WHO reports progress on H5N1 vaccines

first_imgFeb 16, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) today reported “encouraging progress” on development of H5N1 avian influenza vaccines, while cautioning that global capacity to make the vaccines remains very limited.Following a 2-day meeting of vaccine experts in Geneva, the WHO said new vaccines aimed at various strains of H5N1—considered the likeliest candidate to spark a flu pandemic—look promising.”For the first time, results presented at the meeting have convincingly demonstrated that vaccination with newly developed avian influenza vaccines can bring about a potentially protective immune response against strains of H5N1 virus found in a variety of geographical locations,” the WHO said in a news release.”Some of the vaccines work with low doses of antigen, which means that significantly more vaccine doses can be available in case of a pandemic,” the agency added.However, the statement continues, “WHO stresses that the world still lacks the manufacturing capacity to meet potential global pandemic influenza vaccine demand as current capacity is estimated at less than 400 million doses per year of trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine.” The current world population is more than 6 billion.Sixteen companies from 10 countries are developing prototype pandemic flu vaccines against H5N1, the WHO said. Five of those companies also are developing vaccines against other avian flu strains, including H9N2, H5N2, and H5N3. More than 40 clinical trials have been completed or are under way, most of them involving healthy adults. But some companies have begun clinical trials in children and the elderly.So far, all the vaccines were safe and well tolerated in the groups tested, the agency said. Most of the companies are using vaccine strains corresponding to H5N1 viruses provided by WHO collaborating laboratories.Because pandemic flu viruses are products of constant evolution, no one knows how well any of the prototype vaccines under development would work against a pandemic H5N1 virus, but experts hope that the vaccines would provide some protection. Once a pandemic strain emerges, it is expected to take at least 6 months to produce a vaccine precisely matching it.Today’s statement strikes a different tone from that of a report on flu research released by the WHO last November. That report, based on a meeting of 22 scientists in September, said vaccine developments at that point did not look promising. One problem cited was that H5N1 viruses had branched off into a number of different subgroups, and vaccines that worked well against one subgroup did not work well against others.The November report also said many fundamental questions about H5N1 vaccines remained to be answered. Because of the many unknowns, the report cautioned governments against stockpiling pre-pandemic vaccines. Today’s brief statement does not mention stockpiling.The WHO meeting drew more than 100 flu vaccine experts, who heard and discussed information on more than 20 projects. The aim was to review progress in vaccine development and reach a consensus on future priorities. The meeting was the third of its kind in 2 years, the WHO said.The statement does not give an estimate of how many doses of H5N1 vaccines have been made so far, and further information was not immediately available.In 2006 the WHO launched its global pandemic influenza action plan, a program expected to cost $10 billion over 10 years, the statement noted. One goal of the plan is to enable developing countries to build their own flu vaccine production facilities.In launching the program last October, the WHO called for an urgent effort to boost vaccine production capacity and develop better vaccines, while cautioning that it would take 3 to 5 years for the effort to bear fruit.See also:Feb 16 WHO statement on vaccine developmenthttp://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/notes/2007/np07/en/index.htmlNov 2, 2006, CIDRAP News story “WHO report calls H5N1 vaccine stockpiling premature”Oct 23, 2006, CIDRAP News story “WHO seeks urgent push for pandemic flu vaccines”last_img read more

