"Seqirus Media Monitoring" 6th Nov 2017

Seqirus mentions
Start of the seasonal anti-flu campaign
Health authorities in Italy have already issued 100,000 vaccines to more than 600 family medical doctors. There are three types this year - Fluarix Tetra, Intanza and Fluad. Doctors will decide on the suitability of the vaccine for each person
Pandemic Influenza News
Dom Rep Government Seeks Help To Fight Bird Flu
The government of the Dominican Republic has announced the creation of a commission to help control and eradicate bird flu. According to Agriculture Minister Ángel Estévez, the commission will work to boost poultry production, and enable the country to maintain its sanitary standards free of the disease, and to monitor the outbreak detected in the northern section of the country
Bulgaria reports two more outbreaks of virulent bird flu
A virulent bird flu virus has spread to two more regions in Bulgaria prompting veterinary authorities to announce a cull of nearly 8,000 ducks, the Balkan country’s food safety agency said on Sunday.“A total of four outbreaks of bird flu are registered in Bulgarian territory at the moment,” the agency said
Avian influenza detected in Suwon, South Korea
In South Korea, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said an H5 strain of the bird flu virus was detected in excretions of wild birds in Suwon, 46 kilometers south of Seoul. The ministry said it will check to see if the virus is highly pathogenic within the next 3-6 days
Norwich's Iceni Diagnostics hopes to reduce avian flu culls across East Anglia with new test
Future50 business Iceni Diagnostics is working on a device to detect avian flu quickly, to help farmers identify infection among chickens, turkeys and geese – reducing the need for mass culls
Avian flu alert as winter brings bird migrants
Poultry keepers have been reminded of the vital importance of effective biosecurity and to remain vigilant for signs of avian flu this winter. The UK is currently free from avian influenza (H5N8), but there is a constant risk the disease may arrive, especially now the bird migration season is underway
Industry News
Influenza: GSK, free vaccinations for employees and family members
This year, GSK in Italy has decided to offer the quadrivalent flu vaccine free of charge, as well as the meningitis vaccine, to employees and family members who request it. Vaccinations will be given by the health service of the Verona-based GSK
Natco's partner Alvogen gets nod for influenza drug in US
Natco Pharma said its marketing partner Alvogen has received final approval to market oseltamivir phosphate powder used for the treatment of influenza in the US.
Human Vaccines Project Creates Research Program to Develop Universal Influenza Vaccines
The Human Vaccines Project recently announced the Universal Influenza Vaccine Initiative, a program that will aim to understand the human immune system’s role in the development of universal influenza vaccines. "There are many public and private sector resources dedicated to developing new and improved influenza vaccines, but they are all primarily focused on one part of the problem—making the vaccine,” said Wayne C. Koff, PhD, president and CEO of the Human Vaccines Project. “What makes the UIVI distinct is that we are focusing on understanding the second part of the puzzle—the human immune response. We have to find out what generates an effective immune response against influenza in all populations in order for a vaccine to be maximally effective"
Fed. Circ. Upholds Ruling That FluMist Didn't Kill Child
The Federal Circuit upheld a U.S. Court of Federal Claims special master’s decision that a flu vaccination made by AstraZeneca didn’t cause a girl with a mitochondrial disorder to die, finding that his ruling was “based on the record evidence and is not wholly implausible”
New Vaccine Protects Against All Strains of H3N2 Influenza
A vaccine candidate that protects against multiple co-circulating strains of H3N2 influenza isolated over five seasons has been developed by a collaborative research and development partnership between researchers at the University of Georgia and Sanofi Pasteur
GlaxoSmithKline R&D chief Vallance to leave for government job: FT
GlaxoSmithKline’s long-standing president of R&D, Patrick Vallance, is said to be standing down. This is according to people “briefed on the situation” and quoted by London’s Financial Times. Vallance, who has been at the helm of the Big Pharma’s research for around six years, is reportedly leaving for a top science advisory post for the U.K. government
Here’s why this year's flu season was so bad
Australia has recorded 221,853 flu infections so far in 2017; a better vaccine could have reduced the rates, but not the high-dose Fluzone vaccine doctors were touting at the start of the week. Stopping flu viruses requires vaccines that are effective in those who most efficiently carry and spread the virus - pre-school and school-aged children
Academic studies
4-in-1 influenza vaccine appears to provide broad protection against flu
A vaccine combining centralized ancestral genes from four major influenza strains appears to provide broad protection against the dangerous ailment, according to new research by a team from the Nebraska Center for Virology. Mice protected by the unconventional vaccine survived exposure to lethal doses of seven of nine widely divergent influenza viruses. Those that received higher doses of the vaccine didn't even get sick
