ACIP opens door to anthrax shots for first responders

first_imgOct 23, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has opened the door to voluntary anthrax vaccination for first responders, revising an 8-year-old recommendation against that step.The committee, meeting yesterday, said the risk of anthrax exposure for emergency responders is low but “may not be zero,” and therefore first-responder agencies may want to offer the vaccine on a voluntary basis, according to information supplied by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today.The CDC routinely adopts the ACIP’s recommendations.Anthrax vaccination—which currently involves six doses over 18 months, followed by annual boosters—is required for US military personnel serving in the Middle East and other high-risk areas. Nearly 2 million service members have been vaccinated under the program, according to ACIP reports.However, a number of military members have complained of negative side effects from the shot, and a lawsuit by several of them interrupted mandatory vaccinations for about 2 years starting in October 2004. Another lawsuit against the program is still in the courts.Allowing the optionThe new recommendation adopted by the ACIP does not actively encourage anthrax shots for first responders. It states:”Emergency and other responders, including police departments, fire departments, hazardous material units, government responders, the National Guard and others, are not recommended for routine pre-event anthrax vaccination. However, the committee recognized that while the risk of exposure for first responders to anthrax is low it may not be zero. Therefore, first responder units may choose to offer their workers pre-event vaccination on a voluntary basis. The vaccination program should be carried out under the direction of a comprehensive occupational health and safety program.”In 2000 the ACIP recommended against “pre-event” anthrax shots for first responders, and that stance was reaffirmed when the committee revisited the issue after the anthrax attacks of late 2001, according to an online summary of the June 2008 ACIP meeting. The reasons for reconsidering that recommendation included a growing supply of the vaccine and new data suggesting a change in the vaccine’s safety profile, plus interest from some first-responder groups, according to comments made at that meeting.Interest from emergency respondersA change in the recommendation for first responders was proposed at the June meeting by an ACIP subcommittee called the Anthrax Vaccine Workgroup. The panel’s work was described by Jennifer G. Wright, DVM, MPH.”Post-event vaccination in combination with antibiotics is an effective intervention following exposure to B[acillus] anthracis spores, but the workgroup felt that pre-event vaccination could offer additional protection beyond that afforded by antibiotics and post[exposure] vaccination by providing early priming of the immune system,” the meeting summary states. “Some respondent organizations have stated that their members would be more willing to respond to a bioterrorism event if they were vaccinated prior to the occurrence of the event.”Dr. Richard Besser, director of the CDC’s Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response, commented at the June meeting that a number of emergency response agencies had indicated interest in preemptive anthrax immunization for their workers, but the existing negative recommendation was seen as an impediment.Also at that meeting, the CDC’s Nancy Messonier said that the workgroup’s intent in proposing a change was “to open the door, knowing that the vaccine is commercially available and that first responder groups are at liberty to call the manufacture to obtain the vaccine themselves,” the meeting summary states.The FDA-licensed vaccine, called anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA) (Biothrax), is made by Emergent BioSolutions Inc. Current annual production capacity is 8 million to 9 million doses, up from about 2 million in 2002, the June meeting report says. A new manufacturing facility that is being tested will eventually boost production to as many as 30 million to 35 million doses, it says.”The workgroup felt that at the current time, vaccine supply was sufficient to support vaccination for a large group of individuals,” the report states. It says the nation may have as many as 3 million first responders, depending on how the term is defined.The work group concluded that the risk of anthrax exposure for first responders through a bioterrorism event is “undefinable,” the summary states. However, the group concluded that the available data suggest that the vaccine is safe and effective.Fewer adverse eventsThrough June 2008, 4,705 reports of adverse events associated with anthrax vaccination of military personnel were filed with the government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, the report says. That represents a rate of 61.1 reports per 100,000 doses, as compared with 117 reports per 100,000 doses of smallpox vaccine. About 10% of the reports described “serious” adverse events.The report also said that in February the ACIP looked at data showing a decrease in local adverse events when the vaccine was given intramuscularly rather than by the standard subcutaneous route. That was an apparent reference to interim findings in a CDC study, which were reported in the Oct 1 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA; see link to news story below).The JAMA report said people who were vaccinated intramuscularly had fewer injection-site reactions after four doses than those who received subcutaneous shots. It also said those who received three intramuscular shots in the first 6 months had about the same immune response as those who received the standard four subcutaneous shots, suggesting that dose reduction may be possible.Discussion at the June ACIP meeting pointed out the challenges that would be posed by any effort to vaccinate large numbers of first responders, given the number and timing of doses involved. These include determining who would administer the vaccine, tracking recipients to keep them on schedule, providing liability coverage, monitoring adverse events, and caring for those who experience adverse events.Postexposure protectionAt yesterday’s meeting, the CDC reported, the ACIP also made a recommendation on postexposure protection against anthrax: 60 days of antimicrobial treatment in combination with three doses of vaccine. Vaccine should be offered within 10 days of exposure.”Anthrax vaccine is not licensed for children and has not been studied in children,” the CDC update said. “However, postexposure anthrax vaccination in children potentially exposed to anthrax may be considered on an event-by-event basis in conjunction with 60 days of antibiotics.”The recommendation on postexposure prophylaxis includes pregnant women. “Pregnancy is neither a precaution nor a contraindication. Pregnant women should receive vaccine and antibiotics if they are exposed to inhalation anthrax,” the CDC said.See also: Minutes of June 2008 ACIP meeting, including discussion of anthrax vaccine 6 CIDRAP News story “Trial offers hope for shortening anthrax-shot series”Oct 2 CIDRAP News story “To blunt anthrax attack, mail carriers to get antibiotics”last_img read more

