|

"Seqirus Media Monitoring" 24th Oct 2017

News Highlights
Flu shots for seniors There are two different flu shots – Fluzone High Dose and FLUAD – that are designed specifically for people age 65 and older; FLUAD contains an added ingredient called adjuvant MF59 that also helps create a stronger immune response
Germany discovers case of H5N8 bird flu in wild duck: OIE Germany has discovered a case of the highly pathogenic H5N8 strain of bird flu in a wild duck, the OIE said on Monday. The virus was found in a mallard duck in Osterwald in Bentheim in the northern state of Lower Saxony, said the OIE, citing information from the German food and agriculture ministry
Bulgaria reports two outbreaks of H5 bird flu - OIE Bulgaria has reported two outbreaks of the highly pathogenic H5 bird flu virus, the Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said.
Warwick University: spin out VirionHealth raises £13M to develop anti-viral drugs VirionHealth has raised up to £13 million in series A funding from the specialist life sciences venture capital group Abingworth. VirionHealth is exploiting its technology as the basis of a broad-spectrum therapy, potentially simplifying and accelerating treatment by removing the need for differential diagnosis. Initially focusing on influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, Virion says its technology can combat a range of viruses with a single therapeutic agent
Sanofi debuts new corporate signature, campaign to 'Empower Life' around the world Sanofi launched a new corporate signature summing up its mission in two words: “Empowering Life.” The dedicated webpage offers more detail, including initiatives and stories about how Sanofi is doing just that. Some of the highlighted examples include reducing the burden of influenza, innovating in rare diseases, managing diabetes, preventing malaria and fighting pain
Dr YouTube ... what's your diagnosis? About six out of ten Americans searched for health information online in the past year; researchers aimed to evaluate the educational quality of seasonal influenza videos on YouTube. "This study confirmed that most YouTube videos on seasonal influenza are provided by professional societies and health-care providers, with over half of the videos attempting to educate patients," says Dr. Lakshmi Kallur, lead researcher
French Health Minister: "27,000 older people have been vaccinated against the flu in pharmacies" The French Health Minister praised the uptake of the flu vaccine administered in pharmacies in a couple of regions - as a trial - and stated that 27,000 over 65s have already received their flu shots that way
Stopping the spread of anti-vax myths: There’s no quick fix Countering vaccination rhetoric is an extremely challenging task. Misinformation is distributed by celebrities and politicians, on anti-vax websites, by alternative health practitioners and on social media. A 2016 study of Canadian vaccination experts and frontline public health workers found that "diffusion of negative information online" to be a central cause of vaccination hesitancy
Seqirus mentions
Flu shots for seniors
There are two different flu shots – Fluzone High Dose and FLUAD – that are designed specifically for people age 65 and older; FLUAD contains an added ingredient called adjuvant MF59 that also helps create a stronger immune response
Flu vaccine now available in Alberta
Flu immunization clinics are now open all over Alberta province in Canada to provide vaccines, free of charge. FLUAD, a flu vaccine designed to boost the immune response in seniors will not be available at public health clinics but will be administered to those in long term care or supportive living centres, free of charge
Pandemic Influenza News
Germany discovers case of H5N8 bird flu in wild duck: OIE
Germany has discovered a case of the highly pathogenic H5N8 strain of bird flu in a wild duck, the OIE said on Monday. The virus was found in a mallard duck in Osterwald in Bentheim in the northern state of Lower Saxony, said the OIE, citing information from the German food and agriculture ministry
Bulgaria reports two outbreaks of H5 bird flu - OIE
Bulgaria has reported two outbreaks of the highly pathogenic H5 bird flu virus, the Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said.
Will there soon be another outbreak of bird flu?
"We are very worried," said Klaus-Peter Linn, Managing Director of the Poultry Farmers' Association of Baden-Württemberg. "The situation is dangerous." In August, the bird flu virus H5N8 was recorded in wild animals in Saxony-Anhalt. In Lower Saxony, too, the pathogen was identified for consumer protection in a wild bird, according to the local authorities. Also in Europe, there were cases in Italy, France and Switzerland, said Linn.
