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"Seqirus Media Monitoring" 8th Sep 2017

News Highlights
Latest H7N9 epidemic biggest yet, new vaccines sought The latest H7N9 avian influenza epidemic to affect China is the most widespread, with 759 cases reported as of Aug. 7; the epidemic caused 281 deaths, and recent variations between viruses have prompted health care officials to develop several new vaccine candidates
Caterpillars may edge out chicken eggs for vaccine production Caterpillars may be more effective than chicken eggs as a vehicle for flu vaccines, according to a new study that evaluated the efficacy of a newer, DNA-based flu vaccine. The study revealed that a vaccine grown in caterpillar cells was 30% more effective at preventing influenza infection than standard vaccines grown in chicken eggs
'Ineffective' flu jab for elderly is 'better than nothing' Elderly patients should still be given the flu vaccination, despite data suggesting it is ineffective among this group, London's pharmacy vaccination lead has said
Seniors still make up the bulk of flu cases, hospitalizations Last year’s flu vaccine was about as effective as in previous years, but the elderly remained the most impacted by illness, according to an updated report on flu surveillance from the CDC
Deadly Bird Flu In China Evolves, Spreads To New Regions This past year China had the largest outbreak of a deadly bird flu since the virus was first detected in March 2013. During the 2017 season, the country reported nearly the same number of cases as all four previous years combined
Influenza cases in the state continue to defy records The Australian flu season shows no signs of fizzling out. According to the surveillance program FluCAN, the flu reached ‘intense mid-seasonal activity’ in the last two weeks of August; at least 135,411 cases have been confirmed nationally by laboratory tests, more than two and a half times last year’s figures
Province first to introduce new flu vaccine for personal care home residents Steinbach MLA and Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Kelvin Goertzen, announced that Manitoba is the first province in Canada to introduce a high-dose flu vaccine to better protect vulnerable residents of personal care homes from influenza
Seqirus
New vax “could prevent 90% of cervical cancer cases”
In response to a request from Seqirus, the Australian PBAC has recommended that Gardasil 9 be listed on the National Immunisation Program as a two-dose schedule for females and males, aged 12-13 years as part of a school age program for the prevention of HPV, to replace the current three-dose schedule of Gardasil
CSL Behring’s Acquisition of Calimmune May Spur New Therapies to Treat Sickle Cell Disease
New therapies to treat sickle cell disease may receive a boost after CSL Behring‘s recent $91 million acquisition of Calimmune. “The acquisition represents another important step in the execution of our strategy for sustainable growth,” Paul Perreault, CSL Behring’s CEO and managing director said
Pandemic Influenza News
Latest H7N9 epidemic biggest yet, new vaccines sought
The latest H7N9 avian influenza epidemic to affect China is the most widespread, with 759 cases reported as of Aug. 7; the epidemic caused 281 deaths, and recent variations between viruses have prompted health care officials to develop several new vaccine candidates
Vietnam takes preventive measures against bird flu
In Vietnam, the Department of Preventive Medicine requested the healthcare sector and relevant agencies to conduct measures to tackle avian viruses, with the likelihood of outbreaks in the country still high
200,000 chickens culled in Western Cape as province tackles bird flu
More than 200,000 chickens have died or been culled in the Western Cape as a result of an outbreak of bird flu, leading to over 100 job losses, according to Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde
Deadly Bird Flu In China Evolves, Spreads To New Regions
This past year China had the largest outbreak of a deadly bird flu since the virus was first detected in March 2013. During the 2017 season, the country reported nearly the same number of cases as all four previous years combined
Industry News
Glaxo has succeeded in getting its influenza virus waste emissions into the nearby river under control
GSK vaccine plant wastewater expelled viruses and genetically modified pathogens into Dresden waste water for 13 years, and although local health authorities say there was no risk to the public, they are still very relieved because remedial work by Glaxo has brought this worrying defect back under control
Tamiflu shortages across pharmacies
There is currently a shortage of Tamiflu products across Australian pharmacies and wholesalers, the TGA confirms. Manufacturer Roche says pharmacies and wholesalers are running low on stock due to “exceptionally high seasonal demand”
Academic studies
Caterpillars may edge out chicken eggs for vaccine production
Caterpillars may be more effective than chicken eggs as a vehicle for flu vaccines, according to a new study that evaluated the efficacy of a newer, DNA-based flu vaccine. The study revealed that a vaccine grown in caterpillar cells was 30% more effective at preventing influenza infection than standard vaccines grown in chicken eggs
Diagnostic Accuracy of Novel and Traditional Rapid Tests for Influenza Infection Compared With Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Rapid and accurate influenza diagnostics can improve patient care. Novel DIAs and rapid NAATs had markedly higher sensitivities for influenza A and B in both children and adults than did traditional RIDTs, with equally high specificities
Pediatric influenza news
New mums uncertain about vaccination
