first_img To achieve prepandemic vaccines, researchers would have to ascertain the right dose and dose interval, determine how long priming lasts, and solve the puzzle of measuring primed immunity. Further, regulatory authorities would have to determine the trial design that could deliver those answers, the public discussion that would be necessary for prepandemic vaccines to be accepted, and the safety data that would need to be gathered once the vaccines went into use (see Bibliography: Goodman 2007). A number of the studies that have shown adjuvants may be able to stretch the vaccine supply also demonstrated a secondary benefit: The formulas protected not only against the H5N1 flu strain on which they were based, but against other H5N1 strains as well, a phenomenon called cross-reactive protection (see Bibliography: Nicholson 2001, Stephenson 2005, Govorkova 2006, Hehme 2007, Hoffenbach 2007). Most recently, the GlaxoSmithKline-backed team that described an acceptable immune response after two adjuvanted 3.8-microgram (mcg) doses found that three fourths of their subjects were protected not only against the clade 1 Vietnam virus on which the vaccine was based, but against a drifted clade 2 virus from Indonesia as well (see Bibliography: Leroux-Roels 2007). “I think priming should be done, but I am not sure how it should be done,” said Dr. John Wood, principal scientist in the division of virology at the United Kingdom’s National Institute for Biological Standards and Control. “What we don’t know is how low you can go to actually prime people. It may be that you can go much lower than where we can detect antibody. That is a regulatory headache, because you have to demonstrate that you are doing something, but there is a potential there” (see Bibliography: Wood 2007: author interview). At the moment, however, the science is thin. Much of the support for priming has come from animal studies (see Bibliography: Lipatov 2005, Govorkova 2006, Kreijtz 2007) or via computer modeling (see Bibliography: Longini 2005, Ferguson 2006, Germann 2006). A few small studies in humans have shown promising results. In one, serum from 15 volunteers who received three doses over 16 months of an adjuvanted vaccine based on a 1997 H5N3 isolate showed significant antibody response against H5N1 strains isolated years later (see Bibliography: Stephenson 2005). In another, 37 participants who had been given a baculovirus-grown, clade 3 H5 vaccine in 1998 were boosted with a single dose of the unadjuvanted 90-mcg Sanofi vaccine in 2005, and showed much higher antibody responses than participants who had not been primed but received one or two doses of the 90-mcg vaccine (see Bibliography: Treanor 2007: Immune responses). And researchers at a conference earlier this year reported that some of the participants in the phase 3 trial of the 90-mcg Sanofi vaccine were boosted with a third dose 6 months after their second dose and showed a significant rise in antibody levels that lasted for 6 months (see Bibliography: Zangwill 2007). A tough ethical problemBut the next logical step—that if vaccines can be formulated without waiting for a pandemic, they could be administered before a pandemic began—is a much tougher one to take, and policy makers are approaching it with great caution. The scientific, logistical, and especially ethical questions raised by prepandemic vaccination are grave. “Extraordinary threats call for consideration of innovative strategies that, in less-threatening circumstances, might be dismissed,” Bruce Gellin and Ben Schwartz of the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Vaccine Program Office wrote 2 years ago. “Although it has been assumed that pandemic vaccine cannot be stockpiled or that vaccination cannot occur before the start of a pandemic, might these approaches actually be possible? . . . Would receipt of a vaccine prepared before the pandemic be effective in providing some protection or in priming recipients so a single subsequent dose of vaccine would be protective?” (see Bibliography: Schwartz 2005). The danger demonstrated by both those campaigns, of causing adverse events while protecting against a disease that might never arise, has been noted in World Health Organization (WHO) policies as well. “Possible high-risk shortcuts in response to a potential emergency would be difficult to justify prior to the actual occurrence of the emergency,” the agency said after the June 2006 meeting of its Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety. “Effectiveness of pandemic vaccines will not be known before the pandemic and possibly only after it is over” (see Bibliography: WHO 2006: Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety, 6-7 June 2006). The prime-boost strategyThe most likely and biologically plausible use of prepandemic vaccination would be as the first half of a “prime-boost” series. People would still be given the two doses of vaccine necessary to provoke immunity in a naïve individual. But the doses would be based on different vaccine strains—the first an early best guess, the second tuned to the pandemic strain—and could be given not weeks but months or years apart if the science supported it. Yet the potential benefits of prepandemic vaccination are so alluring that governments have begun gingerly to lay groundwork for its consideration, despite the obvious difficulties of putting the idea into practice. The findings are not completely understood, though researchers agree that they make biological sense. Adjuvants stimulate the immune system in some manner that is broader than and different from the body’s reaction to the antigen packaged with them. The discovery that adjuvanted flu vaccines may invoke cross-reactivity has generated tremendous excitement—because that could allow production of at least partially protective vaccines well in advance of a pandemic’s beginning. Part 1: Flu research: a legacy of neglectPart 2: Vaccine production capacity falls far shortPart 3: H5N1 poses major immunologic challengesPart 4: The promise and problems of adjuvantsPart 5: What role for prepandemic vaccination?Part 6: Looking to novel vaccine technologiesPart 7: Time for a vaccine ‘Manhattan Project’?Bibliography Hurdles are manySo many steps separate those early results from an agreed-upon policy that would allow for prepandemic vaccines—in an annual flu shot or stockpiled until the WHO declares a pandemic imminent—that it is unrealistic to expect them to be created any time soon. The scientific questions alone are significant and novel. Any vaccination that took place before a pandemic was detected would offer uncertain amounts of both benefit and risk. The vaccine might be cross-protective against a future pandemic—but the lag time to the pandemic’s emergence might be so long that the vaccination would seem pointless. As well, the vaccine might cause a greater-than-expected rate of adverse events, causing both direct harm to recipients and indirect damage to government credibility—results that would be particularly difficult to tolerate if vaccination proved unnecessary because the pandemic did not arrive. Those risks are not theoretical: They have been demonstrated in the United States twice in recent history, in the abortive 2002 smallpox vaccination campaign and the 1976 swine-flu campaign (see Bibliography: Kotalik 2005), which has haunted US flu decision-making ever since. Editor’s note: This is the fifth in a seven-part series investigating the prospects for development of vaccines to head off the threat of an influenza pandemic posed by the H5N1 avian influenza virus. The series puts promising advances in vaccine technology in perspective by illuminating the formidable barriers to producing large amounts of an effective and widely usable vaccine in a short time frame. Part 4 examined the possibility of using adjuvants to stretch the supply of pandemic vaccines and the regulatory barriers to that strategy. Recognizing those hurdles, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said in August that while it welcomes the development of prepandemic vaccines, it would not support administering them until a WHO declaration of pandemic phase 5 or 6, meaning significant human-to-human transmission is occurring or a pandemic is under way (see Bibliography: ECDC 2007: “Pre-pandemic” vaccines might offer protection but uncertainties remain). The pandemic vaccine puzzle Oct 31, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Experiments with vaccine adjuvants have raised some hope of removing one of the great stumbling blocks to pandemic influenza preparedness: the impossibility of making a vaccine that protects against a pandemic virus before that virus actually emerges. last_img read more

