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"Seqirus Media Monitoring" 28th Aug 2017

News Highlights
Govt. animal quarantine agency acquires know-how to make bird flu vaccine South Korea's animal quarantine agency said it has acquired know-how to make its own bird flu vaccines. The agency said it has developed candidate vaccine materials for its "antigen bank" that targets the H5N6 and H5N1 strains of avian influenza, and that tests have been carried out on chickens, with results showing the materials met standards set by the OIE
If you’re 35 or younger, your genes can predict whether the flu vaccine will work Nine genes are associated with a strong immune response to the flu vaccine in those aged 35 and under, a new study finds. If these genes were highly active before vaccination, an individual would generate a high level of antibodies after vaccination, no matter the flu strain in the vaccine, which can help a person avoid getting the flu
Fewer kids got flu vaccine when there wasn’t nasal spray Fewer children may have been vaccinated against the flu in the 2016-17 season because the CDC recommended against the nasal spray version of the vaccine. Researchers found that without the option of the nasal spray, total flu vaccination rates in paediatric patients were 1.6% lower in 2016-17 than in 2015-16
India saw most deaths due to respiratory illnesses in children under 5 in 2015: study India registered the highest number of deaths among children under five years of age, due to respiratory illnesses in 2015, a Lancet study has revealed: about 82,448 children died of Pneumococcal pneumonia, 20,987 deaths were attributed to Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), 8,415 died due to respiratory syncytial virus and 2,352 succumbed to Influenza
Recombinant Over Standard-dose Influenza Vaccine in Older Population Improved vaccine preparations triggering immune responses against the most abundant seasonal variants are the best tool to reduce global flu burden. A clinical study on older population suggests that the recombinant RIV4 vaccine provides better protection than the standard-dose IIV4 vaccine
Vic flu outbreaks double in aged homes Influenza outbreaks in Victorian aged care homes have more than doubled on 2016 as the state battles more than 10,000 flu cases. The Victorian Health Department has had 177 notifications of respiratory outbreaks in aged care homes in 2017, up from 77 in same period the previous year
National flu vaccination campaign recommendations in Mendoza about immunization for small children causes some confusion In Argentina, the Health Minister stated that all children between 6 and 24 months should receive two doses of flu vaccine, causing confusion as this only applies to children who had not previously been immunised
Seqirus

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Pandemic Influenza News
Govt. animal quarantine agency acquires know-how to make bird flu vaccine
South Korea's animal quarantine agency said it has acquired know-how to make its own bird flu vaccines. The agency said it has developed candidate vaccine materials for its "antigen bank" that targets the H5N6 and H5N1 strains of avian influenza, and that tests have been carried out on chickens, with results showing the materials met standards set by the OIE
Dept of Health ramps up bird flu preps, even as no human cases recorded
There are no confirmed cases so far of humans infected with bird flu in the Philippines, health officials have announced. Despite this, the Department of Health is ramping up preparations to prevent the bird flu's spread among humans, especially as new studies show the virus is becoming deadlier
Avian flu spreads at Astral site
The outbreak of avian influenza at two of its breeding farms has so far cost it R50m, Astral says. The group said that despite its best efforts, the infection at its second breeding site had spread beyond an isolated shed
CHP notified of human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Xinjiang
The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health is monitoring a notification from the National Health and Family Planning Commission that two additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) were recorded from August 18 to 24 in Xinjiang
34 Philippine poultry workers cleared of H5N6 bird flu
The Philippine Department of Health said that 34 poultry workers who showed signs of flu-like symptoms tested negative for bird flu. As of Aug. 24, the health department said "there has been no confirmed human case due to influenza A (H5N6)"
Industry News

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Academic studies
If you’re 35 or younger, your genes can predict whether the flu vaccine will work
