HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Tuesday during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing that H1N1 (swine flu) vaccines produced by four manufacturers — CSL Ltd., Novartis, Sanofi-Pasteur and Medimmune — had won FDA approval, paving the way for a U.S. large-scale vaccination campaign, the Wall Street Journal reports. The application for GlaxoSmithKline PLC’s vaccine is still being considered.
Pneumonia & Flu
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Recent findings that a single dose of an H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine offers protection against the virus and anticipation of vaccination programs starting earlier than predicted will increase the number of people worldwide with access to the vaccine and the likelihood health officials may be able to control the spread of the virus, Bloomberg reports.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Sunday that the H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine will be available in the U.S. earlier than previously anticipated, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The results of clinical trials have shown one dose of the H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine is enough to offer adults protection against the virus, U.S. and Australian researchers said Thursday, the Associated Press reports.
“Each year 1.2 million children under age 5 die from Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae B or Hib,” which cause pneumococcal disease and are preventable with vaccines, according to studies published Thursday in the journal Lancet, Reuters reports.
Addressing a meeting of South East Asian health ministers Tuesday, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said the H1N1 (swine) flu pandemic will “test the world on the issue of fairness” and “reveal in a measurable and tragic way the consequences of decades of failure to invest adequately in basic health systems and infrastructure,” Agence France-Presse reports.
“China faces a grim situation in containing the H1N1 [swine] flu, as schools start up again and the number of domestic cases, as well as clusters of cases, rises, China’s Minister of Health said on Tuesday,” Reuters reports.
The WHO on Friday announced the H1N1 (swine) flu virus has killed at least 2,837 people â€“ the result of an continued increase in the number of H1N1 cases worldwide, not the virulence of the virus, Reuters reports. “There is no sense that the virus has mutated or changed in any sense,” WHO spokesperson Gregory Hartl said during a news conference (Nebehay/MacInnis, 9/4).
The H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine will cost countries between $2.50 and $20 per dose, based upon their ability to pay, according to the director of the Initiative for Vaccine Research at the WHO, Marie-Paule Kieny, Agence France-Presse/Khaleej Times reports.