Pakistan cricket tour in chaos as Seven more players test positive for coronavirus

first_img But Pakistan cricket chiefs insist those players unaffected will still depart for the UK on Sunday and the rest can join them later. Pakistan Cricket Board chief executive Wasim Khan said: “The tour of England is still very much on track.” England supremo Ashley Giles also remains optimistic the three Tests and three T20 matches will be played. Batsmen Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Hafeez and bowlers Wahab Riaz, Imran Khan, Mohammad Hasnain, Kashif Bhatti and all-rounder Rizwan Ahmed all tested positive yesterday. So did team masseur Malang Ali. They join batsman Haider Ali, leg-spinner Shadab Khan and fast bowler Haris Rauf who returned positive tests on Monday. None of the ten players had experienced symptoms of Covid-19 before testing positive. All of them will be re-tested tomorrow. The Pakistan Cricket Board revealed that all players and support staff who have tested negative will as planned fly to Manchester on a charter flight on Sunday. They will be tested again on arrival in the UK. Those who have tested positive must isolate at home for two weeks before undergoing further testing. If they then test negative, they will be permitted to fly to the UK on a commercial flight. The tour to England is very much on track and the side will depart as per schedule on June 28. Promoted ContentWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?Couples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayTop 10 Most Romantic Nations In The World11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table TopWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This Year10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoThe Best Cars Of All TimePortuguese Street Artist Creates Hyper-Realistic 3D Graffiti9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A Tattoo6 Best Natural History Museums You Won’t Regret Visiting10 Extremely Dirty Seas In The World Loading… Khan added: “The recent positive tests of some of the fittest athletes, who had not shown any symptoms, clearly reflect the danger of this virus. “We will continue to monitor and support the players who have tested positive, including conducting antibody tests, and as soon as they test negative, they will be flown to join the squad in England. “At the moment, they have been advised to go into self-isolation so that they not only recover quickly but also prevent their other family members from being infected. “The tour to England is very much on track and the side will depart as per schedule on June 28. Fortunately, all the first-choice red-ball squad, barring Mohammad Rizwan, are negative, which means they can start training and practising immediately after they have been tested and given the all clear when they arrive in England.” Giles is hopeful there is sufficient time between now and the scheduled First Test at Old Trafford on August 5 for the crisis to ease. Giles said: “It is a concern and obviously I’m most concerned about those players who tested positive and their welfare. “At the moment, I don’t think the tour is in doubt. We are far enough away from the start of the Test series not to worry too much at the moment. We’re still hopeful the Pakistan team will be arriving in the country fairly soon. read also:England star Carberry claims ‘cricket is rife with racism’ “But this is the difference with the international sport – we need to get our opposition into the country. Anything that puts that at risk or in danger is clearly a problem. “There are far more important things than sport but we’re hopeful that, if we can get international sport played, it will be a fillip for many people around the world.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Seven more Pakistan players have tested positive for Covid-19 – taking the total to ten.last_img read more

