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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

Jones a worry for World Cup squad

first_imgPhil Jones’ participation in the World Cup looks to be in grave danger after he was taken to hospital with a shoulder injury sustained in Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Hull. Press Association Jones clattered into Hull defender Maynor Figueroa while jumping for a corner in the 16th minute of the match at Old Trafford. The 22-year-old England defender walked off the field and down the tunnel moments later, wincing with pain. Jones was taken straight to hospital, where his left shoulder will be assessed. England’s World Cup squad is named on Monday, but United interim manager Ryan Giggs admits the defender could miss out. “He has gone to hospital. We’ll just have to assess it, but it didn’t look great,” Giggs said. “Straight away he knew he had done something. “He wanted to come straight off. Usually, as a player, you know it’s something bad when you do that. “Hopefully it’s not too bad.” Jones has been capped nine times by his country, and was more than likely to make Roy Hodgson’s 23-man squad. The England boss already has defensive injury concerns ahead of the announcement. Tottenham defender Kyle Walker could be excluded due to a pelvic injury which has sidelined him for the last two months. Walker’s Tottenham team-mate Andros Townsend has already been ruled out through injury, and so has Arsenal winger Theo Walcott. Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has missed the club’s last two games with a groin problem. last_img read more

JOBS SHOCK – IDA FAIL TO BRING ANY COMPANIES TO DONEGAL SO FAR THIS YEAR

first_imgThere has been no IDA sponsored visits by companies looking to create jobs in Co Donegal so far this year, Donegaldaily.com has learned.And on top of that there were just TWO such visits to the county last year.The figures have been released by the Minister for Finance. The details have led Donegal North West TD, Charlie McConalogue to slam the Government for its recent neglect of Donegal for IDA grants and investment.Deputy McConalogue commented: “I find it incredible that not one potential foreign investor has been taken by the IDA to visit Donegal so far this year. It is clear that there is a failure when it comes to regional spread of IDA development, shown by the fact that most of the visits so far this year took place in Dublin.”These figures come on the back of the decision last year by the IDA and Government to remove the base office for the North West Regional Manager from Letterkenny to Sligo.“Earlier this year we also discovered that of the 61 new IDA backed investments in Ireland in 2011, not one was made in Donegal,” said Deputy McConalogue. He said that Donegal has shown that it is a place where international companies can do business and succeed.There are 12 current IDA funded companies in the county and these companies created a net 249 jobs in 2011.“This is a significant creation in the current economic climate and is a strong basis for the IDA and the Government to demonstrate to new investors that Donegal is a county to consider and one where they can succeed.“We need to see a change of approach from the IDA and the Government during the remainder of 2012. With the fair share of Government and IDA time and effort, I believe Donegal is a county which can attract companies that can make the County their home one where they can flourish” concluded Deputy McConalogue. JOBS SHOCK – IDA FAIL TO BRING ANY COMPANIES TO DONEGAL SO FAR THIS YEAR was last modified: June 29th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Charlie McConaloguedonegalIDAjobslast_img read more