Aug 18, 2011 (CIDRAP News) – With shipments of influenza vaccine for the upcoming season arriving at healthcare providers’ offices, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today released its advisory group’s latest recommendations, which have a few changes that apply mainly to younger children and people who have egg allergies.Also, with a look back at the past flu season, the CDC released its latest findings about uptake of the vaccine in healthcare workers and pregnant women, two groups that it has focused on in its efforts to boost vaccine coverage.Carolyn Bridges, MD, associate director for adult immunization with the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease, told reporters at a media briefing today that there is plenty of vaccine available for healthcare providers to get an early fall start on flu vaccination.Vaccine companies have projected that they expect to make a record number of doses for the US market this season, between 166 million and 173 million. This year’s vaccine targets the same three strains as last year, including the 2009 H1N1 strain. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in an Aug 17 update that it has so far released 272 lots of flu vaccine for distribution, up from 119 as of Aug 3. The total includes vaccine from all six pharmaceutical companies that are making vaccine for the 2011-12 US flu season.Last year was the first year of a universal flu vaccination recommendation in the United States, with the CDC callig for immunization for everyone except babies under 6 months old. Annual flu vaccine campaigns can be tricky, because antigen growth can be unpredictable for vaccine producers hoping to match shipments with time of highest demand in the fall.The US and other nations promote the flu vaccine as the principal strategy to reduce the annual burden of the disease, especially in groups at high risk for complications, such as those with underlying medical conditions. Health officials also depend on annual demand for the vaccine to keep the manufacturing capacity robust in case a pandemic strain arises.However, the effectiveness of flu vaccines is well below that of many other immunizations, such as measles. The CDC says that inactivated flu vaccine can be 70% to 90% effective in preventing flu in healthy, nonelderly adults when the vaccine and circulating viruses are well-matched. But studies have shown that the effectiveness can be significantly lower in people older than 65 and in seasons when the vaccine doesn’t match up well with the circulating viruses.Bridges said this year’s flu vaccine recommendations from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Advisory Practices (ACIP), published today in an online edition of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), are shorter than for past seasons, because the same three flu strains from last season are included in the 2011-12 vaccine and the nation is entering its second season with its universal recommendation.Even though this year’s vaccine contains the same three strains as last year’s, the CDC is advising annual vaccination for most Americans. “Levels of protective antibodies can decrease, especially in the elderly and people who have compromised immune systems,” she said, adding that annual vaccination can ensure optimal protection.A change in advice on young childrenOne change in this year’s recommendations, though, touches on the repeat appearance of the same three strains in the vaccine. In past years, ACIP has recommended that children aged 6 months to 8 years who received only one dose the previous season should receive two doses the following season. However, because the vaccine strains haven’t changed this year, children in this age-group who received only one dose last season need only one more dose this season.The recommendation could change for the 2012-13 season if the mix of strains in the flu vaccine is different, the CDC noted. It said the two-dose recommendation remains in place for children who didn’t receive the vaccine last year or for whom vaccination status is unknown.Also new to the annual flu recommendations is more in-depth guidance about flu vaccination for people who have egg allergies. Bridges said new research findings have suggested that vaccination is safe for most people with egg allergies, and the guidance reflects the new information.Medical authorities have long urged caution regarding flu shots for those with egg allergies because of the concern that residual egg protein in the vaccines, which are grown in eggs, might cause a reaction.Patients who have experienced only hives after exposure to eggs should receive the vaccine only from providers who can identify possible reactions, and people who have had more serious reactions from eggs, such as respiratory distress, should consult with a physician with allergy expertise before receiving the vaccine, the CDC advises.The new ACIP recommendations mention two of the newest flu vaccines made by Sanofi, an intradermal trivalent inactivated vaccine (TIV) indicated for people ages 18 to 64 and a high-dose TIV indicated for people age 65 or older. The panel did not indicate a preference for the new alternatives over other TIV preparations.Coverage in healthcare workersIn new reports on flu vaccine uptake during the 2010-11 season, the CDC said coverage in healthcare workers improved slightly and coverage for pregnant women held steady at a level reached during the 2009-10 pandemic months. Both studies involved Internet panels.The survey of healthcare workers was conducted in April and included three online survey panels totaling 1,931 participants. Of the group, 63.5% reported that they received the flu vaccine during the 2010-11 season, an increase from 61.9% reported the previous season. Workers who had direct contact with patients, such as physicians and nurse practitioners, were more likely to be vaccinated.Uptake was high (98.1%) in facilities that had mandatory flu vaccine requirements. Those who weren’t required to receive the vaccine reported they were more likely to be immunized if it was offered free on site and for an extended length of time.For pregnant women, uptake was 49%, nearly the same as the 50% level set during