A mother’s struggle turns to ‘Gold’ – Deshanna Skeete story

first_imgWHEN 15-year-old Deshanna Skeete won Gold in the girls 400M at the South American Youth Games in Chile, on the surface it seemed like just another first place and medal for Guyana, but, for Skeete’s mother Nicketa Weekes, it was ‘pay back’ for her hours of walking around the community of Linden, asking for donation to help realise her daughter’s dream.Apart from competing at this year’s Inter-Guiana Games (IGG) in Suriname, the South American Youth Games was Skeete’s first real taste of International competition and the Mackenzie High School (MHS) student introduced herself to the world in a rather ‘historic’ fashion.The South American Youth Games, held every four years, never heard the Guyana National Anthem until Saturday October 7, 2017, given the fact that Guyana had never won gold at the event.After crossing the finish line with a time of 57.28 seconds to finish ahead of Brazil’s Jessica Moreira (57.54) and Ecuador’s Andreina Valencia (58.81), Skeete palmed her face as tears started to flow. Those tears, however, came with a sorrowful story behind it.Upon her return, Skeete told Chronicle Sport that while she was happy to make Guyana proud, her medal actually belongs to her mother in recognition of her sacrifice and tireless effort to ensure she stay the course and rise above her personal challenges.Skeete’s mother, Nicketa, said “I would walk around Linden, begging people to help because there’s no other way for her to really be able to run and get a chance to live her dreams of representing this country.”After attending the Wisburg Secondary School, Skeete would continuously excel academically with grades in the 90s, and, in recognising her gifted athletic ability, the Region 10 Department of Education transferred her to MHS to enable her to be better educated.However, the move, according to Weekes, came with its share of financial burden. “When she moved to MHS, it became even harder, because we live in Wismar, so it wasn’t much to send her to school at Wisburg, but now, I have to find an extra passage to cross the river, then, she has training in the afternoons and lessons, because school is important to her.”Over three years ago, Deshanna lost her father. Her father’s death was a devastating blow as the athlete put it, but it also left her mother to cater for six children alone and one of whom is gifted beyond her own imagination.GOLDEN SMILE! Deshanna Skeete proudly displaying her 400M Gold MedalThanks to the Community Organised for the Restoration of the Environment (CORE) Programme; an initiative of the Coalition Government, Skeete’s mother is able to have an income, but the woman said it’s barely enough to maintain the family and take care of an athlete.“I make $23,700 a month and that’s not enough to even take care of us, much less to send her to represent Guyana. I walk around this place, asking people for help, some of them will tell you all sort of things, but I know what it means to Deshanna,” said Weekes.She added “When she was going to Suriname, I had to find money to get her stuff to travel. Then, when she was going to Chile, same thing and I know she has to eat right. Every time she travels, it’s expensive and it’s hard; trust me, it’s very hard.”“They want these athletes to bring back medals and do Guyana well, but they don’t look out for them otherwise. Since when she broke the national record last year, I reached out to people to help because this means a lot to her, that’s all she talks about and dream about and it is only right that the people in power do something to help these athletes.”Weekes said the Mayor of Linden, Carwyn Holland, is among those who would assist from time-to-time, but she had reached out to Director of Sport, Christopher Jones, for his intervention, but nothing was done.Meanwhile, Weekes noted she was disheartened by the reception her daughter received upon her return to Guyana and more so Linden, since her medal will forever be remembered as Guyana’s first at the games, which only comes around once every four years, just like the Olympics.“Things like these really frustrate athletes, and parents. Come on, some people don’t know the sacrifices us parents make to send our children to these events, because the Government and those in charge don’t do anything for them, everything is on the parents”It is Weekes’ hope that President David Granger could intervene to help athletes like her daughter and ease the burden of parents like her.last_img read more

Gauff, 15, to face Venus Williams again in first round of a Grand Slam

first_imgAMERICAN teenager Coco Gauff will again face Venus Williams in the first round of a Grand Slam after the pair were drawn together at the Australian Open.Gauff, 15, announced her arrival on the biggest stage by beating 39-year-old Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam singles winner, at Wimbledon in July.Britain’s Johanna Konta, seeded 12th, will play Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur.In the men’s draw, British 30th seed Dan Evans meets American Mackenzie McDonald in Melbourne.Evans, 29, is playing in his first Slam as Britain’s leading male player and could face Serbia’s defending champion Novak Djokovic in the third round.Djokovic, who is aiming for a record-extending eighth title, does not have the easiest opener after being drawn against Germany’s world number 37 Jan-Lennard Struff.The first Grand Slam of the year begins on Monday with the top half of the women’s draw and the bottom half of the men’s draw in action.Gauff’s match against Venus Williams seems certain to feature in the first night session on Rod Laver Arena with Djokovic, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, 2019 women’s champion Naomi Osaka, Konta and Evans among those also playing on day one.Swiss great Federer has been drawn in the same half as second seed Djokovic, meaning the pair could meet in the semi-finals.Federer, 38, starts against American Steve Johnson and has a favourable-looking draw, although Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov – who memorably beat the Swiss in the US Open quarter-finals in September – and Canada’s exciting talent Denis Shapovolov are potential opponents before the quarter-finals.Spanish top seed Rafael Nadal plays against Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien in the first round, with the possibility of a blockbuster fourth-round match against Australia’s Nick Kyrgios.The pair have not always seen eye-to-eye and met in a dramatic second-round match at Wimbledon last year, where Kyrgios tried to rattle Nadal with constant complaints about the Spaniard’s slow play.British number two Cameron Norrie plays Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert in his opening match, while Kyle Edmund – who reached the semi-finals in Melbourne two years ago but has dropped to 69th in the world – has a tough opener against Serbia’s 24th seed Dusan Lajovic.Russian fourth seed Daniil Medvedev, looking to win his first Grand Slam after reaching the 2019 US Open final, has been pitched against dangerous American floater Frances Tiafoe, who reached the quarter-finals last year.Australia’s world number 21 Alex de Minaur pulled out yesterday with an abdominal injury aggravated at last week’s ATP Cup. (BBC Sport0last_img read more