expected to Protect Against Most U.S. H3N2 Viruses
A novel bioinformatics approach can predict vaccine effectiveness for the influenza season, and indicates that the current vaccines are likely to be effective against H3N2 flu viruses in the U.S. 2017/2018 flu season, according to research published online Nov. 29 in F1000 Research
Pediatric influenza news
Thousands of toddlers have not been given a free flu vaccine in Kent
In the UK, thousands of Kent toddlers have not been given a flu vaccine, despite being eligible for a free painless vaccination. Only 8,000 toddlers have had the quick procedure, which means there are 27,000 not protected against flu.
General Influenza News
Respiratory diseases up 18%
During the initial month of the winter season health authorities have not seen more than 5 cases of H3N2 influenza, patients who are currently under treatment with Oseltamivir. However, there are another 568 people with symptoms of this condition without a lab confirmed diagnosis
Influenza cases on the increase in Puebla
Between epidemiological week 48 and 50 this year, the state of Puebla went from twenty-first to seventeenth place nationally in terms of the number of confirmed influenza cases during the winter season 2017-2018, according to an updated report by the General Directorate of Epidemiology (DGE). This means that between November 24 and December 1, Puebla was in the twenty-first place in terms of influenza cases, while between December 7 and 14 it went to the seventeenth. Up to epidemiological week 50 six cases of influenza in Puebla were recorded, which represents 1.7 percent of the total number of notifications nationwide, which are currently totaling 270.
Hospital worker fired for refusing flu shot isn"t a victim of religious discrimination, U.S. court says
A hospital worker who was fired for refusing to get a flu shot can't claim he was discriminated against on religious grounds, a federal court panel ruled Thursday. Paul Fallon's claim falls short because his objection to being inoculated isn't a religious belief, but more of a medical qualm, the judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit concluded
The health sector teams have given out around 153,000 flu jabs to date
Governor Carlos Joaquín said that from October 16 to December 6 of this year the health sector has given around 153,939 flu jabs free according to the secretary of Health Alejandra Aguirre Crespo. The jabs have been targetted towards girls and boys from 6 months to 59 months of age, adults over 60 years and over, pregnant women, the obese, the diabetic, the hypertensive, people with anemia, with uncontrolled asthma, arthritis, heart problems, kidney disease, chronic lung diseases, HIV and other people with immunosuppression problems and health worker teams as well
Britons warned of nasty strain of ‘Aussie flu’
Professor Robert Dingwall, a public health expert at Nottingham Trent University, told the Daily Express the Aussie flu was tipped to be the most serious flu outbreak since the 1968 pandemic that started in Hong Kong. That outbreak killed more than a million people world wide. Dr Dingwall urged British medical officials to urgently review emergency planning procedures and ensure even more hospital beds are freed up. “We need to be prepared, alert and flexible,” he said. Around 8000 Britons die of the flu annually and this year’s pre-Christmas bitter cold snap, coupled with the deadly experience in Australia has medical experts worried.
Flu season could be "serious," according to health officials
There have been 11 confirmed cases of the flu on P.E.I., Canada, and all of them have been confirmed to be the strain H3N2. One person has died, though the flu may not have been a major contributing factor in the death, according to the provincial Department of Health and Wellness. Howard Njoo, the deputy chief public health officer for the Public Health Agency of Canada, said even though the effectiveness of the vaccine may not be as high as other years, he would still recommend people get it.
Flu hits Peoria with signs that vaccine is less effective this year
In Peoria, doctors are seeing an uptick in flu patients. Reported cases are a bit higher than normal for this time of year, said Dr. Brian Curtis, a physician with OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center. It’s likely the flu vaccine won’t be as effective this year. Curtis is trying to get ahead of the problem by recommending preventative measures. The first is to go out and get the flu shot, even though it’s not a perfect match. “Even if the vaccine is a little bit off, people who have had the shot and still catch the flu do better than if they didn’t get the vaccine,” he said
Board of Health discusses methods to combat influenza
The Columbia Board of Health hosted two doctors who described the science and policy behind vaccinations. This year the Board of Health helped administer 9,761 influenza shots to students in both public and private schools across the county, which is more than last year
Burden of disease
Ile-de-France: the flu is here!
