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$31 Million in Funding to Research HIV/AIDS Vaccine

Posted: August 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on $31 Million in Funding to Research HIV/AIDS Vaccine
HIV Particle

HIV Particle (Photo credit: AJC1)

North Carolina’s Duke University and California’s Scripps Research Institute received a combined $31 million in first-year funding to direct the new Centers for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology & Immunogen Discovery. The program fuels the long-time hunt for vaccines against intractable HIV.

Over 6 years, the initiative is expected to receive $186 million, which will go toward accelerating HIV vaccine development. Researchers will study immune responses that prevent or contain HIV infection and generate model vaccine components that can induce such responses, according to a National Institutes of Health release.

Duke received $19.9 million and Scripps received $11.1 million in funding for fiscal 2012. The groups have a tricky task ahead, as any worthy vaccine would have to provide a broad defense against multiple strains of HIV. Vaccines, of course, offer the promise of preventing infection in people at risk of HIV, which is now treated with anti-viral drugs.

“In recent years, considerable progress has been made in identifying antibodies that can prevent a broad range of HIV strains from infecting human cells,” Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said in a statement. “CHAVI-ID will attempt to understand how these antibodies and other immune responses work to protect against HIV infection, providing scientists with a rational foundation for designing what we hope will be an effective HIV vaccine.”

The United States sees an estimated 50,000 new HIV infections each year, and an estimated 34 million people live with HIV worldwide, according to the NIAID.


Gardasil Vaccine – Usually Only Given to Girls – Will be Given to all Australian Boys

Posted: August 16th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Travel Vaccines Updates | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Gardasil Vaccine – Usually Only Given to Girls – Will be Given to all Australian Boys

For the first time, boys in Australia will receive the Gardasil vaccine, a series of shots typically given to high school-aged girls to prevent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which can lead to cervical cancer.

English: Pathology: EM: Papilloma Virus (HPV) ...

English: Pathology: EM: Papilloma Virus (HPV) Electron micrograph of a negatively stained human papilloma virus (HBV) which occurs in human warts. Warts on the hands and feet have never been known to progress to cancer. However, after many years cervical warts can become cancerous. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Under Australia’s National Immunisation Program, boys ages 12 and 13 will get the three-round dose of the vaccine from U.S. drug giant Merck ($MRK). The program for boys is expected to cost $21.1 million over four years and include 870,000 vaccinations, along with an information campaign, a vaccine register and monitoring of adverse reactions, according to ABC News. This is all good news for Merck, which could greatly expand the market for Gardasil if other governments follow Australia’s lead and pay for males to get the vaccine.

“It is estimated that a quarter of new infections will be avoided by extending the vaccine to boys,” said Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek.

Australia leads the way in vaccinating boys; many health experts for years campaigned to broaden the vaccine to males in their first year of high school. HPV infections hit both males and females, and spreads during sex. In recent years researchers have linked a growing number of cancer in men to the virus. Vaccinating both men and women will impact prevalence of anal, penile, vaginal and vulvar cancers, said Steve Hambleton, the president of the Australian Medical Association, as quoted by ABC.

Stateside, about 20 million Americans are currently infected with HPV, according to data from National Institutes of Health. About 6 million more get infected each year. In related news, ABC reported a study that found that HPV vaccinations have reduced the risk of infection even in women who don’t get the vaccine, a phenomenon known as herd immunity.

 


700,000 Children Vaccinated in Philippines

Posted: August 14th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements, Travel Vaccines Updates | Comments Off on 700,000 Children Vaccinated in Philippines

About 700,000 children in the Philippines will receive a rotavirus vaccination, thanks to a national immunization program for children, according to Philstar.com. The vaccinations will go to those belonging to the poorest families listed in the National Housing Targeting System for Poverty Reduction. Rotavirus is the most common cause of diarrhea in infants and children, according to the World Health Organization.

