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Sebelius vows supply of H1N1 vaccine will soon improve

first_imgOct 21, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius promised a Senate committee today that the flow of pandemic H1N1 influenza vaccine doses will greatly improve in November, following its slow start this month.Speaking to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Sebelius blamed production problems for the meager early supplies of vaccine and promised that eventually there will be enough for all Americans who want to be vaccinated.HHS officials had predicted that 45 million doses would be ready for distribution in mid October, followed by about 20 million more each week after that. But as of yesterday, only 12.8 million doses had become available for ordering, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.Low yields, start-up problemsSebelius blamed two problems for the low early production numbers: low yields from the eggs used to grow the vaccine virus—which were reported when pharmaceutical companies started production in the summer—and difficulties in starting up new production lines.”We have some new production lines that have been put in place by the manufacturers; there were glitches in some of these production lines,” she told the committee.”Those two issues have been corrected, so we anticipate that number [of doses] growing exponentially as we move into the season,” she added. “By early November we’re confident that vaccine will be far more widely available. There’ll be enough vaccine so every American who wants to can be vaccinated.”The government has ordered a total of about 250 million doses of H1N1 vaccine from five manufacturers. The expectation is that vaccine deliveries will be completed in December. But the slow start to the vaccine deliveries has complicated planning by state and local health departments and other groups involved in vaccination efforts.Echoing what a CDC official said yesterday, Sebelius also promised today that the availability of seasonal flu vaccine will improve in coming weeks. Public health agencies had encouraged the public to get their seasonal flu immunizations early, before the rollout of the H1N1 vaccine. But supplies of the seasonal vaccine have run short in some areas.”We’ve been assured that production is ramping up,” Sebelius told the committee. “Manufacturers are backfilling that, and it’ll be much more widely available.”IV antiviral authorization expectedIn other comments, Sebelius said HHS will soon issue an emergency use authorization (EUA) for an antiviral drug that can be given intravenously to help critically ill H1N1 patients. The two mainstay antivirals, oseltamivir and zanamivir, are not available in IV formulations.In her written testimony, Sibelius said, “Physicians treating critically ill patients with H1N1 influenza will soon have access to new antviral drugs supported by HHS/BARDA [the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency] and administered intravenously under a CDC sponsored emergency use authorization.”Under questioning by Sen. Joe Lieberman, committee chairman, she said issuance of an EUA is “imminent” but didn’t give a date.Last week a Food and Drug Administration official said a decision was expected soon on an EUA for IV peramivir, an antiviral that’s in the same class as oseltamivir and zanamivir but is not yet licensed.School closures continuingAlso at today’s hearing, Education Secretary Arne Duncan reported that the H1N1 virus has prompted many school closures so far this fall but that the numbers have been below what they were in the spring wave of the pandemic.So far this fall, 628 schools have closed for at least a day, affecting 219,000 students, Duncan told the committee. As of yesterday, 88 schools were closed, affecting 28,000 students and 1,800 teachers, he said.By comparison, in the spring, from Apr 27 through Jun 12, more than 1,350 schools in 35 states closed, affecting 824,966 students and 53,217 teachers, Duncan reported. The peak day was May 5, with 980 schools closed.At the beginning of the H1N1 outbreaks, the CDC recommended that schools close if they had any confirmed or suspected H1N1 cases. But soon afterward, when it became evident that the virus wasn’t as virulent as first feared, the agency advised that schools should focus on identifying and isolating sick students and should close only if they had large numbers of cases. Duncan said schools have been heeding the CDC guidance.He noted that the Education Department, with the CDC and state and local agencies, developed a new school dismissal monitoring system over the summer. The system used earlier didn’t work well, he said.See also: Senate committee hearing page, with links to testimony:http://hsgac.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_id=cbe5331e-19ab-41d5-bffe-7610f97708f0Oct 16 CIDRAP News story “US H1N1 vaccine delayed as cases and deaths rise”http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/swineflu/news/oct1609vaccine.htmllast_img read more

