Influenza (seasonal)

Discovery points to a new path toward a universal flu vaccine

Flu vaccines can be something of a shot in the dark. Not only must they be given yearly, there's no guarantee the strains against which they protect will be the ones circulating once the season arrives.


The most predictable disaster in the history of the human race

Bill Gates is an optimist.

Ask him, and he'll tell you himself. "I'm very optimistic," he says. See?


Sanofi promises 7% vax sales growth for 2015, despite rocky Q1

Sanofi says it's poised to repeat the 7% growth its vaccines unit saw last year. But after battling through a slow quarter for influenza vaccine sales, it'll have some catching up to do for the remainder of the year if it wants to make that happen.
Thanks to two strain changes in the Southern Hemisphere, the company saw a delayed flu campaign and, as a result, a 4.6% drop in overall vaccines sales from last year's first quarter. Despite the slow start, though, Sanofi ($SNY) execs have pegged the vaccines unit to deliver a repeat 7% jump for the year.

Potency worries prompt GSK flu vaccine recall

To cap off one of the least effective seasons for flu vaccines in recent memory, vaccine producer GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) announced the recall of all remaining doses of a quadrivalent, affecting roughly 1.7 million jabs.

Study: Neuraminidase antibodies help protect against flu

A study from the University of Michigan and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has yielded what's being called "convincing" evidence that antibodies to the influenza virus protein neuraminidase (NA) contribute to protection against flu in people who have received a flu shot.

EU agency issues flu-virus vaccine strain directives for 2015-16

Health professionals from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Friday that vaccine manufacturers should include influenza virus strains from this flu season in the vaccine for next season.
The European Union bureau’s recommendations are formulated from observations by the World Health Organization (WHO). The agency said that the trivalent vaccine for the 2015-16 influenza season must include three specific virus strains: an A/Switzerland/9715293/2013 (H3N2)-like virus, a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus and an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus.

Annual New Technologies, New Vaccines conference to begin Sunday

World health industry leaders will meet for the 10th Annual New Technologies, New Vaccines conference Sunday through Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware.
Over 100 business owners, representatives of regulatory agencies and scientists traveled from across the globe to attend the conference. The leaders will exchange their latest discoveries and advancements as they battle against deadly diseases and potential future pandemics like HIV, Ebola and influenza strains.

Discussion topics from Pandemic Influenza, 2nd Edition

Pandemic influenza is a re-emerging disease with serious public health consequences. The H1N1 pandemic in 2009-10 and the continuing threat to humans from avian influenza H5N1 and H5N8 have underlined this threat.
Particularly in an increasingly globalised society, it is essential that we have preparedness plans in please at a local, national and international level.

WHO recommends annual vaccination to combat swine flu

Annual vaccination is the most effective solution for combating seasonal influenza infections such as swine flu, which has killed more than 1,200 people this year in India, the World Health Organisation has said.
"It is recommended that people get a flu vaccine even during seasons when drifted viruses are circulating. It's because vaccination can prevent some infections and can reduce serious ailments that can lead to hospitalisation and death," stated the Geneva-based agency.

Development Of Universal Flu Vaccine Is On The Horizon

With the new type of antibodies capable of counteracting different strains of influenza A viruses, universal flu vaccines may be developed.  Based on a new research at McMaster University and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, this vaccine is different from the current seasonal vaccines that are frequently reformulated because of high mutation rates of flu viruses.  People just need to take a single annual shot of this new vaccine to protect themselves from all serotypes of flu viruses, including the strains that undergo constant mutation.