October 14, 2009

October 14: Flu Vaccination News

By Kelley Luckstein

Should health care workers be required to get the H1N1 vaccine?

The pressure isn't only on parents to get that H1N1 vaccination for their children. flu-vaccine1


It's on health care workers as well. And some are actually being told to get it or risk losing their job.


That's the case in New York. On Tuesday a group of health care workers filed a lawsuit against that state saying it can't make them get it. It's not required in Minnesota…


But Dr. Priya Sampathkumar, infectious disease specialist, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester says the vaccine is the best tool against H1N1. Sampathkumar says, "It should be just as safe as the seasonal influenza vaccine and people aren't afraid to get that.


So they shouldn't really be afraid of getting this one either." She says while seasonal flu vaccine often gets tested, "This vaccine has had more testing."


She says health care workers who chose not to get the vaccine put patients at risk because those with influenza can actually be contagious 24 hours before they show symptoms


KARE 11 by Renee Tessman, 10/13/09



H1N1 Vaccine Development

With H1N1 vaccine reaching the public early this month, it's good to know how this vaccine was developed and how it will protect people from H1N1 to make an educated decision on whether to get the shot or not.


Three out of the five vaccine manufactures - CSL Limited, MedImmune, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Sanofi Pasteur - shipped their H1N1 vaccine last week…


All five companies developed their vaccines in the same manner. H1N1 vaccine is developed no differently from regular seasonal flu vaccine, except it is a different strain of the flu, according to Gregory A. Poland, MD, MACP, FIDSA, director Mayo Vaccine Research Group and assistant editor for the Mayo Clinic Family Health Book: Fourth Edition.


Advance by Amanda Koehler, 10/13/09



Flu Vaccines Hit a Wall

Making a vaccine against seasonal influenza is a constant catch-up game. Scientists must predict which of the constantly mutating virus strains will be most virulent six months in the future, the amount of time it takes to manufacture the vaccine…


Influenza vaccine production has not changed substantially since it was first introduced in the 1940s. The new H1N1 vaccine took so long to make because it was manufactured using the usual technique--vaccine specialists identify and isolate the most virulent strains, weaken them, genetically adapt them for growth in birds as well as in mammalian cells, and then inject them into fertilized chicken eggs, where the virus can reproduce without killing its host. Once inactivated, the viral proteins can then be made into a vaccine. Add quality control and distribution, "and it is a five-to-six-month process, at its best," says Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, in Rochester, MN.


Technology Review by Lauren Gravitz, 10/13/09

Tags: flu, H1N1, Infectious Diseases, vaccinations

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