FLU SERIES Scrambling for vaccine: Some cities using lotteries to ration flu vaccine

first_img Providing easy access to hand sanitizers Eligible residents can add their names to the existing pool of about 1,600 until Nov 12. Next week, health department employees will draw the names. Important as it could be for those chosen, McKim said the drawing will take place without fanfare. To date, 29 states have reported flu cases to the CDC, Gerberding said during a teleconference Nov 9, but the number of cases is well within normal limits. See also: The department announced the same day that it was shipping its available vaccine supply of about 74,000 doses to local health departments and to providers in the federal Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, which helps needy children. The shipments included 42,000 doses for the VFC program and 32,000 doses for health departments. Placing a box of surgical masks as close to the entry as possible “ACIP [the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which advises CDC] has given us a national standard,” he said. “I don’t have a scientific basis on which to re-prioritize.” After learning of his situation, a retirement home offered Pallotto a dose of its leftover vaccine. The AP reported he would get the shot on Nov 9. A survey of healthcare and home-care agencies in New York showed a need for about 1.4 million doses of vaccine, of which the agencies have received only 460,000 doses, said Robert Kenney, a spokesman for the state’s health department, in a Nov 3 phone interview. “It’s a clue. And we don’t know if it’s going to be a useful clue or not,” she was quoted as saying. Colorado: Following CDC rules, mostly Vaccine doses were to be allocated to health departments on the basis of population. Some counties may offer those vaccines to local long-term care facilities or to healthcare providers for high-risk patients, officials said. The amounts do not include those for New York City, which is receiving its own supply of redistributed flu vaccine from the CDC, the announcement said. Separating patients with respiratory illnesses from other patients California: Honing hygiene practices New York: doses for kids distributed About 1,600 eligible Quincy residents had entered their names for the flu-shot lottery as of yesterday, said Karen McKim, RN, a public health nurse in the city health department. The city received about 1,000 doses from the state and had separately purchased another 300 doses for city employees, she said. Now all 1,300 doses will be used for seniors and the chronically ill. The Mendocino County Public Health Department departed from CDC recommendations to limit the number of people eligible for vaccines, according to a report published Nov 6 in the Ukiah Daily Journal. The county is recommending people ages 70 and older get flu shots, as opposed to the CDC guideline of anybody 65 or older. The county will also tighten its definition for chronic disease, the county’s public health nursing director, Carol Whittingslow, was quoted as saying. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials met with Illinois officials last week, but hadn’t given authorization as of Nov 8. A letter from Lester Crawford, DVM, PhD, acting commissioner of the FDA, on Oct 27 indicated FDA was trying to identify flu vaccine sources and would work with Illinois, but emphasized the importance of assuring a safe vaccine and delivery process. Vaccine has proved more plentiful than the situation indicated a month ago in Minnesota, the AP reported on Nov 7. Nursing homes have enough flu vaccine, officials told the AP. Jumps in sales might indicate that flu is emerging, Julie Gerberding told the Associated Press (AP) during the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting in Washington, DC. Within three weeks after the Chiron announcement, the state received an additional 196,000 doses, Calonge said. Those have been distributed according to the CDC guidelines, with eligible residents receiving shots on a first-come, first-served basis, he said. He expressed a concern that straying from those guidelines could lead to liability problems. Sixty-two-year-old Nick Pallotto, who works as Santa Claus each year, entered the limelight when a Colorado Springs, Colo., clinic denied him a flu shot on Nov 6. “We consider this the highest of the high priorities,” McKim said. “There’s going to be so many of us drawing the names, just to get this done. Then we’ll have to alphabetize them all and call them back,” she said. More than 200,000 doses of vaccine reached Colorado before Chiron’s vaccine lots were condemned in early October, Calonge said today. “It was given out in mass flu-vaccination clinics,” and authorities don’t know how many of those doses reached the highest-priority patients. Providing masks to all patients with symptoms of a respiratory illness The shots will go to county health departments, which will determine how to allocate them, a spokesman told the AP One low-risk state resident made national news this week when he tried to obtain a flu shot. Scrambling for vaccine: A sampling of responses (Oct 28, 2004, series article) Quincy public health officials once vaccinated as many as 5,000 people each flu season, but budget woes forced them to reduce that number to about 2,400 people in recent years, McKim said. This year, a number of vaccine doses have been distributed to pediatricians, so the public health department is focusing on the 75-and-older crowd and younger adults with provable, serious chronic diseases. The Florida Health Department said it is receiving 140,000 doses of flu over the next week, according to a Nov 8 AP story. That follows the delivery of 440,000 doses 2 weeks ago, the AP said. Pallotto is too young and healthy to be vaccinated, the AP reported. But his work as Santa brought about 10,000 kids to his lap in 2003, which is why he gets a flu shot every year, he told a reporter. “We have a high senior population and we found it [a lottery] was probably the fairest way to do it,” McKim told CIDRAP News. Florida: Phase two of vaccinating Minnesota: Supplies unexpectedly improved Nov 11, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – Massachusetts residents in at least three communities are hoping to obtain flu shots through the luck of the draw as local health departments seek the fairest way to distribute limited vaccine supplies among those who need them the most. Colorado has an estimated 1.1 to 1.2 million people eligible for vaccination this year, said Ned Calonge, MD, MPH, chief medical officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Below are glimpses of what’s happening in several other states. At the national level, the director of the CDC has announced a plan to monitor sales of over-the-counter drugs as one way to spot local influenza outbreaks, she told reporters on Nov 7. A month ago most nursing homes in the state lacked vaccine, but enough has since been found to supply all 405 facilities. Officials say that the state has received a total of about 800,000 doses of vaccine. In Massachusetts, local departments are free to develop their own distribution plan, providing they hew to statewide emergency eligibility rules: vaccine can be given to seniors 75 years and older, children 6 to 23 months old, patients with severe chronic illness, and pregnant women, according to a Nov 7 Boston Globe story. Those guidelines are more restrictive than the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. Redefining eligibility is increasingly common as state and local departments try to stretch vaccine supplies in a time of shortage. In Massachusetts, the Holyoke, Quincy, and Upton health departments are conducting lotteries. Unwilling to watch this flu season unfold with such limited vaccine, governors in two states have announced they will try to buy vaccine from European wholesalers, though neither state has federal approval to make the purchases, the AP reported on Nov 4. New Mexico and Illinois want to import about 400,000 doses combined, the story said. The same story reported that the health department sent a letter to physicians recommending a few simple steps to improve respiratory hygiene in clinics, including:last_img read more