COVID-19: Indonesia secures 50,000 PCR tests kits to expedite mass testing

first_imgTopics : He said the reagents, which are produced by China and South Korea, were difficult to obtain, as Indonesia had to compete with other countries amid surging global demand.“We need to quickly make a decision because other countries have also scrambled to secure the chemicals used for PCR tests,” Doni said, adding that an embassy official in South Korea had been tasked with escorting the chemicals to Indonesia.He said he expected the country to secure 495,000 PCR test kits within the week.“[With 495,000 test kits,] Indonesia will be able to map out the scale of contagion more accurately,” Doni said.Indonesia has recorded at least 6,575 COVID-19 cases with 582 deaths linked to the disease as of Sunday. As many as 50,000 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test kits arrived in the country on Sunday, which will help provide more accurate data on the rate of COVID-19 infection by increasing the scale of testing.Doni Monardo, the head of the National COVID-19 rapid response task force, said he was grateful for the prompt arrival of the test kits, expressing hope they would help the government detect more cases across the country.“We are grateful that in less than 24 hours we were able to secure 50,000 PCR test kits,” Doni said in a statement on Sunday.center_img He said President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had previously ordered the task force to conduct 10,000 PCR tests per day to expedite the detection of infected individuals and help curb the rapid spread of the deadly virus.Read also: COVID-19: Indonesia on hunt for PCR testing kitsExperts consider PCR tests to be the “gold standard” of COVID-19 testing, compared to the less accurate rapid testing, which is faster and more affordable and is used to detect antibodies in blood samples.PCR testing is also more complicated than rapid testing, according to Doni. Unlike rapid tests, PCR tests require two unique reagents, one of which is derived from RNA extraction.last_img read more

Indonesia, Malaysia committed to deepening defense ties

first_imgIndonesian and Malaysian defense ministers have expressed their commitment to deepening defense ties between the two countries, highlighting the importance of expanding cooperation based on the shared interests of both parties during a virtual meeting on Monday.Malaysian Defense Minister Ismail Sabri Yakoob engaged in a video conference with his Indonesian counterpart Prabowo Subianto, on the occasion of which both ministers acknowledged the longstanding ties between the neighboring nations, said Kuala Lumpur in a statement on Monday.YB Dato’ Sri @IsmailSabri60 telah mengadakan sidang video bersama TYT Prabowo Subianto, Menteri Pertahanan Republik Indonesia hari ini.Dalam perbincangan tersebut, kedua-dua Menteri memperakui hubungan dua hala yang telah sekian lama terjalin antara Malaysia dan Indonesia. pic.twitter.com/bUqrsBxXB8— MINDEF Malaysia (@MINDEFMalaysia) June 16, 2020“They had an open and wide-ranging discussion that reflected the strength of the relationship. The defense ties between Malaysia and Indonesia have seen excellent progress under the ambit of the General Border Committee [GBC] which was established in 1972.” “The defense relations have also been strengthened through subregional initiatives, namely the Malacca Straits Patrol [MSP] and the Trilateral Cooperative Arrangement [TCA], together with the Philippines,” the Malaysian defense ministry was quoted as saying by the country’s state news agency, Bernama, on Monday.Separately, Indonesian Defense Ministry spokesman Dahnil Anzar Simajuntak confirmed the discussion was held by the two counterparts, saying that “the courtesy call was made [by Prabowo] to congratulate the appointment of Yakoob as defense minister and to continue talks on a bilateral defense cooperation that has been implemented until now”.Late last year, Prabowo flew to Kuala Lumpur to meet with his counterpart, then-defense minister Mohammad Bin Sabu, to discuss strengthening cooperation in defense training and defense industry development, tribunnews.com reported. The then-Malaysian defense minister paid a reciprocal visit to Jakarta to meet with Prabowo in January. During the meeting, they talked about strategic issues development. Topics :last_img read more

