HHS: Most H5N1 vaccine on hand is still potent

first_imgNov 17, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A Department of Health and Human Services official said today that loss of potency is affecting less than 20% of H5N1 avian influenza vaccine doses in the national stockpile, not a majority of doses as reported here yesterday.Bill Hall, an HHS spokesman in Washington, DC, said the agency has acquired a total of about 7.5 million doses of H5N1 vaccine to date, and about 200,000 of those have been used for research.About 1.4 million doses have begun to lose potency, Hall said. “That leaves about 5.9 million doses that are mostly in bulk, with some in vials, that still have potency,” he said. “That would treat about 3 million people.”Hall gave the numbers in response to the report here yesterday in which he was quoted as saying that a majority of vaccine doses in the stockpile had begun to lose potency. He said his comments were mischaracterized.HHS has been stockpiling H5N1 vaccine in preparation for the threat of an influenza pandemic sparked by the avian flu virus. In a Nov 13 pandemic planning update, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said the agency had enough vaccine on hand for about 3 million people. A previous update in July said the stockpile contained enough vaccine for about 4 million people.Hall cited the loss of potency in some of the vaccine as the main reason for the decrease in the number of people who could be immunized.Most of the vaccine was made by Sanofi Pasteur, but HHS also has bought some from Chiron Corp., Hall said today.He reiterated today that all vaccines and other biologic products have a limited shelf life. “The expected shelf life of seasonal flu vaccine is probably about a year,” so the fact that most of the stockpile is still good after about 2 years “is probably a good thing,” he said.Hall added that HHS-sponsored research now under way, particularly on the use of adjuvants (immune-boosting substances), may help to stretch the vaccine supply.See also:Nov 13 HHS pandemic planning updatehttp://www.flu.gov/professional/pdf/panflureport3.pdflast_img read more

Moyes delighted by battling United

first_img Disappointed Stoke boss Hughes believes his side deserved to hang on for at least a point after an heroic effort to end a winless run at Old Trafford stretching back to 1976. Hughes said: “I do think it was unjust, in terms of what we produced, the effort we put in and the chances we created. “I certainly felt in the first half we could have been three or 4-1 to the good in terms of chances created. I didn’t think United created much apart from the key moments that took the game away from us. “We’re really disappointed given the level of performance we produced. We had a game plan which needed commitment, it needed people to be brave and do the hard yards that affected the game, and that’s what we did. “I thought my players were excellent, they took the game to United and really shook them.” David Moyes hailed the fighting spirit of his Manchester United side as they twice hit back from behind to beat Stoke 3-2 in an Old Trafford thriller. But Moyes’ substitutions paid off with Hernandez providing the inspiration for United when he headed home Patrice Evra’s cross just two minutes after Rooney had flicked his side back level. Moyes said: “I thought with 15 to 20 minutes to go the supporters were terrific – they drove the team on and they played a big part in getting the result. “I thought in the end we had to go for it. I thought we did a lot of good things but an awful lot of really poor things that put us in the situation we were in. “We got ourselves back in the game just before half-time only to concede from a poor, poor free-kick. “That got us going in at half-time on a downer but I said at half-time your job is to win the game and you’re more than capable of doing it. We needed the substitutes and they made a big difference.” Moyes’ relief was evident after a tumultuous first period in which the visitors attacked with strength and purpose and ought to have extended their lead, Crouch spooning over the bar and Jonathan Walters bringing a brilliant save out of David De Gea. Moyes added: “We needed our goalkeeper to make an extraordinary save again in the first half but that’s what he’s in the team for. “At times our play was good but we just couldn’t find the final ball. But the three centre forwards we had on the pitch scored a goal and that was pleasing.” Late goals from Wayne Rooney and substitute Javier Hernandez ensured Moyes’ men narrowly avoided more disappointment after recent home setbacks against West Brom and Southampton. Mark Hughes’ visitors had made a mockery of their paltry goalscoring record so far this season by taking a third-minute lead through Peter Crouch and going straight back in front through a Marko Arnautovic free-kick after Robin van Persie had equalised for the home side. Press Associationlast_img read more

Syracuse men’s basketball roundtable: Back-to-back wins, importance of Virginia Tech game, areas for improvement

