"Seqirus Media Monitoring" 7th Nov 2017

Seqirus mentions
Flu Vaccine “Factories” Create Errors That Reduce Protection
The flu vaccine used during the 2016–17 flu season was only 43 percent effective against the predominant influenza A H3N2 strain, and the lack of protection has been almost as low in other years. Two studies now suggest a new reason for the problem: The vaccine strain mutates during the manufacturing process in ways that cause mismatches with real circulating flu strains. Two U.S. influenza vaccines do not use egg-adapted strains: FLUCELVAX is grown in canine kidney cells, and Flublok is grown in insect cells
Pandemic Influenza News
There are 4 Outbreaks of Bird Flu in Bulgaria
A total of four outbreaks of avian influenza have been found in Bulgaria - in the districts of Dobrich, Haskovo, Sliven and Yambol, the press agency of the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency said
Japan: Testing Dead Mute Swan For AI In Shimane Prefecture
Today Japanese media is carrying multiple reports of the discovery of a dead mute swan in Shimane Prefecture, which has preliminarily tested positive for influenza A. It will take a few days before a full laboratory analysis can tell us what type of influenza they are dealing with
Industry News
Soriot ready to reveal if medicine is working
As Astrazeneca approaches Thursday’s third-quarter trading update, investors have been taking stock of where the failed Mystic trial has left the company. “Clearly Mystic was important to them, but it’s not the be all and end all,” said Richard Marwood, a senior fund manager at Royal London and an investor in Astrazeneca. “Maybe this realisation has come into the sentiment of shareholders. There are lots of irons in the fire still.”
Collaborative research identifies broadly cross-protective vaccines for H3N2 influenza
A collaborative research and development partnership between researchers at the University of Georgia and Sanofi Pasteur has resulted in the identification of a vaccine candidate that protects against multiple co-circulating strains of H3N2 influenza isolated over five seasons following testing in mouse and ferret models
A Penn scientist says he knows why last year's flu vaccine was so bad
New research has found that a problem with the way flu vaccine is manufactured explains why many people who got flu shots last year got sick anyway. Scott Hensley and his team concluded that growing flu virus in chicken eggs introduced mutations that reduced vaccine effectiveness. Sanofi announced in July that it would acquire Protein Sciences, which makes Flublok, a non egg-based vaccine
Academic studies
Healthcare workers often go to work sick: study
Healthcare workers in clinical settings, such as long-term care facilities and hospitals, often refuse to stay home from work when experiencing influenza-like symptoms, risking the health and wellbeing of patients. According to a new study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, four out of ten healthcare professionals will go to work despite there being higher concentrations of older patients with immunosuppression or severe chronic diseases in healthcare facilities
Temporary Methotrexate Discontinuation Improves Influenza Vaccine Immunogenicity in RA
Temporary discontinuation of methotrexate for 2 weeks after receiving seasonal influenza vaccination improves the immunogenicity of vaccination in patients with rheumatoid arthritis without increasing RA disease activity, according to data presented at the 2017 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting
A Promising New Flu Shot Could Provide Lifelong Immunity Against the Virus
A group of researchers at the Nebraska Center for Virology may have succeeded in developing a flu vaccine that would provide lifelong protection against the virus. The vaccine has only been tested on mice, but the results have been promising. The mice protected with the new 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
Subregional Nowcasts of Seasonal Influenza Using Search Trends
Limiting the adverse effects of seasonal influenza outbreaks at state or city level requires close monitoring of localized outbreaks and reliable forecasts of their progression. A study aimed to develop and validate models to nowcast influenza-like illness at subregional geographic scales
Pediatric influenza news
Connecting moms-to-be and doctors online can boost vaccination rates, study says
Researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Colorado Institute for Health Research found that, when moms-to-be were able to ask questions of doctors and other experts through a specially made website, their children were significantly more likely to be fully vaccinated after six months than if the moms weren’t given the option of online interaction
The Flu Shot During Pregnancy: Safe and Effective
Earlier this fall, a CDC-funded study found a possible association between influenza vaccine and pregnancy loss. Despite decades of research establishing influenza vaccination as a safe and essential part of prenatal care, the information presented in this study may cause some concern in pregnant women. However, it is important to highlight that even the CDC study authors acknowledge several significant limitations to the study
Over 65’s influenza news

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General Influenza News
Last season's flu shot protected only 1 in 5 people
Last season's flu shot protected as few as one in five people and this year's could be similarly ineffective, researchers said Monday, calling for a better way to make the vaccine. The reason just 20 to 30 percent of people were protected by the 2016-2017 flu shot was a mutation in the H3N2 strain of the virus, which did not show up in the mass-produced vaccine that is grown using eggs, said the report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
How severe will this flu season be?
