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COVID-19 Burden Greater Compared to Influenza

In Influenza Vaccine News by Influenza Vaccine

The Journal of General Internal Medicine published a study by physician-researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) that assessed the relative impact of COVID-19 on patients hospitalized with the viral infection versus patients hospitalized with influenza.
COVID-19 and influenza are both contagious respiratory viral diseases that can lead to pneumonia and acute respiratory failure in severe cases, says the U.S. CDC.

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Novel Influenza Vaccines Identified for Pandemic Preparedness

In Influenza Vaccine News by Influenza Vaccine

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently published a review of the zoonotic influenza virus activity and virus characterization and describes the current status of the development of vaccine candidates for pandemic preparedness purposes. 
The development of influenza candidate vaccine viruses, coordinated by WHO, remains an essential component of the overall global strategy for influenza pandemic preparedness.

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Flu Vaccine Changes Confirmed for 2021-2022

In Influenza Vaccine News by Influenza Vaccine

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the influenza vaccine selection committee finalized its recommendations for the Northern Hemisphere's 2021-22 flu season.
These recommendations were made within the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, record-low levels of influenza detections were reported, and fewer viruses were available for characterization during September 2020 to January 2021 time period than in previous years, said the WHO.

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COVID-19’s Mortality Risk 3.5 Times Greater Than the Flu

In Influenza Vaccine News by Influenza Vaccine

A recent study published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) found that the risk of death from COVID-19 was 3.5 times higher than from the seasonal flu.
"We can now say that COVID-19 is much more severe than seasonal influenza," said Dr. Amol Verma, St. Michael's Hospital, Unity Health Toronto, and the University of Toronto, in a press statement.

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Intranasal Flu Shot Candidate Spurs Strong Immune Response

In Influenza Vaccine News by Influenza Vaccine

An experimental single-dose, intranasal influenza vaccine candidate, was found safe and produced a durable immune response when tested in a Phase 1 study, announced the National Institutes of Health.
This study was sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation on February 2, 2021. 

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Fewest Flu-Related Hospitalizations Reported in Nine Years

In Influenza Vaccine News by Influenza Vaccine

Seasonal influenza activity in the USA remains lower than usual for this time of year, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC also reported the number of influenza-associated hospitalizations is lower than average for this point in the 2020-2021 flu season and are ‘comparable to counts seen at this point during the 2011-12 season.’
And the CDC’s new weekly report (#50) confirmed since September 27, 2020, only (0.2%) of virus species tested were found infected with influenza. Of those found, 56.9 percent were identified as Influenza A.

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Fewest Flu-Related Hospitalizations in Nine Years

In Influenza Vaccine News by Influenza Vaccine

The seasonal influenza activity remained lower than usual for this time of year, said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC also reported the number of influenza-associated hospitalizations is lower than normal for this time of year and is ‘comparable to counts last seen during the 2011-12 season.’
And the CDC’s new weekly report (#50) confirmed since September 27, 2020, only (0.2%) of virus species tested were found infected with influenza. Of those found, 56.9 percent were identified as Influenza A.

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Five Good Reasons to Get a Flu Vaccine

In Influenza Vaccine News by Influenza Vaccine

As influenza viruses spread this flu season, getting an influenza vaccination is more important than ever, stated the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on December 7, 2020.
According to various reports, about 190 million vaccines were produced for the USA this flu season.
The CDC strongly encourages everyone to discuss their flu vaccine options with a healthcare provider.
 The CDC identified five reasons why you should get a flu shot:

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Benefits Confirmed of Adjuvanted Seasonal Influenza Vaccines

In Influenza Vaccine News by Influenza Vaccine

A systematic review and meta-analysis presented at the European Scientific Working Group on Influenza virtual conference on December 7, 2020, confirmed the benefit of an MF59®-adjuvanted trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine (aTIV) for adults 65 years and older.
As announced by Seqirus, the results indicate that relative vaccine effectiveness (rVE) favored aTIV over non-adjuvanted standard dose quadrivalent and trivalent influenza vaccines in averting influenza-related medical encounters. 

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Alaska Cruise Season Sets Sail From Juneau

In Travel Vaccine News by Travel Vaccine

UnCruise Adventures announced it intends to make a significant comeback relaunching in Alaska earlier than expected due to high consumer demand.
UnCruise Adventures confirmed on May 3, 2021, three Pacific Northwest sailings will take place after Washington State COVID-19 protocols affected the scheduled departure dates. 
In place of a cancellation, the company saved the long-awaited adventure cruises of dozens of guests offering them an alternative itinerary out of Juneau, Alaska, covering guest airfares and hotels to ensure an unforgettable experience. 

