Influenza (pandemic)

Preserving Vaccines

Scientists studying microbes that live in volcanic hot springs have invented a way to preserve viruses that could someday change how vaccines are delivered in poor countries.


Scientists uncover clues to Pandemrix narcolepsy puzzle

Scientists think they may have started to unravel the link between the influenza vaccine and narcolepsy, shedding precious light onto how the Pandemrix vaccine given in the 2009/2010 swine flu outbreak put children at an increased risk of developing the involuntary sleep disorder.
At least 900 cases of narcolepsy associated with the vaccine have so far been reported in Europe, with the UK government conceding in September that this particular swine flu vaccine could, on rare occasions, trigger the disorder.

The Global Vaccine and Immunization Research Forum

Hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

From the WHO website:


WHO Executive Board Meeting

Hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO).

From the WHO website:


WHO confirms H7N9 cases as labs track risks

The World Health Organization (WHO) today confirmed four recent novel H7N9 avian flu cases, as scientists revealed their latest risk assessments based on genetic monitoring and lab tests.

In a statement, the WHO said it has received reports of two infections from China's Zhejiang province, which include cases involving a 57-year-old man and a 30-year-old man who is his son-in-law. Some machine translations of a Chinese-language media report had suggested the two were father and son.


Hong Kong announces second confirmed case of H7N9 avian flu

The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health of Hong Kong announced on Friday its second confirmed case of avian influenza A H7N9 and asked the public to take precautions against infection.


W.H.O. Estimate of Swine Flu Deaths in 2009 Rises Sharply

About 203,000 people around the world died of flu and respiratory problems during the 2009 H1N1 “swine flu” pandemic, according to a new study funded by the World Health Organization.
Deaths from heart failure and other secondary consequences of the flu pushed the overall toll to about 400,000, according to the study, published online on Tuesday by PLoS Medicine.

12 Projects in Pursuit of the Universal Flu Vaccine

We learned last week that a team at Imperial College London had uncovered a “blueprint” for a universal influenza vaccine. But what other approaches are underway in pursuit of this so-called “Holy Grail”?


Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety

From the WHO Global Vaccine Safety webpage:

"The Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS) was established in 1999 to respond promptly, efficiently, and with scientific rigour to vaccine safety issues of potential global importance.

The Committee provides independent, authoritative, scientific advice to WHO on vaccine safety issues of global or regional concern with the potential to affect in the short or long term national immunization programmes."