Researchers discover how to make flu shots more effective
Researchers have identified a way that might make future flu shots more effective, according to a paper published last week in the journal Cell.
According to the paper, influenza vaccines that better target the surface protein called neuraminidase, which represent the red inserts in the picture above, could offer broad protection against various influenza virus strains and lessen the severity of illness. Current seasonal influenza vaccines mainly target a different, more abundant influenza surface protein called hemagglutinin – the blue inserts in the photo.
For now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended people get their flu shots without regard to preliminary vaccine effectiveness estimates. Early estimates of vaccine effectiveness for this past season was reported to be 25% against the season’s predominant influenza A H3N2 virus, according to the CDC. “The interim estimate of 25% VE against A(H3N2) viruses this season indicates that vaccination provided some protection,” the CDC noted. “With interim VE estimates of 67% and 42% against influenza A(H1N1) and B viruses, respectively, vaccination provided substantial protection against circulating A(H1N1) viruses, as well as moderate protection against influenza B viruses predominantly belonging to the B/Yamagata lineage, the second influenza type B component included in quadrivalent vaccines.”
The new research builds on previous studies of NA and was conducted by a team of scientists including investigators from the Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance program, which is organized and funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.
McKeon Products names new VP marketing
McKeon Products has named Ann Springhetti as its new vice president of marketing. Springhetti, a Michigan native, a nearly three-decade track record of success in managing a variety of consumer products to the Warren, Mich.-based company.
“McKeon Products has a deep family-owned heritage of providing quality solutions for consumer health needs,” Springhetti said. “Their industry leadership in hearing protection has provided a platform to grow into other healthcare solutions and their product pipeline is impressively rich.”
Springhetti has experience in a diverse range of industries and has held roles in product innovation/management, brand management, retail marketing, retail buying and sales. Her accomplishments include numerous brand launches, creative product development and collaborative team development, McKeon Products said.
McKeon Products has supplied consumers with a full range of consumer hearing protection products for over 55 years with its Mack’s brand, which is one of the best-selling ear care brands in the United States.
New SlimFast Bake Shop gives dieters reason to indulge
SlimFast on Thursday unveiled its SlimFast Bake Shop line of cookies and chocolate bar meal replacement options. Each offering, available in four different flavors including peanut butter chocolate chip, double chocolate chip, chocolatey crispy cookie dough and chocolatey peanut butter pie, contains 1 g of sugar and up to 15 g of protein.
“The new Bake Shop line gives dieters another meal replacement solution, so they don’t feel deprived while losing weight,” Chris Tisi, SlimFast CEO, said. “SlimFast drinkers have told us how much they love our shakes and smoothies, but miss the ‘chew’ of food. Now people can indulge in the baked treats they love, without the guilt.”
Executives said the Bake Shop products will be easy to incorporate into the SlimFast Plan, which is a reduced-calorie diet paired with regular exercise and plenty of fluids. Though individual results may vary, average weight loss realized through this plan has been 1-to-2 lbs per week, the Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.-based diet aid company said.