Study Shows Pros, Cons for Strategy to Create Universal Flu Vaccine
Researchers around the world, including at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), are pursuing a "universal" flu vaccine. This is no easy task, and a study in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that one of the most promising strategies - creating a vaccine that targets the "stalk" of a protein that covers the flu virus - is a strong one, but isn't completely bulletproof
Methotrexate drug holiday improves flu vaccine efficacy in rheumatoid arthritis patients
People with RA who stop taking methotrexate treatment for just two weeks after they have a seasonal flu shot can improve the vaccine's efficacy without increasing RA disease activity, according to new research findings presented this week at the 2017 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting in San Diego
PLoS Path.: A Structural Explanation For The Low VE Of Recent H3N2 Vaccines
Although the seasonal flu vaccine continues to turn in respectable vaccine effectiveness numbers against influenza B and H1N1, the same cannot be said for its recent performance against the H3N2 virus. While growing diversity among circulating H3N2 viruses undoubtedly plays a part - even years when the vaccine virus strain is considered a good antigenic match to circulating viruses - the H3N2 component of the flu vaccine tends to under perform
Pediatric influenza news
Studies On Flu Shot Safety For Kids Show That It's The Virus We Should Fear, Not The Shot
Despite the fact that doctors and medical experts seem to overwhelmingly agree that the flu shot is valuable, less than 50 percent of the population opted for the jab last year, according to the CDC. Among children the rate was higher (around 60 percent), but it still fell short of the recommended target of at least 70 percent. In shunning the vaccine due to fears about safety though, many parents fail to realize that they are inadvertently putting their kids at an even bigger risk. Because not only is the flu shot overwhelmingly safe, the danger of flu virus itself is often majorly underestimated
Year 4 pupils will now be offered flu vaccine
Primary school children in Year Four will now be offered flu vaccination, Public Heath England have announced. This will mean 170,000 more children may take the jab in prevention of contracting the flu virus this winter. In 2016, in the South West, an estimated 50% of children aged between two and eight years old were not given the vaccination
Over 65’s influenza news
Covering the Bases: Medicare Part B covers 100 percent of flu vaccinations
Medicare follows the U.S. CDC recommendation that people receive their annual flu vaccination. CDC states: It has been recognized for many years that people ages 65 and older are at greater risk of serious complications from the flu compared with young, healthy adults because human immune defenses become weaker with age. While flu seasons can vary in severity, during most seasons, people ages 65 and older bear the greatest burden of severe flu disease
Stronger flu vaccines coming next year
Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt is confident a stronger flu vaccine targeting the elderly will help minimise cases and deaths next year. "The signs are we will have the new A-strain vaccine that will protect seniors next year," Mr Hunt told reporters
General Influenza News
Flu vaccines from private clinics protect against more influenza viruses than public clinics'
Finland's private health care providers have a newer, more comprehensive version of the influenza vaccine than the public sector this year, because the state's procurement decision was made long before the new vaccine was cleared to be sold in the Finnish market
MP urges Swindon to get flu jab
In the UK, South Swindon’s MP Robert Buckland has received the flu vaccine for the first time and said: “I’m getting the flu jab for the first time, because I want to help spread awareness of the importance of immunisation as we approach winter"
Public health advises getting flu shots before season starts
While flu season is around the corner, it is still too early to tell whether this year’s vaccine is a good match for the virus. Dr. Genevieve Cadieux, associate medical officer of health at Ottawa Public Health, says the incidence of flu cases so far this season was “very low. We only have seven cases. Seven cases is not enough to tell whether the vaccine is going to be a good match or not.” Now, according to Cadieux, is the best time to get the flu shot
Flu bug ramps up, but too early to predict season’s severity
U.S. health experts said the flu season elsewhere is not necessarily a predictor of what will happen here. “The only certainty about flu season is uncertainty,” said Dr. Matthew Zahn, chairman of the public health committee for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. “Flu activity is low so far, but exactly what our season will look like is a story that has yet to be told.” Mild season or aggressive, Zahn said vaccination is a good idea.