first_imgGerman shipbuilder Meyer Werft held a steel cutting ceremony for Saga Cruises’ first new cruise ship, the Spirit of Discovery, on February 28.With the event, the shipbuilder started the construction of the first sections and blocks for the new vessel at its Building Dock I in Papenburg.The UK-based cruise line informed that the Spirit of Discovery is scheduled to take to the oceans in just 18 month’s time when it joins the company in summer 2019.With a capacity to accommodate 999 passengers, the Spirit of Discovery is the first of two vessels which were ordered by Saga Cruises in January 2016 and September 2017, respectively.The second cruise ship, the Spirit of Adventure, is scheduled to be delivered in summer 2020.The ships each have an overall length of 236 metres, a width of 31.2 metres and a tonnage measurement of 58,250 GT.last_img read more

first_imgThe Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) will suspend most highway construction and maintenance activities on Friday, Aug. 30 ahead of the Labor Day holiday weekend. INDOT has a policy of limiting restrictions during highly traveled times in order to optimize mobility and public safety.INDOT and contractor workers will stop work in most construction zones and, where possible, restrictions will be removed. Some closures and restrictions will remain on projects that cannot safely reopen to traffic.Motorists traveling on Labor Day through Indianapolis via I-65 or I-70 will encounter restricted travel lanes and highway work zones near the north and south splits as contractors modify pavement markings, uncover signs and place barricades and barrier wall ahead of the midnight closure. I-465 around the south side of Indianapolis is the official detour for the downtown I-65/I-70 closure.Motorists traveling this weekend should also be alert for drivers who might be under the influence of alcohol. Recent data from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute show alcohol-impaired driving fatalities rose nearly 13 percent in 2012. INDOT encourages all motorists to avoid drinking and driving, and to report suspicious or reckless driving behaviors to law enforcement.last_img read more

