18 Nov

Studies support flu vaccination in children, adults

first_imgDec 14, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Two studies reported in today’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine provide additional support for seasonal influenza immunization while shedding some light on questions about vaccination strategies and the efficacy of the vaccines.Both studies were conducted in the 2004-05 flu season, when the vaccine was not optimally matched to the circulating virus strains. One study suggested that school-based flu vaccination programs in four states reduced flu-like illnesses in schoolchildren’s households. The other indicated that inactivated flu vaccine showed good effectiveness in adults despite the imperfect match with circulating viruses.Multistate school-based studyIn the school-based study, researchers grouped 28 elementary schools from 4 states into 11 demographically similar clusters, each of which included one intervention school that offered the vaccine plus 1or 2 schools that served as controls.In the intervention schools the intranasal formulation of the live attenuated influenza vaccine (FluMist) was offered free of charge at school to all healthy children age 5 or older during the fall of 2004. The study was supported by MedImmune, maker of FluMist.Researchers sent questionnaires to the intervention and control groups’ homes after the predicted week of peak flu activity for each state, asking families about flu-like symptoms, medical visits, medications, and absences from school and work.At the intervention schools, 2,717 (47%) of 5,840 students received the vaccine. Ninety-five percent of 1,535 children who were eligible to receive a second dose received it. The average age of the vaccinated students was 7.9 years (range, 5 to 14).Researchers predicted the peak influenza week correctly at two sites and were within 2 to 4 weeks at the remaining sites.The results revealed that intervention-school households reported fewer flu-like symptoms during the peak illness week than control-school households. The use of medications and humidifiers was lower in the intervention households.The number of visits to doctors or medical clinics was also lower, but the two groups did not differ in the rate of emergency department visits. Hospitalization rates in the intervention-school households were significantly higher, however.School absenteeism rates in the peak flu activity week were significantly lower for elementary and high school students in the intervention schools, though not for middle school students. At intervention schools, unvaccinated students had higher absenteeism rates than their vaccinated counterparts. Also, parents of children in the intervention schools reported fewer work days missed because of flu-like illness.Safety results in this study were consistent with previous results with the live attenuated vaccine, the authors noted. Four serious events were noted in four students within 42 days after receiving the vaccine. Only one was judged to be possibly related to the vaccine. None of the students were hospitalized, and all events resolved completely.The authors concluded that the study shows the benefits of a population intervention. “Even though fewer than half of the children were vaccinated, important benefits were observed,” they write.Kristine Moore, MD, MPH, a coauthor of the study, said, “We’ve known from a number of studies that children are one of the main amplifiers for influenza.” She said the study shows that vaccinating children in schools can dampen the amplification process by reducing flu-like illness in their households.The researchers found that the intranasal vaccine was simple to administer in the schools, said Moore, who is medical director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of the CIDRAP Web site. “This wasn’t a feasibility study, but it showed that school based vaccination can work,” she said.Moore said the study findings add to ongoing public health discussions about vaccination strategies, which are complex and range from targeting high-risk populations to universal vaccination.In an accompanying editorial, two flu vaccine experts from the World Health Organization (WHO), Keiji Fukuda and Marie Paule Kieny, comment, “The findings strongly suggest, but do not conclusively demonstrate, that the vaccination of these children reduced the spread of influenza to their households and to other student populations.”Michigan study of vaccine effectivenessIn the second study, authors hoped to answer questions about how current vaccines perform when circulating virus strains differ from the strains used in the vaccine. The study group included 1,247 healthy adult Michigan residents. Participants were randomly assigned to receive the inactivated vaccine or a placebo by intramuscular injection or the live attenuated vaccine or a placebo by intranasal spray between October and December 2004.Researchers monitored subjects by phone or e-mail until April 2005, instructing them to contact the study staff whenever they had an illness with at least two respiratory or systemic signs or symptoms. Throat swabs were collected from participants during the surveillance period to identify flu cases and define the period of flu activity. Serum samples of patients with symptoms were also collected and tested against the circulating viruses. Flu cases were identified by three methods: cell culture, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and serologic (antibody) studies.As the flu season progressed, researchers found that the type A(H3N2) virus had drifted from the strain included in seasonal vaccines and that an unanticipated strain of type B virus was circulating, in addition to the one included in the vaccines.The authors found that the absolute efficacy of the inactivated vaccine against both types of virus was 77% on the basis of cell-culture confirmation of cases, 75% on the basis of cell culture or real-time PCR case confirmation, and 67% with cell-culture or serologic confirmation of cases. Using the same assessment measures, the absolute efficacy values for the live attenuated vaccine were 57%, 48%, and 30%, respectively.The researchers say the efficacy differences between the two vaccines appeared to be related to reduced effectiveness of the live attenuated vaccine against type B viruses.Four serious adverse events occurred among the participants within 30 days of receiving the virus, but only one was considered possibly linked to the vaccine.The performance of the inactivated vaccine was surprising, the researchers write. “This result was somewhat unexpected, given problems reported in past years when antigenically drifted viruses were circulating,” they state, adding that the consistent results of all of the confirmation methods were reassuring.Also unexpected were the indications of reduced efficacy of the live attenuated vaccine, they write, because previous studies showed it to be effective in years when drifted strains circulated.Using antibody titers to confirm infection with influenza may overestimate the efficacy of the inactivated vaccine and underestimate the efficacy of the live attenuated vaccine, the authors propose. They observe that live attenuated vaccines have shown efficacy in children, even against drifted strains, but in adults the live vaccine may not provoke an adequate response because of past influenza infections.Even if the intranasal vaccine is less effective in adults, the authors write that it would still be useful as the United States moves toward universal vaccination strategies.”The live attenuated vaccine could also be useful in a pandemic, given that the population would have no preexisting antibodies for the virus, and one dose of the vaccine would be expected to protect against it,” they write.Fukuda and Kieny, in their editorial, say the findings indicate that the two types of vaccines confer similar protection against influenza A in healthy adults, but more research is needed to determine if the vaccines are similarly effective in other age-groups and to assess the effectiveness of the live vaccine against influenza B.The WHO experts note that some observers question whether the substantial efforts to produce and deliver flu vaccine each year are justified. “The answer is, unambiguously, yes,” they write. “Indeed, the critical public health question is not whether influenza vaccines should be used, but how they can be used to advantage.”King JC, Stoddard JJ, Gaglani MJ, et al. Effectiveness of school-based influenza vaccination. N Engl J Med 2006;355(24):2523-32 [Full text]Ohmit SE, Victor JC, Rotthoff JR, et al. Prevention of antigenically drifted influenza by inactivated and live attenuated vaccines. N Engl J Med 2006;355(24):2513-22 [Full text]Fukuda K, Kieny MP. Different approaches to influenza vaccination. (Editorial) N Engl J Med 2006;355(24):2586-7 [Full text]last_img read more