Lukas Podolski jokes Serge Gnabry should win Arsenal’s Player of the Month award

first_imgAdvertisement Former Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry scored four for Bayern Munich against Tottenham (Picture: Getty)The forward scored four on Tuesday night as Arsenal’s bitter rivals, Tottenham, were thumped 7-2 by Bayern in an embarrassingly one-sided Champions League group stage clash.AdvertisementAdvertisementGnabry gave special mention to Arsenal in his post-match interview with Sky Germany before posting ‘North London is RED!!!’ on his Twitter and Instagram pages.On Thursday evening, Germany legend Podolski – who shared a dressing room with Gnabry under Arsene Wenger’s reign – joked that his compatriot should win the Player of the Month award as a result of his outstanding services to Arsenal.Matteo Guendouzi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Calum Chambers and Emiliano MartInez will surely understand…https://t.co/8ZRgjXn5dh pic.twitter.com/2lAUiAvRH6— Lukas-Podolski.com (@Podolski10) October 3, 2019 Lukas Podolski believes Serge Gnabry should win Arsenal’s Player of the Month award (Picture: Getty)Lukas Podolski has poked fun at Tottenham by putting forward Serge Gnabry for Arsenal’s Player of the Month award.Gnabry made just 18 first-team appearances for Arsenal before being sent on loan to West Brom where his frustrations continued under Tony Pulis who was vocal with his criticisms of the young winger.It was no surprise, then, that Gnabry’s €8million move from Werder Bremen to Bayern Munich just one year later raised eyebrows among supporters, but the 24-year-old has more than proved his doubters wrong.Gnabry, now a regular in the German national team, has scored 18 goals in 50 appearances for the Bundesliga champions and his most recent strikes went down rather well among Arsenal’s fanbase.ADVERTISEMENT Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand believes Gnabry sent a message to Arsenal with his sensational performance against Spurs.‘Listen, Bayern are a team ready and able to challenge for the Champions League,’ Ferdinand said on BT Sport. ‘This Bayern team look like they have the experience and the know-how. They scored at will today.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘Gnabry showed Arsenal what they let go tonight. He was class. Tactically Spurs got it totally wrong.‘Two strikers, Dele Ali in behind, all it needed was one ball and three players were eliminated.‘The full backs got zero protection. If you’ve got no protection or support it’s going to be your undoing. Once they’re in, this Bayern team finish so well.’Who should win Arsenal’s Player of the Month award?Serge Gnabry0%Matteo Guendouzi0%Emiliano Martinez0%Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang0%Calum Chambers0%Share your resultsShare your resultsTweet your resultsMORE: Manchester United star Anthony Martial vows to ‘come back stronger’ from injury Lukas Podolski jokes Serge Gnabry should win Arsenal’s Player of the Month awardcenter_img Comment Metro Sport ReporterThursday 3 Oct 2019 4:54 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link487Shares Advertisementlast_img read more

Wolves stun champions Man City with Traore double

first_imgRelatedPosts Arsenal, Wolves want Michael Olise Aguero could be out of action until November, Guardiola says David Silva recovers from COVID-19 Adama Traore’s late double stunned Manchester City, who suffered a shock 2-0 defeat at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday that left them eight points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool.Wolves forward Traore struck twice in the final 10 minutes to condemn the champions to their first home league defeat since they lost to Crystal Palace on December 22.Yet it was City’s second defeat in their last four league games following the 3-2 loss at Norwich City last month and it will increase Liverpool’s belief that they can win their first league title in 30 years.With Juergen Klopp’s side having won all eight of their games so far this season, the Nov. 10 clash with City at Anfield is already looking like a game which could have a major impact on the destiny of the title.The win was a massive boost for Wolves, who have endured a tricky start to the season due to their early commitments in the Europa League.It was just their second victory of the campaign and their first on the road.City looked shaky at the back throughout the game with Wolves having three good chances to open the scoring in the first half after waltzing through the makeshift central defensive pairing of Nicolas Otamendi and Fernandinho.As early as the fifth minute, City’s defence was ripped wide-open with Patrick Cutrone bursting through on goal before shooting meekly wide.Then Ilkay Gundogan gave the ball away to allow Raul Jimenez to break free, but the Mexican’s shot was blocked by Fernandinho and Cutrone’s follow-up struck the Brazilian’s head.Otamendi was at fault in the 22nd minute, his sloppy pass allowing Jimenez to burst clear again, but this time it was their Brazilian keeper Ederson who saved their blushes, rushing out to foil the Wolves striker.Yet Pep Guardiola’s side also lacked their usual sharpness in attack and the nearest they came to scoring was a 67th-minute free kick from David Silva, which struck the bar.As so often, City had plenty of possession, but unusually they could not make the most of it, with poor crosses into the box and little of the crisp-passing that so often characterises their play.The decisive blow came when Jimenez broke from deep in his own half, skipped past Otamendi and found Traore who kept his cool to beat Ederson.Traore then added the second, deep in stoppage time, after Jimenez found him again through the exposed City defence.  Tags: Manchester CityWolverhampton Wandererslast_img read more