First-time mothers are twice as likely to be hesitant about vaccinating their babies compared to mothers already with children, new research has found. A study of nearly 1000 new mums in Australia found that just two-thirds of new mums believed they had received enough information on vaccines during their pregnancy
Parents rely on paediatricians for teen vaccine reminders
A new report from the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, Ann Arbor, found that many parents are unaware of what vaccines their teenagers need and when, and that they rely on their pediatricians for guidance in sorting out a confusing set of guidelines
Flu vaccine season is here
The American Academy of Paediatrics just came out with recommendations for the 2017- 2018 season and is urging that all children ages 6 months and older get vaccinated against the flu, preferably by the end of October
State scales back school flu shot program due to lack of funding
Not all schools will be offering flu shots this year, and health experts say it’s a bad idea. The Hawaii Department of Health says it is scaling back the Stop Flu at School program due to lack of funding and resources
Over 65’s influenza news
'Ineffective' flu jab for elderly is 'better than nothing'
Elderly patients should still be given the flu vaccination, despite data suggesting it is ineffective among this group, London's pharmacy vaccination lead has said
Seniors still make up the bulk of flu cases, hospitalizations
Last year’s flu vaccine was about as effective as in previous years, but the elderly remained the most impacted by illness, according to an updated report on flu surveillance from the CDC
Province first to introduce new flu vaccine for personal care home residents
Steinbach MLA and Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Kelvin Goertzen, announced that Manitoba is the first province in Canada to introduce a high-dose flu vaccine to better protect vulnerable residents of personal care homes from influenza
General Influenza News
The Race to Improve Adult Vaccination Rates in the Information Age
The pharmacy industry has increasingly sought to compete with other industries to address a large public health concern: under-vaccination of the US adult population. Both pneumonia and influenza are listed in the top 10 causes of death, with pneumonia accounting for more than 55,000 deaths each year alone
Sharps Disposal: Assuring Regulatory Compliance During Off-Site Vaccination Clinics
The CDC published the startling fact that “flu in the workplace costs US businesses approximately $10.4 billion each season.” In addition to pharmacists providing immunizations inside of pharmacies, their participation in off-site clinics provides a valuable and convenient service to communities and employers
Doctors urging people to still get flu vaccine after high rates of illness
In Australia, doctors are urging people to still get the flu vaccine to prevent an encore of the virus. While there are no figures of how many people have suffered repeated bouts of flu this year, many are anecdotally suffering their second infection of the flu virus
Without a Chavista Party card Venezuelans have to pay at least US$100 for vaccinations
The dictatorship in Venezuela will force citizens to produce a Chavista Party Card in order to receive free immunisations, otherwise they will have to pay at least $100 for each vaccine
Australia's killer flu: Calls for more immunisations as virus mutates
A fast-mutating strain of the flu is defying medical experts' efforts to stop it and has already killed at least 73 people in Australia this year. Australian Medial Association vice-president Dr Tony Bartone recommended people get immunised as only 20% of Australians tend to get a flu shot
Cutting funding for doctor-delivered flu shots bad decision, says medical association
The group that represents Newfoundland and Labrador's doctors says the province has made a bad decision in cutting coverage for flu shots that will result in fewer residents getting the shots, and ultimately increase health care costs
Minister Of Health Stands Behind Changes To Flu Shot Coverage
The Minister of Health is standing behind his department’s decision to stop covering flu shots administered by doctors. Last spring Minister John Haggie announced the province would no longer pay doctors the $17 for administering the shot in order to free them up to do other things
Expansion of free flu vaccination program called for
NSW Shadow Health Minister, Mr Walt Secord, has called on the State and Federal Government to consider expanding their free flu vaccination programs
NSW urged to take ‘the dab’ to sneezing to head off worst influenza outbreak ever
The way Australians have been taught to sneeze is wrong and may be fuelling the spread of the flu; health experts frantically calling for people to be taught the American method of directing their spray into their elbows
Burden of disease
Influenza cases in the state continue to defy records
The Australian flu season shows no signs of fizzling out. According to the surveillance program FluCAN, the flu reached ‘intense mid-seasonal activity’ in the last two weeks of August; at least 135,411 cases have been confirmed nationally by laboratory tests, more than two and a half times last year’s figures
Australia's killer flu: 73 dead already this year as virus mutates
A fast-mutating strain of the flu is defying medical experts' efforts to stop it and has already killed at least 73 people in Australia this year
Influenza outbreak: Rise in deaths as illnesses sweep through Tasmanian care facilities
The death toll from influenza-related illnesses in Tasmania has jumped from six to 14 in the past week, the state's director of Public Health says. Dr Mark Veitch said there had been 28 flu outbreaks in nursing homes, hospitals and other care facilities this flu season