29 Aug

Prempeh College to Coppin State: The story of sprinter Joseph Amoah

first_img“I knew I had to work harder because I had been there and I had seen what it is,” he said. “It’s not just about going there to run and think, ‘Oh, any position I get is OK.’ You really have to fight because these guys are working really hard, too. So I told my teammates about the experience and how I would like us to be there and how we really had to work hard and train hard. Sometimes I’d go to practice and be like, ‘No, I don’t feel like practicing today.’ But knowing where I wanted to go and how hard it is to get there, I had to put everything aside and work hard at practice, take my diet seriously, and get a lot of rest.” Amoah — who was named the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s Mid-Atlantic Region Track Athlete of the Year before the NCAA championships — said becoming a first-team All-American in two events in the same season was his yearlong objective. “He goes fast, and in the end, he jogs, and we would be struggling to try to catch up,” Manu said. “So we knew he was going to run really fast [at the NCAA championships]. I even thought he was going to run 19 seconds in the 200.” “He was determined to be back at nationals and try to place high,” Hicks said. “So it was not a surprise at all.” “My assistant coach [Lawrence Givens] watched him and showed a videotape of his first race, and it was an indoor race, which was new for him because he had never run indoor before,” Hicks said. “Although he won, he left a whole lot on the track, and my assistant coach called me up and said, ‘This guy can really go. All he has to do is learn how to run.’ ” Amoah’s time of 10.01 seconds in the 100 preliminaries June 5 eclipsed his previous school record of 10.09 and is tied for the 15th-fastest mark in the world this year. That time helped Amoah qualify for this fall’s International Association of Athletics Federations world championships in Qatar and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. It was one of several showings that drew the attention of American sprinter Leroy Burrell, who twice set the world record in the 100. Amoah said his primary focus is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and then considering whether to pursue a pro career or a master’s degree. And then there’s the 2020 Summer Olympics. One of Abubakar’s former athletes, Martin Owusu-Antwi, transferred to Coppin State and told Hicks about Amoah, who won the seniors meet of the Ghana’s Fastest Human competition in 2016. Hicks contacted Abubakar, laying the groundwork for recruiting Amoah to the Eagles. He joined Texas Tech junior Divine Oduduru, Oregon senior Cravon Gillespie, Florida sophomore Hakim Sani Brown and Houston senior Mario Burke as runners to qualify for the finals in both sprints. Former Olympic athlete Dan O’Brien, who served as an ESPN analyst at the NCAA championships, said Amoah’s performance is a reminder that speed is not monopolized by a select group of powerhouse programs. Joseph Amoah’s emergence as a world-class sprinter at Coppin State might never have happened if his passion for soccer had taken hold. “Every athlete hopes to be an Olympian, and being able to qualify for the 2020 Olympics is the thing for me,” he said. “So in the future, that’s one of the places where I want to be, but I’m just not really thinking about it right now. It’s almost a year away. Maybe after college, I’ll consider my professional career and where I can go from there. But I think that’s something I’ll think about after I’m done with my undergrad.” Less than an hour later, Amoah finished a 200 preliminary in 20.08 seconds. That time broke his own program record (20.20) and bested the previous Ghanaian mark of 20.15 set by Emmanuel Tuffour in 1995. “That’s one achievement that every athlete in the NCAA wants to get,” he said. “That was the main goal from the beginning of the season. Coach [Carl Hicks] kept on hitting on that goal, telling me every time at practice, ‘We all know the goal.’ … So, getting to that level and reaching the finals is a very big achievement. Being a first-team All-American is something that’s going to be with you forever.” That decision has been plenty productive for the 22-year-old Amoah. In his final performance as a junior at Coppin State, Amoah earned first-team All-America status in the 100- and 200-meter races, finishing eighth in 10.22 seconds and sixth in 20.19, respectively, on June 7 at the NCAA Division I track and field championships in Austin, Texas. “The one thing that I’m always amazed at is to see kids from mid-majors or non-Power 5 schools get this far at the NCAA championships,” said O’Brien, the 1996 Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon and a three-time world champion in that event. “That wasn’t always the way it was. It was the Pac-12 and the SEC. it was always the large conferences that were represented in the sprints. So, to go to a North Carolina A&T or a Coppin State, I think it’s pretty impressive that people are running that fast.” The coaches refined Amoah’s technique. They adjusted his arm movement from a slight side-to-side movement to a chin-to-hip direction. They also honed his drive out of the blocks at the start of races. After arriving in January 2017 and seeing snow for the first time when his plane landed at the airport, Amoah participated in his first indoor meet in Boston and won the 200. But Mohammed Abubakar, the track and field coach at KNUST, called Amoah’s uncle, Dr. Victor Antwi, who convinced his nephew to try out for the team. Growing up in Ghana, the West African country where soccer is the national sport, Amoah yearned to blossom into the type of footballer who could contribute to the country’s success, which includes four African Cup of Nations crowns and three straight World Cup appearances from 2006 to 2014. But after enrolling in high school, Amoah came face to face with reality. “My uncle is someone who really inspires me and motivates me,” Amoah said. “He pretty much took care of me because my dad lives in Canada. My uncle is pretty much the one who took care of me since I was in middle school. And I still talk to him. Everything he says, I take it seriously. So once he said it, I had to go back.” Source: Baltimore Sun Amoah said he will remain in Baltimore to train for the African Games in Morocco in August and then the IAAF championships the following month. Hicks said Amoah could forgo his senior year and focus on a professional career if a sponsor, or several, decide to invest in him. But O’Brien hopes Amoah returns for a shot at NCAA titles in the 100 and 200. “In my high school, the soccer team was so good that the only chance I had was to join the track team,” said Amoah, who will compete at the Aliann Pompey Invitational in Guyana on Saturday. “It was a difficult decision because I knew that I had played more soccer than track, but I knew I wouldn’t make the team because the team was that good. So I just had to go the other way.” The second of four children to Thomas and Alberta Amoah, Joseph Amoah said he won “a lot” of regional championships in individual and relay events for Prempeh College high school in Kumasi, Ghana, and was named the school’s sport man of the year in 2014. But after wrapping up his prep career, Amoah said he chose to walk away from track before enrolling at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi. Last spring, Amoah finished 13th in the 200 at the NCAA championships in Eugene, Ore. That experience changed his view on practice. “I think he needs to get through the season and evaluate, ‘Where am I on the world level?’ and then he can make that decision then,” O’Brien said. “He may have a sponsor in the next month. But I don’t like to see kids rush into the pro ranks and then not pan out because there are more kids that don’t pan out by going to the next level than those who do.” Coppin State sophomore Joseph Manu has known Amoah since they attended Prempeh together in 2012, and he said Amoah is no longer the teenager he had beaten several times. Hicks, who has been Coppin State’s head coach for the past 20 years, credited assistant coach Jamie Wilson with adding the 400 to Amoah’s regimen as a way to increase his strength and refine his finishing kick. But Hicks said Amoah’s drive to succeed is his greatest asset.last_img read more