Rotavirus

Rotavirus (Photo credit: AJC1)

Related articles


New Vaccine Might Kill Nicotine Addiction

Posted: August 9th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on New Vaccine Might Kill Nicotine Addiction
Nicotine

Nicotine (Photo credit: lydia_shiningbrightly)

An experimental vaccine could smother a smoker’s addiction to nicotine. Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College developed and successfully tested in mice a vaccine to treat such dependence, according to a News Medical article. The vaccine uses the liver to produce antibodies that consume nicotine as it enters the bloodstream, thus preventing the chemical from tapping into the brain or heart.

The antibody shielded the brain from systemically administered nicotine, reducing brain nicotine concentrations to 15% of those in untreated mice, according to a study published in Science Translational Medicine. The amount of nicotine sequestered in the serum of vector-treated mice was more than 7 times greater than that in untreated mice, the study says.

“As far as we can see, the best way to treat chronic nicotine addiction from smoking is to have these Pac-Man-like antibodies on patrol, clearing the blood as needed before nicotine can have any biological effect,” the study’s lead investigator, Dr. Ronald Crystal, chairman and professor of genetic medicine at Weill Cornell, told News Medical. “Our vaccine allows the body to make its own monoclonal antibodies against nicotine, and in that way, develop a workable immunity.”

Current strategies used to help smokers drop the habit show limited success due to the addictive properties of nicotine in cigarette smoke. But researchers hypothesized that a single administration of an adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene transfer vector expressing high levels of an anti-nicotine antibody would persistently prevent nicotine from reaching its receptors in the brain, according to the study.


Vaccine for Dengue Fever? Possible

Posted: August 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Travel Vaccines Updates | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Vaccine for Dengue Fever? Possible
Dengue distribution in 2006. Red : Epidemic de...

Dengue distribution in 2006. Red : Epidemic dengue and Ae. aegypti Aqua : Just Ae. aegypti (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Production of a dengue vaccine could cost mere pocket change, according to an economic analysis completed by the Dengue Vaccine Initiative, a consortium that works on access to dengue vaccines in impacted areas. Producing a tetravalent dengue vaccine may cost as little as 20 cents per dose, with an annual production level of 60 million doses packaged in 10-dose vials, according to News-Medical.

Of course, cost of production is only one component when it comes to pricing a vaccine. The final cost encompasses prior R&D, obtaining regulatory approval, marketing and distribution, start-up expenses and more. A dengue vaccine will likely cost much more initially, when demand may be low, according to the article.

The economic analysis used data on a vaccine developed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and facilities of the Instituto Butantan in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

“The cost of a vaccine is one of the most important factors affecting its adoption and uptake,” Richard Mahoney of the DVI told News-Medical. Mahoney co-authored the report, published in Vaccine. “Our goal with this study was to determine the baseline expenses for the vaccine’s production. We believe the results should help pave the way for the rapid introduction and distribution of a dengue vaccine once licensed,” he said.

Dengue fever is a virus-caused disease spread through mosquitoes and is caused by one of four different, but related, viruses.


Vaccine Co. and Research Institute Join Forces to Fight Biodefense Threats

Posted: August 2nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Vaccine Co. and Research Institute Join Forces to Fight Biodefense Threats
Vaccine research NVGH test tubes

Vaccine research NVGH test tubes (Photo credit: Novartis AG)

Soligenix has taken up up arms with the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) of Seattle to thwart biodefense threats.

The Princeton, NJ-based vaccine developer brings to the table proprietary proteins and thermostable vaccine technology, while the research institute has synthetic adjuvants. The combination of the technologies could produce vaccines with long-term stability and rapid onset of protective immunity, which are coveted features for vaccines that would then be stockpiled for emergency use.

The first goal the companies hope to reach is assessing the combination of one of IDRI’s adjuvant compounds, which can enhance the generation of high titer neutralizing antibodies to anthrax toxin, with Soligenix’s second-generation dominant negative inhibitor subunit protein anthrax vaccine candidate, known as Velothrax, according to Soligenix’s release. The company will also take a look at the combination of an IDRI adjuvant with formulations of RiVax, Soligenix’s vaccine against ricin toxin.

Ultimately, the aim for both vaccines is a firm product that will encourage the rapid onset of protective immunity in humans, thereby reducing the number of vaccinations required.

