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

Galippo apologizes for post-game jabs at Irish

first_imgSenior linebacker Chris Galippo apologized Monday for comments made in the wake of USC’s 31-17 victory at Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., on Saturday.“If I offended anyone with my postgame comments Saturday, I do apologize,” Galippo tweeted. “I have great respect for their players and their program.”Galippo said the Irish had “quit” after opting not to call timeouts in the waning minutes of the game — allowing the Trojans to run out the clock.Galippo was originally recruited by Notre Dame out of high school, along with USC.“At the end there, when they didn’t call those timeouts, they just quit,” Galippo said in the moments following the game. “That’s what Notre Dame football is about. They’re not anything like USC.”USC coach Lane Kiffin apologized to Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly via telephone for Galippo’s remarks.During a conference call with the media Sunday night, Kiffin said he had spoken with Galippo about the comments and assured the media that the matter had been resolved on both sides, according to the Los Angeles Times.“On behalf of our football program, I apologize for Chris Galippo’s statements after the game,” Kiffin told reporters during the teleconference. “I also called coach Kelly to personally apologize. As I said to the media immediately after the game, I thought Notre Dame played extremely hard throughout the game.”Kiffin did say he was surprised at how the Fighting Irish handled the end of the game.“Obviously, [more than] two minutes left with three timeouts, there’s a lot of football left,” Kiffin said in regard to Notre Dame not using [its] timeouts toward the end of the contest. “But I’m not complaining.”Galippo wasn’t the only player surprised with Notre Dame’s late-game strategy Saturday.Junior quarterback Matt Barkley expressed similar sentiments during an interview with Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley on 710 ESPN radio in Los Angeles on Monday.“It seemed from our sideline and our perspective that they did give up,” Barkley said. “It seemed uncharacteristic of Notre Dame. I wouldn’t have wanted to have been on that sideline.”last_img read more