13 Aug

Struggling Espanyol sack coach Abelardo Fernandez

first_imgEspanyol coach Abelardo Fernandez during the press conference.Kampala, Uganda | XINHUA |  La Liga’s bottom club RCDE Espanyol on Saturday confirmed that Abelardo Fernando has been relieved of his duties as first team coach after just 13 games in charge.Abelardo is the third coach sacked by the Barcelona based outfit this season after David Gallego and Pablo Machin, and he leaves after leading Espanyol to 14 points from his 13 games at the helm.However, that slight improvement was not enough to lift Espanyol out of last place and a 1-0 defeat away to Betis (who had only won once in their previous 11 matches) on Thursday night was Abelardo’s last game in charge.The defeat in which Wu Lei missed a late chance to equalize, leaves Espanyol with just 24 points from 31 games, 8 points behind fourth from bottom Eibar, and with an uphill battle to avoid relegation.“The club has taken the decision as the result of the sporting performances of the first team and with the clear aim of saving the ‘blue and whites’ from relegation,” informed the official communique of the sacking on the Espanyol website. The timing of the sacking is slightly surprising given that Espanyol entertain league leaders Real Madrid on Sunday night and the club’s Director of Sport, Francisco Joaquin Perez ‘Rufete’ will take charge for that game and the rest of the season. Enditem****XINHUAShare on: WhatsApplast_img read more

6 Aug

Olympia’s Kudick Chiropractic Celebrating Chiropractic’s 118th Birthday

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Kudick ChiropracticIt is September 18th, 1985, Davenport, Iowa, with D.D. Palmer…Chiropractic is born.D.D. Palmer was talking to Harvey Lillard, the janitor, when he noticed that if Harvey was not looking at him, he would not respond to a question.  When asked, Henry explained that 10 years previously he had heard a loud pop in his neck and over the next few weeks he had lost most of his hearing.  D.D. Palmer was curious and asked if he could touch Harvey’s neck.  When he did there was a huge lump (C1 was rotated and stuck) that was not moving and tender to his touch.  He asked Harvey to lie down and D.D. Palmer performed the 1st Chiropractic adjustment.  After 4-6 adjustments Harvey had his hearing totally restored!!!Wow! Does that mean Chiropractic cures deafness? Of course not, but what it did do for Harvey was put motion into the vertebrae joint that was stuck and allow that nerve that controlled his hearing to get “unpinched”, inturn, eventually restoring his hearing (function).Now, 118 years later Chiropractic is the number one choice for people who prefer a drugless, low risk choice for their health care.  Rather than the drug based allopathic care, which is more sick care.I work with all types of conditions with people who have been injured at work, in an auto collision, in daily activities and people who just want to stay healthy and have no symptoms.  Chiropractic care is a good fit no matter what the health goal is.To celebrate this 118th Birthday, we at Kudick Chiropractic are having a special September 16th-20th with all procedures ie: adjustments, exams and/or films for $33 each.  This allows a person to get a baseline of how their body is working. Just call for an appointment and/or information at 360-943-7360.last_img read more