the 2009 pandemic, the CDC reported. The survey was conducted in April among 1,457 respondents who were pregnant at any time between October 2010 and January 2011. The CDC noted that the level is still below the 80% Healthy People 2010 target for this group.The study revealed that women who were advised by a healthcare provider to be immunized were five times more likely to receive the vaccine. Four in 10 said their providers did not offer them the flu vaccine.More efforts are needed to encourage providers to offer the vaccine to their pregnant patients, and more work is needed to remove barriers, such as lack of training or vaccine storage equipment, that make it difficult for clinics to offer it as part of routine practice, the CDC experts noted.CDC. Prevention and control of influenza with vaccines: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2011. MMWR 2011 Aug 18;60(early release):1-6[Full text]CDC. Influenza vaccination coverage among health-care personnel—United States, 2010-11 influenza season. MMWR 2011 Aug 19;60(32):1073-77 [Full text]CDC. Influenza vaccination coverage among pregnant women—United States, 2010-11 influenza season. MMWR 2011 Aug 19;60(32):1078-82 [Full text]See also:Aug 17 FDA flu vaccine lot release statusCDC information on flu vaccine effectiveness
The National Weather Service forecasts today’s high in Los Alamos near 84 with sunny skies and tonight’s low around 56. Courtesy/NWS
COUNTY News:Los Alamos County is seeking public input through a community survey regarding housing needs and preferences from people who live and work in Los Alamos County.A priority Strategic Goal of Council and of the Economic Vitality Strategic Plan is to increase the amount and types of housing options in the County.The County is asking community residents and people who work in the County to participate in a survey designed to assess local housing needs. Your responses will help the County plan for new housing over the next 10 years.Follow this link to take the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LosAlamosHousingPreferenceSurvey
The deal will boost JLL’s revenue in the state by about 60% and increase staff numbers by 31 to 180. NSC’s founders and joint managing directors Steve Carulli and Nick Stanisis will run the combined business, while JLL’s current Western Australia boss Graham Kennedy will move into a new role as national head of advisory. This takeover follows a number of others around the globe for JLL over the past 12 months. These include US construction, investment and agency business, Spaulding & Slye in January, UK agency Rogers and Chapman in May, and RSP Group in Dubai and fit-out company areAZero in Spain in September. ‘Acquisitions such as this one will continue to boost our growth strategy,’ said JLL’s Australian CEO Christine Bartlett. ‘I see great opportunities in the Australian market for Jones Lang LaSalle in emerging sectors such as health and aged care, project and development services and sustainability.’
I am not a handy man. As I see it, as a scholar, I felt it was more important to enrich my mind than to learn how to fix things.This was the great lie second generation Americans lived by. Make sure your children graduate from college. Get that degree! It seemed like a good plan. I gathered up college credits and went off to face the world armed with a degree and $40,000 worth of student loans.I remember scouring the help wanted ads. “Thirty thousand plus benefits to the right candidate!” they would promise.I remember my first job interview.I thought a Phillip’s-head screwdriver was Phil Head’s father’s screwdriver.“So. Tell me Rick, what skills do you bring to the table? How can you help us here at Acme?”“Well. I speak Latin,” I said. “Or should I say, Linguam latinam narrow?”“Son, we fix trucks here. What do you know about trannies?”“Well, my Uncle Frank once lost a bet and had to wear a dress to work and he really felt liberated.”“We’ll call you.”“OK, but I am going to need five weeks vacation and green M&Ms in my dressing room. By the way, my cosine said this would be a good day if I didn’t go off on a tangent. Get it?” The guy shook his head sadly. Needless to say, the call never came, nor did countless others.While me and the other smart kids languished in the schoolyard, Tony, Ralphie, and the like — the kids we thought were dumb — grew up and became rich. Tony lays tile. Ralph is a mechanic. And Paulie — jeesh! Paulie is a plumber. He’s like, a millionaire.But there are very few openings for trigonometry or physics majors. The truth is, I never had a shop class. In Catholic School, it was more important for us to learn mathematics and the like so you could figure out how many thousands of hours you have to spend in purgatory if you got caught stealing cigarettes from Murray’s Candy Store.I have told this story many times and no one believes me, but it is true. I thought a Phillip’s-head screwdriver was Phil Head’s father’s screwdriver, just as I thought Stanley’s screwdriver was my father’s. I always wondered why none of the stores carried Rick’s screwdrivers.I attempted to fix the broiler element on my GE stove last week. I made the decision only because our appliance man retired and now lives in the south of France with several starlets half his age.“Just Google it,” one of the guys told me. Yeah, that was easy. I needed to know the model number of the stove. I needed the part number of the broiler element, if the thing was gas or electric — God help me! As scholarly as I am, it is possible to stump me.“I knew I smelled gas!” Karen insisted when I told her the stove needed fixing.“It’s electric,” I pointed out.