Big Brothers Big Sisters Altering Perspectives and Saving Lives

first_imgBy Chris Rotolo |A life can change for the better simply with a shift in perspective.Such was the case for Chris McNamara, who was faced with the fight of his life in the summer of 2011, when he was diagnosed with colon cancer.It was an illness he would ultimately overcome, but the battle had altered his perception of what it meant to truly live.“After having survived that, I saw it as sort of having a second chance at life,” McNamara said. “Then I was left with the question, what was I going to do with this opportunity?”McNamara had previously felt compelled to join the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters, but facing his own mortality placed a newfound sense of urgency on the decision.“Going through that whole experience made me realize that now is the time,” McNamara said. “I wanted to do good. But more specifically, I wanted to have an active role in helping a local child as a mentor. I wanted to reach out to a young person in need, to get them out of their everyday environment and help them enjoy life.”With the realization of a larger calling in tow, McNamara recognized the power of a perspective transformed, and how approaching a little brother or sister in this fashion could help place them on a path with broader horizons.“The point of being a mentor is to try and change their viewpoint; try to show them that there’s more to life than what’s at their front door and just beyond it. It’s a big world. There’s lots of good out there. And I want to show him that he can experience all of the good, if he’s willing to focus, do the right things, and put the work in,” McNamara said of his little brother Logan, a local 13-year old he has been paired with since joining Big Brothers Big Sisters.“Every one of us has had a mentor in our lives at some point,” said Marybeth Bull, Big Brothers Big Sister director of development. “Someone who has been influential in helping us become the success that we are. And that’s what we try to provide with this program. We’re here to help kids who need a little push and a little more support in life; an extra person on their side.”According to Bull, many of the boys and girls in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program come from a single-parent household and are facing such severe issues as poverty and various forms of abuse.Bull also disclosed that though there are nearly 700 kids being served by the program, more than 50 other children are currently on a waiting list.“These are children whose parents want the best for them, or who have a school counselor advocating for them. There’s somebody in their life who thinks they can flourish with an extra positive role model. Volunteers have the opportunity to be that role model, and I think they’ll find they get just as much, if not more, out of it than the child does,” said Bull.Chuck Leone has been a mentor to Kweli for the past four years providing a positive and supportive influence. Photo courtesy BBBSRed Bank dentist Chuck Leone is another mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and shared a similar sentiment to that of Bull.“My family, my wife and I, we’ve been very fortunate in our lives, to the point where we’ve been able to make various monetary donations to groups over the years. But it’s an impersonal experience. With Big Brothers Big Sisters, you have an opportunity to see firsthand the positive impact you’re having on a young life.”Leone has acted as a mentor to a local 14-year old named Kweli for the past four years, and has witnessed the strength of their relationship reveal a clearer picture of what the future could hold for the high school freshman.“When we first met, I’m not sure that college would have been in his future, or if he believed that it could be an option for him,” Leone said. “But it was during this past holiday season, he turned to me and said that he wants to graduate high school and college and have a successful career as a way to repay me for everything I’ve done for him. And to hear that, it’s an incredible feeling.“I hope Kweli knows how proud of him I am that he has developed this vision of his future,” Leone continued. “I’m so proud that he’s decided to put in the work to achieve it. And I hope he knows that it’s my goal to help him get there.”Leone and McNamara are two of a multitude of remarkable mentors involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters, but with each successful mentor-little relationship the program grows, placing a demand for more volunteers, especially males.“Of the 50 children on our waiting list, 36 of them are boys, which is why we really want to appeal to more males to step up and mentor our boys,” Bull said. “These are the kids who are growing up without a father figure and it’s so important for a developing child to have a strong, positive male figure in their life.”For more information on Big Brothers Big Sisters visit bbbsmmc.org.This article was first published in the Feb. 22-March 1, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more