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Influenza Virus Vaccine, H1n1 News

Men, Women May Respond Differently to Vaccines

Posted 17 May 2010 by

MONDAY, May 17 – Gender can trigger different immune responses and different side effects to particular vaccines, a new analysis suggests. The finding, reported in the May issue of The Lancet Infectious Diseases, stems from a review of prior research concerning vaccines that target a range of diseases including yellow fever, influenza, measles, mumps and rubella, hepatitis and herpes simplex. Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy were also tracked during the review for their possible effect on vaccines. "Sex can affect the frequency and severity of adverse effects of vaccination, including fever, pain and inflammation," lead author Sabra Klein, an assistant professor in the department of molecular microbiology and immunology at John Hopkins in Baltimore, said in a news release. "This is likely due to the fact that women typically mount stronger immune responses to vaccinations ... Read more

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Guillain-Barre Syndrome Very Rare After H1N1 Vaccine

Posted 14 Apr 2010 by

TUESDAY, April 13 – Rates of a rare neurodegenerative disease, Guillain-Barre syndrome, among those who received the H1N1 vaccine last year were no higher than among the general population, new research shows. Because links to Guillain-Barre syndrome were noted after widespread swine flu vaccination in 1976, researchers analyzed information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), a public database of voluntarily reported problems after vaccination. Using a Freedom of Information Act request, the researchers said they also obtained data from the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation & Research, which has more detailed information about reported illnesses, said Dr. Nizar Souayah, a neuromuscular specialist and assistant professor of neurology at New Jersey Medical School. In 2009, ... Read more

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Only 1 in 4 Americans Got H1N1 Vaccine

Posted 2 Apr 2010 by

THURSDAY, April 1 – Fewer Americans have been vaccinated against the H1N1 swine flu than health officials had hoped for, despite continued widespread availability of the shot, according to federal reports released Thursday. Slightly less than 25 percent of the overall population had been vaccinated by the end of January – about 37 percent of children and 20 percent of adults, according to a survey from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also noted that just one-third of people considered at high risk from H1N1 flu – such as pregnant women, children and young adults, and people with certain medical conditions – got the vaccine. Overall, an estimated 72 million to 81 million Americans had been vaccinated against the H1N1 flu as of mid-February, and an estimated 81 million to 91 million doses of the vaccine had been administered. "In general, this survey ... Read more

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Parents Still Worried About Vaccine Safety

Posted 1 Mar 2010 by

MONDAY, March 1 – Although most American parents vaccinate their children, many are concerned about the safety of vaccines and some choose not to have their children protected from potentially deadly diseases, a new study found. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that while 90 percent of parents say vaccines are a good way to protect their kids, and 88 percent follow their doctor's vaccination recommendations, 54 percent are worried about serious side effects. "Parents' hesitation about vaccines has, in some cases, led them to postpone vaccinations for their children," said lead researcher Dr. Gary L. Freed, director of the Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit at the University of Michigan Health System. "The study found that 12 percent of parents have refused at least one vaccine that their children's doctor recommended." "When parents refuse vaccines, they place ... Read more

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Too Few Adults Get Recommended Vaccinations

Posted 4 Feb 2010 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 – Most parents make sure their children get all their vaccinations, but when it comes to adults these protective shots often fall by the wayside, a new report shows. In fact, 40,000 to 50,000 American adults die each year from diseases that vaccines could have prevented, according to the report, Adult Immunization: Shots to Save Lives. The report was released jointly Thursday by the Trust for America's Health, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "This country does not have an effective strategy for immunizing adults against infectious diseases," Jeffrey Levi, executive director of Trust for America's Health, said during a morning teleconference. "Thousands of lives could be saved each year if we could increase the number of adults who receive routine and recommended vaccinations. We need a national strategy to make ... Read more

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U.S. Childhood Vaccine Rates Good But Could Be Better: CDC

Posted 12 Jan 2010 by

THURSDAY, Aug. 27 – More than three-quarters of United States children have received the recommended vaccinations, but greater efforts are needed to reach youngsters who are not fully immunized, a US government report finds. A 2008 survey of children from 19 months to 35 months of age, born between January 2005 and June 2007, found that 76.1 percent had received the recommended series of vaccines (called the 4:3:1:3:3:1 series), a rate statistically similar to the estimate of 77.4 percent in 2007. The national goal for coverage is 80 percent. "Vaccination is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children's health," Dr. Melinda Wharton, deputy director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a CDC news release. "Thanks to the hard work of doctors and nurses and other immunization providers and the commitment of parents, rates ... Read more

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As Swine Flu Ebbs, Officials Stress Importance of Vaccine

Posted 8 Jan 2010 by

FRIDAY, Jan. 8 – As the H1N1 swine flu outbreak eases to a point where it is now widespread in just one state, federal health officials are still urging Americans to get their swine flu shot. "On Sunday we start National Influenza Vaccination Week," Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said during a Friday afternoon teleconference. "It's a way to remind the public that getting the vaccine is still incredibly important." "No flu should be dismissed as 'just the flu,' is an important message," she said. "Flu can be serious and flu can be deadly." The flu can take a toll on people of all ages, but in the current H1N1 swine flu pandemic the burden falls heaviest on children and young adults. Since April the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 1,000 children and almost 7,500 adults ages 18 to 64 have ... Read more

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Insect Cells Instead of Eggs for Swine Flu Vaccine?