“I smell gas every night when you come to bed,” she answered earnestly. It took two weeks to get the right parts. Now came the challenge — the installation. “Pull the unit away from the wall and open the back panel,” the directions read.I stared at the stove. On its right was a cabinet, flush against it. The dishwasher was right next to it on the other side. I couldn’t get my hand in between to move the damn thing. When I finally yanked the thing out away from the wall, I climbed behind it and went to take off the rear panel.You guessed it. The screws were not the Phillips shape I had so recently mastered. They were not regular screws. They were square. Honestly, now I’ve been on this Earth for six decades and I have never seen a screw with a square head. Even Phil Head would have been baffled, and, he’s like, the father of the modern screwdriver.While I was mulling over my next move, wedged into this tiny spot between the kitchen wall and the stove, Karen began vacuuming the floor where I was standing, the vacuum head slamming into my ankles and ripping flesh off my legs. “Quid agis infernum!” I screamed, adding the French word I use to describe her when I’m really, really mad (It means ‘pumpkin’ I told her).Thus, one of the great conundrums of American life surfaced. If the stove is flush to the dishwasher on one side, flush to a cabinet on the other, and flush to the back wall, how did all that food fall behind it and rot? None of the mice back there seemed to know, or at least they weren’t talking. I ended up ordering a new stove. Yeah, I could have taken Spanish in high school, but the Jesuits convinced us nobody spoke that language email@example.com Share
Quinn Insurance, the Irish insurer currently in administration, looks destined to be sold following a statement from its parent company Quinn Group issued today. Quinn Group said it had concluded that it ‘should consider selling Quinn Insurance’ in the interests of Quinn Insurance employees and other stakeholders. Quinn Group chief executive Liam McCaffrey said: ‘Since the appointment of provisional administrators on 30 March and the confirmation of their appointment on 15 April 2010, the group board has been considering a number of options but has now reluctantly concluded that in view of the funding required to meet the solvency requirements laid down by the Financial Regulator, the future of Quinn Insurance is probably best protected under new ownership. ‘Accordingly we will be working closely with the joint administrators to see if this objective can be achieved in as short a time as possible with the hope that this will protect the maximum number of jobs. ‘Quinn Insurance has a robust and profitable business model with a skilled and loyal workforce. However prolonging the situation is not in anyone’s interest and that is why we have reached this decision.’ The Quinn Group statement said: ‘The Board of Quinn Group Limited is greatly saddened by the redundancies which are expected to be announced by the joint administrators of Quinn Insurance today. ‘It has been overwhelmed by the support of its loyal staff and customer base across the group in recent weeks and most especially by the support shown by the employees of Quinn Insurance. The thoughts of all the members of the Quinn Group Board are with those staff today.’ Quinn Insurance provides professional indemnity insurance to 2,911 UK law firms and sole practitioners. Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson said: ‘The Law Society is monitoring the situation closely in the interest of solicitors, and will continue to do so as the situation develops.’ An SRA spokeswoman said the regulator did not currently have anything to add to its existing advice, but it would continue to closely monitor the situation.
Get your free guest access SIGN UP TODAY Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited access To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community
The fallout from the government’s decision to axe the £55bn Building Schools for the Future initiative continued to twist grotesquely over the weekend, with the revelation that even the government’s revised list of affected projects affected is plagued by errors. But as schools and their construction supply chains attempt to work out first, if their schemes are affected, and second, what they can do to improve buildings now the government has frozen the scheme, another injustice seems to be coming to light. And that is the apparent witch hunt of Partnerships for Schools and its chief executive, Tim Byles.Anyone who has been involved with the BSF initiative over the three and a half years since it has been headed by Byles knows that it has not been perfect. An average procurement time of around 22 months, with a cost of £4-6m per winning bid, is never going to win plaudits for its efficiency. The length of time between the selection of preferred bidder and financial close has, particularly during the recession, drawn the ire of many architects and consultants who simply cannot keep paying staff to wait in the wings ready for when a project might, or might not, hit the ground.But anyone who has been involved with the initiative before Byles was appointed will know that things could, actually, have been a lot worse. PFS may have been far from creating a perfect scheme, but it was also far from the dark days of the scheme’s launch, which lay at the heart of the scheme’s criticism and delays. Back in 2004, the government said it wanted to build 200 schools by December 2008, but in reality only 42 were renewed during those four years. During the 2008/9 financial year, 54 were opened. Byles’ leadership has been widely credited with bringing about that improvement. And, when the recession was at its worst, let’s not forget that PFS was one of the first UK organisations to secure emergency funding from the European Investment Bank, meaning projects like the massive Barnsley scheme could reach financial close despite the tightening of bank lending.The fact that the Department for Education has been guilty of woeful mishandling of the stopping of the programme cannot simply be pinned on PFS. All quangos exist to serve their political masters, and the timing of the announcement and its content was within Michael Gove’s gift. If the government were to seek to pin the blame for the fiasco on Byles and PFS, as has been suggested by media reports over the weekend, it would not only be unjust but it would also be highly detrimental to whatever school building programme this government has in mind for the future. Without experienced procurers like Byles, any hope of a coherent initiative to replace BSF already looks doomed to failure.
Subscribe now for unlimited access To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access SIGN UP TODAY