Flu vaccine makers get HHS funds to prepare for pandemic

first_imgJun 20, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Federal health officials last week announced the awarding of contracts totaling $132.5 million to help two vaccine producers get ready to start churning out vaccines in the event of a flu pandemic.The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $77.4 million to Sanofi Pasteur and $55.1 million to MedImmune Inc. to retrofit existing vaccine production facilities and keep them in ready condition for 2 years to produce pandemic flu vaccines, with an option to extend the time to 5 years.The goal is that when the retrofitting is done, the facilities together will be capable of producing about 100 million doses of a pandemic vaccine within 6 months of the start of a pandemic, according to Marc Wolfson, a spokesman for HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (formerly the Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness).That amount represents about 16% of the HHS goal of having enough domestic capacity to make 600 million doses of pandemic flu vaccine—enough for 300 million people—within 6 months after a pandemic hits, Wolfson told CIDRAP News.The renovations also will equip the two companies to produce prepandemic vaccines year-round, HHS said. Currently production of prepandemic vaccines is limited to the 3 months each year when facilities are not tied up with making seasonal flu vaccines, HHS officials said.The HHS contracts call for the two companies to maintain “warm base operations” in the renovated facilities for 2 years, meaning they will not be shut down. The contracts include options for another 3 years of warm-base operations, which would require more money, the agency said.Sanofi Pasteur, located in Swiftwater, Pa., has been the leading producer of seasonal flu vaccine for the US market in recent years. MedImmune, based in Gaithersburg, Md., makes the nasal-spray seasonal flu vaccine FluMist, which uses a live, attenuated virus.Sanofi makes the only prepandemic H5N1 flu vaccine licensed so far by the Food and Drug Administration. HHS has stockpiled the equivalent of 14.5 million 90-microgram doses of the vaccine, according to Wolfson. That’s enough for about 7.25 million people at two doses each. HHS has a goal of stockpiling enough prepandemic flu vaccine for 20 million people.Wolfson said the current US annual production capacity for prepandemic flu vaccines is 16.5 million doses. Besides Sanofi, he said, GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis are also making prepandemic H5N1 vaccines for the US stockpile. Both companies also market seasonal flu vaccines in the United States.Sanofi is building a new flu vaccine plant in Swiftwater and hopes to have it completed in time for the 2008-09 flu season, company spokeswoman Patty Tomski told CIDRAP News. The company will contribute about $25 million to the renovation of its existing plant scheduled under the HHS contract.”The contract covers costs for design, retrofit and the maintenance of the facilities at a state of readiness so the company can switch to pandemic influenza vaccine manufacture at the HHS’s request,” the company said in a news release. Tomski said the plant will be able to start producing a pandemic vaccine at any time of year.The retrofitting is expected to be completed in late 2010, according to Tomski. The renovated plant will use the conventional production method of growing flu viruses in eggs, she reported.With the renovation, the company expects to maintain the plant’s existing production capacity of about 50 million doses a year, Tomski said. The new plant is designed to add capacity for another 100 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine annually.MedImmune will contribute about $14 million to the retrofitting of its facilities under the HHS contract, the company said in a news release.The work will affect MedImmune’s manufacturing and testing facilities in Santa Clara and Mountain View, Calif.; its blending, filling, packaging, and warehousing facilities in Philadelphia and Salem, Pa.; and a storage and distribution center in Louisville, Ky., according to company spokeswoman Karen Lancaster. As part of the renovation, she said, facilities will be expanded to maintain capacity for making seasonal flu vaccines.MedImmune uses an egg-based system to make its intranasal vaccine. The same approach will be used to make pandemic vaccines, though the company is developing a cell-based production system, Lancaster said.See also:Jun 14 HHS news releasehttp://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2007pres/06/20070614a.htmlJun 14 Sanofi news releaseJun 14 MedImmune news releaselast_img read more

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Franken doesn’t seem to understand why he had to resign

