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NPPC applauds USDA for first significant FMD vaccine bank purchase

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The establishment of a robust foot-and-mouth disease vaccine bank — a top, long-term priority for the National Pork Producers Council — came closer to reality today as the USDA announces its first significant vaccine purchase. NPPC was instrumental in advocating for establishment of the FMD vaccine bank as part of the 2018 farm bill.

Currently, the USDA, which has prescribed vaccination for dealing with an FMD outbreak, does not have access to enough vaccine should an outbreak occur. FMD is an infectious viral disease that affects cloven-hooved animals, including cattle, pigs and sheep; it is not a food safety or human health threat. The disease is endemic in many parts of the world and would have widespread, long-term fallout for livestock and crop agriculture, including the immediate loss of export markets.

“Today’s announcement is momentous, representing years of NPPC advocacy to ensure U.S. agriculture is protected should we have an FMD outbreak,” says NPPC President Howard “AV” Roth, a hog farmer from Wauzeka, Wis. “While U.S. pork producers and other farmers face significant challenges and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a solution to FMD preparedness is in our grasp. We thank USDA and especially Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory …

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Unprecedented Collaboration Formed to Create Vaccine Against COVID-19

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PALM BEACH, Florida, July 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The entire global medical community has focused on finding treatments and vaccines to defeat the current global health crisis. Some treatments are showing signs of helping patients survive but a vaccine is the “Holy Grail” that all researchers are looking to find. A recent article on Biopharma from Technology Networks reported that: “Vaccine development can often take many years. To accelerate the process, a team of scientists including Dr. Larry Corey of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and experts at the National Institutes of Health have come together to create a plan – a coordinated and efficient approach to creating vaccines against COVID-19. In a perspective published online by the journal Science, Corey and coauthors Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. John Mascola, and Dr. Francis Collins, share their vision for bringing together industry, government and academia to meet this urgent need. Dr. Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases, part of NIH. Dr. Mascola is the director of the NIAID Vaccine Research Center, and Dr. Collins is the NIH director. Unprecedented collaboration and resources will be required to research and develop safe and effective vaccines for COVID-19 that can …

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How to boost vaccination rates during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Telehealth is taking care of many patient needs, but with flu season nearing doctors won’t be able to vaccinate patients through cyberspace.And with COVID-19 continuing to surge, it will be more important than ever to vaccinate patients against the flu to reduce the number of people using the nation’s health resources that are so heavily taxed during the pandemic.
“The more people we can get vaccinated and protected and get them out of [the health care] system, wonderful. And then, obviously, with the overlap of populations and symptoms, in terms of the two diseases, if we can have people vaccinated, that’s one less diagnostic criteria that we can look at as people come in with respiratory illness,” chief strategy officer of the Immunization Action Coalition L.J. Tan, PhD, MS, said during a recent episode of “AMA COVID-19 Update.”
With these concerns in mind—along with the knowledge that there have been pandemic-related disruptions to routine childhood vaccination—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is asking for physicians to start planning now for distributing the flu vaccine to patients, including those who may be wary of coming into the office for a vaccine.

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Even without a Covid-19 vaccine, there’s reason for hope

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However, overcoming the technical challenges of developing a vaccine — and the safety issues inherent in making one that works for the populations most at risk — is no easy feat. While it may be possible to deliver a vaccine by the end of this year, absolutely every step of its development would have to go perfectly. From experience, I can tell you how rare that is. Vaccines don’t act as impenetrable shields that prevent viruses from entering our bodies. Rather, they teach our bodies how to rapidly mobilize our immune defenses against a foreign invader. The rapid immune response helps us clear the virus from the body before it wreaks its damage. But in the case of Covid-19, according to one study, not everybody infected by the virus makes the neutralizing antibodies that are necessary to clear the virus and fewer still make them in high numbers. What we know from nearly 60 years of observing coronaviruses is that even if a body’s immune system can clear the virus, the pathogen can likely reenter the system and cause illness again. Of the more than 100 vaccines currently in development, the ones tested on primates have not prevented nasal infections, though in …

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Analysis: How A COVID-19 Vaccine Could Cost Americans Dearly

