Two new strains to be used in 2006-07 flu vaccine

first_imgMar 1, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Global and US health authorities have recommended two new influenza virus strains for use in the flu vaccine for the 2006-07 season.Last week the US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) selected a “Wisconsin” strain of influenza A(H3N2) and a “Malaysia” strain of influenza B for next season. They will replace a “California” strain of H3N2 and a “Shanghai” strain of influenza B used in the current vaccine.The “New Caledonia” strain of influenza A(H1N1) virus used in this year’s vaccine should be used again next season as the third component of the trivalent vaccine, the ACIP said. (The strain’s full name is A/New Caledonia/20/99[H1N1].)The ACIP, which advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), followed recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in picking the strains. The CDC routinely follows the ACIP recommendations on flu vaccines.Each February the WHO assesses the flu virus strains in circulation before picking the strains for the next Northern Hemisphere flu season. In a Feb 14 report on its recommendation concerning the H3N2 strain to be used, the WHO said, “Many recent isolates were antigenically similar to the current reference virus, A/California/7/2004, but an increasing proportion of recent viruses was more closely related to A/Wisconsin/67/2005.”Likewise, the WHO said the majority of recent influenza B isolates were similar to the strain B/Malaysia/2506/2004, rather than to the B/Shanghai/361/2002 strain used in this year’s vaccine. The Malaysia strain is antigenically equivalent to B/Ohio/1/2005, according to the CDC.A year ago, health authorities picked only one new strain for the 2005-06 flu vaccine, keeping the other two the same. According to a recent Reuters report, a spokesman for a leading vaccine manufacturer said changing two of the strains in next season’s vaccine may make production less predictable.”It does put more uncertainty into the total number of doses you’re producing at any one time,” Albert Thomas, director of vaccine manufacturing for Sanofi Pasteur, was quoted as saying. His company has been the biggest supplier for the US market in recent years.The strains to include in each season’s vaccine must be chosen early in the year because it takes roughly 6 months to produce the vaccine. The viruses used in vaccines are grown in chicken eggs.The WHO report said global flu activity from October 2005 through January 2006 was low compared with recent years. Several countries had outbreaks of H3N2 influenza, but H1N1 and B viruses caused only scattered cases in most countries, the agency said.See also:Feb 23 CDC news release on ACIP actions, including flu vaccine recommendation report on recommendation for 2006-07 vaccine 17, 2005, CIDRAP News story “FDA approves adding new strain to flu vaccine”last_img read more

Air traffic control

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Coronavirus lockdowns seen increasing HIV risk to women and girls

first_imgCoronavirus lockdowns have hindered the fight against HIV infection in women and girls globally by limiting their access to education and protection from sexual violence, the United Nations warned on Monday.Governments’ focus on tackling the pandemic has also shifted attention and resources away from protecting vulnerable populations from HIV, according to a study by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS).”This pandemic thrives on inequalities and COVID-19 is threatening to throw us off course,” said Winnie Byanyima, the executive director of UNAIDS, in a press briefing. “Everything has focused on COVID-19 as if the HIV pandemic is finished,” said Gracia Violeta Ross, founder of the Bolivian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS.”Those of us who survived HIV and fought for life and access to treatment and care cannot afford losing the gains that took so much effort to win,” said Ross.UNAIDS urged countries to increase investment in both HIV and COVID-19, citing the Ebola outbreak in western Africa as an example of what could go wrong.It is estimated that disrupted healthcare services that were redirected to fighting Ebola caused 10,600 deaths from malaria, AIDS-related illness and tuberculosis.”We must not forget the HIV/AIDS response,” Eswatini Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini said in the briefing. “We must ensure that no one is left behind.” Topics : “Lockdowns have brought a higher risk of violence against girls. Millions are out of school today. Women in the informal sector have had their income taken away,” Byanyima said.The United Nations had earlier warned of a surge in domestic violence under lockdowns, with calls to helplines doubling or tripling in some countries, as lockdowns trapped many women indoors with their abusers.UNAIDS highlighted the risk of domestic violence and HIV infection for women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa, who already accounted for 59% of new HIV infections in the region in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic. Prior to nationwide lockdowns, progress was seen through individual programs helping women in sub-Saharan Africa fight HIV infection.That progress will be hindered as medical supplies become more difficult to access. UNAIDS predicted this could cause half a million AIDS-related deaths in sub-Saharan Africa by the end of 2021.last_img read more

Runaway win for Mullen in Welsh championship

first_img25 May 2015 Runaway win for Mullen in Welsh championship England international Jimmy Mullen was the runaway winner of the Welsh open stroke play championship at Ashburnham – finishing 15-under par and nine shots clear of his closest rivals. He led the event from start to finish and remarked afterwards: “It’s my biggest win to date, which means a lot, and being in Walker Cup year it’s even better.” Now, he says, his challenge is to put the win behind him and concentrate on amassing more results to help him make the GB&I team for September’s home match against the USA.  Mullen, from Royal North Devon, set the early tournament pace with a pair of five-under 67s, which saw him share the lead after the first round and hold a one-stroke advantage at the halfway stage. Then, he charged away from the field: he was four ahead after returning a third-round 70; seven ahead with six holes to play and finally secured his nine-shot victory with a closing 69. Second place on six-under par was shared by England’s double European champion, Ashley Chesters (Hawkstone Park), who had a final round 68, and by Ben Westgate of Wales. One shot behind in fourth place were two more English players, Joe Dean (Lindrick) and Nick Marsh (Huddersfield), together with Ireland’s Alex Gleeson. Mullen (image © Leaderboard Photography) had predicted at the start of the week that the winning score would be double figures under par, but he was surprised by his margin of success. “I knew I had a four shot lead going into the final round, but the course record had already been broken twice in the week and I expected people to come at me. But it didn’t happen.” The 21-year-old from the England Golf men’s squad, added: “I just stuck to what I had been doing in the first three rounds, kept trying to make birdies and hoped it would be good enough in the end.” “It’s the first time I have led from start to finish and it’s very nice to know I can do that. It’s also good to get back that winning feeling.” Mullen’s strengths were his determination to stick to his game plan and his accurate driving. “Off the tee I was the best I’ve been all year. I hit a lot of fairways and gave myself the opportunity to hit at the right part of the greens and leave myself birdie chances.” He was also pleased with his putter over the closing stages, notably holing an eight-footer for bogey on 15 and grabbing the shot straight back by holing a 15-footer for birdie on the 16th. “I didn’t know what the lead was and I thought that could be really crucial,” he said. “It’s really nice to know I can hole putts late on.” This is Mullen’s second 72-hole win, following his success in the 2014 Duncan Putter, also held in Wales. This season he’s been third in the Duncan Putter and won all four of his games in the recent England v Spain international. Click here for the full scores.last_img read more