Recently in Flu (Bird, Swine, etc) Category

Poland stands alone in refusing swine flu vaccines

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WARSAW, Poland -- The decision seemed fraught with risk: a government refusing to import swine flu vaccines amid worldwide warnings of a spreading epidemic.

But Poland did just that, becoming the only country worldwide known to reject the vaccines over safety fears and distrust in the drug companies producing them - concerns international health experts reject as unfounded.

Legal immunity set for swine flu vaccine makers

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By MIKE STOBBE (AP) - Jul 17, 2009

ATLANTA -- The last time the government embarked on a major vaccine campaign against a new swine flu, thousands filed claims contending they suffered side effects from the shots. This time, the government has already taken steps to head that off.

Vaccine makers and federal officials will be immune from lawsuits that result from any new swine flu vaccine, under a document signed by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, government health officials said Friday.

Since the 1980s, the government has protected vaccine makers against lawsuits over the use of childhood vaccines. Instead, a federal court handles claims and decides who will be paid from a special fund.

Canadian doctor Ghislaine Lanctôt, author of the Medical Mafia, has underscored the lawsuit recently filed by Austrian journalist Jane Bürgermeister against the WHO, the UN, and several high ranking government and corporate officials. Bürgermeister has documented how an international corporate criminal syndicate plans to unleash a deadly flu virus and institute a forced vaccination program.

"I am emerging from a long silence on the subject of vaccination, because I feel that, this time, the stakes involved are huge. The consequences may spread much further than anticipated," writes Lanctôt, who believes the A(H1N1) virus will be used in a pandemic concocted and orchestrated by the WHO, an international organization that serves military, political and industrial interests.

ScienceDaily (May 20, 2009) -- The inactivated flu vaccine does not appear to be effective in preventing influenza-related hospitalizations in children, especially the ones with asthma. In fact, children who get the flu vaccine are more at risk for hospitalization than their peers who do not get the vaccine, according to new research that will be presented on May 19, at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego.

Flu vaccine (trivalent inactivated flu vaccine--TIV) has unknown effects on asthmatics.

"The concerns that vaccination maybe associated with asthma exacerbations have been disproved with multiple studies in the past, but the vaccine's effectiveness has not been well-established," said Avni Joshi, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. "This study was aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of the TIV in children overall, as well as the children with asthma, to prevent influenza-related hospitalization."

Bird flu mutations found

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bird fluMutations in the bird flu virus have been found in two infected people in Egypt, in a form that might be resistant to the medication most commonly used to treat the deadly disease, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

The mutations in the H5N1 virus strain were not drastic enough to make the virus infectious enough to spark a pandemic, WHO officials said. But more such mutations could prompt scientists to rethink current treatment strategies.

Samples taken from two bird flu patients in Egypt — a 16-year-old girl and her 26-year-old uncle — were not as responsive as regular H5N1 viruses to Tamiflu, a drug also know as oseltamivir that is used to treat the disease, the officials said.

The girl and her uncle died in late December, as did the man's 35-year-old sister, although she has not yet been confirmed as having had H5N1. The three — who lived together in Gharbiyah province, 50 miles northwest of Cairo — fell ill within days of one another after being exposed to sick ducks.

U.S. awards bird flu vaccine contracts

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global vaccinationWASHINGTON - The government awarded contracts Wednesday to three drug makers tasked with developing a vaccine for bird flu using technology that will help stretch the supply of the medicine.

The contracts, valued at $132.5 million, may provide a way for more Americans to have access to a vaccine in the event of a pandemic, said Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt.

The vaccines would use an immune booster called an adjuvant, which reduces the amount of active ingredient per dose that's necessary to achieve protection from the virus.

Human trials for bird flu vaccine

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clinical trialsThe first human trial of a DNA vaccine designed to prevent H5N1 avian influenza infection began late last month, when the vaccine was administered to the first volunteer at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center in Maryland in the US.

Scientists from the Vaccine Research Center (VRC) at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the NIH Institutes, designed the vaccine.

The study will involve 45 volunteers between the ages of 18 and 60. Fifteen will receive placebo injections and 30 will receive three injections of the trial vaccine over 2 months and will be followed for 1 year. NIAID researchers will measure immune responses to the vaccine, assess its safety, and compare its potency to more traditional vaccine approaches.

Bird Flu Infects Three Family Members In Egypt

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bird fluA family cluster infection of bird flu has been identified in Garbiya, about 55 miles north of Cairo, Egypt, say officials from the World Health Organization (WHO). Two infected people had been slaughtering ducks prior to becoming infected, say WHO officials.

Official confirmation conflicts with the WHO version. A spokesman for the Egyptian Health Ministry said only two patients had been infected with H5N1, the virulent bird fly virus strain.

Authorities say birds in the immediate vicinity of the infections are being culled as a precautionary measure. They added that all humans in the area who have been handling poultry are being checked.
bird flu London – 'Daronrix', Glaxo's bird-flu vaccine, will hold a pride of place in the annals of preventive medicine, to be the first experimental bird-flu vaccine to receive certification by the European Medicines Agency, for its use in protecting people in the event of a bird-flu pandemic.

This first generation vaccine can be used only after the WHO or the European Union officially declares a pandemic.

A second –generation vaccine has also been conceived by the same company, Glaxo, and work is underway to study the effects of the vaccine in combating the H5N1 virus strain. The product is slated to go in for approval in the subsequent weeks. This second generation vaccine is intended to strengthen the immune system, as a preventive measure against an imminent pandemic.

novartis Dec. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Novartis AG and Sanofi-Aventis SA are among drugmakers searching for new weapons against influenza viruses that evade protection from existing vaccines.

Each year, a new strain of the flu virus circles the globe and kills as many as a half million people annually worldwide. As the virus changes annually into forms that can circumvent the human immune system, scientists are seeking the first universal vaccine against the flu.

To defeat the flu, doctors will need new vaccines with unprecedented power, said Albert Osterhaus, the head of virology at Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Such a vaccine should be able to protect against many strains at once, including the avian form arising in Asia that threatens to become a pandemic deadly to tens of millions of people.