South Africa: Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries On Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza
In South Africa, to date, a total of ninety-two locations have been identified that tested positive for HPAI H5N8, and reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries (DAFF) has been working very closely with several role players on critical issues related to the control of the outbreak of HPAI
South Africa: Department Working to Control Avian Flu Outbreak
In South Africa, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has been working closely with several role players to control the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak in the country. The department said it is working on finding the best means to protect consumers and support poultry farmers
Industry News
Rapid Micro Biosystems Awarded a Contract by Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for the Implementation of a Rapid Sterility Test for Vaccines
Rapid Micro Biosystems announced the receipt of a $7.3 million contract from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for the implementation of a rapid sterility test for vaccines, as part of BARDA’s Advance Development of Medical Countermeasures for Pandemic Influenza, which focuses on improving the government’s responsiveness to future pandemic threats
Sanofi debuts new corporate signature, campaign to 'Empower Life' around the world
Sanofi launched a new corporate signature summing up its mission in two words: “Empowering Life.” The dedicated webpage offers more detail, including initiatives and stories about how Sanofi is doing just that. Some of the highlighted examples include reducing the burden of influenza, innovating in rare diseases, managing diabetes, preventing malaria and fighting pain
Warwick University: spin out VirionHealth raises £13M to develop anti-viral drugs
VirionHealth has raised up to £13 million in series A funding from the specialist life sciences venture capital group Abingworth. VirionHealth is exploiting its technology as the basis of a broad-spectrum therapy, potentially simplifying and accelerating treatment by removing the need for differential diagnosis. Initially focusing on influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, Virion says its technology can combat a range of viruses with a single therapeutic agent
Vaccines Demonstrates CureVac's RNActive Vaccine is Superior to Licensed Vaccines
CureVac announced the publication of a study demonstrating that vaccines based on its sequence optimized, chemically unmodified mRNA formulated in optimized lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are highly immunogenic and well tolerated. The results showed that a single intramuscular vaccination with LNP-formulated, chemically unmodified mRNAs encoding rabies or influenza antigens leads to a strong induction of local innate immune responses and systemic adaptive immune responses. Notably, the humoral and cellular immune responses induced by LNP-formulated mRNA vaccines against rabies and influenza H3N2 were superior to Rabipur and Fluad
Flu clinics open in Calgary but kids' nasal spray not available
Several leading pharmacies in Calgary, Canada, said while they provide the regular flu shots they won’t be offering for sale FluMist this year, some saying it hasn’t been “approved” by health care authorities. In a statement, the AHS said the product “is no longer recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization as a preferential vaccine for children, so Alberta Health didn’t order it.”
Flu shots start today across Alberta
Free vaccinations are now available in Alberta, Canada, for anyone aged six months and older at public health clinics, pharmacies and doctor’s offices across the province. This year's vaccine, called Fluzone, contains four strains of influenza virus and is being offered as an injection. FluMist will not be available
Academic studies
Advocating against the opacity of clinical trials
Researchers in Ottawa are calling on Canadian public financing firms to make publishing all clinical trial results, whether positive or negative, compulsory and to put control systems in place. The Tamiflu case remains a famous example of why access to all trial results is important
Pediatric influenza news
Pediatricians’ New Germ-Control Advice: Bring Your Own Toys
While infection control in the paediatrician’s waiting room and the exam room are important, the best ways to protect a child actually go back well before that trip to the doctor. First and foremost, make sure children are fully immunized, including getting the annual influenza vaccine as soon as it’s available
AAP: Hygiene, isolation protocols critical for infection control in pediatric office
To reduce the risk of infectious disease spread during ambulatory care visits, the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases emphasized mandatory immunization against influenza and other vaccine-preventable diseases for health care providers, as well as adherence to proper hand hygiene and isolation precautions
Has your child had the FREE flu vaccine?
People in Dorset are encouraged to get their flu shot. Sanjay Patel, a paediatric consultant at Southampton Children's Hospital, said: "It's extremely important that children with long-term conditions, such as asthma and type 1 diabetes, get the vaccine as these children are at far higher risk of getting very ill with flu"
Over 65’s influenza news
Now let's get started vaccinating
The health authorities have issued instructions as to which are the groups of people most at risk of flu and that they are the ones that need to come forward to get vaccinated to avoid serious health risks across this coming winter.
French Health Minister: "27,000 older people have been vaccinated against the flu in pharmacies"
The French Health Minister praised the uptake of the flu vaccine administered in pharmacies in a couple of regions - as a trial - and stated that 27,000 over 65s have already received their flu shots that way
Flu jab plea to carers
Leicestershire county council is encouraging carers to ensure they remember to take care of themselves too, by having a free flu jab, for instance. The free flu jab offer also applies to young carers while other categories of people who are also eligible for a free flu jab, including those aged 65 and over, those who are pregnant, and those with certain health conditions, such as asthma
General Influenza News
Dr YouTube ... what's your diagnosis?
