PHARMACY

Finnish, Swedish researchers take steps toward Type 1 diabetes vaccine

BY David Salazar

Two countries with the world’s highest incidence of Type 1 diabetes are working together to develop a vaccine for the illness, noting that a recent model in mice prevented virus-induced diabetes. The researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska Instituet and Finland’s university of Tampere said that this presents a clinically relevant model for Type 1 diabetes in humans, and that it had no adverse effects on vaccinated animals. 

“These exciting results showing that the vaccine completely protects against virus-induced diabetes indicate the potential that such a vaccine has for elucidating the role of enteroviruses in human Type 1 diabetes,” Karolinka Instituet professor Malin Flodström-Tullberg, whose group worked on the pre-clinical studies, said.

The University of Tampere currently is working to develop a vaccine that develops more viruses than the one used in the mouse model, with all of the proposed viruses having been implicated in Type 1 diabetes.

“The experiments here are important steps towards the clinical use of novel enterovirus vaccines,” University of Tampere professor Heikki Hyöty said. “Such a vaccine is under further development by Vactech and its collaborator Provention Bio for testing in a clinical setting.”

 

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CDC: Tdap vaccinations in pregnant women up 50% since 2009

BY David Salazar

A recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showcases an increase in the number of pregnant women who opt to receive a tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis, or Tdap, vaccine.

The report highlights research from Boston University’s Slone Epidemiology Center found that in 2015, 51% of pregnant women in the control group of its Birth Defects Study received the Tdap vaccination — up from less than 1% who had done so before 2009. It noted that Tdap vaccination during pregnancy went from 5% in 2010 to 9% in 2012, with the 2012 number tripling to 28% in in 2013.

“Although approximately half of mothers who gave birth to control infants in the most recent year of the study received Tdap during pregnancy, this proportion remains far below the ACIP recommendation that all pregnant women be vaccinated during each pregnancy,” the report said. “Newborns at highest risk for pertussis-associated complications are too young to be vaccinated, but Tdap vaccination during pregnancy can reduce the potential for morbidity (9) and mortality in this vulnerable population.”

The study also highlighted the possibility to pharmacy to play more of a role in administering Tdap vaccines. According to the research, 96% of the Tdap vaccines were administered in a traditional healthcare setting, while 1% were given in the pharmacy/supermarket setting, with the remaining 3% receiving the vaccine in work or school settings, or government settings.

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Research finds flu shot lowers hospitalization risk for children

BY David Salazar

Canadian organization Public Health Ontario and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences have published new research underscoring the ability of the flu vaccine to reduce hospitalization risk in children. The study found that fully vaccinated children’s risk of flu-related hospitalization decrease 60% and that partially vaccinated children’s risk decreasing 39%.

“Influenza can cause serious illness, especially in young children, but there hasn’t been a lot of research that has examined the magnitude of the influenza vaccine’s effectiveness at preventing kids from getting really sick and being hospitalized,” said Public Health Ontario applied immunization research and evalition scientist and ICES senior scientist Jeff Kwong, who is the senior author of the paper published in the Nov. 17 issue of PLOS ONE.

“This research paper helps fill that gap by showing how effective the influenza vaccine can be at protecting young kids against serious complications from influenza infections,” Kwong said.

Public Health Ontario said researchers looked at almost 10,000 hospital records over four flu seasons in the province for children between ages 6 months to under 5 years who had a respiratory specimen tested for the flu. The researchers compared variations in flu diagnoses by age group and flu strain. Children ages 2 to 4 years who were fully vaccinated saw their risk drop 67%, with children ages 6 to 23 months seeing their risk decrease 48%.

“These results show that flu vaccines are effective at preventing influenza hospitalizations in young kids, and this extended to those who received their vaccination in two consecutive seasons. This contributes to the evidence that this group should be receiving their seasonal vaccine annually to prevent such serious outcomes,” study lead author Sarah Buchan said.
 

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