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Budget Cuts Will Keep Palm Beach County Schools from Giving Out Flu Shots
Palm Beach Post - 10/16/11
The in-school flu shots that protected nearly 15,000 Palm Beach County elementary school students from the illness last year – and thousands of others in previous years – won't be given this school year. They have fallen victim to budget cuts. Local health officials said a roughly $200,000 hole left by an absence of grant money from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention meant they couldn't go forward with the popular in-school vaccinations program.
No Excuses! A Brief Guide to the Flu Shot
TIME - 10/14/11
We got our flu shots at TIME Healthland HQ this week, which reminds us to remind you to do the same. A few flu shot basics to follow. What it is: The seasonal influenza vaccine is formulated to protect against the three strains of flu that public health researchers believe will be the most common during the upcoming season. That calculation is based on flu trends observed in the previous year and usually includes two influenza A subtypes and one influenza B subtype.
Mass. Records First Known Flu Death of Season
Boston Globe - 10/9/11
Massachusetts health officials say the state has recorded its first flu-related death this season. The Boston Public Health Commission and the state Department of Public Health say a Boston man in his 40s died recently of the illness. They did not identify the man or give further details, but said he had underlying health problems.
Employers' Requiring Preventive Health Steps Makes Sense
Hartford Courant - 10/8/11
It's a wonder why some people won't take simple health precautions to protect not only themselves, but their loved ones, colleagues, the public. But because human nature abhors a doctor's office, Connecticut employers, public and private, are having to try a tougher health care tactic after years of gentle persuasion: Take precautions – or else.
Arkansas Schools Offering Flu Vaccine to Students
Associated Press - 10/6/11
The Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Department of Education will offer the seasonal influenza vaccine to school children from kindergarten through the 12th grade.
WHO: Keep current strains in 2012 Southern Hemisphere flu vaccine
CIDRAP News) - 10/3/11
A run of stability in the makeup of seasonal influenza vaccines continued as the World Health Organization (WHO) recently recommended using the same three flu strains in next year's Southern Hemisphere vaccine as are in the current Northern Hemisphere vaccine and were used last year in southern countries. The recommendation means the WHO has seen little evidence of changes in circulating flu strains that would make the vaccines now in use a poor match for them.
Why It's So Important to Get a Flu Shot for the 2011-12 Season
Atlantic - 9/16/11
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released a statement urging parents to have their kids (and themselves) vaccinated against the flu for the upcoming 2011-2012 flu season, even if they had flu shots last year. While this year's vaccine protects against the same three viruses it did last year, the AAP says that a person's immunity can decrease by up to 50 percent as early as six months after the shot. Former ice skating champion Kristi Yamaguchi is working hard with the organization Faces of Influenza to spread word about the importance of getting one's flu vaccine. We spoke to Yamaguchi and Dr. Normal Edelman, the Chief Medical Officer of the American Lung Association (ALA), which heads the Faces of Influenza campaign, about why it's so important to re-vaccinate this year.
What Editorial Writers Are Saying about Vaccines
American Medical News - 9/13/11
Editorial writers are largely unanimous in their message – that there are no reasons not to get inoculated against flu, mumps or any other illness for which a vaccine is available.
New Flu Vaccine Promises Less Pain
WKYT-TV (KY) - 9/9/11
For anyone with a fear of needles, relief is coming your way this flu season. It's called the intradermal flu vaccine, and it uses a needle much smaller than the traditional syringe. Health experts hope to not only ease the pain, but also encourage more people to get vaccinated.
NH Allows Pharmacists to Give More Vaccinations
Bloomberg BusinessWeek - 9/4/11
New Hampshire is joining a growing national trend in allowing pharmacists to give more vaccinations than annual flu shots – but doctors oppose the changes in what appears to be a turf war over a profitable aspect of medical care. A new state law lets trained pharmacists give vaccinations for a bacterial form of pneumonia that can be deadly and for shingles, a painful reappearance of latent chicken pox virus that affects the nerve roots and can produce a blistering rash. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the trend to let pharmacists give vaccines has grown from 22 states allowing flu shots in 1999 to all 50 in 2009.
A Short-sighted Cutback
Boston Globe - 9/4/11
The state's decision to cut the number of free flu vaccines offered this year by half is short-sighted to an extreme. The total economic cost of influenza every year in the United States is $87.1 billion, with billions in lost productivity in Massachusetts. Cutting vaccinations would only add to those losses – all to save about $1 million. The arguments advanced by the state to justify this savings – which is spurred by a similarly misguided cut in federal aid for vaccines – is that most people do not need free vaccinations because they already have health insurance coverage.
Survey Shows More U.S. Children Getting Vaccines
Reuters - 9/1/11
More young children are getting immunized in the United States for preventable diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella and hepatitis A, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday.
