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"Seqirus Media Monitoring" 9th Oct 2017

News Highlights
Five things to know about the Joburg bird flu outbreak According to the interim CEO of the South African Poultry Association‚ the H5N8 avian flu outbreak in Johannesburg only affects birds and not the health of human beings
CAPSTONE-1: New antiviral superior to placebo at reducing influenza symptoms Treatment with the cap-dependent endonuclease inhibitor S-033188 was superior to placebo in alleviating influenza symptoms, and the agent was superior to both placebo and the antiviral oseltamivir in virologic outcomes, according to data from the phase 3 CAPTSTONE-1 trial
Tamiflu shortage resolves as flu infections slow Professor Paul VanBuynder, of the Gold Coast Health Service and the Immunisation Coalition, told the media that the uptick in flu cases this year cannot be attributed to increased reporting, nor to GPs’ take-up of desktop testing methods. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the flu vaccine’s effectiveness may have dropped below 40% this year due to flaws in its manufacturing and design
Hologic's Panther Fusion Flu A/B/RSV Assay Gets FDA Approval Hologic announced the receipt of 510(k) clearance from the FDA for Panther Fusion Flu A/B/RSV assay running on the new Panther Fusion system
Study identifies factors that may lower flu vaccine protection In a study designed to identify host and immunologic factors that might affect flu vaccine effectiveness, a research team based in Canada found that genetic changes in circulating viruses, birth year, repeat vaccinations, and waning protection may all play a role
Febrile Seizures Risk Compared With Inactivated Flu Vaccine, PCV13 Children faced an elevated risk of febrile seizures after receiving 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) but not inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV), according to findings from the Sentinel Initiative
Flu Antivirals Significantly Cut ICU Admission, Mechanical Ventilation Need Inpatient administration of antivirals significantly reduces intensive care unit admissions and the need for mechanical ventilation among hospitalized patients with influenza, a team of Canadian researchers reported at IDWeek 2017
No drop in flu vaccinations since nasal spray withdrawn, CDC says Despite removing a recommendation to use the live attenuated influenza vaccine, vaccination rates remained relatively stable in the state of Oregon
Efficacy of High- vs. Standard-Dose Flu Vaccine Compared in Older Adults Findings from a systematic review and meta-analysis presented at IDWeek 2017 showed that Fluzone High-Dose (IIV3-HD) was more effective than standard-dose influenza vaccine (IIV3-SD) at lowering clinical outcomes associated with influenza infection in older adults
Should the flu vaccine be made compulsory for healthcare staff? Most elderly people living in specialised accommodation in France are keen to receive the flu vaccine, but a minority of healthcare staff do the same, with only 25% of doctors working in Paris hospitals immunised
Commission backs electronic immunisation record to manage vaccination The European Commission supports the creation of an electronic immunisation record system that will help EU member states enhance their cross-border cooperation and simultaneously enhance prevention of infectious diseases
Vaccination against the flu around Europe There are huge variations in the flu vaccinations rates around Europe, with the UK at the top as 75% of older people receive a flu shot, whereas in France only 47.7% of at-risk people are immunised
Seqirus mentions
Vaccine more effective when many get it
Fluad is one of the vaccines recommended by the CDC. Research shows that older adults who received Fluad were less likely to develop symptomatic influenza illness or be hospitalized for influenza or pneumonia than those who received a standard-dose trivalent vaccine
CSL hopes acquisition will fix blood supply problem in China
CSL has bought a blood collection company to fix its supply problems in China, as part of its ambition to be the country’s biggest plasma collector. “The reason for the acquisition goes back to the regulations. It’s just you can’t access the market unless you have a company here,” said Paul Perreault, CSL’s chief executive
