(CIDRAP News) – In a recent update on pandemic influenza preparedness planning, the US government reported meeting more than 90% of a long list of objectives it set for itself about 6 months ago.
The report charts progress on a wide range of preparedness measures, from shoring up laboratory capabilities to planning for distribution of critical medical supplies and preparing checklists for various sectors of the economy.
(CIDRAP News) Scientists who analyzed mortality records from the 1918 influenza pandemic estimate that a similarly severe pandemic today would kill about 62 million people worldwide, the vast majority of them in the developing world.
(CIDRAP News) The Department of Health and Human Services is seeking help from the public in figuring out how to allocate scarce supplies of influenza vaccine in the event of a flu pandemic.
In a Dec 14 Federal Register notice, HHS invited the public to submit comments on which groups should have priority for receiving pre-pandemic and pandemic vaccines and on related issues. The deadline for commenting is Jan 18, 2007.
(CIDRAP News) – Just before adjourning on Dec 9, the US Congress passed a bill to establish a new biodefense research and development agency and tune up the nation's public health emergency preparedness programs in a number of other ways.
(CIDRAP New) – The Institute of Medicine (IOM) weighed in with a clear "maybe" this week on whether community interventions such as school closures, quarantine, and respiratory etiquette could help blunt the impact of an influenza pandemic.
(CIDRAP News) Researchers recently reported identifying two mutations in the H5N1 avian influenza virus that seem to improve its ability to attach to human cells, a finding that may help scientists spot H5N1 strains capable of infecting humans.
(CIDRAP News) The US government today announced the awarding of three contacts to buy enough additional H5N1 avian influenza vaccine to immunize almost 2.7 million people, at a cost of $199.45 million.
(CIDRAP News) A Department of Health and Human Services official said today that loss of potency is affecting less than 20% of H5N1 avian influenza vaccine doses in the national stockpile, not a majority of doses as reported here yesterday.
Bill Hall, an HHS spokesman in Washington, DC, said the agency has acquired a total of about 7.5 million doses of H5N1 vaccine to date, and about 200,000 of those have been used for research.
(CIDRAP News) Last month the US Department of Health and Human (HHS) called for a greater role for N95 respirators in protecting healthcare workers in the event of an influenza pandemic, and now clinicians are raising questions about potential problems such as inadequate supplies and poor fit.