"Seqirus Media Monitoring" 31st Oct 2017

The 4 Vaccines Older Adults Need
One dose of the flu vaccine every year is recommended for all age groups. A higher-dose vaccination is an option for adults 65 and up. The high-dose vaccine (Fluzone High-Dose) and a flu vaccine with adjuvant (FLUAD) were made to create a higher immune response and designed specifically for people 65 years and older
'Utterly false': Chief Medical Officer refutes claim Australia received cheap flu vaccine
Professor Brendan Murphy, Chief Medical Officer for the Australian government, has refuted claims a cheap vaccine failed to protect the elderly in what has been the country's worst flu season on record. Seqirus called claims that a better immunisation was available on the market as "grossly misleading"
Calls for new super flu vaccines in Australia
Discussions to fast-track the availability of a super flu vaccine for the elderly are underway after a deadly season claimed 546 lives, mostly older Australians. One company in discussions with the health department is Seqirus. Vice president of commercial operations Dr Lorna Meldrum said the company was "working to expedite regulation of our enhanced vaccine"
Influenza: NSW Health Minister says current vaccine "not up to the job" after deadly flu season
The influenza vaccine used by health authorities this year "wasn't up to it", according to the New South Wales Health Minister, Brad Hazzard. Sanofi and Seqirus both make a stronger vaccine, but did not apply to be part of this year's vaccination program
Pandemic Influenza News
Avian flu virus - highly pathogenic
Avian flu is explained to El Dia readers, the symptoms, the impact on farms and how to best work to prevent or treat it
Import of poultry meat and products from Province of Milan in Italy to be suspended
In Hong Kong, the Centre for Food Safety announced that in view of a notification from the OIE about an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza in the Province of Milan in Italy, the CFS has instructed the trade to suspend the import of poultry meat and products from the province with immediate effect
China's Wen's overhauls poultry business after bird flu toll
Chinese chicken breeder Guangdong Wen’s Foodstuff Group said it had switched to new broiler breeds and expanded sales of chilled poultry meat in the wake of the country’s worst-ever wave of bird flu last winter. Almost 300 people have died from the H7N9 strain of bird flu in China since last October, far exceeding the death toll of previous winters
Industry News
BERG Enters Into an Agreement With Sanofi Pasteur to Identify Biomarkers of Flu Vaccine Performance
BERG, a biopharmaceutical company that merges biology with technology, announced a new research effort with Sanofi Pasteur: BERG will generate and model data using its proprietary Interrogative Biology platform to assess potential biomarkers of seasonal influenza vaccination outcomes in an unbiased and data-driven manner
Iraq militia "funded" by British drug giant Astrazeneca: Lawyers claim bribes paid for weapons that killed soldiers
Astrazeneca is accused of funding a terrorist militia responsible for killing British soldiers in Iraq. The pharmaceuticals giant is one of several firms being dragged into a US court over allegations it bribed health officials who were aligned with Jaysh al-Mahdi, one of the most violent insurgent groups in Iraq
Aviragen Therapeutics and Vaxart Enter into Merger Agreement
Aviragen Therapeutics, which is focused on the discovery and development of direct-acting antivirals to treat infections that have limited therapeutic options, and Vaxart, focused on developing oral recombinant vaccines based on its proprietary delivery platform that allows for administration by tablet rather than by injection, have entered into a definitive merger agreement. The merger will result in a combined company, Vaxart, focused on developing orally-delivered therapeutics and prophylactics to address a variety of viral infections
Budget vaccine blamed for record flu season
Immunisation Coalition chair Professor Paul Van Buynder has suggested that a cheap version of the flu vaccine may have influenced 2017’s “disaster year”. A stronger vaccine that costs slightly more per dose, Fluzone High-Dose, which has been found to be 24% more effective in preventing the flu, is not registered for use in Australia. Sanofi, supplier of flu vaccine in Australia, said that “suggestions the high rate of influenza in Australia in 2017 are in part a result of the supply of ‘cheap’ vaccine is incorrect”
Korea’s Pharmaceutical Exports Reach 3.6 Trillion Won
South Korea’s Green Cross won a US$37 million flu vaccine order through participation in a bid to supply vaccines for the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in March this year, ranking first in terms of market share in the international organization procurement market in the flu and varicella vaccine sector
Vaxart's oral flu vaccine tablet shows promise in human challenge trial
A phase 2 human-challenge trial of an oral tablet recombinant H1 flu vaccine showed similar protection as injectable quadrivalent flu vaccine, Vaxart said. The oral vaccine also showed favorable safety and tolerability profiles
Korea strives to develop vaccines to reduce dependency on import
Government and business officials are trying hard to make Korea an independent country in vaccine supply. Vaccine shortage crises, including the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, and the annual polio vaccine shortage have emphasized the need to develop vaccines
Academic studies
Flu vaccines: Why egg-based vaccine production is causing problems
According to a new study, the common practice of growing influenza vaccine components in chicken eggs disrupts the major antibody target site on the virus surface, rendering the flu vaccine less effective in humans. The researchers say further studies are needed to investigate replacing the egg-based system.
