One of three manufacturing sites commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Services to quickly develop and produce flu vaccines in the case of a pandemic is expected to be fully operational by 2017, officials say.
Last year's flu vaccine didn't provide as much coverage as scientists had hoped, and now researchers from Canada's British Columbia Centre for Disease Control think they have discovered the culprit.
Vaccination against the flu reduces a child's risk of intensive care hospitalization related to the flu by 74%, according to a CDC study published recently in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
At the start of 2014 the Chinese vaccine sector was rocked by the failure of three leading suppliers to obtain good manufacturing practice certification. Sinovac Biotech escaped unscathed from the rule tightening and this week posted a 17% jump in fourth-quarter sales.
Influenza can overwhelm the immune system of people with diabetes and lead to fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Now a study has calculated that reducing the likelihood of these complications by vaccinating against flu is associated with a 28% drop in the risk of death.
The seed strain is often to blame for low yields of vaccines to protect against pandemic flu strains H1N1 and H5N1, but Daiichi Sankyo has now encountered difficulties when processing the vaccine, leaving the drugmaker unable to hit the H5N1 vaccine production target it agreed upon with the Japanese government.
While Finland agreed to pay out in 2011, the U.K. was still knocking back claimants in 2012. Now, though, the U.K. government is reportedly readying to pay 60 people $1.7 million each.
At this stage it is unclear if the Taiwanese government would buy the vaccine. Adimmune is continuing development though so it is ready to produce the vaccine if required.
The current flu season should have provided the first opportunity to gauge the impact of quadrivalent vaccines. However, the extra B strain in the quadrivalent vaccines has been rendered irrelevant by the almost total dominance of H1N1.
The resurgence of H7N9 in recent months has pushed the death toll from the virus up past 70, but so far the bird flu has been mainly limited to bird-to-human transmission on mainland China. However, the seasonal circulation of H7N9 is putting it into contact with other flu viruses, and researchers fear a more contagious, virulent strain could result.