Mobile Flu Clinic To Visit The Glastonbury Apple Harvest Festival
The health department, in partnership with Health Choices Program, will host a Fastvax mobile flu clinic on at the Apple Harvest Festival in order to reach as many people as possible; for those 4-17 years old, Flucelvax (egg and preservative free) and Fluarix will be available
Pandemic Influenza News
Five things to know about the Joburg bird flu outbreak
According to the interim CEO of the South African Poultry Association‚ the H5N8 avian flu outbreak in Johannesburg only affects birds and not the health of human beings
Two flocks of birds at C. Washington State Fair test positive for avian flu
Two flocks of birds at the recently concluded Central Washington State Fair were infected with bird flu, but health officials say it’s a strain that has not been shown to infect humans
Consequential Epidemiology: Facing the Enemy, Fighting for the Future
At this point in our evolutionary relationship with pathogens, infectious diseases expert and renowned epidemiologist Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, says our major concern should be pandemic influenza, which can be particularly crippling to the just-in-time society in which we live
Update on avian flu A(H7N9) in China
China notified the Hong Kong health authorities of 2 new cases of A(H7N9) avian flu on the 8th September 2017, since the last update was made available; the number of cases has been falling in the past few months
Industry News
CAPSTONE-1: New antiviral superior to placebo at reducing influenza symptoms
Treatment with the cap-dependent endonuclease inhibitor S-033188 was superior to placebo in alleviating influenza symptoms, and the agent was superior to both placebo and the antiviral oseltamivir in virologic outcomes, according to data from the phase 3 CAPTSTONE-1 trial
Tamiflu shortage resolves as flu infections slow
Professor Paul VanBuynder, of the Gold Coast Health Service and the Immunisation Coalition, told the media that the uptick in flu cases this year cannot be attributed to increased reporting, nor to GPs’ take-up of desktop testing methods. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the flu vaccine’s effectiveness may have dropped below 40% this year due to flaws in its manufacturing and design
Hologic's Panther Fusion Flu A/B/RSV Assay Gets FDA Approval
Hologic announced the receipt of 510(k) clearance from the FDA for Panther Fusion Flu A/B/RSV assay running on the new Panther Fusion system
Incentives, IP and smaller companies: the story of CureVac
CureVac has developed an innovative technology for the easy and quick production of safe, efficacious and cost-effective immunotherapeutic agents for a wide range of diseases. It has several candidates for the prevention of infectious diseases, including an influenza vaccine, in preclinical development
Cows to grow human antibodies at farm near Canton
Some people don’t respond to flu shots, but an influenza therapeutic produced by SAB could help them. “We think we have a solution, and we are working on it,” CEO and co-founder Eddie Sullivan said, adding that they are working toward the first clinical trials on influenza
New vaccine on way could be a gamechanger for flu — here’s how
A potentially groundbreaking seasonal flu vaccine developed by a team from Oxford University will be tested on around 2,000 humans aged 65 and above living in Berkshire and Oxfordshire in the UK
Academic studies
Study identifies factors that may lower flu vaccine protection
In a study designed to identify host and immunologic factors that might affect flu vaccine effectiveness, a research team based in Canada found that genetic changes in circulating viruses, birth year, repeat vaccinations, and waning protection may all play a role
Febrile Seizures Risk Compared With Inactivated Flu Vaccine, PCV13
Children faced an elevated risk of febrile seizures after receiving 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) but not inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV), according to findings from the Sentinel Initiative
Do Vitamin D Levels Affect Flu Vaccine Immunogenicity?
