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Would an imperfect vaccine be useful in a flu pandemic?

first_imgApr 11, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A mathematical modeling study suggests that a modestly effective vaccine could keep an influenza pandemic from striking more than 10% of the US population, but only if large amounts of vaccine were distributed quickly and the virus was not too highly contagious. The modeling study seems to lend some support to the US strategy of stockpiling a vaccine based on recent strains of H5N1 avian flu, which won’t precisely match an emerging pandemic strain. But the model incorporates many assumptions that may or may not prove accurate in the event of a pandemic, and experts note that very little H5N1 vaccine would be available if a pandemic occurred anytime soon. Germann TC, Kadau K, Longini IM, et al. Mitigation strategies for pandemic influenza in the United States. Proc Nat Acad Sci 2006 Apr 11;103(15):5935-40 [Abstract] Germann and two associates, Kai Kadau and Catherine A. Macken, all of Los Alamos National Laboratory, worked on the study with Ira M. Longini Jr., a biostatistician from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington in Seattle. See also: “Aggressive” production and distribution of vaccine could control a pandemic with an R of less than 1.9, the model predicted. “We believe that a large stockpile of avian-based vaccine with potential pandemic influenza antigens, coupled with the capacity to rapidly make a better-matched vaccine based on human strains, would be the best strategy to mitigate pandemic influenza,” the authors write. “This effort needs to be coupled with a rapid vaccine distribution system capable of distributing at least 10 million doses per week to affected regions of the U.S.” Other experts who were asked to comment on the study had different reactions. Travel restrictions alone would accomplish little, according to the simulations. A 90% reduction in travel would slow the virus’s spread by only a few days to a few weeks, depending on transmissibility, and would not dent the ultimate size of the pandemic. Other control strategies used alone could limit a pandemic only if the virus had relatively low transmissibility (R of 1.6), the model predicted. For example, targeted use of antiviral drugs could succeed in that case, provided the supply was adequate and close contacts of patients could be quickly identified. But if R were 1.8, the nation would need a “prohibitively large” 51 million treatment courses of antivirals. Dr. Gregory Poland, a vaccine expert at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said the situation with the H5N1 vaccine being made for the US government points up the problems with the predictions. As was reported recently, the vaccine seems effective in about half of recipients, but it takes 12 times the dose used in seasonal flu vaccines, he noted. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Its goals, the NIH said in a news release, were to determine how to slow the spread of a pandemic virus long enough to permit development and distribution of a well-matched vaccine and also how to limit the number of cases to less than 10% of the population, the percentage in an average flu season. The model projected that without any control effort and an R of 1.9, the virus would spread across the nation within 30 days of its first arrivals, that 122 million people would ultimately fall ill, and that the pandemic would peak in 85 days. With an R number of 2.4 and no control effort, as many as 151 million would get sick, according to the model. William Schaffner, MD, a hospital epidemiologist and professor in the infectious disease division at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, said he found the study reassuring, though he had not examined it closely. “The ultimate take-home line was that even a partially effective vaccine is an important part of the strategy,” he said.center_img For a highly transmissible virus (R greater than 1.9), it would take a combination of measures to limit the pandemic, the model predicted. For example, the combined use of vaccination, targeted antiviral use (3 million courses), school closures, social distancing, and travel restrictions could work at an R level as high as 2.4, the authors predict. With a moderately transmissible virus (meaning each case leads to fewer than 1.9 additional cases), “Our model suggests that the rapid production and distribution of vaccines, even if poorly matched to the circulating strains, could significantly slow disease spread and limit the number ill to less than 10% of the population, particularly if children are preferentially vaccinated,” says the report by Timothy C. Germann and colleagues. With a more contagious virus, additional measures such as school closings, travel bans, and antiviral drugs would have to be used in combination with vaccination, says the report published online last week by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, a leading pandemic preparedness advocate, had a sharply different view of the study. “I think it’s based on a number of assumptions which in the real world won’t happen,” he said. “The idea that we’ll even have vaccine to consider in terms of dealing with the pandemic is at this point not likely for the vast majority of the world.” Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of the CIDRAP Web site, said “any number” of assumptions used in the model could be questioned. “I continue to worry that far too much credence is being put into theoretical models that lack reality testing in the likely world of a pandemic,” he said. “A moderately effective vaccine would work if you could get it into enough people,” said Poland, who directs the Mayo Vaccine Research Group and Program in Translational Immunovirology. “This current vaccine, if we used the whole world manufacturing capacity, offers enough doses for somewhere around 37.5 million people. So that’s not an answer.” He added that it may be necessary to make more than one vaccine, given the different clades (families) of H5N1 virus that have emerged. With a very limited supply of a vaccine for which two doses are recommended, the model showed it would be less helpful to vaccinate a given number of people with the two doses than to give just one dose to twice as many people. The model simulated the unfolding of pandemic flu in a US population of 281 million over 180 days. It factored in US census data about population distribution and commuting patterns and assumptions about the frequency of interpersonal contacts. It assumed that a few infected people would arrive from abroad each day at 14 airports in the United States. The researchers ran the simulations with four different reproductive (R) numbers (the number of additional people infected by each infected person), ranging from 1.6 to 2.4. He added that building up the capacity to treat the sick is important, but the main emphasis in pandemic preparedness should be on vaccination and other preventive measures. “The results [of the study] were so affirming of the general thoughts of the public health community that it’s really very reassuring, and I hope it stimulates further what I think is already a strong effort by HHS [the Department of Health and Human Services] to stimulate vaccine production and research on new ways to produce the flu vaccine and make better flu vaccines.” Poland also said no one knows how contagious the next pandemic virus will be. “My understanding is that the estimated R number for the 1918 pandemic was right around 3,” higher than the maximum of 2.4 used in the study, he said. “You wonder now if we truly have a novel subtype that’s easily transmissible, given the travel we have, if we wouldn’t have higher numbers. The average family is bigger than two people.” NIH news releasehttp://www.nigms.nih.gov/News/Results/FluModel040306last_img read more