Why morning might be best for flu shots
Influenza vaccination may work better if given first thing in the morning to maximise the antibody response, immunologists say. Based on the findings from a three-year British study, the researchers say the timing of vaccine administration to favour mornings may be particularly beneficial for older people whose immune response may be lacking
Why Were Some Countries Hit Harder by the H1N1 Flu Pandemic?
A new study looks at global H1N1 mortality rates within all countries and all the risk factors. In addition, researchers looked at how the seasons affected the H1N1 flu pandemic. Lastly, their group used standardized data collection techniques to ensure proper comparability throughout their study. They filled in gaps that were missing and helped identify factors that could explain why the H1N1 flu pandemic was high in some countries and low in others around the world
Disparities in influenza outcomes
Influenza infections kill between 3,000 and 49,000 people each year in the U.S. Understanding risk factors for severe influenza outcomes, such as hospitalization, can help guide vaccination programs and reduce disease burden. Researchers evaluated whether neighborhood determinants – represented by census tract data – contribute to the risk of influenza hospitalization. They analyzed 33,515 laboratory-confirmed influenza hospitalizations from 14 sites over a 5-year period and found that both individual (age, race, ethnicity) and census tract-based factors were associated with hospitalization for influenza
Influenza antivirals underused in high-risk outpatients
New research findings from five recent influenza seasons showed that influenza antivirals were underused in outpatients at a high risk for influenza-related complications who could have benefited from early treatment. Researchers said just 15% of high-risk outpatients with acute respiratory illness who presented early to care during the study period were prescribed an antiviral medication, including 37% of those with laboratory-confirmed influenza
Trial Probes Flu Shots in the Immunocompromised
A highly anticipated clinical trial looking at whether response to the flu vaccine can be improved in people with rheumatoid arthritis by temporarily stopping methotrexate for 2 weeks before immunization will be presented at the upcoming at American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 2017 Annual Meeting
Pediatric influenza news
West Sussex mums-to-be not getting the flu jab
The number of West Sussex mums-to-be not protecting themselves against the flu is revealed: figures from Public Health England show less than half are getting the flu jab. A Stay Well This Winter campaign is urging at-risk locals to get the vaccine
Nearly half of all pregnant women in south Warwickshire did not get flu jab
Nearly half of all pregnant women in south Warwickshire left themselves and their unborn child at risk of flu last year. Some 1,300 pregnant women did not get the flu jab, with just 52 per cent taking up the free vaccination
Influenza vaccine uptake in primary school children: 2016 to 2017
A Public Health England report describes the cumulative uptake of influenza vaccine during the 2016 to 2017 season for children of school years 1 and 2 age across England and children of school years 1 to 6 age in selected pilot areas. The report focuses on the results from the final end of season data submitted to PHE at school-level between June - July 2017
Parents urged to vaccinate their children against flu this winter
Parents and carers are being urged to help protect the three million eligible children from flu this winter. New data published in August of this year showed that last year’s flu vaccine nasal spray reduced the risk of flu in vaccinated children by 65% across the UK last winter
Over 65’s influenza news
More than 20,000 flu shots have been given at health centres across the region
In Portugal by October 27th, at the end of the 4th week of the vaccination campaign against influenza 2017/2018, promoted by the Institute of Health Administration (IASAUDE), 20,870 vaccines were administered. Of these, 81.2% were administered in Health Centers throughout the Region and 11.1% in homes. At the present date, IASAUDE records that vaccination coverage in the population aged 65 and over is 35%.
