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Vaccines: From Influenza to Zika
CDC Officials Worry New Flu Vaccine Recommendations Could Reduce Use
Public health officials are worried that their recommendation earlier this year to avoid using the nasal spray version of the annual vaccine will result in fewer people getting protection.
The CDC recommended annual flu shots for everyone ages 6 months and older for the past six years. During the 2014-2015 season, federal health officials recommended the nasal spray vaccine for young children. But an expert panel on vaccines said in June 2016 that the nasal spray, FluMist, used by millions, failed to protect children last year for the third year in a row and should not be used this coming flu season.
CDC Study: Influenza Vaccination Reduces Risk of Hospitalization By More Than Half Among Seniors
A CDC study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases (CID) provides more evidence on the benefits of flu vaccination among older adults. The study looked at flu-associated hospitalizations among people 50 and older during the 2010-2011 flu season and found that people who had gotten a flu vaccine reduced their risk of flu-associated hospitalization by half.
Zika Vaccine Trials Have Graduated from Monkeys to Humans, But Still Far Off
News articles have highlighted positive findings in experimental Zika virus pre-clinical vaccine studies in monkeys and described the start of two Zika virus vaccine trials in humans.
These stories spurred hopes that a Zika virus vaccine will be available to prevent this infection, and its secondary effects, such as abnormal fetal development. But, even with pre-clinical and early stage clinical trials underway, a Zika vaccine licensed and approved for use in humans could still be years away.
Zika Vaccine Could Actually be Profitable, Companies Say
The race to find protection against the Zika virus is fueled by something often missing from tropical disease research: the potential for big profit.
The prospect of a blockbuster vaccine against a mosquito-borne virus has accelerated the pace of development and attracted the interest of big drugmakers, including Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Takeda Pharmaceuticals.