Nine genes are associated with a strong immune response to the flu vaccine in those aged 35 and under, a new study finds. If these genes were highly active before vaccination, an individual would generate a high level of antibodies after vaccination, no matter the flu strain in the vaccine, which can help a person avoid getting the flu
Pediatric influenza news
Fewer kids got flu vaccine when there wasn’t nasal spray
Fewer children may have been vaccinated against the flu in the 2016-17 season because the CDC recommended against the nasal spray version of the vaccine. Researchers found that without the option of the nasal spray, total flu vaccination rates in paediatric patients were 1.6% lower in 2016-17 than in 2015-16
Aberdeenshire parents urged to return flu consent forms
Parents across Aberdeenshire are being urged to return their children’s flu vaccination consent form as soon as possible to ensure they are protected against flu this winter
India saw most deaths due to respiratory illnesses in children under 5 in 2015: study
India registered the highest number of deaths among children under five years of age, due to respiratory illnesses in 2015, a Lancet study has revealed: about 82,448 children died of Pneumococcal pneumonia, 20,987 deaths were attributed to Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), 8,415 died due to respiratory syncytial virus and 2,352 succumbed to Influenza
Glasgow parents urged to return flu consent form - what you need to know
This year’s childhood flu vaccination programme will see over 2000 schools across Scotland offer the free nasal vaccine to more than 450,000 primary school pupils
Over 65’s influenza news
Recombinant Over Standard-dose Influenza Vaccine in Older Population
Improved vaccine preparations triggering immune responses against the most abundant seasonal variants are the best tool to reduce global flu burden. A clinical study on older population suggests that the recombinant RIV4 vaccine provides better protection than the standard-dose IIV4 vaccine
Vic flu outbreaks double in aged homes
Influenza outbreaks in Victorian aged care homes have more than doubled on 2016 as the state battles more than 10,000 flu cases. The Victorian Health Department has had 177 notifications of respiratory outbreaks in aged care homes in 2017, up from 77 in same period the previous year
General Influenza News
ACIP Immunization Recommendations for 2017-2018 Flu Season
Officials with the CDC have published recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for the prevention and control of seasonal influenza with vaccines for the 2017-2018 season. a) Quadrivalent and trivalent influenza vaccines will be available. b) Inactivated influenza vaccines and recombinant influenza vaccines will be available in trivalent and quadrivalent formulation. c) Live-attenuated influenza vaccines are not recommended for use during this season.
UCSF to Offer Free Flu Shots Throughout September
UC San Francisco will be holding free drop-in flu shot clinics for all UCSF employees, students and volunteers from Monday, Sept. 6 to Friday, Sept. 29
Official: Now's the time to get your flu shot
The Health Department of Northwest Michigan recommends that everyone should get the flu vaccine starting as soon as it's available
CCHD recommends families think about flu shots
Local Montana County Health Department recommends getting the flu shot six to eight weeks before the flu season begins, which is around November
2017–18 Flu Vaccine Recommendations Issued
The CDC has published its recommendations on flu vaccination for the 2017–18 season, including Afluria Quadrivalent and Flublok Quadrivalent now being available for patients aged 18 and older, FluLaval Quadrivalent may now be given to children as young as 6 months old, and pregnant women may receive any FDA-approved, recommended, age-appropriate flu vaccine
Colds and flu likely to be around a little bit longer
In South Africa, the 2017 flu season started at the end of May and will likely continue a few weeks into September, according to Pharma Dynamics. People should get vaccinated in order to protect themselves and others
WC Health Dept. concerned by swine flu reports
In South Africa, the Western Cape Health Department has advised people to seek medical treatment should they experience severe flu symptoms. The Department’s Mark van der Heever says over 87,000 people have already been vaccinated against the flu since the start of May as part of the annual vaccination campaign
Influenza gets an early start
In Georgia, with flu season getting an early kick-off this year, health officials are recommending that people move up their vaccination timetable as well to better protect themselves
Melbourne GP accused of helping parents avoid vaccinations reprimanded 13 years ago