No significant associations were seen between 25(OH)D levels and post-flu vaccination antibody titers or respiratory infections, according to a study presented by Rachel Lee, MD, FACP, FAAAAI
Flu Antivirals Significantly Cut ICU Admission, Mechanical Ventilation Need
Inpatient administration of antivirals significantly reduces intensive care unit admissions and the need for mechanical ventilation among hospitalized patients with influenza, a team of Canadian researchers reported at IDWeek 2017
No drop in flu vaccinations since nasal spray withdrawn, CDC says
Despite removing a recommendation to use the live attenuated influenza vaccine, vaccination rates remained relatively stable in the state of Oregon
Effects of Pneumococcal, Influenza Vaccines on COPD Exacerbations
Influenza and pneumococcal vaccine are associated with lower risks of chronic obstructive airway disease exacerbations, hospitalizations, and ICU admissions, according to a prospective study of 146 COPD patients reported at IDWeek 2017
Safety of Single Dose IV Peramivir Examined in Pediatric Influenza
According to results of a Phase 3 study presented at IDWeek 2017, peramivir, a neuraminidase inhibitor, and oral oseltamivir were both found to be safe and well tolerated in pediatric patients with influenza
Pediatric influenza news
School nurses preparing to vaccinate 80,000 children
School nurses across Hampshire are preparing to protect thousands of children against flu. Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust will offer the flu vaccine to 80,000 children, using the nasal spray vaccine
Parents of 'at risk' kids urged to get them vaccinated against the flu
Hundreds of ‘at risk’ Teesside children are not being vaccinated against the flu. Nearly half of those at risk of serious illness or death from the flu have not had their jab to protect against the virus
Over 65’s influenza news
Efficacy of High- vs. Standard-Dose Flu Vaccine Compared in Older Adults
Findings from a systematic review and meta-analysis presented at IDWeek 2017 showed that Fluzone High-Dose (IIV3-HD) was more effective than standard-dose influenza vaccine (IIV3-SD) at lowering clinical outcomes associated with influenza infection in older adults
Should the flu vaccine be made compulsory for healthcare staff?
Most elderly people living in specialised accommodation in France are keen to receive the flu vaccine, but a minority of healthcare staff do the same, with only 25% of doctors working in Paris hospitals immunised
Some GPs in Limerick 'charging pensioners' for jab as flu season starts
A number of GPs in Limerick are charging pensioners with medical cards for the flu vaccine, an injection that has been made free of charge by the Health Service Executive following years of severe outbreaks. That is according to Deputy Maurice Quinlivan, who raised the issue after he was approached by a concerned pensioner
Bad flu season ahead, health officials warn
Through their partnership, the Canadian Association for Retired Persons and Sanofi Pasteur have developed the Faces of Flu awareness video illustrating the first-hand impact the flu can have on seniors
General Influenza News
Why Can't We Make A Better Flu Vaccine?
Paul A. Offit, MD, writes about the explanations which have been offered to account for the influenza vaccine’s weaknesses, and suggests that the solution to all of these problems is simple but difficult to achieve—to develop a universal influenza vaccine
Why can’t we cure the common cold?
At this point in time, perhaps the biggest barrier to us curing the common cold is commercial. Last year, shares in Novavax fell by 83% after its vaccine for RSV, one of the virus families responsible for colds, failed in a late-stage clinical trial. Episodes such as this have made pharmaceutical companies wary
Commission backs electronic immunisation record to manage vaccination
The European Commission supports the creation of an electronic immunisation record system that will help EU member states enhance their cross-border cooperation and simultaneously enhance prevention of infectious diseases
North Rhine Westphalia – health experts strongly back vaccinations as new flu season starts
As the flu season arrives in North Rhine Westphalia, people are encouraged to book their flu shots, especially if they belong to an at-risk group
Panelists: Physicians Must Stress Importance of Flu Vaccine
Although a higher percentage of Americans are receiving influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations compared with previous decades, the rates across all population segments are not high enough, according to public health officials
Indore administration struggles to handle rising cases of swine flu
As the administration struggles to handle the rising cases of swine flu in the city of Indore, doctors treating patients afflicted with H1N1 Influenza are forced to pay for their own vaccines out of their own pockets
Don’t let influenza win: Get a flu shot
As Wyoming begins to see early signs of the flu season’s arrival, flu shots remain the best way available to help win the fight against influenza illness, according to the Wyoming Department of Health
Certain French pharmacists authorised to vaccinate patients against the flu
A three year trial in the French regions of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Nouvelle Aquitaine will see pharmacists authorised to vaccinate patients against the flu
The flu vaccine saves 2,500 lives every year
French infectious diseases specialist Olivier Épaulard explains that the flu can be a very serious deadly disease, and that even though the efficacy of the vaccine varies from year to year, all should get immunised in order to save lives
Vaccination against the flu around Europe
There are huge variations in the flu vaccinations rates around Europe, with the UK at the top as 75% of older people receive a flu shot, whereas in France only 47.7% of at-risk people are immunised
Preventing the flu as the cold arrives
In Italy, the flu vaccine isn’t at the forefront of people’s minds as winter approaches, with only 45% of the over 65s opting for a flu shot every year and 14% of the general population
Is there any reason not to get a flu shot?