NBA Draft: Jakob Poeltl believes he can play like Pau Gasol

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Poeltl believes joining a rebuilding team, such as the Lakers, would also take him to the next level. “Having a team that is rebuilding where I could be on the court and develop with my teammates would be a great,” Poeltl said. “Being on a young team and having a chance to develop would be great.”Could Poeltl develop into another version of Gasol? Too early to say, obviously. During his six-year tenure with the Lakers (2008-14), Gasol won two NBA titles (2009, 2010) and established himself as one of the NBA’s most versatile big men. Yet, Poeltl could already fill many needs the Lakers lack. They are not expected to retain unrestricted free agent Roy Hibbert, who posted a career low in points (5.9) and oversaw a defense that finished 27th in points allowed (106.9) as the Lakers’ starting center.Meanwhile, Poeltl characterized himself as a versatile center. He also has spent most of his training perfecting his mid-range jumper. CHICAGO >> With the Lakers hoping to accelerate their rebuilding process, they spoke with one college prospect who believes he can emulate a certain player that once delivered them NBA championships. “I can be a lot like Pau Gasol,” said University of Utah sophomore center Jakob Poeltl, who interviewed with the Lakers on Friday here at the NBA pre-draft combine. “He’s a guy who has good touch around the basket and is a very good passer. He can dribble the ball. He’s even stepping out and shooting 3’s. I hope I can get there too. He’s a winner and won championships. I can do that, too.”Most NBA talent evaluators projected the 7-0, 235-pound Poeltl as a lottery pick last year. Poeltl stayed another year, however, because he “could get better.” After averaging 9.1 points and 6.8 rebounds his freshman season, Poeltl posted 17.2 points 9.1 rebounds per game his sophomore year.“I knew I could dominate at the collegiate level,” Poeltl said. “I felt like the added pressure of being the go-to guy, I would perform being the go-to guy every single night. That would help me mature as a leader and as a basketball player. That would help me at the next level.” center_img “The league is getting smaller, so you have to be more versatile as a big,” Poeltl said. “You have to do more different stuff like step out a little bit, handle the ball and pass the ball. I feel like that’s something I’m pretty good at, so I’ll fit in pretty well.”Should that happen, Poeltl would do more than just imitating Gasol. Poeltl would give his native Austria a towering hoops presence more noticeable than his tall frame. Poeltl would become the first NBA player from Austria, which has not qualified for EuroBasket since 1977.“It’s a surreal feeling to know I’m probably going to be the first player from Austria to play in the NBA,” Poeltl said. “That’s something I’m very proud of, and I hope I can help Austrian basketball. Maybe there’s more kids that will play basketball and more money being put into the sport.” Then, maybe players will try to emulate Poeltl with the same determination he wants to model his game after Gasol.Lakers also interview EllensonThe 6-foot, 10-inch frame has made Marquette center Henry Ellenson feel tall. Apparently so has his confidence. After completing 13 interviews on Friday at the NBA pre-draft combine, including one with the Lakers, Ellenson proclaimed something that usually has described Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram. “I’m a top pick. They all think that, too,” Ellenson said, grinning. “It’s a good position to be in.”The Lakers hardly think that, no matter what Ellenson says. Should the Lakers land a No. 1 or No. 2 pick, they will surely select Simmons or Ingram. Concerns also persist on Ellenson’s defense, an area the Lakers ranked nearly last in every statistical category. In case the Lakers land at No. 3, they considered Ellenson a worthy fit. After averaging 17 points on 44.6 percent and 9.7 rebounds in his freshman season, Ellenson reported the Lakers envisioned him as a so-called stretch four that could both hit outside shots and help with ball-handling duties. “I’m a mismatch problem. Whatever that night gives me, I feel comfortable playing all over,” Ellenson said. “I’ll fit any team’s system too. Some nights will be more on the perimeter. Some nights I’ll go inside.”To master all those skills, Ellenson has tried to model his post-up game to New York’s Carmelo Anthony and his outside shooting to Cleveland’s Kevin Love. Ellenson also reported becoming stronger in his 245-pound frame so he can absorb the physical poundings he could experience as a rookie. The Lakers beat Ellenson up during his interview in a different way. As Ellenson talked himself up, the Lakers dressed him down. They jokingly teased Ellenson for growing up in Rice Lake, Wis. “They had some funny questions on how big the town size is. They asked, ‘Is there only one stoplight?’” Ellenson said. “I was like, ‘Come on guys. It’s not that small. There’s more than one.’”last_img read more

Young B&H footballers played against Montenegrins

first_img(Source: klix.ba) Young national football team of B&H played tie in a friendly match with their peers from Montenegro today in Čitluk.Although there were no goals, the game was full of opportunities. The coach of B&H team, Darko Nestorović, said after the game that the tie game was realistic.“It was hard match on a hot day. Both Montenegrins and we had our chances. Even though our chances seems to be a bit more mature, generally speaking the tie is realistic. It is very important for players to freshen up before the match with Norway, since it is common that players get a little exhausted and tired at the end of the season, but we will be ready for the next match,” he said.The match with young Montenegrins served to B&H football players as a final check before the start of qualifications and match against Norway on the 13th of June in Drammen.last_img read more