Posted 6 Jan 2010 by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 6 – A method that uses insect cell-based technology produces vaccines for swine flu faster than traditional egg-based vaccine production, say Austrian scientists. Using this new approach, the researchers created recombinant influenza virus-like particles (VLPs) in just 10 weeks, rather than the months it takes using conventional production methods. VLPs resemble virus particles but aren't infectious because they lack the viral nucleic acid. The use of insect cells also avoids other egg-based production disadvantages, such as allergic reactions to egg proteins, biosafety issues and limited production capacity, the researchers said. "Our work demonstrates that recombinant influenza virus-like particles are a very fast, safe and efficient alternative to conventional influenza vaccines and represent a significant new approach for newly emerging influenza strains like ... Read more

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New Childhood Vaccines Schedules Released

Posted 4 Jan 2010 by

MONDAY, Jan. 4 – Boys should get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to protect them against genital warts, and all children should receive the H1N1 vaccine to guard against swine flu, according to updated guidelines on childhood and teen vaccines. The new vaccine schedules – issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Family Physicians – also recommend using combination vaccines whenever possible. "These are life-threatening illness that vaccines prevent, and if you have a combination vaccine that's safe and effective and requires one less stick for your child and one less trip to the doctor, it makes sense to me – as a father – to think about that," said Dr. David W. Kimberlin, a professor of pediatrics and co-director of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Alabama ... Read more

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Nearly 5 Million Doses of Nasal Swine Flu Vaccine Recalled

Posted 23 Dec 2009 by

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 – Nearly 5 million doses of a nasal spray version of swine flu vaccine have been recalled because the vaccine loses some potency over time, but not enough to diminish its protective effect, U.S. health officials announced Tuesday. The recall involves more than 4.6 million doses of vaccine produced by drug maker MedImmune. Most of the doses have already been used, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which added that the vaccine was strong enough when it was distributed in October and November. Pat El-Hinnawy, an FDA spokeswoman, said the action was a "voluntary, non-safety related recall. There are no safety concerns about the vaccine. The decrease in potency is not likely to be clinically significant. Individuals who received doses from the recalled lots do not need to be revaccinated." The recall is the second swine flu vaccine recall this month ... Read more

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Single Shot of H1N1 Vaccine May Be Enough for Kids

Posted 21 Dec 2009 by

MONDAY, Dec. 21 – A single dose of the H1N1 flu vaccine may be enough to guard children and infants against potential infection, Australian researchers report. Currently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children and infants get two doses of the H1N1 vaccine, spaced about a month apart. This is the same recommendation the CDC has for seasonal flu vaccine, because usually a first dose is needed to prime the child's immune system for the second dose to create enough antibodies to be protective. "It does appear that a single dose is to be very likely all that is required, even for babies," said lead researcher Dr. Terry Nolan, head of the Melbourne School of Population Health and Department of Public Health at the University of Melbourne. This finding runs counter to the usual expectation that two doses are needed for children who have never been ... Read more

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800,000 Doses Of Kids' Swine Flu Vaccine Recalled

Posted 15 Dec 2009 by

From Associated Press (December 15, 2009) ATLANTA--Health officials are recalling hundreds of thousands of doses of swine flu vaccine after tests indicated they may not be potent enough to protect against the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified doctors about the recall Tuesday. The recall involves about 800,000 doses made by Sanofi Pasteur. The doses are pre-filled syringes intended for young children, ages 6 months to almost three years. Health officials recommend children those ages get two doses, spaced about a month apart. Health officials say it’s not clear how many doses have already been given, but they don’t think children need to be re-vaccinated. The lots passed potency tests when they were first shipped, but tests indicate the potency waned after. Read more

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FDA Expands Approved Use of H1N1 Vaccines to Include Infants and Children

Posted 2 Dec 2009 by

ROCKVILLE, Md., Nov. 12, 2009--The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of the CSL Limited’s 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine to include children ages 6 months and older. This vaccine was previously approved only for use in adults, ages 18 years and older. “Because children are among those most vulnerable to the 2009 H1N1 virus, having a broader range of children’s vaccines available is an important step in responding to the H1N1 outbreak,” said Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., commissioner of food and drugs. The company’s 2009 H1N1 vaccine is manufactured and tested using the same well-established licensing processes that have been in place for many years for the company’s seasonal flu vaccine. The expanded approval also covers the company’s seasonal flu vaccine. The approval was based on a study of the company’s seasonal flu vaccine in children showing the vaccine's safety and e ... Read more

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One Dose of Swine Flu Vaccine Works for Pregnant Women

Posted 1 Dec 2009 by

MONDAY, Nov. 2 – Results from ongoing clinical trials confirm that pregnant women need only one dose of the swine flu vaccine, while young children – 6 months to 9 years of age – need two doses, U.S. health officials said Monday. These results are important because pregnant women and young children are especially at risk for complications from the H1N1 swine flu, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a press conference. "I am pleased to be able to share some good news. Nearly all the pregnant women who received a single 15-microgram dose had a robust immune response," said Fauci, adding that the one-dose regimen produced a robust immune response in 92 percent of the women. "This should be reassuring news to those women who have already received vaccine, and it is vital information for those pregnant women who have ... Read more

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Flu Shot in Pregnancy Protects Baby

Posted 1 Dec 2009 by

FRIDAY, Oct. 30 – Pregnant women head the list of people who should get H1N1 swine flu and seasonal flu shots, and four new studies highlight the benefits of vaccination for moms-to-be and their babies. Bigger, healthier newborns, fewer preterm births and reduced rates of hospitalization top the findings, which are to be presented this week at the annual meeting of the Infectious Disease Society of America in Philadelphia. In one study, U.S. researchers analyzed data on 6,410 births in Georgia and found that the risks of premature delivery and having a low birth-weight infant were significantly reduced among the 15 percent of women who received a flu shot during pregnancy. During the height of the flu season premature births among vaccinated women fell 70 percent, compared with unvaccinated women, Dr. Saad B. Omer, an assistant professor of global health and epidemiology at Emory ... Read more

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