H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: Vaccine news, flu slows a bit on campus, lawsuit over mandatory vaccine, Cuban deaths

Oct 12, 2009

WHO sees November vaccine delivery to poor nations
An official from the World Health Organization said today that the group hopes to start shipping 60 million H1N1 vaccine doses to poor countries in November, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Marie-Paule Kieny said the first doses of the donated vaccine from drug companies and other countries will go to doctors and nurses and maybe high-risk patients in about 100 nations. She added that more donations are needed.

Flu illnesses drop slightly at US colleges
The number of flu-like illnesses at the nation's colleges decreased 6% from last week's report, the American College Health Association (ACHA) said in its surveillance for the week ending Oct 2. The report listed 6,326 new influenza-like illness cases at 250 schools. Nine hospitalizations were reported. The highest levels of flu activity were seen in the mid Atlantic region, as well as in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, and Alaska.
Oct 8 ACHA surveillance report

NY nurse sues over mandatory flu shots
A registered nurse in Dutchess County, New York, not far from New York City, has sued to prevent New York State from requiring heathcare workers to take the H1N1 flu vaccine. Newsday reports that attorneys for nurse Suzanne Field filed for a temporary restraining order last week on behalf of New York State's 60,000 healthcare workers and expect to appear in court Wednesday. New York is the only state to require the vaccine, though individual healthcare organizations do as well.
Oct 9 Newsday report

Pregnant women are Cuba's first H1N1 deaths
The Cuban government says that 2,100 pregnant women on the island have been treated for symptoms of H1N1 flu, 110 are seriously ill, and 3 have died, according to a report by state-sponsored media that was carried by the AP. While the first wave of illness was among tourists, Cuban residents are now contracting the flu, with 621 cases confirmed, including 177 children, the deputy health minister said.
Oct 10 AP report

Sweden starts vaccinating health workers
Sweden began vaccinating health workers in the southern part of the country today, with clinics slated to begin immunizing people as soon as they receive the vaccine, Swedish-based TT News Agency reported today. Authorities noted a lot of interest in the vaccine a month ago when a few fatalities were reported, but the demand for the vaccine has leveled since. Sweden becomes the fourth country to launch novel H1N1 vaccination, after China, Australia, and the United States.
Oct 12 TT News story

UK fears its health workers will shun vaccine
The United Kingdom's Department of Health has ordered regional chiefs of the National Health Service (NHS) to make sure doctors and nurses take the H1N1 vaccine amid fears that uptake will be only 10% to 20%, The Guardian reports. NHS executives say healthcare staff will shun the vaccine because the disease appears mild, but fear high absenteeism if unvaccinated staff contract the flu.
Oct 11 Guardian article

This week's top reads