first_imgCategories: Editorial, Opinion“I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party,” Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., said as he announced his resignation Thursday. Franken, who has been accused by eight women of sexual misconduct, said that he was leaving not because the allegations against him were true, but because “it’s become clear that I can’t both pursue the ethics committee process and at the same time remain an effective senator.”Franken’s statement was defensive and often angry.And though he said he “was excited for that conversation and hopeful that it would result in real change,” he didn’t seem to grasp what that change might look like or why he has been swept up in it.Franken and many other men have lost their jobs over the past few months because society has finally decided to treat them like other people who allegedly behave in wildly entitled and reckless ways. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists But it is an explanation for the disbelief that some of the men who have been exposed over the past few months seem to feel.The idea that Harvey Weinstein could redeem himself with a week-long stay in rehab, or that director James Toback could bluster his way through hundreds of allegations, seems ludicrous to any of us who have had to choose between our passing desires and the realities of our lives.I’m sure the idea that these strategies wouldn’t work is equally confounding if your life has been defined by a near-total freedom to seek gratification without worrying about the consequences.Franken might not yet understand what happened to him.But like the women who say he groped them, he couldn’t escape his fate.Alyssa Rosenberg blogs about pop culture for The Washington Post’s Opinions section. If this change has been disconcerting to men like Franken, he’s not alone.The reckoning of the past few months has made it clear – if it wasn’t before – that sexual harassment and sexual assault are widespread.It’s also horrifyingly obvious just how many men feel no compunction about using their power to demand sexual contact, and how many of them don’t even bother to demand.They “just kiss.” They just grab, they just open their robes, they just start masturbating, they just force themselves inside women. They “don’t even wait.”But knowing that still doesn’t make it any more comprehensible to me.What must it be like to truly believe, deep down, that “when you’re a star, they let you do it”?Or to be absolutely convinced that you can kiss whomever you want, whenever you want, because to do so is your “right as an entertainer” (as one accuser said Franken told her)?center_img I have absolutely no understanding of how it feels to think you’re entitled to have your every passing whim fulfilled, even if that whim involves another person.I have never expected that much satisfaction out of life.I also can’t understand the specific calculus involved in spectacularly destructive acts of self-gratification.Is a kiss from an unwilling woman or a handful of flesh really worth endangering a career in radio, or a seat in the Senate?Is forcing yourself on a clearly unwilling woman or enlisting her as an obviously miserable viewer in a session of masturbation actually worth the potential loss of your movie studio, or your development deal at a major network?Maybe I’m missing the point.Maybe I just don’t know what it’s like to live without fear of consequence. The truth is, there’s plenty of evidence to bolster men’s belief that they can get away with these alleged acts – that at most, the price they’ll pay is some irksome public humiliation.Clarence Thomas holds a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.Bill Clinton retained his presidency and will retain the cushion of his wealth even if he’s stripped of some esteem.Donald Trump is president. Roy Moore may still become a senator from Alabama.So if Franken sounded petulant and defensive when he announced his resignation, maybe it’s because he is genuinely flabbergasted by the past month of his life.If I struggle to imagine feeling as free and as entitled as the many men accused of sexual harassment this fall, I’m sure it’s hard for those men to imagine navigating the constraints many women (not to mention people of color and LGBT people) have to contend with.This failure of imagination isn’t an excuse.last_img read more

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WHC ”Zrinjski” defeated WHC ”Gorica”

first_imgAt the Tournament ”Voljenom gradu” women handball players of ”Zrinjski” defeated, in the first match team of ”Gorica” from Podgorica.Players of ”Zrinjski” were better during the entire game, and the final result was 26:23.Best players of ”Zrinjski” were Prguda with 8 and Prusina with 6 goals.Tournament is continuing and handball players of Zrinjski will meet WHC ”Katarina”.last_img

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Titleholders BB&O and Lancashire score first points

first_img4 Oct 2016 Titleholders BB&O and Lancashire score first points Lancashire marked their return to the English Senior Men’s County Finals with a hefty 8.5-0.5 win over Worcestershire, while titleholders BB&O (Berks, Bucks & Oxon) endured a nervy spell before clinching their 6-3 win over Devon.The four teams, each representing one of the England Golf men’s regions, are playing for the title in a round robin tournament in perfect autumn weather at Chipping Sodbury in Gloucestershire.The nerve of the defending champions was thoroughly tested in today’s opening match. BB&O were down in all three foursomes this morning before managing to turn two around with 2up wins from the pairings of David Niven and Andrew Stracey and Malcolm Reid and George Best Wilson.Niven, an England senior international, and Best Wilson both swept away to big wins in the singles, scoring 6/5 and 7/6 respectively. But then the tension kicked in: “We’re fighting for our lives,” said Niven after a look at the scoreboard, which showed BB&O trailing in three games and all square in one.Former international Andrew Stracey (image © Leaderboard Photography) ended the agony when he grabbed a one-hole lead on the 16th and held on to it over the remaining two holes, despite plenty of excitement along the way.“I got lucky after a dreadful tee shot on 17 which looked as though it was going out of bounds,” said Stracey. He just managed to get his second up by the green before chipping and putting for his par – while his opponent played the hole in textbook style. On the 18th his opponent had a putt to halve the match but once it slipped by BB&O secured their point. David Cromie completed their scoreline when he managed to turn his game around and win 2/1.Team captain Ashley Brewer commented: “This was another Titanic battle between Devon and BB&O, but played in a very friendly spirit. We got out of jail again and were very lucky!”Lancashire won this title in 2014 but missed out on a place in last year’s County Finals. They came back in style with today’s unbeaten performance which began with three very comfortable foursomes wins, courtesy of Ian Crowther and Gary Byrne; Bill Bromilow and Robert Fox; and Tony Holt and Trevor Foster.They went on to power through the singles, led by Crowther, also an England senior international, who scored their first point with his 2/1 win. “We were all square through nine and it could have gone either way, but I just managed to scramble through at the end,” he said.He was quickly followed by Foster who has just joined senior ranks after playing 108 times for the Lancashire men. “I’m loving it,” he said after recording his 3/1 win. Byrne, Ian Westwell and Holt added their points to the tally before Worcestershire’s Bryan Swain stopped the whitewash.He finished birdie, par to win the last two holes against Alan Gillespie and grab a half point for his team. “I was determined to get that,” he said afterwards.Lancashire’s manager Mike Gray said afterwards: “We’re very pleased, the team has performed to all our expectations and we’ve achieved our first aim. But we will take each of the sessions as they come.”Tomorrow Lancashire play Devon while BB&O play Worcestershire.Click here for full scoreslast_img read more

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