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Groups call for pandemic flu vaccine ‘master plan’

first_imgOct 4, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Public health and infectious disease experts today called on the United States to develop a “master plan” for development of pandemic influenza vaccines in order to translate scientific advances more rapidly into improved pandemic preparedness.The recommendation was one of seven pandemic policy suggestions made by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a nonprofit public health advocacy group, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).”The United States must expand and accelerate research efforts and ensure we rapidly translate scientific breakthroughs into real-world practice to prepare for a possible pandemic,” Kathleen Maletic Neuzil, MD, coauthor of the report, said in a news release. She is chair of the IDSA’s Pandemic Influenza Task Force and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine.The two organizations also called for streamlining the licensing process for pandemic flu vaccines, developing a nationwide system to track the use and effectiveness of seasonal flu vaccine, and relieving states of cost-sharing for the nation’s stockpile of antiviral drugs, among other measures.The recommendations are part of a 26-page report, “Pandemic Influenza: The State of the Science,” released by the two groups today. The report discusses the threat posed by H5N1 and other avian influenza viruses and outlines the status of efforts to develop vaccines, drugs, and diagnostic techniques for pandemic flu.”An effective US vaccine research and development strategic program must be much larger in scale than current funding permits, in addition to being multinational in scope,” the report states. It describes current vaccine development efforts as a “patchwork” that may not produce rapid progress.The groups called for a “Pandemic Vaccine Research and Development Master Plan to systemize and greatly enhance the current U.S. and international vaccine research and development strategies, bringing together the knowledge of government and private industry scientists.”The master plan should include an inventory of all relevant issues and all activities already under way, the report says. The plan should state which sectors are responsible for completing each activity, list funding needs, and provide benchmarks for measuring progress.The vaccine effort would require a “substantial” increase in funding, the groups say. But in a news teleconference today, TFAH Executive Director Jeffrey Levi declined to name a figure, saying the plan must be developed before its cost can be estimated.”We recognize that Congress over the last year has invested more than $5 billion toward improving pandemic preparedness,” but that is only a starting point for vaccine development and production, Levi said.In response to questions, Levi said he was uncertain if any legislation would be needed to pave the way for the suggested master plan. In working on HIV and AIDS, he said, “Government found a way to convene the academic community and patients and the private sector to talk about issues and share information without violating intellectual property rights.”Levi and Neuzil were asked if they could say which vaccines now in development are most promising. Neuzil responded that it’s difficult to assess the vaccines, because many vaccine trials have been described only in press releases so far, and even scientific journal articles don’t always give full technical data.”From my perspective it’s a bit like comparing apples and oranges, because the data I have on each vaccine are in no way equivalent,” said Neuzil.But what is clear, she said, is that “with H5N1 it’s likely we’ll need more than one dose of vaccine, and we’ll need either a high concentration of antigen or we’ll need an adjuvant” (a general stimulant of immune response).The two groups endorse the US government goal of stockpiling enough doses of antiviral drugs to cover about 25% of the population (81 million treatment courses), but they take issue with the funding mechanism. The federal plan calls for buying 50 million treatment courses, but making the states responsible for buying the other 31 million courses, with a 25% federal subsidy.Levi said the federal government should pay for all 81 million courses. “We need to make sure that every state has the right amount, and not every state is going to be able to afford that,” he said. “We believe this is a federal responsibility, and therefore the federal government should purchase it and stockpile it.”The TFAH-IDSA report also makes the following recommendations:The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should implement a nationwide, real-time system to track flu vaccine efficacy, distribution and redistribution, uptake, and impact.The United States should boost surveillance for novel flu viruses by expanding working relationships with other countries, especially in Southeast Asia, through the World Health Organization.The nation should embrace policies to increase seasonal flu vaccination in order to reduce the toll of flu and to stabilize vaccine manufacturing capacity. This should include developing “standardized templates for conducting mass vaccinations and countermeasure distribution.”The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should streamline the licensing process for pandemic vaccines, using a different approach than with season flu vaccines.The FDA should adopt criteria for accepting foreign clinical trial data for registering flu vaccines in the United States.An additional recommendation, listed in a news release but not in the full report, is that Congress pass the proposed Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act to improve public health capabilities and support private-sector innovation.The report was written by Levi and Neuzil with Marlene Cimons, an adjunct journalism professor at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism.In preparing the report, they drew on interviews with 14 leading experts on flu, pandemics, and infectious disease, including Anthony S. Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The group also included Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of the CIDRAP Web site.See also:TFAH-IDSA news releasehttp://healthyamericans.org/newsroom/releases/release100406.pdfFull TFAH-IDSA reporthttp://healthyamericans.org/reports/fluscience/FluScience.pdflast_img read more

