Global action plan for influenza vaccines

News Digest 2012


Children show protected immunity from pandemic flu vaccine one year later

February 1 - Results of a follow-up trial have shown that children who received two doses of the H1N1 pandemic influenza vaccine split-virion containing AS03B adjuvant showed lasting protection from the flu one year later according to research published by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment (NIHR HTA) programme.

Next Health Care Mandate: Flu Shots for Medical Workers?

February 6 - The U.S. government would like to see 90 percent of America's health care personnel immunized annually against the flu by the end of the decade. But reaching that goal begs a major question: Should the government encourage organization-wide, state-based or even national mandates to get there?

New Report Analyzes Mandatory Influenza Vaccination of the Health Care Workforce

February 7 - A new analysis of state laws that require health care workers (HCWs) to accept influenza vaccination as a condition of employment has been issued by the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. The report was funded by AHRQ, CDC, NVPO and OHQ on behalf of the Federal Increasing Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among Healthcare Workers Working Group. The report states that increasing influenza vaccination among the health workforce is a vital component of a comprehensive infection control program.

Flu Pandemic Preparedness: Growing Vaccines In a Greenhouse

February 7 - In response to the need for faster and more efficient vaccine production methods, a number of companies backed with venture capital money have sought to develop newer methods. Project GreenVax, led by Texas Plant-Expressed Vaccine Consortium (TPVC) and a company called G-Con LLC, is seeking to grow vaccines in plants (infecting tobacco plants) instead of in eggs.

Mammalian cell-cultured flu vaccine safe, effective for children and adolescents

February 10 - Mammalian cell-cultured influenza vaccine may prove to be a safe and effective alternative to egg-derived influenza vaccine for children and adolescents, according to study results from Finland.

L'épidémie de grippe déferle tardivement sur la Suisse

Février 13 – La grippe a franchi pour la première fois le seuil épidémique la semaine dernière en Suisse. Elle arrive tardivement par rapport aux dernières années: un mois et demi plus tard que durant l'hiver 2010-2011 et plus de trois mois après celle de 2009-2010. "95% des 76 virus Influenza antigéniquement caractérisés depuis l'automne 2011 sont couverts par le vaccin contre la grippe saisonnière de cet hiver", a souligné l'OFSP. Cependant, la couverture vaccinale est beaucoup trop faible pour éviter une épidémie.

International flu expert warns against complacency

February 14 – An Otago University-educated international flu expert – Dr Richard Webby - who was closely involved in the development of the first vaccine against H5N1 bird flu in 2004, has warned health professionals to remain vigilant about rogue flu viruses that can jump from animals to humans, and then from human to human.

Govt rolls up sleeves to anticipate bird flu outbreak

February 15 - The Health Ministry says it has taken necessary measures to anticipate a possible bird flu outbreak. The Ministry had also cooperated with a research consortium led by the University of Indonesia’s School of Medicine to work on a prototype of a bird flu vaccine that in best case scenario will be available for mass consumption within four to five years to come.

La gripe repunta en CyL con 300 casos por 100.000 e incidencia alta en niños

Febrero 15 - La incidencia de la gripe ha repuntado en la última semana en Castilla y León, que entra en su quinta semana por encima del nivel epidémico con cerca de 300 casos por 100.000 y una incidencia alta en los niños, con tasas acumuladas de entre el tres y el cuatro por ciento. En campaña de vacunación 2012, la Consejería de Sanidad dispuso de 700.000 vacunas antigripales, con un coste de 3,6 millones de euros.

Vietnam may begin producing H5N1 vaccines for humans next year

February 16 - Vietnam may begin producing bird flu vaccines for humans next year with clinical trials planned for the end of this year, according to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology's director Nguyen Tran Hien.

Flu vaccine benefits outweigh risks: AMA

February 16 - The benefits of the nation's new flu vaccine will far outweigh the risk of side-effects, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) says.

BiondVax's Universal Flu Vaccine Improves Existing Flu Vaccines in Elderly. In a Second Phase II Trial, the Vaccine Proves Safe and Activates Immunity to Flu

February 16 - BiondVax's Multimeric-001 Universal Influenza Vaccine successfully meets primary and secondary endpoints, demonstrating excellent safety and immunogenicity in 120 elderly (65+) participants.

L'épidémie de grippe s'installe en France

Février 16 - Le recours au vaccin reste bas cette année selon les premiers chiffres, alors que 10 régions ont franchi le seuil épidémique.

