Influenza (pandemic)

Study finds investigational avian flu vaccine performs better with adjuvant

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said on Tuesday that a recent study into an investigational H7N9 avian influenza found that it worked better with the use of adjuvant.
 
Adjuvant, a substance that boosts the body’s response to vaccination, helped to increase the immune response to the experimental vaccine to 59 percent in the patients observed. The study found that without an adjuvant, the vaccine prompted minimal immune responses in patients regardless of dosage.
 
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ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON IMMUNIZATION PRACTICES (ACIP) MEETING

From the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) website:
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What's the world's biggest health risk?

Infectious diseases can break out suddenly, almost anywhere in the world, and with devastating impact.
 
The past week has seen Ebola infecting key medical staff in Sierra Leone, a deadly Middle East virus become airborne and a whole city in China put on lock-down for fear of bubonic plague.
 
The World Health Organisation (WHO), a UN body that exists to protect and advise the international community about threats such as these, raised concerns in May about the "striking changes in the communicable disease situation".
 
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Robert Kennedy Jr.’s belief in autism-vaccine connection, and its political peril

Sen. Barbara Mikulski listened impassively as Robert Kennedy Jr. made his case. He had to talk over the din in the marbled hallway just outside the Senate chambers, where he was huddled with Mikulski, two of her aides and three allies of his who had come to Washington for this April meeting.
 
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Lost Small Pox Vials and Anthrax Mishaps

Last week the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention announced that 6 small pox vials had been discovered on the 1st of July during the clearing out of an old laboratory at the Nationality Institute of Health’s (NIH) Bethesda campus, Maryland.
 
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Four countries to receive support from WHO influenza preparedness program

The World Health Organization announced the first four countries in the European Region to benefit from the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) framework on Tuesday during a meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark.
 
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Reports on H7N9 clusters show limited family spread

Two detailed reports on H7N9 avian flu transmission among family members, including an event that occurred during the second wave of infections, provides reassuring signals that the virus doesn't often spread among humans, Chinese researchers noted yesterday.
 
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CDC Advisory Committee Recommends Preferential Use of Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV) for Eligible Children 2 to 8 Years of Age

The MedImmune Specialty Care division of AstraZeneca announced that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended that when available, Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV) should be used for healthy children 2 to 8 years of age, who have no contraindications or precautions. The ACIP’s unanimous vote was based on a systematic evidence-based assessment methodology called the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (also known as GRADE).
 
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Vaccine development and developing countries

Participation of patients in medical research requires that a balance is struck—between anticipated benefits and potential harms of the new treatment being assessed, and with a view to the broader value of evidence accrued for guiding clinical practice and future research. Tensions can arise, however. Research in low-income settings has sometimes been perceived to be of greater potential benefit to those in high-income countries, where a drug may be marketed after licensing.

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