Initial work will take place under Soligenix’s existing $9.4 million National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease grant supporting the development of advanced heat-stable vaccines against anthrax and ricin toxins.


Cickenpox Outbreak in Glades County Immigration Detention Center

Posted: July 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Travel Health Alerts, Travel Vaccines Updates | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Cickenpox Outbreak in Glades County Immigration Detention Center

On Tuesday, July 3rd it was reported that there was an outbreak of Chickenpox at the Glades County Detention Center in South/Central Florida.  Authorities are watching the outbreak closely as Chickenpox is a very contagious disease that can be spread through physical contact or through the air.

Adults can get chickenpox as well. Taken from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Checkenpox_Adult_back.jpg

We usually associate Chickenpox with childhood but it often happens that adults who were not vaccinated or never had Chickenpox get infected.

Right now the authorities at Glade County Detention Center are working to separate those who have had Chickenpox before and those who have not.  Visitations are cancelled for now.  Since Chickenpox takes 10-21 days to develop those who have never had it before will be placed under observation for the next few weeks.

Chickenpox is caused by the Varicella virus.  The vaccine is called Varivax and it is administered to children in two doses.  One when the child is 12 to 15 months old, and another when he/she is 4-6 years old.  Vaccination is credited with reducing the incidence of the disease by up to 70-90% with a corresponding drop in related hospital admissions and death.  The Vaccine became widespread in the United States in 1995.

Where vaccines are available they are considered the best preventative health measure against disease.


South African Kulula Airlines Has a Good Sense of Humor

Posted: June 26th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements, Travel Health Alerts | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on South African Kulula Airlines Has a Good Sense of Humor

WHAT A PITY KULULA DOESN’T FLY INTERNATIONALLY – WE SHOULD SUPPORT THEM IF ONLY FOR THEIR HUMOUR – SO TYPICALLY SOUTH AFRICAN.

Kulula.com

A Kulula Aircraft

Kulula is an Airline with head office situated in Johannesburg . Kulula airline attendants make an effort to make the in-flight “safety lecture” and announcements a bit more entertaining.

Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:
On a Kulula flight, (there is no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced,
“People, people we’re not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!”

—o0o—

On another flight with a very “senior” flight attendant crew, the pilot said,
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants.”

—-o0o—

On landing, the stewardess said,
“Please be sure to take all of your belongings.. If you’re going to leave anything, please make sure it’s something we’d like to have.”

—-o0o—

“There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane.”

—o0o—

“Thank you for flying Kulula. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride.”

—o0o—

As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Durban Airport , a lone voice came over the loudspeaker:
“Whoa, big fella. WHOA!”

Kulula loves soccer plane, Cape Town Internati...

Kulula loves soccer plane, Cape Town International Airport (Photo credit: flowcomm)

—o0o–

After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in the Karoo , a flight attendant on a flight announced,
“Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted.”

—o0o—

From a Kulula employee:
“Welcome aboard Kulula 271 to Port Elizabeth . To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don’t know how to operate one, you probably shouldn’t be out in public unsupervised.”

—o0o—

“In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child travelling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are travelling with more than one small child, pick your favorite.”

—o0o—

“Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we’ll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Kulula Airlines.”

—-o0o—

“Your seats cushions can be used for flotation; and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments.”

—o0o—
“As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses..”

—o0o—

And from the pilot during his welcome message:
“Kulula Airlines is pleased to announce that we have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!”

—o0o-

Heard on Kulula 255 just after a very hard landing in Cape Town : The flight attendant came on the intercom and said,
“That was quite a bump and I know what y’all are thinking. I’m here to tell you it wasn’t the airline’s fault, it wasn’t the pilot’s fault, it wasn’t the flight attendant’s fault, it was the asphalt.”

—o0o-

Overheard on a Kulula flight into Cape Town , on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain really had to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said,
“Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Mother City . Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what’s left of our airplane to the gate!”

—o0o-

Another flight attendant’s comment on a less than perfect landing: “We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal.”

