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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Vaccine Times: News Flash

A series of news stories from Vaccine Times.  Make sure to vote for them on the bottom story!

Greek swine flu deaths reach 62 – 14 additional deaths have been recorded in Greece due to swine flu, bringing the total number of fatalities for the country to 62. None of the latest 14 deaths had been vaccinated. Another 223 people with swine flu are in intensive care.

Parents of 4-year-old swine flu survivor call for universal vaccinations – Oliver Scrase-Smith, a 4-year-old British boy suffered a month long ordeal with swine flu, during which time his liver failed and he was given a less than 10% chance of survival, before making an extraordinary recovery. His parents are relieved their child escaped death, but they are angry that vaccinations are not available to everyone:
His father Richard Smith, 34, is calling on the government to give vaccinations to all.
He said: “Anybody who is classed as fit and healthy, like Oliver was, [can't] get a vaccine.
“In my eyes that is wrong. It should be available to everyone, especially children.”
Oliver’s mother Amy Scrase said: “When I think the cause of why my son was in a coma was swine flu and you can have injections to prevent it… it makes me very angry.”
Whooping cough vaccine now required for 7-12 graders in California – In light of the recent whooping cough outbreak in California, which killed 10 infants, beginning 07/01/2011 all 7-12 graders will be required to show proof of vaccination, or they will not be allowed to attend school. This new requirement applies to all public and private schools. For a list of FAQs about this new law, please click here. Oklahoma is also instituting similar requirements for 7th graders starting with the next school year.

New cell-culture vaccine at least as good as egg-produced vaccine in company’s trials - Baxter International is reporting that its trials show its new cell-cultured flu vaccine, Preflucel, was as effective in preventing the disease as the egg-produced flu vaccines. It prevented flu in 78% of patients who were vaccinated, whereas the historic figure for egg-based vaccines is about 73%.
“At 78.5 percent, we certainly would not claim superiority to egg-derived vaccines, but we are at least as protective as vaccines produced by historical manufacturing process involving the use of eggs,” said Dr. Noel Barrett of Baxter’s Bioscience unit in Austria, whose findings were published in Lancet.
The new method of production makes production of flu vaccines quicker and easier, and reduce the time needed to mass produce them by 6-8 weeks. It would improve our abitlity to provide adequate vaccinations especially when a pandemic hits; it would also enable health official to wait a little longer before deciding which strains to include in the vaccine.

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