MLAX : Wardwell has positive moments in 2nd career start; Cornell midfielder Lang pesters Syracuse

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ ITHACA – Bobby Wardwell knows there is definite room for improvement.The freshman goaltender showed flashes of brilliance in net, holding Cornell scoreless in the second quarter, but there were also some moments he wishes he could have back.‘I feel pretty comfortable, like I said, I was still pretty nervous, but I thought I settled in a little bit in the second quarter,’ Wardwell said. ‘I just need to come out and play a full 60 minutes.’In Wardwell’s second career start, he made 12 saves in an up-and-down performance between the pipes. The effort was highlighted by five vital saves in the second quarter that allowed the Orange to carry a 3-3 tie into the break. But he struggled in the second half, yielding nine goals on 15 shots.His performance was confounded by SU’s lack of possession throughout the game. The Big Red hounded the Syracuse goaltender from the opening whistle, ripping 46 shots throughout the game while also having a 39-23 groundball pick-up margin.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘I know I got a little tired, and I’m sure the defense got a little tired,’ Wardwell said. ‘I don’t know how long they possessed the ball for in the second and first half, but they were on offense a lot, so I think the just wore us down one by one.’In the second quarter, Wardwell responded flawlessly to the flurry of Big Red chances. He made two huge saves on the doorstep on shots by Matt Donovan and Roy Lang, and then he made two big saves on outside shots.Late in the game, Cornell broke the barrier and the shots began to fall.Wardwell struggled in the clearing game, committing a costly turnover that resulted in a goal to put the Big Red up by four late in the third quarter.SU head coach John Desko said he still saw definite room for growth from the freshman.‘I think Bob did a good job,’ Desko said. ‘I thought he forced it a couple times in clearing situations to give them some easy goals, but I thought he saw the ball pretty well, made some good saves.’Lang dominates on both ends of fieldDesko marveled at Roy Lang on film. He saw a player who carried the load for Cornell on offense and defense while also playing the wing on faceoffs and in man-down situations.On Monday, Desko spoke glowingly about the Cornell midfielder, singling out ‘No. 48’ as a key matchup for his team heading into its game against the Big Red.On Tuesday, Desko acknowledged Lang again, this time after he burned the Orange for three goals.‘We had so much focus on Lang in transition going from defense to offense, and for him to get those early goals are disappointing,’ Desko said. ‘And we found ourselves playing catch up the rest of the way.’Lang keyed a blowout 12-6 victory for Cornell, scoring three goals while also controlling possession for the Big Red with his physical 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame. He got the Big Red on the board first in the opening frame and then added the first two goals of the second half to break the game open for his team. Soon, the rest of the Cornell attack came to life, and the Orange’s defense couldn’t contain it.Lang made his presence felt almost immediately, beating SU defender Joe Fazio on a drive toward the net and absorbing a hit from Matt Harris as he sent a shot high into the back of the net.After remaining relatively quiet the rest of the half, he scored again after controlling a faceoff just 20 seconds into the third quarter. Less than three minutes later, Lang blistered a shot into the goal that left SU defender Brian Megill standing with his hands on his hips as he watched the replay.Defensively, he also drilled SU midfielder Drew Jenkins along the crease as he waited to receive a pass from Tommy Palasek with the Orange trailing 6-3 in the third quarter.His all-around performance left an impression on Desko that matched the one he noticed on film leading up to the game.‘We were focused on Lang in transition going from defense to offense. I think offense, they’re pretty balanced, they share the ball pretty well,’ Desko said. ‘… They dodged us a couple times in the zone and that hurt us. But we had to slow them just because they had so many offensive possessions for so long a time.’rjgery@syr.eduadtredin@syr.edu  Commentscenter_img Published on April 11, 2012 at 12:00 pmlast_img read more