Influenza vaccination season 2017 - when and where to do it
Health authorities will write to everyone born before 1952 as this is the group of most at risk individuals who stand to lose most if they develop health complications after catching flu during the coming winter
Double vaccination for the winter against the flu and pneumonia
In Italy, from the 6th November the winter anti-flu vaccination campaign will begin, targeting, in particular, all of those born before 1952 who are seen to be the group most at risk
Expert stands by claim there is a ‘better’ flu vaccine
An expert has stood by claims there is a “better” flu vaccine than what is currently available in Australia, after a particularly damaging flu season that has killed dozens. Immunisation Coalition chairman Paul Van Buynder said he is aware of another vaccine unavailable in Australia that is four times stronger than what is currently available and 24 per cent more effective in adults aged 65 and above
Better flu vaccines wanted for the vulnerable elderly
Seniors advocacy group, National Seniors, has welcomed news that Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy was working on ways to strengthen the National Immunisation Program, including holding talks with manufacturers on new and strengthened vaccines after it claimed the lives of numerous aged care residents
General Influenza News
Solothurners want to be vaccinated against flu, hospital staff less keen
With more and more pharmacies offering flu vaccination there is greater opportunity to get vaccinated, however, the vaccination rate is still low for hospital staff. Rates indicate around 1 in 14 people are choosing to get a flu shot in pharmacies across the canton.
Hong Kong health department orders checks on private clinics after some vaccines found to be stored in domestic freezers
Private clinics in Hong Kong will face random inspections after some were reported to be using household refrigerators instead of medical-grade freezers to store vaccines, Hong Kong’s health director said. The announcement came as the number of people getting flu jabs rose, despite fears the shot was ineffective because it was different from the one recommended by the WHO
Top medic refutes cheap vaccine flu claims
A claim that Australians received a “cheap” flu vaccine this year has been labelled as “utterly false” by the country’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy. Prof Murphy said the flu vaccines were selected by medical experts in Australia and across the globe and were the best available in the Australian market
"Dr YouTube" is Confounding Patients, and It's the Medical Community's Fault
New research from East Tennessee University shows that YouTube is a dubious purveyor of meaningful clinical information pertaining to a keyword search of “seasonal influenza.” The research “reiterates the need for higher quality education videos on seasonal influenza [and other conditions] by the medical community,” researchers wrote
Doctors call for flu vaccine delay to better guard against ‘damaging’ peak season
Doctors say improving the timing of influenza immunisations and making the vaccine freely available to all Australians is key to saving lives next flu season. Dr Bastian Seidel, president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, said one of the main issues is timing the administration of the vaccine to maximise its protection
Getting the flu can wreak havoc on your finances
In the U.S., fewer than half of adults, 43.3 percent, got a vaccine in the 2015-2016 flu season. At the same time an estimated 24.5 million were stricken with the flu, resulting in 11 million medical visits, 308,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 deaths. The annual direct cost for hospitalizations and outpatient visits is an estimated $10.4 billion
Burden of disease
Melbourne family grieve mother's flu-related death as questions raised over vaccine qualities
The death of a Melbourne mother from flu-like symptoms has come as serious questions are raised over the quality of this year's vaccine. She had been vaccinated against the flu
Iowa reports first flu-related death of 2017-18 season
State officials say Iowa's first confirmed flu-related death of the 2017-18 flu season was that of an elderly man who lived in central Iowa. Health officials recommend that essentially everyone over 6 months of age should receive the flu vaccine