H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: Latest vaccine updates and delays, virus in Icelandic pig

first_imgOct 28, 2009WHO experts tackle H1N1 vaccine questionsThe World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) immunization experts today discussed issues related to the H1N1 vaccine, according to its agenda. The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) was asked if epidemiologic or vaccine-availability issues would alter SAGE’s recommendations, how many doses per person are needed, if seasonal and pandemic doses can be co-administered, and if obesity is a risk factor. A WHO spokesman said results of the meeting may be available tomorrow.http://www.who.int/entity/immunization/sage/DRAFT_AGENDA_Oct_SAGE_meeting_9_Oct.pdfOct 27-29 WHO SAGE agendaVaccine production reaches 23.2 million dosesThe cumulative total of H1N1 vaccine doses available reached 23.2 million today, up about 800,000 from yesterday’s 22.4 million, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said at a press conference today. She said about 9 million doses were added to the total in the past week. All 50 states have ordered supplies of vaccine, she reported.http://www.flu.gov/live/?date=102809Oct 28 HHS press conference recordingLack of prioritization cited for LA vaccine shortageIn the early stages of Los Angeles County’s free H1N1 vaccination clinics, overwhelmed staff members vaccinated many people who were not in the vaccination priority groups, the Los Angeles Times reported today. As of yesterday, the county had only enough doses to last through Nov 4 instead of the planned Nov 8, said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, public health director. He said officials didn’t want to turn away people who had traveled and stood in line to get vaccinated.http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-me-swine-flu28-2009oct28,0,3322926.storyOct 28 Los Angeles Times reportFormer FDA official says policy has slowed vaccineOverly cautious policy decisions by the US government are partly to blame for shortages of the pandemic H1N1 vaccine, according to a former Food and Drug Administration official who wrote an editorial for the Wall Street Journal. Scott Gottlieb, MD, said the use of adjuvants could have stretched supplies. He said a focus on single-dose vials has slowed vaccine delivery, as has reliance on outdated egg-based production.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704335904574497324151841690.htmlOct 27 Wall Street Journal articleOman launches H1N1 vaccine campaignHealth authorities in Oman said yesterday that they have started the country’s pandemic H1N1 vaccine campaign after receiving the first 100,000 doses of its 2.6 million dose order, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. For now, priority groups include older people, pregnant women, health workers, and Mecca pilgrims. The vaccine is free for all citizens. To address concerns about vaccine safety, media outlets showed senior officials receiving flu shots.http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?col=&section=middleeast&xfile=data/middleeast/2009/October/middleeast_October743.xmlOct 27 AFP storyIceland finds pandemic virus in pigsVeterinary officials in Iceland confirmed the pandemic H1N1 virus in a pig herd after 10 of the animals started showing symptoms such as poor appetite, fever, and coughing, according to a report yesterday to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Investigators are exploring the possibility that humans spread the virus to the pigs; two workers had flulike symptoms before the pigs got sick. The 4,500-pig farm is under quarantine.http://www.oie.int/wahis/reports/en_imm_0000008594_20091027_152635.pdfOct 27 OIE reportGender-based vaccine doses suggested to boost supplyTwo commentators writing in the New York Times say that using lower doses of flu vaccine in women could improve the vaccine supply without sacrificing protection. Sarah L. Klein, a Johns Hopkins immunologist, and Phyllis Greenbrier, president of the Society for Women’s Health Research, point to studies in which women had a significantly stronger immune response to flu vaccines than men did. They say that besides stretching the supply, the step would reduce side effects for women.http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/28/opinion/28klein.html?_r=1&ref=opinionOct 28 New York Times commentarySen Collins asks HHS to explain vaccine delaysSen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) wrote a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius yesterday asking why there are fewer pandemic H1N1 vaccine doses than officials originally projected. Her letter appeared on the Web site of the Maine Public Broadcasting Network. Collins said shortages are alarming because not all high-risk groups can be vaccinated and the vaccine could arrive too late to prevent infections in many Americans. She asked the HHS to share its latest projections.http://www.mpbn.net/News/MaineNews/tabid/181/ctl/ViewItem/mid/3483/ItemId/9533/Default.aspxOct 27 letter from Collins to Sebeliuslast_img read more

Kwakehdor Farmer Group Embarks on Cassava, Rice Project

first_imgThe Kwakehdor Farmer Group in Kpain Nimba County is embarking on cassava and rice project this season in an effort to revamp agricultural activities, which have been down for over two decades.Speaking at the project site in Kpain Tuesday, April 29, the head of the group, Mr. Landra Diagor, said as they endeavor to revamp some of the agricultural activities at the Kpain Agricultural Project Site, his group will be cultivating cassava and rice this year. Diagor disclosed that they intend on covering more than five hectares of land and then would expand gradually as support comes in.Kpain Agricultural Project site is one of the oldest agriculture sites in Liberia. In began operational in the 1950s and it was only into vegetable production.The project site used to cover at most 600 hectares of land before to the civil war. But our Nimba County Correspondent as the result of the war, agriculture activities collapsed, land became vacant and all of site’s facilities were vandalized. He stated that the land has also been encroached upon.In 2007, the UNMIL Bangladeshi Contingent known as Banbatt 7 supported the farming group in Kpain and they produced several tons of seeds rice.But the project died down upon the departure of Banbatt 7 along with all their equipment, including tractors.As they revamp the site, one challenge now facing the farming group, are livestock that are being raised by Guineans, who crossed the border to find grazing land for their animals.They told the Daily Observer that their young cassava crops have been destroyed by cows which are managed by Fulini herdsmen.“We are experiencing a great set back here from the cows, which roam this land. We want intervention before all our efforts go in vain,” said Esther Mehn, the woman leader.“If this cassava farm comes up well, we will be able to harvest over 400 ‘balawalah’ bags of cassava, said James Mulbal, one of the group’s heads.However, the Zone Chief and the Township Commissioner of Kpain, William T. Whener and William S. Belleh have assured the Kwakehdor that they will do everything possible to stop the livestock/cattle from destroying their crops.The two elders also called on the national government to extend help to the farmers in Kpain by providing them with tractors and other farming machineries so as to help them produce more food for the nation.“A nation should not depend on foreign country for its staple food when its staple food can be produced by itself. The only thing we need is government support,” said Township Commissioner Wehner.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more