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Resuming International Travel Faces Starts & Stops

In Travel Vaccine News by Travel Vaccine

With summer 2021 quickly approaching in the Northern Hemisphere and COVID-19 vaccination rates increasing, many people are eager to resume international travel. 
Additionally, many countries are loosening restrictions to welcome visitors once again.
However, international travel poses health risks, and even fully vaccinated travelers are at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading COVID-19 variants. Since the COVID-19 pandemic differs from country to country, prospective travelers should pay close attention to the situation at their destination.

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Japan Issues Third State of Emergency: Closes Down Travel

In Travel Vaccine News by Travel Vaccine

The US Embassy in Japan confirmed a ‘Third State of Emergency’ notice was issued. This declaration became effective on April 25, 2021.
This new declaration is scheduled to terminate on May 11, 2021, but could be extended further, similar to previous states of emergency.
The Government of Japan has reimposed a state of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo, and Kyoto prefectures and urge residents to take all possible precautions against the spread of COVID-19.

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TSA’s New Technology Speeds Up Security Lines

In Travel Vaccine News by Travel Vaccine

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) confirmed ‘it is ready for the continued surge in travelers across the country.’
According to the TSA’s data, on April 18, 2021, over 1.5 million airline passengers were screened. This news indicates the USA travel industry had recovered from 2020 when only 105,382 passengers were screened on the corresponding day.
However, when contrasted to 2019’s activity of about 2.3 million screened travelers, the travel industry’s volume is well below maximin consumer demand.

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Digital Technology Speeds Up TSA Security Lines

In Travel Vaccine News by Travel Vaccine

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) confirmed ‘it is ready for the continued surge in travelers across the country.’
According to the TSA’s data, on April 18, 2021, over 1.5 million airline passengers were screened. This news indicates the USA travel industry had recovered from 2020 when only 105,382 passengers were screened on the corresponding day.
However, when contrasted to 2019’s activity of about 2.3 million screened travelers, the travel industry’s volume is well below maximin consumer demand.

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Polio Outbreak Ends in Somalia

In Travel Vaccine News by Travel Vaccine

The Director of Polio Eradication for World Health Organization (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Region declared Somalia’s outbreak of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 3 (cVDPV3) closed.
According to an article published by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) on April 14, 2021, Dr. Hamid Jafari confirmed a full twenty-eight months have passed since this strain of polio was last detected in Somalia.

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Attending Japan’s Olympic and Paralympic Games Comes With Risks 

In Travel Vaccine News by Travel Vaccine

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) published an editorial on April 14, 2021, highlighting the health risks related to the 2020 Olympics rescheduled in Japan in late July 2021.
Excerpts from this BMJ article are included below:
‘In February 2021, the G7 leaders confirmed their support of Japan’s commitment to holding the Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo (Tokyo 2020) “safely and securely… as a symbol of global unity in overcoming covid-19.’

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Test and Travel Strategies Might Be Beneficial

In Travel Vaccine News by Travel Vaccine

Almost 90% of infectious travelers could be detected with rapid SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus tests at the airport, according to a computer simulation by UC San Francisco (UCSF) researchers.
Furthermore, these researchers say most imported virus infections could be prevented with a combination of pre-travel testing and a five-day, post-travel quarantine and continued testing.

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International Travelers Exposed to Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria

In Travel Vaccine News by Travel Vaccine

A recent study published by The Lancet could be the first to characterize in real-time the dynamics of acquiring multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacterial colonization during international travel. 
This study’s data suggest that travelers are exposed to a more significant burden of multidrug-resistant bacteria than previously thought. 
The data published on February 23, 2021, emphasized the need for preventing travelers’ diarrhea and limiting antibiotic use, addressing the two major factors predisposing colonization.

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US Government Offers Ebola Outbreak Support in Africa

In Travel Vaccine News by Travel Vaccine

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it is committed to bringing an end to the 12th Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Republic of Guinea.
The CDC stated in a press release on March 25, 2021, it is working closely with ministries of health and international and local partners in DRC, Guinea, and bordering countries to respond to these Ebola outbreaks.

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