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Yes, of course, Americans’ health is priceless, and reining in a deadly virus that has trashed the economy would be invaluable.
But a COVID-19 vaccine will have an actual price tag. And given the prevailing business-centric model of American drug pricing, it could well be budget breaking, perhaps making it unavailable to many.
The last vaccine to quell a global viral scourge was the polio inoculation, which ended outbreaks that killed thousands and paralyzed tens of thousands each year in the United States. The March of Dimes Foundation covered the nominal drug cost for a free national vaccination program.
It came in the mid-1950s, before health insurance for outpatient care was common, before new drugs were protected by multiple patents, before medical research was regarded as a way to become rich. It was not patented because it was not considered patentable under the standards at the time.

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Now we are looking for viral deliverance when drug development is one of the world’s most lucrative businesses, ownership of drug patents is disputed in endless court battles, and monopoly power often lets manufacturers set any price, no matter how extraordinary. A …

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There was an effective vaccine. An outbreak struck anyway.

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But last year, it became clear that, even in a small nation like Samoa, eradicating a preventable disease like measles was not simple at all. In less than four months, thousands of infants grew sick from measles and more than 80 people died, many of them very young.The nation’s health infrastructure was overwhelmed. “It happened so quick,” said Fonoifafo Mcfarland-Seumanu, a public health nurse who joined the anti-measles campaign after winning the Miss Samoa pageant.An array of local factors led to Samoa’s outbreak. It was not, however, unique. Around the world, people die every year from outbreaks that vaccines could have quashed, from polio in Pakistan to human papillomavirus infections in Japan.As the world grapples with the novel coronavirus pandemic and races to develop a vaccine to fight it, these outbreaks hold lessons for what lies head. Far from the end of the line, the discovery of a vaccine would mark the beginning of a new set of challenges in an era of fast-spreading misinformation and rampant public health policy missteps.“Vaccines don’t save lives,” said Walter Orenstein, an associate director of the Emory Vaccine Center. “Vaccinations save lives. A vaccine dose that remains in …

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U.S. Will Pay $1.6 Billion to Novavax for Coronavirus Vaccine

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The federal government will pay the vaccine maker Novavax $1.6 billion to expedite the development of a coronavirus vaccine. It’s the largest deal to date from Operation Warp Speed, the sprawling federal effort to make coronavirus vaccines and treatments available to the American public as quickly as possible.The deal would pay for Novavax to produce 100 million doses of its new vaccine by the beginning of next year — if the vaccine is shown to be effective in clinical trials. That’s a significant bet on Novavax, a Maryland company that has never brought a product to market.With this deal, the federal government has now invested nearly $4 billion in companies pursuing vaccines, but has provided little information about how Operation Warp Speed is spending money, which agencies the funding is coming from or how decisions are being made.That money has gone to six companies with varying track records and, in many cases, promising but untested technologies. British drugmaker AstraZeneca has received $1.2 billion in federal assistance for its vaccine, which uses a harmless virus to provoke an immune response. Moderna Therapeutics, which has received more than $500 million, also has never brought a product to market and is using a genetic …

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Fauci doesn’t expect a coronavirus vaccine federal mandate in the US

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“It’s a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death,” Fauci said during a live stream press conference with Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama, a Democrat.”There’s so many other things that are very dangerous and bad about this virus, don’t get yourself into false complacency.”His comments come after the White House repeatedly pointed to the falling US mortality rate as proof of a productive response despite states across the country grappling with record-breaking spikes in the virus. Trump tweeted Monday that “the Mortality Rate for the China Virus in the U.S. is just about the LOWEST IN THE WORLD,” doubling down on this stance with a subsequent tweet definitively declaring that “we now have the lowest Fatality (Mortality) Rate in the World.”In reality, while US coronavirus mortality rates have declined recently, they are not the lowest in the world. Data on coronavirus death rates remain imprecise, due in part to limited testing availability and the prevalence of mild or asymptomatic cases that often go unrecorded. Still, among the 20 countries most affected by the virus, at least 14 have lower death rates than the US.No anticipated vaccine mandateFauci also said Tuesday he does not …

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