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"Seqirus Media Monitoring" 18th Oct 2017

News Highlights
China confirms bird flu outbreak at chicken farms in central Anhui province China confirmed a bird flu outbreak at some broiler chicken farms in the central province of Anhui, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Agriculture on Tuesday. The outbreak was confirmed as a case of the H5N6 strain of the virus
VIDEO: ‘Great need’ for new antivirals to combat H7N9 Timothy M. Uyeki, MD, medical epidemiologist in the CDC’s Influenza Division, discusses the growing avian influenza A(H7N9) epidemic in China. According to Uyeki, there have been five epidemic waves of H7N9 in China so far. As of early October, there have been 1,562 cases of H7N9, 99% of whom required hospitalization. The case fatality rate is “alarmingly high” at approximately 40% among hospitalized patients, Uyeki says
Pair of discoveries illuminate new paths to flu and anthrax treatments Two recent studies led by biologists at the University of California San Diego have set the research groundwork for new avenues to treat influenza and anthrax poisoning. The first study used fruit flies as an in vivo test system to reveal new evidence about the function of a key influenza protein called NS1, which has evolved to target molecular pathways in the host
Experts Outline Pathway to a Universal Influenza Vaccine Scientists and clinicians from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the California Institute of Technology discuss key considerations for developing a universal influenza vaccine in a meeting report appearing in ‘Immunity’. The report summarizes discussions from a workshop NIAID held June 28-29, 2017, entitled, “Pathway to a Universal Influenza Vaccine”
Pediatric vaccination rates down after ACIP recommends against LAIV Vaccination rates were lower among children in the 2016-2017 influenza season when compared with the 2015-2016 season, according to recent findings. These results coincide with the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommending against using the live-attenuated influenza vaccine in June 2016, suggesting the unavailability of this vaccine may impact vaccine uptake in pediatric patients
Hong Kong health officials insist city’s flu vaccine supply is effective and urge public to get shots Hong Kong health officials renewed their effort to allay fears over the city’s supply of flu vaccines, saying there was no evidence that the World Health Organisation’s proposed alternative would offer better protection. The call came amid fears that the city’s vaccine supply would be ineffective against the H3N2 virus
New flu strain has appeared in Tahiti In Tahiti, doctors have reported 87 flu cases over the past two weeks, and have identified the presence of the A(H3N2) strain
Seqirus mentions

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Pandemic Influenza News
China confirms bird flu outbreak at chicken farms in central Anhui province
China confirmed a bird flu outbreak at some broiler chicken farms in the central province of Anhui, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Agriculture on Tuesday. The outbreak was confirmed as a case of the H5N6 strain of the virus
EU is trying to avoid avian flu pandemic
EFSA is asking poultry farmers to report all instances of dead wild birds and avoiding farm birds being in contact with wild birds by using nets, as well as avoiding moving poultry to other farms
Low pathogenic A(H5N2) avian flu outbreak in poultry in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has reported an outbreak of avian flu in the Zeeland province, on a poultry farm
VIDEO: ‘Great need’ for new antivirals to combat H7N9
Timothy M. Uyeki, MD, medical epidemiologist in the CDC’s Influenza Division, discusses the growing avian influenza A(H7N9) epidemic in China. According to Uyeki, there have been five epidemic waves of H7N9 in China so far. As of early October, there have been 1,562 cases of H7N9, 99% of whom required hospitalization. The case fatality rate is “alarmingly high” at approximately 40% among hospitalized patients, Uyeki says
Is the US Prepared for The Next Flu Pandemic?
In a recent Association of Health Care Journalists webcast, 2 experts discussed the pandemic potential of the most concerning flu epidemic circulating in China, and whether the United States is prepared for this threat. According to Michael Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, another flu pandemic “is going to happen”, and the U.S. is not prepared
Industry News
Pharmacists Play Key Role in Boosting Adult Vaccination Rates
Pharmacists are central to promoting adult vaccinations, according to an interactive discussion held at the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Annual Convention. Although improvements have already been made in certain areas, such as influenza vaccination, there is still more work to be done
Sanofi: New influenza vaccine facility, first of its kind in France
A new influenza vaccine facility in France will allow Sanofi Pasteur to expand supply of VaxigripTetra to up to 70 countries in six continents. Sanofi plans to complete the expansion by 2021, subject to relevant health authority approvals and will begin producing vaccines in this new facility in 2022
Flu vaccines in France: which one and where?