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Napoleon woman faces charges in stolen credit card investigation

first_imgBrookville, In. — A Napoleon woman is behind bars following an investigation into a stolen credit card in Franklin County.A report from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department says the card was reported stolen on August 5, 2017 and had been used several times in the Greensburg area. An acquaintance of the victim, Elizabeth Whipple was located in Brookville and arrested for felony fraud and misdemeanor theft.If convicted Whipple could spend up to 2 ½ years in prison and be required to pay a $10,000 fine.last_img

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The Latest: German soccer federation faces heavy losses

first_imgThe Latest: German soccer federation faces heavy losses Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The German soccer federation says it faces heavy losses this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Johnny Grave says he has been in discussions with the England and Wales Cricket Board for the past six weeks and that Cricket West Indies is expecting a formal offer to go ahead with the tour in the coming days.Grave says in an interview with espncricinfo.com the players would take privately sourced tests for COVID-19 three or four days before the departure date. They would then convene at a base in Antigua and fly out in one aircraft on the same day, before being transported to their quarantine and training venue where they would spend about three weeks.He adds that the current plan is for the test matches to start July 8, July 16 and July 24. The tour was due to start on June 4 but no professional cricket can be played in England before July 1 because of the coronavirus outbreak.Grave says there is still some apprehension among players and support staff about leaving their families for seven weeks, travelling to Britain and playing in bio-secure venues, but that no player has said formally he does not want to tour.___ The shipment was delivered last week and is being stored at PSG’s Parc des Princes. The stadium has been operating as a logistics support base in the Greater Paris region.Sabrina Delannoy, the deputy director of the Paris Saint-Germain Foundation, said on Monday that the donation “will enable our many partner charities to continue working in safe conditions and to pass on this equipment in turn to the people who need it most.”PSG and Tencent sealed a partnership during the French club’s Tour in China last year.___The chief executive of West Indies’ cricket team says a plan is in place to fly a 25-man squad to England around June 8 ahead of a three-test series starting a month later in bio-secure stadiums with no spectators. Spain was one of the hardest hit countries by the coronavirus pandemic with nearly 30,000 deaths. Masks are now obligatory for the entire population in most situations.Barcelona and most Spanish clubs sustained heavy financial losses and reduced the salaries of its players during the pandemic. ___The top women’s soccer league in England has been canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak.The Football Association says a decision was taken to end the Women’s Super League with immediate effect following “overwhelming feedback from the clubs” and to give them the chance to “prepare and focus on next season.” ___Barcelona has launched a line of protective masks for its fans during the coronavirus pandemic.The club says the masks are available in three different models with exclusive designs using Barcelona’s colors. They can be found online or in physical stores as they gradually reopen to the public beginning on Monday.The masks are made in Catalonia using 100% ecological cotton. Barcelona says they comply with all “health requirements and regulations.” The masks are reusable and guaranteed to up to 40 washes. Manchester City was leading the league by a point from Chelsea, which had a game in hand. Arsenal was a further three points behind and also had a game in hand on City.Recommendations for sporting outcomes such as which team should represent England in the Women’s Champions League next season will be sent to the FA board.The second-tier Women’s Championship has also been canceled.___ Moving the worlds to March 2022 would put the event one month after the 2022 Beijing Olympics and likely force FIS to cancel that season’s finals in Méribel and Courchevel, France.The Cortina worlds are currently scheduled for Feb. 7-21, 2021.Worlds are usually held every other winter, in odd years.