News & Perspective

Dec 21, 2006

Dec 21, 2006

HHS seeks advice on allocating pandemic vaccine

(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.

Dec 18, 2006

Dec 18, 2006

Flu shot coverage in toddlers varied widely in 2005-06

(CIDRAP News) – Influenza vaccination coverage in children between 6 and 23 months old varied widely across the country in the 2005-06 flu season, the second season in which shots were recommended for that age-group, according to federal health officials.

Dec 14, 2006

Dec 14, 2006

Studies support flu vaccination in children, adults

(CIDRAP News) – Two studies reported in today's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine provide additional support for seasonal influenza immunization while shedding some light on questions about vaccination strategies and the efficacy of the vaccines.

Nov 20, 2006

Nov 20, 2006

HHS awards 3 contracts for more H5N1 vaccine

(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.

Nov 17, 2006

Nov 17, 2006

FluMist called safe, effective for kids with asthma

(CIDRAP News) – For children and adolescents with asthma, the intranasal influenza vaccine FluMist was as safe as and more effective than an injectable vaccine in a phase 3 trial of young people aged 6 to about 17 years.

The study, which involved 2,229 children at 145 sites in 12 European countries and Israel, was published in the October issue of The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.

Nov 17, 2006

HHS: Most H5N1 vaccine on hand is still potent

(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.

Nov 14, 2006

Nov 14, 2006

Study: Flu vaccine slightly raises Guillain-Barré risk

(CIDRAP News) – Adults may have a slightly higher risk for hospitalization with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) within a few weeks after influenza vaccination than at other times, though their overall risk of the disorder remains very low, Canadian researchers reported yesterday.

Nov 13, 2006

Nov 13, 2006

CDC launches late-season flu vaccination push

(CIDRAP News) – Although 77 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccine have already been delivered this fall, distribution delays have left some providers empty-handed, prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to intensify its message on the benefits of late-season vaccination.

Nov 02, 2006

Nov 02, 2006

WHO report calls H5N1 vaccine stockpiling premature

(CIDRAP News) – A group of influenza experts convened by the World Health Organization cautioned today that governments shouldn't stockpile "pre-pandemic" H5N1 influenza vaccines now, because too little is known about the requirements for an effective vaccine.

Oct 31, 2006

Oct 31, 2006

Pandemic vaccine rationing proposal favors the young

(CIDRAP News) – In a worst-case influenza pandemic, without enough vaccine for everyone, who should stand closer to the front of the line: a 25-year-old water utility worker or a healthy 75-year-old?

Public health officials may have to make difficult decisions such as this, and a Minnesota health ethics group, in publishing recommendations about pandemic vaccine allocation, hopes to get conversations going now, rather than during a crisis.

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