"Seqirus Media Monitoring" 2nd Nov 2017

Seqirus mentions
Study Explains Low Effectiveness of Flu Shots
The low effectiveness of the seasonal flu vaccine is likely caused by problems with the way the virus is grown in chicken eggs, according to a study by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute. There are two flu vaccines that aren’t grown in eggs: Flucelvax, a cell-based flu shot made in dog kidney cells that were taken from a Cocker Spaniel in 1958 and grown in a lab ever since, and Flublok, which is grown in the cells of an insect
Pandemic Influenza News
EID Journal: H7N9 Viruses Co-circulating In Chickens In Southern China, 2016–2017
A new study, published in the EID Journal, looks at the growing diversity among H7N9 viruses in China. Specifically they isolated 3 different H7N9 viruses found to be co-circulating in chickens between June 2016 and January 2017 in Gaungdong Province, China. As the authors note, all three of these viruses possess traits that `could cause a pandemic among poultry and humans in China'
New test bids to speed bird flu diagnosis
Norwich researchers are developing new technology that could revolutionise the way Avian Influenza is diagnosed, thanks to a £60,000 grant from the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative. There have been reports outside the UK of the virus crossing to humans and so authorities immediately cull whole flocks and other flocks in close proximity, whether the birds are infected or not. It’s hoped this new method might reduce the need for precautionary mass culls of poultry in the future
A Curious (And Unverified) H5N8 Report From Russia
Some unconfirmed reports from the Russian press say that there was a purported statement by Anna Popova - Chief State Sanitary Physician of the Russian Federation - regarding potential human infection with HPAI H5N8. There were no details on where or when this occurred, or how many seropositive human cases have been detected
Video: Cage-free pledge by 2025 is a "regrettable move", chief vet says
The UK's chief vet Nigel Gibbens has described the commitment by leading retailers to go cage-free by 2025 as a "regrettable move." The chief vet, who has previously questioned whether farmers should continue with free range production in areas of high risk from AI, said more thought needed to be given to what would happen in 2025
Industry News
FDA Grants Fast Track Designation to Visterra's VIS410 for Treatment of Hospitalized Patients with Influenza A
Visterra announced that the U.S. FDA has granted Fast Track designation to its lead product candidate, VIS410, a novel monoclonal antibody in development for the treatment of hospitalized patients with influenza A.
Flu not to be sneezed at
In Malaysia, flu is generally seen all year-round, with influenza A usually detected more frequently than influenza B. GSK has introduced Fluarix Tetra, an inactivated quadrivalent vaccine aimed to help curb the burden of flu and protect families across Malaysia. Unlike trivalent inactivated vaccines, Fluarix Tetra includes two A and two B strains, offering direct and broad protection against the four strains that account for almost all seasonal influenza cases globally
Academic studies
Egg-Based Flu Vaccines Offer Lower Levels of Protection Against Certain Virus Subtypes
In the U.S., as the number of states reporting local flu activity has more than doubled since last week, researchers have found that egg-based influenza vaccine production may be yielding less effective vaccines
Common Flu Virus Could Lead to Muscle Wasting in DMD, Preclinical Study Suggests
Infection by the influenza virus was found to contribute to muscle degeneration in a zebrafish model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). The study suggests that flu vaccination could be important for patients with genetic muscle diseases, and for other illnesses in which the immune system, inflammation, and muscle tissues are known to be affected
How Flu Shot Manufacturing Forces Influenza to Mutate
According to a new study from scientists at The Scripps Research Institute, 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.
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
Which children should be excluded from child care due to illness?
Influenza virus and rhinovirus have been isolated from toys in a child care setting. All children 6 months and older should be vaccinated appropriately with an inactivated influenza vaccine on an annual basis
Vaccination is still key to preventing flu
The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases has released a policy statement of updated recommendations for influenza prevention, reiterating once again the importance of vaccination. “First and foremost we always emphasize that vaccination is the best preventive measure we have against influenza,” says Henry H. Bernstein, DO, MHCM, FAAP, one of the contributors to this year’s recommendation report
More than half of all pregnant women in Solihull and Birmingham did not get flu jab
More than half of pregnant women in the Solihull and Birmingham left themselves and their unborn child at risk of the flu last year, NHS figures have revealed. Some 10,668 women did not get the flu jab, with just 41 per cent taking up the free vaccination
Which Trimester Should I Get The Flu Shot? An OB-GYN Explains
Dr. Sherry Ross, an OB-GYN and Women's Health Expert at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, says you can get the flu shot at any time during your pregnancy, but you should especially get it done if you’re pregnant between October through May; the benefits of getting the flu vaccine while pregnant absolutely outweigh the risks.
Flu warning: Children are 'super spreaders' of the winter illness, warns health officials
Children are "super spreaders" of flu, England's top medic has said as she urged parents to get their children vaccinated ahead of what has been dubbed as a "pressurised" flu season.
Over 65’s influenza news
Hello, have you thought about getting vaccinated agains the flu?