first_imgRelatedPosts No directive to constitute disciplinary committee against us — Ojudu, others ‘Army Officer’ in EFCC net for alleged multiple fraud COVID-19: NCAA to revoke erring airlines licence over non-compliance Bresica have parted company with head coach Eugenio Corini for the second time this season. The Serie A club announced the news on Wednesday, with reports claiming that Diego Lopez is set to take over. Corini was previously sacked in November before he was re-hired one month later, replacing Italian World Cup winner Fabio Grosso. A club statement read: “Brescia Calcio announce to have relieved Eugenio Corini of the position as coach for the first team. “The club wants to thank Mr. Corini and his staff for the professionalism, dedication and commitment they have shown.” Brescia, who were promoted from Serie B last season, are currently 19th in the table, four points from safety. And reports emerging from Italy suggest club president Massimo Cellino has already agreed terms with former Cagliari and Bologna manager Lopez to take over the first-team.last_img read more

first_imgManchester City’s football development executive Patrick Vieira rates Raheem Sterling highly and believes the club’s interest in the Liverpool forward is understandable. And while some have criticised that valuation Vieira is a fan of the youngster. “I think if you go down and ask 10 people what they think about him, I think nine would give you a positive answer,” Vieira told ESPN FC at an event in New York for Western Union’s PASS initiative. “I would be part of the nine people because he’s shown how good he is, how well he’s been doing at Liverpool. “If he is in the market, not just City would be interested in him. “But that’s the first team and I’m not part of the first team, I work with the academy so I’m just giving you my opinion.” Vieira also believes the loss of their Premier League title honour to Chelsea last season should be viewed in context. “The target of the football club is to always try to win the Premier League title. You only have one team who can win it,” he added. “Chelsea won it last year, so that means United, City, Arsenal and Liverpool were not going to be happy, but I think what is important is to analyse the situation and analyse what the club has achieved in the past four years. City have already had two offers – the latest worth £40million – rejected but reports suggest they are preparing a third for the England international. Liverpool value the 20-year-old, who still has two years remaining on his current deal but has refused to sign a new £100,000-a-week contract, at £50million-plus. “If you analyse the last four years, it’s been more successful than anything else. “Don’t forget that four or five years ago, the club wasn’t at that level. “I think the journey of the club so far has been fantastic and you just have to look at the players we have in our squad.” Press Associationlast_img read more

first_imgLondon: England captain Harry Kane will be sidelined for the next three months after Tottenham revealed that he needs surgery to repair a ruptured tendon in his left hamstring.Kane suffered a tear in his left hamstring during Tottenham Hotspur’s 0-1 loss to Southampton last week in the ongoing Premier League competition.“Following ongoing assessment by our medical staff over the past week, we can confirm that Harry Kane will undergo surgery to repair a ruptured tendon in his left hamstring,” the club said in a statement.“The decision to undergo surgery is not expected to impact the timeframe that the England captain will be sidelined, with the expectation that he will return to training in April,” it added.The 26-year-old has scored 27 goals in 31 appearances for club and country this season and his loss is a huge setback for Tottenham, who are placed at the sixth spot in the standings and are scheduled to host leaders Liverpool on Saturday.Kane’s injury is also a setback for England as they prepare for the European Championships later this year. They will also miss Kane’s services in the friendlies against Italy and Denmark which will be held in March. IANSAlso Read: England striker Harry Kane tears hamstring, set for the long absenceAlso Watch: AASU along with other organizations used traditional musical instruments to protest against CAA 2019last_img read more