Health officials urge all Americans 6 months and older to get an annual flu shot — except for those who have ever had a severe or life-threatening allergic reaction to an influenza vaccine or vaccine component. Individuals who have had severe allergic reactions to a flu vaccine “should not get the vaccine again,” said Dr. Lisa Grohskopf, a medical officer with the CDC
Almost half not taking up flu vaccine
NHS Dumfries and Galloway is encouraging people at risk of flu to get their flu vaccine as early as possible this year. Last year the uptake figures highlighted that under half of people at risk from flu due to an underlying health condition had taken up the offer of the free vaccine
Pharmacy flu vaccinations hit 500,000
More than half a million flu vaccinations have been administered through pharmacies during this season’s flu vaccination service in less than five weeks, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee has announced
Brace for a big flu season
Flu shots are the most effective way to prevent influenza and its complications. And, this year, U.S. health officials are turning-up the volume in advising early flu vaccinations as we brace for what is being anticipated as one of the biggest flu seasons on record
People in Guernsey encouraged to act against flu
This year's flu vaccinations are now available in Guernsey. Islanders old and young are being encouraged to have the annual immunisation after a heavy flu season in other parts of the world
Flu vaccination campaign launches across Wales
The annual campaign to encourage people in eligible groups across Wales to have a vaccination to protect themselves from influenza has launched. The Beat Flu Campaign encourages those who need it most to get protection each year against influenza
Essentia requiring flu shots for employees, but some question policy
Seeking to boost its vaccination rate, Essentia Health this week began requiring all its 15,000-plus employees across four states to get flu shots, the health system's patient quality and safety officer said. The compulsory element of the new vaccination effort doesn't sit well with all Essentia employees
Deadly flu season should mean vaccines for all health workers
Influenza claims about 3000 Australian lives annually, mostly people over 65 years old. Compared with other infectious diseases, influenza-related deaths are much more common but usually don't make headlines – until recently – when spikes in the numbers of deaths of healthy young children and adults and of residents in aged-care facilities hit the headlines.
Burden of disease
Flu cases at Colorado hospitals nearly double usual numbers
Twenty Colorado residents have been hospitalized for flu since Aug. 1, about twice the number usually seen this time of year in the state, according to San Juan Basin Public Health
How the flu kills: What happens when a person dies with influenza
More than 180,000 flu cases were confirmed nationally by the end of September. That is 2½ times the number of cases over the same period in 2016, though the comparison may be overblown due to the rise in rapid flu testing this year. Between January 1 and September 15, 288 influenza-related deaths were reported to NSW Health or logged with the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages. It is likely to be an underestimate.
Health officials confirm first death of flu season
The San Diego region's first fatality of "flu season" was an 86-year-old man, county health officials said. The San Diego man had a previous medical condition, and he succumbed after a brief hospitalization, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency
Mohali district H1N1 toll highest in 5 yrs
Ten people have died of swine flu (H1N1) in Mohali district, India, the highest in the past five years. The death toll rose from five to 10 in the past month
First 2017 case of swine flu confirmed in Michigan
Michigan's first case of the swine flu was announced Friday, Oct. 6. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Allegan County Health Department confirmed the case of swine flu, an H3N2 variant influenza, in a child who visited the Allegan County Fair
The face of Sydney's deadly flu season
Vanika Idnani was three days shy of her fourth birthday when she died with influenza on Saturday, July 29, just as this year's flu season was building to a crescendo. Three children have died of influenza-related illnesses in NSW in 2017 so far. NSW Health recorded 288 flu deaths overall from January 1 to September 15
Flu Scan for Oct 06, 2017; H3N2v cases in 2 states; CDC eyes H7N9 threat
In its latest weekly FluView report, the U.S. CDC said it has received reports of nine more variant H3N2 (H3N2v) influenza cases, eight from Maryland and one from Michigan, its first of the year