Vaccine Safety: New Report Finds Few Adverse Events Linked to Immunizations
TIME - 8/25/11
In a new report investigating adverse events caused by vaccines, a panel of experts says there are relatively few health problems caused by the most commonly recommended immunizations, which public health experts advise that all children receive. The conclusions, issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in its latest report, "Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality," represent the most comprehensive review of the available literature on the potential side effects of eight vaccines – for mumps, measles and rubella (MMR); chickenpox; influenza; hepatitis A; hepatitis B; human papillomavirus (HPV); diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP); and meningococcus.
The Curious Link Between H1N1 Flu and Narcolepsy
TIME - 8/23/11
A swell in new cases of narcolepsy in China followed seasonal patterns of flu, including H1N1, according to a recent study led by Dr. Emmanuel Mignot of the Stanford University School of Medicine. The new cases appear to be associated with flu infection itself, not with flu vaccinations.
Shot-Spray Combination May Protect Best for Children's First Flu Vaccine
St. Louis Public Radio - 8/16/11
A new study out of Saint Louis University suggests that a child's first doses of flu vaccine can be given as either two shots or two nasal sprays, but that giving one shot and one nasal spray may be most protective. Lead researcher Dr. Dan Hoft says the nasal spray – which is a live vaccine – can cause wheezing. But it's more effective than an inactivated vaccine, which is injected. Hoft says this initial study suggests giving children one injection and one nasal spray may provide better protection against the flu, without the respiratory side effects.
Flu Vaccinations Pushed for Maryland Hospitals
Baltimore Sun - 8/12/11
Maryland hospitals have become more aggressive in recent years about vaccinating workers for the flu, but public health officials are pushing for even stricter programs to halt the spread of a virus that kills thousands each year. As manufacturers have begun shipping vaccine for the 2011-2012 flu season and vaccination programs are being planned, some officials are pushing hospitals to make vaccinations mandatory for employees. They say the vaccine is the most effective means of protecting workers and adds a crucial layer of safety for highly vulnerable patients such as newborns, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
Low Percentage of Preschool Children Received Recent Influenza Vaccination
Pediatric SuperSite - 8/2/11
In Oregon, fewer than 40% of children aged 2 years received an influenza vaccination during the most recent influenza season. Based on these figures, CDC officials are emphasizing the need for health care provider-based and community-based strategies to increase influenza vaccination coverage among this population.
Flu Super Antibody May Bring Universal Shot Closer
Reuters - 7/28/11
Scientists have found a flu "super antibody" called FI6 that can fight all types of influenza A viruses that cause disease in humans and animals and say their discovery may be a turning point in the development of new flu treatments. Researchers from Britain and Switzerland used a new method aimed at beating "needle-in-a-haystack-type-odds" and managed to identify an antibody from a human patient which neutralizes both main groups of influenza A viruses.
FDA Approves 6 Manufacturers to Make Flu Vaccine for the Coming Season
Washington Post - 7/18/11
The Food and Drug Administration said Monday it has approved the new flu vaccine for the season beginning this year. Each year the FDA works with other federal agencies and global health experts to design a vaccine to protect against the three viral strains most likely to cause the flu. This year's flu shot will be a duplicate of last year's because the same flu strains are still circulating. The vaccine will be manufactured by six companies: GlaxoSmithKline, CSL Limited, ID Biomedical Corp., Medimmune Vaccines, Novartis and Sanofi.
Flu Vaccine Production To Double By 2015: WHO
Reuters - 7/14/11
Global production of seasonal flu vaccine is expected to double to 1.7 billion doses by 2015, with 11 new manufacturers coming onstream in developing countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. If a new influenza pandemic erupts, the world's projected 37 vaccine makers could potentially triple their annual production of trivalent seasonal vaccine to make 5.4 billion doses of pandemic vaccine, the United Nations agency said.
Cheap Shots: Get Vaccinated for Free
CNN Money - 7/7/11
Adults tend to miss vaccines that can help keep them healthy. "For kids, there are age-related guidelines and school requirements," says Dr. Susan Rehm of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. "For adults, we rely on health care providers and for patients to ask." So ask. Starting this year, your insurer must cover 100% of the cost of 10 vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (certain existing plans are exempt, and your insurer may charge a fee if you go out of network).
CDC Stresses Need for Flu Shot Every Year
American Medical News - 6/14/11
Although this year's seasonal influenza vaccine will be identical to the one administered in the 2010-11 season, physicians still should provide the vaccine to patients who are 6 months and older, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The recommendation is in response to comments by some health experts that young, healthy people who received the 2010-11 flu immunization might not need it this year. They say that such patients already could have sufficient immunity to the three widely circulating influenza viruses included in the vaccine.
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