Should flu shots be mandatory for health workers? Jury is out
A dozen U.S. states have laws requiring that health care workers, with some exceptions, be vaccinated each year for influenza. Minnesota appears in no hurry to join them. While some research has emerged to suggest that immunizing health care workers protects patients at hospitals and residents at long-term care facilities, the evidence isn’t strong enough to take the somewhat drastic step of a mandate, said Kris Ehresmann, who directs immunization programs for the Minnesota Department of Health
Swine Flu: Control of influenza by vaccination has become difficult
Control of swine influenza by vaccination has become more difficult in recent decades, as the evolution of the virus has resulted in inconsistent responses to traditional vaccines. The CDC advises against the use of Tamiflu and Relenza to keep exposed people from getting the flu. That's because most of the few cases of drug-resistant H1N1 swine flu have popped up in people taking Tamiflu
Asthma sufferers encouraged to get flu vaccination
People with asthma are being encouraged to get their free flu vaccination as soon as possible. NHS England and Public Health England have issued the advice as part of this year’s Stay Well This Winter campaign. Figures show that 90 per cent of asthma sufferers say viruses like colds and flu can trigger their asthma symptoms
The flu shot won’t give you the flu says Interior Health
According to Interior Health, 12,200 people are hospitalized every year in Canada because of the flu and 3,500 people die from the disease or its complications. Interior Health nurse Donna Christison says the flu shot cannot give you the flu but it can give you the symptoms
Clinic Warns About Some Ineffective Flu Vaccines
In the U.S., a West Hartford clinic is warning dozens of patients about vaccines that may have reduced effectiveness. Hartford HealthCare Medical Group Bishops Corner said they recently discovered that vaccines given between Oct. 22 to Oct. 25 may not have been stored properly
Why are Americans still so afraid of the flu vaccine?
The CDC recommends that everyone — with a few minor exceptions — 6 months and older get the flu vaccine. Most insurance plans cover the flu vaccine in its entirety. Yet only 43.3% of adults actually got the vaccine during the 2016 flu season
Burden of disease
65-year-old Nebraskan dies from the flu, DHHS advises others to get vaccinated
A 65-year-old in Southeast Nebraska is reportedly the first flu-related death in the state this season, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. DHHS recommends flu vaccines for everyone six months and older. Children, adults over 65, pregnant women and others with long-term health conditions are more likely to contract the flu
CDC reports 3 variant flu cases, with possible human-to-human spread in 1
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported three new infections involving novel influenza A viruses, two of them variant H3N2 (H3N2v) and one variant H1N2 (H1N2v), with possible human-to-human transmission in one of the cases. The H3N2v cases were in Nebraska and Michigan
Influenza activity remains at low level - HSE
Influenza activity in Ireland remains at a low level, according to the latest report from the HSE. Six confirmed influenza hospitalised cases were notified to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre for the week ending 29 October. No cases have been admitted to critical care units this season
Calgary sees 5 times more cases of influenza than Edmonton as first numbers released this season
In Canada, flu season is underway and new numbers from Alberta Health Services reveal the virus is hitting Calgary particularly hard. There have been 257 laboratory-confirmed cases of Influenza A reported so far in the province — with 151 of those case recorded in the Calgary zone. Edmonton has seen only 29. Three people in Alberta have died who had lab-confirmed influenza — two of them in Calgary