About six out of ten Americans searched for health information online in the past year; researchers aimed to evaluate the educational quality of seasonal influenza videos on YouTube. "This study confirmed that most YouTube videos on seasonal influenza are provided by professional societies and health-care providers, with over half of the videos attempting to educate patients," says Dr. Lakshmi Kallur, lead researcher
Numbers signed up for flu vaccination has decreased
In recent years, the number of anti-flu vaccinations has declined steadily. As data analysis by the commercial health insurance company (KKH) shows, last year only one in seven KKH clients was vaccinated against influenza. In North Rhine-Westphalia it was only about one eighth of the population
With winter comes the flu - 39,000 flu vaccine doses available in eastern Veneto
In Eastern Veneto, Italy, 39,200 doses of flu vaccine have been purchased to protect the elderly and other at-risk groups as a priority, but also the general population, with an aim of reaching 75% of coverage for older people this year
Diabetes sufferers must get winter flu jab
Diabetes sufferers must get the winter flu jab to protect themselves against an increased risk of catching the flu and serious illness like pneumonia, leading charity Diabetes UK has said. Last year a quarter of people with diabetes did not get the jab despite it being free for everyone with the condition through the NHS
Determining the Appropriate Time For the Flu Shot in Mesothelioma Patients
Cancer patients should time their flu shot around their chemotherapy treatments. Specifically, getting the flu shot two weeks prior to the first chemotherapy treatment or between chemo cycles, if treatment has already begun. Mesothelioma and cancer patients should not take the flu mist form of the flu since it contains an active virus
This is the winter our health system will finally collapse
Dr Muiris Houston writes that "it is too late to avoid a flu-induced failure of our health system this winter". Houston says that "it appears that the H3N2 component of this year’s southern hemisphere flu vaccine was relatively ineffective", although getting a flu shot is still recommended
Union must compensate man who had allergic reaction to influenza A vaccine
In Brazil, a man who is HIV positive had an allergic reaction to a Sanofi flu shot in 2010, causing Steven Johnson Syndrome, and should receive compensation according to a court ruling
The flu and I - an objective report on the influenza virus in advance of the forthcoming flu season
The writer reviews the day-to-day realities of how flu spreads and risks people should avoid. They examine the statistics of earlier outbreaks and the risks to groups of people more susceptible to the virus
Trust chief executive and nurse administers landmark flu jab
Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has become the first acute provider in the country to vaccinate 75% of its frontline staff against flu for the second year in a row. The campaign has been spearheaded by a dedicated team of vaccinators supported by “peer vaccinators” in various roles, including the organisation’s chief executive Richard Parker
Working toward global health security: Strategies and challenges
The threats of global pandemics are very real: According to World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, such threats represent by far the greatest global risk, with the potential to wipe out between 5 and 10 percent of the GDP of the world’s economy, as well as having the potential to kill tens of millions of people
Stopping the spread of anti-vax myths: There’s no quick fix
Countering vaccination rhetoric is an extremely challenging task. Misinformation is distributed by celebrities and politicians, on anti-vax websites, by alternative health practitioners and on social media. A 2016 study of Canadian vaccination experts and frontline public health workers found that "diffusion of negative information online" to be a central cause of vaccination hesitancy
Flu vaccine in Puglia, Italy – more hard work and better communication needed to raise coverage levels
In Puglia, Italy, the flu vaccination campaign is looking positive with more people taking up the vaccines, which is encouraging after the damage caused by the 2014 Fluad media storm
Government health officials slam star Calvin Harris for claiming the flu jab is a 'neurotoxin shot' full of mercury and reassure the public it is safe
UK government health officials have attacked DJ Calvin Harris after he controversially claimed the flu jab is a 'neurotoxin shot'. The Scottish DJ, who has 12.7 million followers on Twitter, became embroiled in a row on the social media site after telling them the vaccine contains mercury. His false allegations were dismissed by various experts who said thimerosal isn’t a component of the flu shot
Pharmacists want pay for giving flu shots in N.L., predict 'nasty season'
With predictions that a difficult influenza season is coming, Canadian pharmacists are calling on the province to pay them to vaccinate residents. "In most other provinces, eight of ten now, pharmacists have the ability to vaccinate for flu as part of the universal program," said Keith Bailey, public relations chair of the Pharmacists' Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (PANL)
Experts tackle myth that flu vaccine causes influenza
Physicians are urging their patients to get the influenza vaccine, saying that doing so is the best way to avoid contracting the virus. Healio Family Medicine asked William Schaffner, MD, who is also an Infectious Disease News Editorial Board member, and Jennifer Caudle, DO, board-certified family physician and associate professor of family medicine, Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, Stratford, New Jersey, for suggestions on how primary care physicians can discuss and dispel flu vaccine myths
Free influenza and pneumococcal vaccination to start on Wednesday
In Hong Kong, with the launch of the Government Vaccination Programme 2017/18 on October 25, the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health reminded eligible people to receive free seasonal influenza vaccination as soon as possible to better protect themselves in the coming winter influenza season and pneumococcal vaccination
Burden of disease
Telangana records 7th highest H1N1 cases in India
Telangana has recorded the seventh highest number of swine flu cases this year so far in India and as per the latest data Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Delhi have recorded more cases