Tagged Articles

seasonal flu 12 articles

FDA to consider new single-dose anti-viral drug to fight seasonal flu

Peramivir, a new once-daily injectable drug, appears to be a safe and effective at alleviating most flu symptoms if taken within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, according to Dr. Rich Whitley, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) researcher who led the study on the new drug. “If we don’t get immunized and we get influenza or if we get immunized and we still get influenza, we need to have anti-viral drugs available for the purposes of therapy and the goal is to keep people out of the hospital and to keep people from dying,” Whitley said. Each year ... Read More

Elevated testosterone levels can weaken one’s immune response to flu shot

Higher levels of the male hormone testosterone can weaken the immune response to some types of flu vaccine and should be a word of caution for those who use testosterone replacement therapy, researchers say. Researchers with the Stanford University School of Medicine’s Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection analyzed samples from 53 women and 34 men and found that women had significantly stronger antibody response to the trivalent inactivated seasonal flu vaccine (TIV). They also found that men with higher levels of testosterone had the lowest antibody responses to TIV. “This is the first study to show an explicit correlation ... Read More

CDC: Flu shot less effective in older adults

This season’s flu shot is doing a poor job of protecting older people from getting the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports. The vaccine is only 9 percent effective in preventing people 65 and older from getting the most predominant flu strain circulating this season. The findings help explain why so many older people have been hospitalized this year with the flu, but it doesn’t explain why the flu vaccine has failed to work in so many older adults. The research also shows the vaccine isn’t working as well across all age groups studied. Among all ... Read More

FDA approves first four-strain flu vaccine

A new seasonal flu shot that targets four strains of the virus has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to immunize adults and children age 3 and older. Fluarix Quadrivalent, made by GlaxoSmithKline, is the first intramuscular vaccine to protect against four different strains. Current influenza vaccines protect against only three strains. The new vaccine protects against flu virus subtypes A and B. The currently available three-strain flu vaccines protect against the two most common A virus strains and the B strain that public health authorities anticipate to be the predominant one each year. However, since 2000, ... Read More

Roche agrees to compromise with BMJ over Tamiflu safety, efficacy data

Pharmaceutical company Roche says it has agreed to talk to external groups about full access to data on its anti-flu medication Tamiflu (oseltamivir), a move prompted by criticism that the drug company had refused to release data on the safety and efficacy the antiviral medication. In October, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) called on European governments to sue Roche claiming there was no evidence that the drug is effective in stopping the influenza virus. Governments around the world paid billions to stockpile the drug in 2009 during the swine flu pandemic. It is also used to treat seasonal flu and ... Read More

Hundreds of Georgia elementary kids accidentally given two flu shots

Nearly 400 Bibb County, Georgia, students were accidentally given two flu shots during a campaign to inoculate children against seasonal influenza. North Central Health officials were tipped off by a parent who said his child had received a flu shot at school when he had already been given one previously. This prompted an audit that found 383 elementary school students unnecessarily received a second dose of the flu vaccine. Health officials blame the accident on paperwork oversight and said the school will not be charged for the extra shots. The district also says there is no cause for alarm. “We ... Read More

Lifelong flu shot in development

Researchers are hoping that new technology may allow them to produce an influenza vaccination that can last a lifetime, eliminating the need for annual flu shots. For the first time in infectious disease research, a vaccine against the flu has been made out of messenger RNA (mRNA), the genetic material that controls the production of proteins. Unlike previous flu shots, the new vaccine may be able to stand up over time as well as be made fast enough to stop a pandemic in its tracks. One of the challenges with flu shots is that the viruses constantly evolve, so a ... Read More

FDA approves first flu shot using animal cell technology

The first seasonal flu vaccine using animal cell technology instead of the 50-year-old egg method has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The new flu shot, Flucelvax, is made by Novartis and is approved for people 18 years and older. The newly approved vaccine is desirable because it takes less time to produce than the egg method, which medical experts say is ideal in the event of a pandemic. The older flu shots are made from virus samples that are injected into specialized chicken eggs. The eggs are incubated and, after some time, the egg fluids are ... Read More

Scientists say no data to support Tamiflu’s flu-fighting claims

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) is asking the European governments to sue drug company Roche, claiming there is no evidence that its antiviral medication Tamiflu is effective in stopping the disease. Tamiflu is one of few drugs stockpiled by numerous of governments worldwide in case of a global flu outbreak. Tamiflu was widely prescribed during the 2009 swine flu pandemic. It is used to treat both seasonal flu and new flu viruses including bird flu or swine flu. It is designed to stop or hinder the progression to severe disease like pneumonia. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ... Read More

Experimental new flu shot designed to wipe out all strains

Predicting what strains of the flu virus will circle the globe in order to develop an effective seasonal flu vaccine has been a mystery to scientists for years. But a team of Oxford University researchers may have found a vaccine that can work against all known strains of the illness, thus taking out a lot of the guesswork. The vaccine was developed by using a new technique and then tested for the first time on humans infected with the flu. It works by targeting proteins inside the flu virus that are common across all strains. Most traditional flu vaccines target ... Read More