first_imgJust a week ago, Syracuse’s season seemed headed for rock bottom. A double-digit loss at Boston College compounded SU’s worst-ever Carrier Dome loss, a 33-point defeat to St. John’s. Yet the Orange (10-6, 2-1 Atlantic Coast) beat two quality opponents last week in Miami and Pittsburgh — teams that have combined to win 23 games. SU now has a quick turnaround, as Tuesday it faces off against No. 21 Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.Beat writers Connor Grossman, Matt Schneidman and Paul Schwedelson answer three questions surrounding the Orange.1. What’s been most surprising and impressive about Syracuse’s back-to-back wins over Miami and Pittsburgh?Connor Grossman: It’s a toss-up between John Gillon’s improvement and Syracuse looking competent on defense. But while the guard play has been pretty poor in SU’s losses, defensive woes have even made some wins appear closer than they should have been. So it certainly comes as a surprise, after jarring losses to St. John’s and Boston College, that the Orange figured itself out defensively against quality conference opponents in Pitt and Miami.As was written about after beating the Panthers, Syracuse repeatedly sealed off the high post. That forced Jamel Artis, the ACC’s second leading scorer, to find other avenues to beat SU’s defense. Looking back on the Panthers’ first half, in which they shot 20.7 percent from the field, SU head coach Jim Boeheim called it “the best defense we’ve played (since) I can’t even remember.” It gave Syracuse a 21-point halftime lead, which it parlayed into an 11-point win. Maybe SU’s defense hasn’t been unbelievable, but it hasn’t been awful, and that’s largely the standard it had set through the first 14 games.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMatt Schneidman: I won’t try and overlap too much, so I’m going to go with the tight rotation Boeheim has used the last two games. So much was made before the season of how this team could go nine deep, but Syracuse is playing its best basketball of the year when Boeheim is rolling out five. It’s the logical move when that group has played so well the last two contests – that’s not why it’s been the most surprising revelation.What’s more surprising is how Frank Howard, Dajuan Coleman and Taurean Thompson, significant contributors at one point or another this season, have been relegated to single-digit minutes, if that. It’s opened up chances to shine for Tyler Roberson and John Gillon, who have done just that, suddenly flipping the script on a season that seemed to be in a downward spiral.Paul Schwedelson: Walking out of Conte Forum a week ago in Chestnut Hill, I could probably count the remaining surefire ACC wins I expected SU to get on one hand. Obviously there are always upsets we won’t see coming, but the Orange had very few games that fans could bank on SU winning.But to pick one answer, I’ll go with Tyler Roberson’s resurgence. At the end of nonconference play, I had thought there was a chance we’d seen the last of him in significant minutes. And in three ACC games, Roberson’s averaged 31 minutes. What do I know? He’s provided a spark on the defensive end (See: career-high six blocks against Pitt) that I didn’t see coming. Andrew White said when he can play on the back line of the defense alongside an active and ferocious Roberson, it makes it fun to be a part of. And if the Orange can fully buy in on defense, SU can — and has — improve tremendously.2. Given where SU is at and the state of the ACC as a whole, how important is Tuesday’s road game at Virginia Tech? C.G.: I don’t think there’s any question about the importance of every conference game from this juncture, especially given Syracuse’s precarious spot. There’s only three teams in the ACC that haven’t received a vote in the AP Top 25. One of those three teams (Boston College) already beat SU. The Orange is going to have to win a vast majority of its games from this point to land in the Tournament, and that likely includes a marquee win against a highly-ranked opponent like Duke or Louisville, not to mention Virginia Tech.M.S.: Virginia Tech probably won’t be ranked anymore when Syracuse visits the Hokies after Buzz Williams’ team lost to Florida State on Saturday, but it’s a chance for a third straight marquee win nonetheless. It certainly wouldn’t be a bad loss, but there’s so much parity in the league and no rhyme or reason to anything about conference play thus far that adding resume-building wins early on can do nothing but help. There’s also the aspect of winning a game on the road, which Syracuse hasn’t done yet this year. Tuesday’s matchup has that added bonus if the Orange can win a third in a row.P.S.: The game against Virginia Tech is important because SU needs to win on the road. Home wins are nice, but given Syracuse’s current spot, it’s going to need to steal some games. When you break the schedule down into chunks, I think the Orange needs to win two of its next four. The next four games are at VT on Tuesday, home against BC on Saturday and then on the road at North Carolina and at Notre Dame.Syracuse can’t afford another loss to Boston College, and Syracuse has improved so let’s count that as a win. That means SU needs to steal a win on the road, and the matchup against the Hokies is the least daunting of those three trips. The Orange is on fire right now and must strike while the iron’s hot.3. The Orange has impressed over its last two games, but where is one area it can still improve in?C.G.: While defense has been an obvious area of growth, it’s also an easy target to seek more improvement from. Specifically in the form of 3-point defense. Throughout most of Syracuse’s non-conference schedule, it was holding opponents to the lowest 3-point percentage of any ACC team.Now it appears that was a facade, largely because of the inferior opponents matched up with the Orange. SU allowed Miami to bury 11 3-pointers, but still won by 15. After shutting out Pitt behind the arc in the first half, Syracuse relented and the Panthers shot 6-of-12 from deep. The Orange will be tested against Virginia Tech and Notre Dame, the ACC’s top 3-point shooting teams, in the next four games. Three-point defense might be the difference.M.S.: Boeheim repeatedly said after Saturday’s game that this team still needs to get a lot better. While it won’t get too much better than the Orange’s past two games from a Syracuse perspective, SU can do a much better job on the defensive glass. In the past two games, Miami and Pittsburgh have 29 total offensive rebounds, and Syracuse has a minus-four total on the boards despite a plus-26 margin where it matters most.SU’s next two opponents, Virginia Tech and BC, are in the bottom half of the league in rebounds per game, but the Orange will be tested far more after that against a North Carolina team first in the league with 45.6 rebounds per game.P.S.: Connor and Matt touched on the two most glaring areas for Syracuse to improve so I’ll touch on some things that I’m not sure how important they are, but these things could certainly give SU a few big boosts. Taurean Thompson needs to improve his defense, Dajuan Coleman’s knees could get stronger and Frank Howard’s ball security has lots of room for growth. Those three all fall under the larger umbrella of receiving contributions from players on the outside of the rotation looking in. Boeheim mentioned some of these things at the end of his press conference on Saturday as important for Syracuse to round out to its full potential and reach a point good enough to take down the kingpins of the ACC.John Gillon sat at his locker after the win over Pitt with a bag of ice on each of his knees and said this is the first time in his career he’s had to receive special treatment from trainers. By the same token, he’s played better with more playing time, so who knows. But how long Syracuse can go playing just five players remains to be seen. I get it, they’re all still young bucks in the grand scheme of things, but the conference is a grueling one and SU has two or three games a week the rest of the way. Thompson, Coleman and Howard may not be needed, but if they are, SU can’t afford to play liabilities. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 8, 2017 at 8:21 pmlast_img read more