Just how nasty will the coming flu season be? It's a question that eludes even the experts. Since flu viruses are constantly changing, the severity and timing of each season are notoriously unpredictable. "I've been in this business long enough to know that it is treacherous to make influenza predictions," says Danuta Skowronski, epidemiology lead for influenza and emerging respiratory pathogens at the BC Centre for Disease Control
China’s FDA Says 650,000 Vaccines Failed National Standards
More than 650,000 vaccines for diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus have been found to be of substandard quality, China’s food and drug administration announced. This is not the first time vaccine safety in China has been put in doubt: in October 2016, China’s public prosecutor announced that it had identified over 300 suspects in an illegal vaccine distribution ring, which sold some 25 types of vaccines, including those for hepatitis B, rabies, and influenza, to 24 provinces over the span of five years. The incident raised concerns on the general safety of vaccines in China and provoked public apprehension that such large criminal networks could infiltrate the public health sector
Itasca County Hospice Volunteer Resists Flu Shot
A hospice volunteer in Itasca County may lose her role because she’s unwilling to comply with Essentia Health’s mandatory flu shot policy. Essentia first announced to employees in September that flu shots would be required this year as a condition for working or serving with the health system, with the exception of those who obtained religious or medical exemptions
Everyone can be a flu vaccine advocate!
The U.S. CDC encourages people to become a flu vaccine advocate, making the most of the holiday season to talk to friends and family about the benefits of getting a flu shot. The blog post summarises the main points that can be made to ensure everyone receives the vaccine
Free flu shots for veterans
American Family Care is offering military veterans free flu shots on Veterans Day, which is on Saturday. The announcement is an extension of AFC’s ongoing effort to promote flu prevention in the United States and comes on the heels of the company’s annual ‘National Flu Prevention Week’ campaign
Why there should be less emphasis on flu vaccination
Less emphasis on vaccination and a greater focus on basic hygiene is the best way to beat influenza epidemics, say Australian infectious disease experts. That’s because vaccination’s overall effectiveness is “disappointing”. “Vaccination seems to have been less effective recently, especially against the predominant viruses in circulation (influenza A(H3) and B strains), with little or no protection in elderly patients against H3 last winter in the UK and elsewhere,” writes Professor Chris Del Mar, a professor of public health at Bond University and Dr Peter Collignon, from Canberra Hospital
People with egg allergies now OK to get annual flu shot
It is now safe for children and adults with egg allergies to receive flu shots, recent studies say. Most flu shots, as well as the nasal spray flu vaccine, are made with an egg-based technology.
Minimising risk when running vaccination campaigns
All doctors, nurses and healthcare providers are encouraged to get the flu jab as it sends a strong message to those patients most in need of vaccination. No vaccination programme can guarantee to be 100% safe all the time. However, GPs can work to develop procedures that recognise the common pitfalls and implement steps to avoid them
FamilyWize, Walgreens, and United Way Collaborate to Encourage Preventive Measures to Protect Against Influenza
FamilyWize Community Service Partnership, together with Walgreens, the Department of Health and Human Services, and United Way, are providing a series of community health clinic events at no cost to make flu vaccination more accessible in underserved communities throughout the country. These organizations are working together to help deliver flu shots for uninsured and underinsured residents, and encourage preventive measures heading into the winter months and the peak of flu season
Burden of disease
H1N1 virus claimed 719 lives in state this year
The H1N1 virus has claimed at least 719 lives and infected over 6,056 people in the state of Maharashtra in India this year, health authorities have said. Though H1N1 virus is now part of the seasonal influenza, experts insisted that vaccination was the most efficient way against it