The flu vaccination campaign has started in France with the aim of reaching 75% of the population. Just like last year, Vaxigrip, Immugrip and Influvac are covered by national health insurance
Academic studies
A universal flu shot may be nearing reality
After years of searching, scientists believe they have better strategies to attack the parts of the flu virus that stay the same from year to year, offering the hope of protection across multiple seasons. The vaccines being developed in laboratories around the world “offer more promise than we’ve ever had,” says Walter Orenstein, associate director of the Emory Vaccine Center in Atlanta
Scientists have discovered markers that allow them to predict the severity of influenza in higher risk patients
Scientists have discovered markers that allow them to predict the severity of influenza in higher risk patients
Flu vaccine found to be ineffective in leukaemia patients
Young leukaemia patients who were vaccinated against influenza were just as likely as their unvaccinated peers to develop flu, suggesting that additional steps are necessary to protect high-risk individuals, according to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Pair of discoveries illuminate new paths to flu and anthrax treatments
Two recent studies led by biologists at the University of California San Diego have set the research groundwork for new avenues to treat influenza and anthrax poisoning. The first study used fruit flies as an in vivo test system to reveal new evidence about the function of a key influenza protein called NS1, which has evolved to target molecular pathways in the host
Experts Outline Pathway to a Universal Influenza Vaccine
Scientists and clinicians from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the California Institute of Technology discuss key considerations for developing a universal influenza vaccine in a meeting report appearing in ‘Immunity’. The report summarizes discussions from a workshop NIAID held June 28-29, 2017, entitled, “Pathway to a Universal Influenza Vaccine”
Influenza vaccine for preventing acute otitis media (middle ear infection)
A study reviewed the effect of influenza vaccine on preventing acute otitis media in infants and children. Although researchers observed a reduction in antibiotic usage, this impact is uncertain because the current practice is to avoid overuse of antibiotics. Coupled with other vaccine safety concerns, the use of influenza vaccine to reduce AOM is not yet justified, and additional research is needed
For Vaccines, Scientific Advances Meet Challenging Economics
One bright spot in vaccine development has been the flu vaccine, which has improved over the years, though its effectiveness can vary year by year due to the rapid mutation of the virus. Some of the latest research into the flu vaccine aims to address that problem by better understanding what enables the virus to change so fast
Pediatric influenza news
Pediatric vaccination rates down after ACIP recommends against LAIV
Vaccination rates were lower among children in the 2016-2017 influenza season when compared with the 2015-2016 season, according to recent findings. These results coincide with the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommending against using the live-attenuated influenza vaccine in June 2016, suggesting the unavailability of this vaccine may impact vaccine uptake in pediatric patients
Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell is encouraging parents to take their kids to get the flu vaccination
In Scotland, parents of youngsters aged between two and five are being encouraged to join the fight against flu this winter, by ensuring their children get their flu vaccination. GP practices across the NHS Lanarkshire area are providing the free nasal flu vaccine in a bid to ensure young children are protected
Over 65’s influenza news
Flu vaccination for the elderly: three vaccines are available
People aged 60 and over should be vaccinated against influenza. In Germany, three vaccines are available: a standard vaccine against three viral strains, a vaccine with an adjuvant and a vaccine against four strains. "Older patients are advised to discuss with the physician what vaccine is suitable for them" according to health experts
General Influenza News
Influenza - a day to get vaccinated
In the Canton of Bern, Switzerland, National Influenza Vaccination Day will be held on November 3rd; on that day people will be able to get vaccinated at a reasonable price, at many surgeries, without an appointment
Influenza; for many Italians, it is not a serious disease