In France the over 65s are likely to get a phone call from their local national health insurance centre, as too few older people get vaccinated against the flu, and need to be encouraged to do so
This year"s flu vaccine was a flop
This year’s quadrivalent flu vaccine was ineffective in the elderly and conferred minimal protection for most people against the main circulating A strain, data from GP practices show. Flu vaccine effectiveness was 33% overall, but only 10% for the A (H3N2) virus that predominated this season, according to interim estimates released by the Melbourne-based WHO Collaborating Centre for Influenza. The poor antigenic match between the vaccine and circulating strain of A (H3N2) virus could explain the low effectiveness, researchers said
Preventing Flu in Older Adults
Many older adults may feel young at heart, but adults aged 65 years or older account for more than one half (50%-70%) of all flu-related hospitalizations and most (85%) flu-related deaths. Despite the risks that influenza poses for older adults, recently released data from the CDC show that vaccination rates have remained mostly stagnant over the past 5 years. Rates increased by 1.9% in the 2016-2017 season to 65.3% among those aged 65 years or older, but coverage still remains below US public health goals
Doctors must push flu vaccination as warmer weather often leads to people not stopping to think about the virus
About half a million people have already got vaccinated against flu so far in Portugal but health experts are still a little concerned about reaching all of those most at risk and they are worrying about the warmer weather leading to people forgetting about the risks later on this winter
General Influenza News
Despite Being Contagious, Health Care Workers Often Treat Patients
A new study determined that more than 40 percent of healthcare professionals treat patients when they are sick and contagious, instead of staying home. And with the increasing numbers of elderly patients, or those with immunosuppression or severe chronic diseases, the risk created is significant
Defective Viral Genomes May Indicate Greater Flu Virus Severity
Scientists used next-generation sequencing to evaluate the role of defective viral genomes in the pathogenicity of influenza virus circulating in the human population. They suggested that low DVGs abundance has a major role in the severe outcome of IAV-infected patients
C+D writes open letter to BMA to tackle flu service rivalries
C+D deputy news editor Annabelle Collins explains why she wrote to Dr Andrew Green, clinical and prescribing policy lead at the British Medical Association (BMA), to express why he should publicly support the pharmacy flu service
What the flu vaccine can and cannot do
Evidence indicates that Australia's strong seasonal flu outbreak will mean Germany is likely to have a winter outbreak that may match it. Therefore, it is critical that most at-risk groups in Germany receive protection by getting vaccinated
Influenza vaccination at your local pharmacist
The flu season has begun and as is the case every year, every tenth European will become infected again. But despite intensive press and public relations campaigns, vaccination rates are still not very high; is giving people the chance to get vaccinated at local pharmacies the best solution?
And so...the influenza vaccination campaign season begins
The influenza vaccine campaign 2017-2018 in the region of Veneto is about to take-off and it will be carried out by the Ullss Health and Health Services (SISP) in collaboration with general practitioners, in accordance with the Ministry of Health's instructions. The region has estimated to have purchased around 850,000 doses of vaccine, partly already distributed across the various Ullss health points
Six cases of contagious AH3N2 detected
Six cases of AH3N2 flu have been detected in Tlaxcala, Mexico. This is not a dangerous strain, and no H1N1 cases have been detected so far in the area. The vaccination campaign has begun and more people will be reached
France - flu outbreak leads to bottlenecks in hospitals
More than a hundred French hospitals have problems finding beds for all patients. Planned operations could be postponed. The cause is the growing current flu epidemic.
Flu vaccine: high take-up is essential
Europe is bracing itself for a challenging flu season. The scale of what lies ahead for health services was encapsulated by Prof Sir Malcolm Grant, chairman of the NHS in England, who noted that health chiefs “are more scared than they have ever been”. There is little to be done in the short term to remedy decades-old deficiencies in the public health service, but the HSE must ensure the highest possible influenza vaccination rates in the weeks ahead
The Unforgiving Math That Stops Epidemics
Not getting a flu shot could endanger more than just one’s own health, herd immunity calculations show. The necessary level of immunity in the population isn’t the same for every disease though
60,000 additional doses of the flu vaccine have been administered this year so far compared to the same period last year
In Ireland, the Minister for Health has met with senior officials from the Department of Health & the HSE for an update on influenza plans for the coming season. The HSE outlined that a National Steering Group is currently in place and each Hospital group and Community Health Organisation have developed plans, including additional measures to vaccinate health care workers, as well as measures to control flu in long term care facilities. The HSE is also running a programme for immunising at risk groups including people over 65 years of age and pregnant women
HSE responds to fears of impending flu epidemic amid concerns 1,000 could die
In Ireland, health chiefs have responded to fears that there is an impending flu epidemic on the way by warning that over 1,000 people could die. The HSE has accepted that this year’s flu jab may only have an effectiveness rate of between 40 per cent to 60 per cent – but it insists it does offer vital protection
Flu costs US economy $10.4B annually: 6 things to know
On average, the flu costs the U.S. economy an estimated $10.4 billion each year in direct costs for hospitalizations and outpatient visits for adults. The average daily cost of a hospital stay is $2,271
Burden of disease
A Canberra pathologist says a more expensive flu vaccine would not have helped
A Canberra pathologist says a more expensive vaccine would not have helped Australia's record flu season even if it was available because it was still based on a mis-matched strain. It comes after the country's chief medical officer rubbished claims Australians had been given a cheap option
Season's First Flu Death Confirmed In Central Iowa
An elderly central Iowa man was confirmed this week to be Iowa's first fatality of the 2017-18 flu season, according to state health officials. The Centers for Disease Control recommends a flu vaccine for most everyone over 6 months old