—o0o-

An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a “Thanks for flying our airline”. He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said,
“Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?”
“Why, no Ma’am,” said the pilot. “What is it?”
The little old lady said,
“Did we land, or were we shot down?”

—o0o-

After a real crusher of a landing in Johannesburg , the attendant came on with,
“Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we will open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal..”

—o0o-

Part of a flight attendant’s arrival announcement:
“We’d like to thank you folks for flying with us today.. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you’ll think of Kulula Airways.”

—o0o-

Heard on a Kulula flight:
“Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing.. If you can light ’em, you can smoke ’em.”


Sarasota Travel Professionals: Admiral Travel International

Posted: June 18th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Sarasota-Bradenton Travel Professionals | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Sarasota Travel Professionals: Admiral Travel International

Ryan and Malaka Hilton’s Team at Admiral Travel offers exclusive travel opportunities to Africa and beyond.

Founded in 1997 by Malaka Hilton, Admiral Travel offers travel packages to locations ranging from South Africa to Scandinavia.

Malaka is an expert on Egypt and loves guiding groups to that destination.  Her husband, Ryan, is from South Africa and is a wildlife expert and photographer.  He leads groups on safaris.  Their staff are seasoned professionals who have experienced most of the world’s most popular and intriguing travel destinations.

They have partnered with the Virtuoso travel network’s top travel supplers in order to offer a wide range of travel options.

In addition they have developed their own brand of escorted luxury tours, available through their own tour division, AuthentEscapes.  These are exclusive tours hosted by renowned experts.   One example is the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival.  Travelers attend this amazing 4-day festival on Oahu and are treated to wine tastings and cooking demonstrations by experts like Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong.  Here’s an example of what one day has to offer:

DAY 2: FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 7

Mix with the Masters 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Join our all-star cast of chefs, food producers and celebrity techies for a delicious day of talks, demos and Hawai’i In A Bowl lunch.
All Day Pass includes:
•    Building A Sense of Plate and Place
•    Get Wild and Raw in Hawai‘i with Masaharu Morimoto and Ming Tsai
•    Hawai‘i In A Bowl: From Poi Bowl to Pho featuring Roy Yamaguchi and Charles Phan
•    BATTLE OF THE FOOD GEEKS: Silicon Valley Startups vs. Roy Yamaguchi, Todd English & More

“Second Annual Halekulani Master Chefs Gala Series: Chefs Who Have Cooked for Presidents and Royalty” 6 p.m.

Master chefs and top sommeliers will “wow” food lovers during an evening of elegant fine dining, with a lavish seven-course meal and extraordinary wine pairings.

Sounds like fun!

Admiral Travel International Offers Exclusive Travel Opportunities to Destinations from Scandinavia to South Africa


Passport Health Sarasota Stores Vaccines Appropriately

Posted: June 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements, Travel Vaccines Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Passport Health Sarasota Stores Vaccines Appropriately

We Store Children’s Shots at Appropriate Temperature and Monitor Regularly

A Child being Vaccinated

Controversy has broken out recently regarding a federal program, organized by the CDC, that provides vaccines to pediatricians for free.   The program is called VFC, Vaccines for Children.  Apparently vaccines stored at most of the providers were not stored properly:

A report from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that vaccines stored at the offices of 76% of a sample of providers involved in the CDC program were exposed to inappropriate temperatures for at least five cumulative hours during a 2-week inspection period.

This is a problem since inappropriately stored vaccines become ineffective.  Another mistake that VFC providers were committing was they were storing expired vaccines with active ones.  Storing the two together can lead to a patient being given the wrong vaccine when they need it, another dangerous situation.

At Passport Health Sarasota we monitor the temperature of our vaccine storage refrigerators 24/7.  If one of our refrigerators goes out of range the monitor begins to sound an alarm.  It will continue sounding that alarm until one of our employees manually turns it off and resets the monitor.  We do this to ensure the quality of our vaccines.  Moreover we do NOT store outdated vaccines with in date vaccines.

When choosing where to get your vaccines chose the “Vaccine Specialists” – Passport Health Sarasota.