H1N1 BREAKING NEWS: Wal-Mart may help distribute pandemic vaccine, Switzerland first in line for Glaxo shipment, UK reports antiviral side effects in children, 2 California nurses die

first_imgJul 31, 2009Wal-Mart may help feds with vaccine campaignWal-Mart officials met with US health officials on Jul 29 to discuss what role the retail chain might play in helping to distribute the pandemic H1N1 vaccine this fall, Reuters reported yesterday. Dr. John Agwunobi, the company’s president of health and wellness, in an address at the annual meeting of the National Association of County and City Health Officials yesterday, said options might include giving flu shots in stores and helping federal officials with logistic and supply chain issues. Switzerland to be among first to get Glaxo pandemic vaccine shipmentsA GlaxoSmithKline spokesman said Switzerland will be one of 10 countries to receive the “first wave” of the company’s pandemic H1N1 vaccine, though he did not name the other nine countries, Bloomberg News reported today. He said first-wave-countries will get their supplies in September or October and that countries in the second wave will receive theirs “a bit later.” The spokesman said Switzerland signed an agreement with Glaxo in 2006 to receive priority delivery of pandemic vaccine.[Jul 31 Bloomberg News story] UK surveys find side effects in children given preventive oseltamivirTwo survey studies in the Jul 30 issue of Eurosurveillance report side effects in British schoolchildren who received prophylactic oseltamivir treatment. In an online survey of three London schools, 53% of the children reported side effects, including gastrointestinal (40%) and mild neuropsychiatric (18%) problems. In the other study, 51% of students from one school reported symptoms such as feeling sick, headache, or stomachache. Compliance was higher in the single-school study.[Jul 30 issue of Eurosurveillance] Two nurses die of novel flu infectionsA 51-year-old California nurse who worked on a cancer unit at a hospital in Carmichael died of a novel H1N1 flu infection, the Sacramento Bee reported today. A hospital spokesman said authorities don’t know if she was exposed to the virus at the hospital or elsewhere. Her death certificate said she also had pneumonia and was infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Meanwhile, a pediatric nurse in New Zealand recently died of a novel H1N1 infection, local media reported.[Jul 31 Sacramento Bee story] CDC says H1N1 hospitalizations total 5,514The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today said it is aware of a total of 5,514 H1N1 flu hospitalizations and 353 deaths from 47 states and territories. The agency said last week it would no longer list national H1N1 case counts. Meanwhile, the CDC’s flu surveillance report for last week says that novel H1N1 activity continued to drop for the fifth consecutive week, with only four states and Puerto Rico reporting widespread activity, down from seven states the week before.[CDC novel flu hospitalization and death count]last_img