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 The Euroleague has 18 teams across 10 European nations. The different lockdown and border restrictions in those countries made it difficult to continue games.The season was suspended March 12. Turkish club Anadolu Efes Istanbul was leading with a 24-4 regular season record.___Chinese technology company Tencent has donated 150,000 face masks and 10,000 pairs of protective goggles to Paris Saint-Germain’s foundation.The foundation will dispatch them to organizations and charities in need of equipment to help fight the spread of the coronavirus.center_img May 25, 2020 The men’s and women’s professional tours are suspended until at least July 13.___The Euroleague basketball season has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic and no championship will be awarded.The league says it considered and rejected various plans for continuing the season, including proposals from many cities to hold remaining games. It instead opted to focus on the 2020-21 season.The league adds that “for reasons of sporting integrity, all competition system modifications including a reduced number of teams were discarded.” Treasurer Stephan Osnabrügge has presented figures to a general meeting showing a possible loss of nearly 77 million euros ($83 million) in the worst-case scenario. The deficit would be smaller if national-team games can resume in the second half of 2020.Osnabrügge says that means the “deepest economic crisis” in the DFB’s history but that it is not facing insolvency.In a meeting held over video conferencing the DFB ended the season for all junior competitions and for the women’s second division.The DFB confirmed the men’s third division will resume Saturday despite objections from some clubs and state federations. The first and second divisions restarted earlier this month.The top women’s league will resume Friday. ___The French tennis federation will set aside nine million euros ($9.8 million) for its players who financially struggle as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.The money will come from a larger 35-million euro ($38.1 million) support plan for French tennis as a whole. It will go to the players ranked outside the Top 100 who won’t receive any compensation from tennis’ international governing bodies.Bernard Giudicelli, the president of the French tennis federation, told a conference call Monday that 66 male players and 39 female professionals will benefit from the allocation. Beach tennis and paddle tennis players, as well as wheelchair professionals and players with disabilities, can also sign up to the scheme. The support plan will be operational from June 3 and will last until Aug. 31, 2021. It will also help clubs, coaches, instructors, umpires, other officials and tournament organizers affected by the health crisis. Associated Press Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says the swift development of vaccines and effective treatments for COVID-19 are priorities towards achieving the Tokyo Olympics next year.Abe says recovery from the coronavirus pandemic only in Japan would not be enough to hold the Games because it involves spectators and athletes from around the world.He reiterates that the government hopes to hold the Tokyo Games “in a complete form” with spectators as a proof of human victory against the coronavirus.Japan and the International Olympic Committee have agreed to postpone the Games by one year to July 2021.Experts say developing an effective and safe vaccine by the Games next year will be difficult. The Italian Winter Sports Federation (FISI) would like to postpone next year’s Alpine skiing world championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo until March 2022.Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malagò revealed the plans during an interview with RAI state TV on Sunday night.Malagò says “this is the best solution” in order to avoid the championships being canceled or shortened after the fallout in Italy from the coronavirus pandemic.Malagò says FISI would officially send the request to the International Ski Federation’s (FIS) board on Monday.Cortina was already forced to cancel the World Cup finals in March this year due to the advancing virus.last_img read more

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