Winter flu infection rates fall to record lows

February 18 - Seasonal flu infections are at an all-time low as vaccination programmes and improved living standards curb the illness.

L’épidémie de grippe lancée par la vague de froid

Février 19 - Le froid sibérien qui a envahi la France ces dernières semaines a probablement favorisé la transmission du virus grippal et la survenue d'une épidémie de grippe. Il semble que la couverture vaccinale contre la grippe soit encore insuffisante cette année.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Signs Vaccine Warehouse and Distribution Contract with Sentry BioPharma Services

February 21 - Sentry to Warehouse and Distribute up to 500,000 Doses of Influenza Vaccine for CDC's National Strategic Reserve.

Flu vaccine can help prevent undersized babies: Study

February 21 - A new study, published Tuesday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, suggests an influenza infection during pregnancy affects fetal growth. “Immunization against influenza during pregnancy had a substantial effect on mean birth weight and the proportion of infants who were small for gestational age," the authors wrote.

Thimerosal-free seasonal flu vaccine exhibited similar immunogenicity as standard vaccine

February 21 - A thimerosal-free trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine demonstrated comparable noninferiority results with vaccines containing thimerosal and exhibited similar immunogenicity and safety profile, according to a recently published study.

OHSU Researchers Say Rodent Research Offers Clue in Combating Flu

February 21 - As part of a national collaboration, Oregon Health & Science University researchers are studying specially bred mice that are more like humans than ever before when it comes to genetic variation. Through these mice, the researchers hope to better understand and treat an infectious disease that plagues us year in and year out: the flu.

Grippe: le CHU de Nice réorganise l'accueil des patients

Février 22 - Aux 220 à 250 personnes admises chaque jour aux urgences, vient s'ajouter une centaine de grippés, adressés par semaine en ce moment aux services des urgences de Saint-Roch, Cimiez, Pasteur, Larchet 1 et 2. Les médecins expliquent que la grippe est cette année d'autant plus contagieuse que très peu de personnes se sont fait vacciner.

Better flu vaccination for moms-to-be

February 23 - The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommend influenza vaccination for women who will be pregnant during the influenza season, regardless of trimester. A report published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report said pregnant women were at increased risk during the 2009/2010 influenza season for severe disease and mortality from influenza A (H1N1) and (pH1N1) pandemic virus infection.

Pharmaceutical giant injects $12m into flu vaccine study

February 24 - A Halifax-led national study to determine the effectiveness of flu vaccines in preventing serious illness has received a $12-million boost from the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline.

Vietnam succeeds in developing bird flu vaccine

February 25 - The Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No. 1 (VABIOTECH) said that it has manufactured six batches of A/H5N1 vaccines and three batches of A/H1N1 vaccines in a laboratory and, all these, meet the international health standard for a flu vaccine.

'Universal' Vaccines Could Finally Allow for Wide-Scale Flu Prevention

February 27 – Princeton University-based researchers have found that the "universal" vaccine could for the first time allow for the effective, wide-scale prevention of flu by limiting the influenza virus' ability to spread and mutate.

La gripe y el sarampión, las enfermedades transmisibles que "amenazan" la salud de los europeos, según el ECDC

Febrero 28 - La gripe y el sarampión son las enfermedades transmisibles que, en estos momentos, "amenazan" la salud de los europeos, según el último informe del Centro Europeo para la Prevención y el Control de Enfermedades (ECDC, siglas en inglés), cuyos datos se refieren a la semana pasada, entre los días 19 y 25 de febrero.

Chinese vaccines struggling to go global

February 29 – At present, only the Henan-based Hualan Biological Bacterin Co. Ltd, and the Chengdu subsidiary of China National Biotec Group have submitted applications for “WHO license” – for their seasonal flu vaccine and Japanese encephalitis vaccine respectively. They have not yet won approval.

Les Urgences saturées par l'épidémie de grippe

Février 29 - Avec 500 cas pour 100 000 habitants, les Pyrénées-Orientales restent depuis quatre semaines un des départements les plus touchés par l'épidémie hivernale de grippe H1N1. Selon Aziz Akouz, chef de service, la meilleure arme contre le virus reste le vaccin "même s'il n'est pas efficace à 100%.

Study Supports Single Flu Super Vaccine to Wipe Out Infections

February 29 – The emerging class of long-lasting "universal" flu vaccines could do more than shield infections through an annual single flu shot, according to researchers at Princeton University.