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Vaccine-resistant whooping cough bacteria strain may have appeared in U.S., researchers say

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A new strain of the bacterium that causes whooping cough immune to vaccines may have appeared in the United States, according to a brief published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The brief, filed by officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health authorities, reported that a strain of Bordetella pertussis had been reported in Japan, France and Finland and may have appeared in Philadelphia, where 12 children were hospitalized between 2011 and 2012.

The new strain tests negative for pertactin, a protein involved in the bacteria’s infection of humans and a component of acellular vaccines — vaccines that contain parts of cells as opposed to whole cells — used to prevent whooping cough. When researchers analyzed the Philadelphia samples, 11 of the 12 were found to test negative for pertactin.

The researchers suggested more testing of samples from around the country in order to help understand the new pertactin-negative variants of the bacteria.


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Winn-Dixie launches online e-coupon program linked to loyalty card

BY Michael Johnsen

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — "Click. Swipe. Save." That’s the slogan Winn-Dixie has coined as part of its  launch of an online e-coupons program on Wednesday. The e-coupons program allows customers to load coupons directly onto their Winn-Dixie Reward Card for redemption in stores. 

“In an uncertain economic climate, being able to save simply is paramount, which is why we designed the Winn-Dixie e-coupons program to serve our customers’ evolving needs by helping them earn great savings with a convenient, paperless and hassle-free experience,” stated Robert Onstead, senior manager of digital marketing at Winn-Dixie. 

Shoppers go to Winn-Dixie.com/E-coupons to view coupons and can save as many as 99 coupons on their Reward Card. At checkout, the coupons are redeemed with a swipe of the Reward Card. 

 

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Verizon Communications elects Walgreens chief Greg Wasson to board

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Verizon Communications on Thursday elected Greg Wasson, Walgreens president and CEO, to the Verizon board of directors, effective March 1.

"Greg Wasson brings to Verizon an in-depth knowledge of the retail and healthcare industries," stated Lowell McAdam, Verizon chairman and CEO. "He offers a unique perspective as the leader of a successful Fortune 50 company focused on innovation, traditional and nontraditional growth, operational and technical excellence, and multichannel integration. We welcome him as a valuable addition to our board."

Wasson will bring Verizon’s total board membership to 13.

Wasson also serves on the board of directors of Alliance Boots GmbH, in which Walgreens holds a 45% equity stake.

Wasson is board chairman for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and serves on the boards of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, the Healthcare Leadership Council and the Consumer Goods Forum, among other organizations.  He is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, the Business Council, the Wall Street Journal CEO Council and the civic committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago. Among activities on behalf of various nonprofit organizations, he served as chairman for the Illinois chapter of the American Cancer Society’s CEOs Against Cancer.

 

 

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