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WHO Emergency Committee Concludes ‘Too Premature’ To Declare H1N1 Has Peaked

The WHO’s emergency committee concluded Tuesday that it was too early to declare that H1N1 (swine flu) has peaked in all parts of the world, the Associated Press reports. The announcement came after the committee met to review the most recent statistics H1N1 activity around the world (2/24).

FDA Recommends H1N1 For Inclusion In Next Year’s Flu Vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday recommended that the H1N1 (swine flu) strain be added to next year’s seasonal flu vaccine, “putting an end to separate shots deployed against the pandemic,” Bloomberg reports. The FDA committee voted unanimously to make the H1N1 strain one of the three strains included in the shot, according to the news service. “The panel’s recommendations are routinely adopted and used to guide vaccine manufacturers,” Bloomberg writes (Randall, 2/22).

‘Proof-Of-Concept’ Study Shows Technology Stabilizes Vaccines At Tropical Temperatures

A team of British researchers have developed a simple, low-cost method to stablize vaccines in tropical climates, which they say could help to revolutionalize vaccination campaigns in developing countries, Reuters reports. “The technology developed by Oxford University scientists and the privately owned Nova Laboratories would remove the need for costly infrastructure, like fridges and freezers that require power and can break down, and highly trained staff,” the news service writes, adding that the research was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust (Kelland, 2/17).

WHO Will Meet To Decide If H1N1 Has Peaked

The WHO will convene a meeting of its emergency committee later this month to assess whether H1N1 (swine flu) has peaked, Keiji Fukuda, the special adviser to the WHO’s director general for pandemic influenza said Thursday, Bloomberg reports. “While the flu continues to spread in parts of the world, notably northern Africa, eastern Europe and eastern Asia, infection activity is declining, [Fukuda] said,” according to Bloomberg (Serafino, 2/11).

Health Officials Encourage Caution, Despite H1N1 Case Decline

As the number of new H1N1 (swine flu) infections worldwide drops, U.S. health officials on Friday cautioned the virus continues to circulate and can still be deadly, Reuters reports. According to the WHO, H1N1 remains the dominant strain worldwide, but there are reports of the recent emergence of the seasonal flu in Africa and China, according to the news agency.

Early Stage Trial Finds Malaria Vaccine Promotes Immune Response In Young Children, Study Says

An experimental vaccine was found to promote immune responses to malaria in young children in Mali, Reuters reports. According to the news service, “The vaccine, which uses an immune system booster called an adjuvant from British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, targets the malaria parasite as it is actively infecting red blood cells and causing fever and illness” (Steenhuysen, 2/3).