A recent survey in Italy showed that only 43% of Italians over 50 believe that the flu can lead to lethal complications, and only half think the flu vaccine will be efficient; there has also been a fall in the number of over 65s being vaccinated against the flu
Vaccinations: French Health Ministry's strange decisions
In France, the Health Minister seems to be making contradictory choices, on the one hand making childhood vaccines compulsory, and on the other, not forcing healthcare staff to receive a flu shot
Torreon receives 8,000 doses of flu vaccines
In Torreon, Mexico, 8,000 doses of flu vaccine have arrived, and will be given to people for free; at risk groups are particularly encouraged to receive the shot
Seasonal flu: vaccination campaign begins in Algeria
In Algeria, the flu vaccination campaign has begun, with 2.5 million doses bought by the Pasteur Institute to be used by healthcare facilities; at-risk groups will be receiving the vaccine for free
Paula Radcliffe on how asthma ensures she never misses her flu jab
Six-time world champion Paula Radcliffe has teamed up with global healthcare brand Sanofi Pasteur to highlight the importance of people in 'at-risk groups' protecting themselves against flu
Hong Kong health officials insist city’s flu vaccine supply is effective and urge public to get shots
Hong Kong health officials renewed their effort to allay fears over the city’s supply of flu vaccines, saying there was no evidence that the World Health Organisation’s proposed alternative would offer better protection. The call came amid fears that the city’s vaccine supply would be ineffective against the H3N2 virus
Fight the Flu Day across the country launched by the Health Secretary
The Health Secretary fired the starting gun on the launch of a national day to fight flu across mexico. During the coming weeks health authorities will deliver some 32,000 doses of flu vaccine to those most at risk across the health system
ISSSTE is going to distribute 83,500 doses of influenza vaccine
Dr. Tofic Salum Fares, of the Médico del Instituto de Salud en el Estado, said ISSSTE was going to distribute 83,500 doses of flu vaccine for the coming flu season. Dr Salum Fares met ISSTE's Dr Juan Guillermo Mansur Arzola and regional health directors from Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, Rio Bravo, Matamoros, San Fernando, Mante, Tampico y Victoria to formalise plans to carry out the work over the coming months
Flu shot is key for people with diabetes
Many people with diabetes don't get a seasonal flu shot each year, according to the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE). However, people with diabetes are more likely to develop serious flu-related health problems if they get the virus, the AADE cautioned
Influenza and pneumococcal vaccination programmes in 2017/18 to be launched tomorrow in phases
In Hong Kong, the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health announced that the Vaccination Subsidy Scheme and Government Vaccination Programme 2017/18 would be launched on October 18 and 25 respectively, providing subsidised or free seasonal influenza vaccination and pneumococcal vaccination to eligible persons in phases
Province launches seasonal flu vaccination
In New Brunswick, the flu vaccination campaign has been launched. The Department of Health encourages all health-care workers, such as physicians and nurses, to continue to be a partner in protection by getting vaccinated against the flu and encouraging their patients to do the same
DAK urges people to get early swine flu vaccine
Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) said that swine flu has raised its head in Kashmir as a woman has tested positive at SK Institute of Medical Sciences. President DAK and flu expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan said people should get vaccinated now before flu starts spreading widely
Burden of disease
New flu strain has appeared in Tahiti
In Tahiti, doctors have reported 87 flu cases over the past two weeks, and have identified the presence of the A(H3N2) strain
Swine flu takes shape of seasonal flu, will last another 2-3 months, says expert
H1N1 influenza has now become a seasonal influenza and there will be two waves of it that will last for two to three months, said Dr Raman Sharma, a senior professor in medicine department at the Sawai Man Singh Medical College in Jaipur. He said cases of swine flu have gone down with one or two patients coming to the hospital every day
First flu death of the year reported in Yolo County
A middle-aged man died of influenza, Yolo County health officials announced Tuesday, making him the first influenza-related death this year. The man had “significant, pre-existing medical conditions,” said Yolo County Spokeswoman Beth Gabor