In the Ile-de-France region of France, the flu is now an epidemic and the number of cases rose sharply across the country. Most other French regions are at the pre-epidemic stage, and it is expected that epidemic stage will be reached shortly. The rate of flu vaccinations in France is still too low at 47.4% of the at-risk population. Unfortunately, flu vaccine effectiveness was only around 20 to 30% last season and is expected to be worse this year
Murrieta child becomes first influenza death of season for Riverside County
In California, a Murrieta child died of complications stemming from a flu infection — the first documented death of the 2017-18 influenza season in Riverside County, health officials have disclosed. The victim, identified only as a child under 10 years old, succumbed to the illness Thursday, according to the Department of Public Health. “This is a tragic reminder that the flu still kills,” county Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser said. “Get your flu shot and get protected.”
US flu activity jumps as new variant H3N2 case confirmed
Influenza activity is now widespread in 12 states across the country, and officials have confirmed a new case of variant H3N2 (H3N2v) flu, the CDC said in its weekly update. Other indicators are also up sharply, and officials noted a new pediatric death. Flu was widespread in 12 states, some of them in the Midwest and West for the first time this year, according to the CDC's FluView report covering the week ending Dec 9
Calgary hit by 8 of Alberta's 13 flu-related deaths so far
Calgary continues to be Alberta's influenza epicentre, now accounting for more than half of the province's seasonal flu cases and nearly two-thirds of flu-related deaths. Alberta Health Services says 1,242 of the 2,478 lab-confirmed cases of influenza A and B this season have come in the Calgary health zone. Calgary also accounts for eight of the 13 flu-related deaths across the province
Flu striking Mississippi, Deep South states, particularly hard
Health officials said the Deep South is among the hardest-hit regions of the nation so far this flu season. In its latest update on influenza activity, the CDC identifies seven states reporting widespread flu activity, and all but one are in the South: Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Virginia
Oklahoma County records high number of people hospitalized for flu
The flu is off to a fast start in Oklahoma County, where 11 people were hospitalized in the past week alone. As of Friday, 44 people had been admitted to Oklahoma County hospitals for flu-related complications since the start of flu season Sept. 1. Statewide, 179 people have needed hospital care for the flu, and four have died. Most of those hospitalized were either senior adults or children younger than 5
Iowa reports influenza A(H3N2) variant case, reports contact with swine
The CDC reported in their latest FluView an additional case of human infection with a novel influenza A virus. This person was infected with an influenza A(H3N2) variant [A(H3N2)v] virus and reported direct contact with swine during the week preceding illness onset. The patient was an adult under 50 and has fully recovered. No human-to-human transmission has been identified
Louisiana hit hard by flu
Louisiana has been hit especially hard this flu season and is experiencing some of the highest numbers of the virus that officials have seen for December. Currently, the level of flu activity is over 5 percent, meaning an estimated one in 20 doctor visits have been for flu-like symptoms. In past Decembers, that rate has normally been at 2 percent
Coahuila is among the group of states with the highest number of influenza cases
The places with the highest number of confirmed cases of influenza are Coahuila, San Luis Potosí, Colima, Guerrero and Mexico City; combined they make up 38.5% of the total number of confirmed cases. The Ministry of Health reported the third death from influenza so far this winter season was in Queretaro and the causative strain was type A. Through the General Directorate of Epidemiology, the federal agency reported that up to the end of epidemiological week 50, 270 positive cases of influenza have been confirmed in Mexico; 198 of A (H3N2), 57 of type B and 15 of influenza A.
Valley family grieving over death of a rarely sick loved one, after pneumonia diagnosis
Valley family grieving over death of a rarely sick loved one, after pneumonia diagnosis. Another family said their loved one, who was healthy and rarely sick, died following a pneumonia diagnosis. FOX 10's Courtney Griffin reports.