first_img(CMC) – St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves has again questioned the authority of Cricket West Indies to run the regional game, especially since the organisation has claimed to be a private entity.Gonsalves, also a trained lawyer and the current chairman of CARICOM’s sub-committee on cricket, said cricket constituted a “public good” and therefore called on CWI to explain where it derived the right to manage West Indies cricket “to the exclusion of everybody else.”“I think there’s a legal case, not for the West Indies Cricket Board to be dissolved because it’s a company and as a matter of law you’re not going to dissolve the company – you’re not a shareholder of the company,” Gonsalves said during the ongoing CARICOM Heads of Government summit here.“But the question is: cricket is a public good. Can a private entity run the public good; and that question has been determined in another jurisdiction in India, so that’s a separate question. I’m not interested in the dissolution of the West Indies Cricket Board.”He added: “All I am saying (is) how have you gotten the right as a private entity to run and manage a public good to the exclusion of everybody else? No, that can’t be right so that’s the fundamental question which I raise.”Regional Heads last year threw their support behind a CARICOM-commissioned Governance Review Report which in part called for the “immediate dissolution” of the-then WICB – recently renamed Cricket West Indies.CWI has since resisted the recommendations of the report, in particular the call for dissolution, labelling it an “unnecessary and intrusive demand”.Last year, both Gonsalves and Grenada Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell questioned CWI’s authority as a private entity to run regional cricket, referencing the 2015 ruling of the Indian Supreme Court on the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI).Then, the Justices said the functions of the BCCI were “clearly public functions” and contended that “any organisation or entity that has such pervasive control over the game and its affairs and such powers as can make dreams end up in smoke or come true cannot be said to be undertaking any private activity.”CWI has come under fire in recent years for its handling of West Indies cricket with the once powerful Test team now eighth in the rankings just ahead of minnows Bangladesh and the one-day team ninth in the world and unlikely to automatically qualify for the 2019 World Cup.The board found itself facing a US$42 million claim of damages from the BCCI three years ago after it failed to settle a pay dispute which resulted in the Windies abandoning an ongoing tour of India and the scheduled Test series to follow.At the opening of this week’s summit here, Mitchell called on CARICOM leaders to unite in order to save the sport arguing that the current CWI governance model “almost renders the regional game irrelevant”.last_img read more

first_imgWEST Indies captain Jason Holder says he will not force his players to travel to England for this summer’s Tests.The three Tests, which were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, look set to be rescheduled for July, probably in ‘bio-secure’ conditions.“Each player has to be comfortable in making the step,” Holder told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Tuffers and Vaughan Show.“It’s been made clear if we are to hop on a plane and go over to England to play, it must be safe.”The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in in talks with Cricket West Indies (CWI) and a new schedule could be announced by the end of May.The discussions have involved West Indies being quarantined for 14 days upon their arrival in the UK.After that, the series – originally scheduled to start on 4 June – is likely to be held at grounds like Old Trafford and Southampton which have hotels on site, so players can stay, train and play in a secure environment.Almost 35,000 people in the UK have died with coronavirus, and both sets of players will be given the opportunity to opt out.“Certainly from my perspective, I won’t be forcing anyone to go anywhere,” said 28-year-old Holder.“We’ve been given assurances from Cricket West Indies that we’d only go over to England if they deem it safe for us to play.“It’s no different from a frontline worker going into a hospital every day – they’re putting their lives at risk, and still going to make money. The longer we stay off the field, the longer it’ll take for us to make money.”Last week, CWI chief executive Johnny Grave said some players will be “very nervous” about travelling, but he expects West Indies to send a full strength squad.“The first priority is everybody’s safety,” said Holder.“We’ve been assured that the only way the tour can possibly go ahead is if everyone can be comfortable with the measures the ECB are putting in place to roll the cricket out.”(BBC Sport)last_img read more

first_imgThree wins in a row will not only earn Wisconsin a Big Ten Tournament Championship, but also virtually guarantee a highly coveted No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. For the Badgers to be successful in Chicago, they will need to take care of the following five things:1. Take advantage of fatigueMichigan State, Wisconsin’s first opponent, will be playing on about 24 hours rest after a tougher-than-expected battle with Northwestern. The Badgers should be able to wear down the Spartans on both sides of the ball and move on to the second round.2. Be the #2 seedThe Badgers enter the tournament with history on their side. Four of the last five tournament champions finished the regular season second in the conference. The only non-No. 2 seed to win the tournament since 2002? 2005 national runner-up, Illinois.3. Sub wiselyWisconsin is one of the deepest teams in the Big Ten. Effective use of reserves should keep the Badgers fresh for three games in three days.4. Use the POYEarlier this week, Alando Tucker was named conference Player of the Year. If the Badgers are going to be Big Ten Tournament champions, they will have to get Tucker the ball as often as possible within the confines of the offense.5. Be physicalThe Big Ten conference is known for its tough defense and physical play. This contact and intensity gets taken up a notch during the postseason, particularly since this year a number of teams still have some work to do to improve their NCAA tournament résumés. The Badgers must be prepared to match their opponents’ strength.last_img read more