A Melbourne doctor under investigation for helping parents evade compulsory vaccinations was reprimanded a decade ago for failing to properly treat patients with potentially life-threatening illnesses. Federal health minister Greg Hunt said he would be raising the matter of anti-vaccination doctors with state and territory ministers
Anti-vax supporters raise thousands for embattled Melbourne GP John Piesse
Anti-vax supporters have raised thousands of dollars for embattled Melbourne GP John Piesse who is facing suspension for helping parents side-step the "no jab, no play" laws
Vaccination law paying off
The last year saw no major outbreaks of measles or any of the other nine potentially fatal diseases against which California public schoolchildren must be vaccinated – one possible result of a 2016 law that eliminated a “personal belief” exemption
National flu vaccination campaign recommendations in Mendoza about immunization for small children causes some confusion
In Argentina, the Health Minister stated that all children between 6 and 24 months should receive two doses of flu vaccine, causing confusion as this only applies to children who had not previously been immunised
CDC Vaccine Rates Rise, But Not Enough, in Adolescents
The CDC results of the 2016 national vaccination rates show an improvement in adolescents from the previous year, but also a persistent gap in certain vaccinations. Less than half adolescents received the 2015 flu vaccine
China and India fly in flu aid
Medicine and equipment to treat H1N1 swine flu donated by China and India will be used for prevention, treatment and screening, according to the Ministry of Health and Sports of Myanmar
For H1N1, prevention is even scarcer than cure
The Chairman of Gujarat State Federation of Chemists and Druggists Association said, "There is a severe scarcity of swine flu vaccines. If there are 10,000 vaccinations available today, they will be readily lapped up. Had the state government placed orders with pharmaceutical companies in advance, such a scarcity could have been averted”
Burden of disease
In the grip of a fever: swine flu in Maharashtra Gujarat
In India this year, 41% of the total number of H1N1 deaths have been reported from Maharashtra. Of the 1,094 deaths from across India, as many as 455 have been from the western State. The State also tops in the number of positive patients — 4,385 cases this year
Lessons not learnt: On swine flu
The high H1N1 flu toll in India points to a failure to put necessary systems and precautions in place
Flu hits hard this season
In Australia, Victoria is currently hitting the peak of the worst flu seasons in years, with hospitals and ambulances under increasing pressure from sick patients. The flu season started earlier this year and so far, there have been more than 10000 confirmed cases of influenza in Victoria
Influenza cases jump 20 per cent in southeast
The number of people coming to southeast hospitals, in Australia, with influenza has already jumped 20 per on last year — and doctors say the season isn’t even over
Myanmar fifth in flu infections
According to the Ministry of Health and Sports, Myanmar now stands in fifth place for Asia in the seasonal influenza A H1N1 outbreaks. The ministry claimed that there have been around 300 diagnosed carriers of swine flu in Myanmar
Flu numbers soar on the Gold Coast with experts warning children and teens are most affected
The Australian Gold Coast’s health services are overrun as two strains of influenza run rampant, causing the highest number of cases ever seen in the city. Doctors are warning that children and teenagers aged between 10 and 19 have been hit the hardest on the Coast and should get vaccinated
A lag in the response?
In India, Gujarat has the second highest number of cases of, and mortality rate for, swine flu after Maharashtra. After media criticism and strong rebuke by the Gujarat High Court in the wake of a petition, the State government has now activated the health-care machinery to tackle the flu
Swine flu catching them young
As swine flu continues to claim lives, an analysis of 443 of the 445 deaths in Maharashtra due to the virus has shown that 221 victims were in the 21-50 years age group. This is followed by 106 deaths of people aged 51-60 years and 56 aged above 61
DAK sounds alert as ‘swine flu virus mutates’
With a surge in swine flu cases and deaths in various states in India, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) today sounded an alert and asked health authorities in Kashmir to be prepared for contingencies
Record flu season expected as hospitals are overrun with flu patients
With a month of the flu season left to go, Australia is only 110 confirmed influenza infections away from smashing the record for the largest number of cases in a year. Unusually, four strains of the virus are circulating this year, infecting young and old