Osimhen wants Premier League move

first_imgRelatedPosts Napoli Coach: Osimhen young lad with old brain EPL: Gunners gun for West Ham scalp EPL: Red Devils attack Palace Lille forward Victor Osimhen is reportedly keen to join a Premier League club this summer.The 21-year-old has been in impressive form for his French club this term, finding the back of the net on 18 occasions in 38 appearances in all competitions. A number of clubs, including Liverpool, are believed to be interested in signing the Nigeria international, who has struck 13 times in Ligue 1 during the 2019-20 campaign.Media reports claimed that Osimhen had already turned down advances from the likes of Inter Milan as he favours a move to a Premier League club ahead of the 2020-21 season.Lille have allegedly recently received an offer of £75 million for the attacker, although the report from France did not identify the club in question.The forward spent the 2018-19 campaign on loan at Charleroi from Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg and scored 20 times for the Belgian side before arriving in Lille.Tags: English Premier LeagueLille FCSummer TransfersVictor Osimhenlast_img read more

Wike Wrestling Championship Begins as Rivers, Lagos Hopeful of Winning

first_imgBoth Rivers and Lagos states have expressed readiness to win the maiden edition of the Governor Wike Wrestling Championship, which kicked off at the main bowl of the Alfred Diete Spiff Sports Complex in Port Harcourt at the weekend.This is just as the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung will join Governor Nyesom Wike to declare the championship open today. Dalung will also unveil the logo and mascot for the African Wrestling Championship, which Rivers State is hosting in 2018.Rivers State Sports Council Wrestling Head Coach, Oyonomunude Eli, in a chat with sports journalists expressed the readiness of the state’s wrestlers to sweep all medals available in the championship.According to him, Rivers is the home of wrestling and as such, they were adequately prepared to surmount their opponents and prove that they were not just hosting but ready to win in a free and fair contest.He disclosed that Rivers was presenting 60 male and 30 female wrestlers in both freestyle and Greco-Roman events, adding that they were prepared to compete well.Also speaking, the Secretary of Lagos State Wrestling Association, Somade Ganiat, declared that they were not in Port Harcourt for mere participation but to cart away available gold medals.She stressed that Lagos is the grassroots of wrestling in Nigeria and would prove same on the mats as the events unfold. She expressed satisfaction with the facilities at the venue, saying they were top class.Meanwhile, Commonwealth gold medalist, Adekuoroye Odunayo has dropped the gauntlet, saying she is ready for any opposition at the championship.While expressing satisfaction with the state of facilities provided for the championship, she stressed that the mats would do the talking against her opponents.As at press time, 25 states and 5 wrestling clubs have been registered and cleared to participate in the championship.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Search startup takes on Google

first_imgPARC’s top natural-language specialist, Ronald Kaplan, is now Powerset’s chief technology and scientific officer. “We have the best natural-language search technology that has ever been developed,” Pell, an artificial-intelligence expert, boasted in an interview last week. Backed by $12.5 million in venture capital, Powerset offered its first public preview Monday morning at the conference hosted by TechCrunch, a blog widely read by venture capitalists and other high-tech luminaries. Powerset is gradually opening its testing ground, dubbed Powerlabs, to 16,000 people who signed up to get an early glimpse at the search engine. During this test phase, Powerlabs is only indexing material from Wikipedia, a popular Web encyclopedia. The San Francisco-based startup is so confident that its methods are superior to Google that Powerlabs will present some answers alongside what its rival returns when asked the same questions. Powerset is requiring its users to vote on which engine produced better results before they are allowed to enter another search request. “Google is the king,” Pell said. “Their system does an amazing job, given what they have to go on. But we think they have plateaued.” Much larger companies – all relying on keyword search – haven’t been able to knock Google from its pedestal. Despite huge investments in search by Yahoo and Microsoft, Google has steadily expanded its market share during the past three years and now processes more than half of all search requests on the Internet. But even Google’s executives acknowledge that today’s search technology doesn’t do as good a job as it should in divining what people are looking for on the Internet. That’s one reason Google has hired thousands more workers and spent nearly $2.2 billion on research and development since the end of 2005. Other search engines have previously promised to understand conversational English with little success. In the 1990s, Ask Jeeves was founded on the premise that Internet search requests should be presented as simple questions. It frustrated users with too many irrelevant answers. After nearly failing in the dot-com bust, the company embraced the keyword approach to search and abandoned its mascot – a cartoon butler named Jeeves – to distance itself from the days it relied on natural-language algorithms. It is now known simply as Ask.com. More recently, New York-based Hakia has been tackling natural-language search requests without making much of a dent in the market.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN FRANCISCO – The dozens of entrepreneurs gathered for an exclusive high-tech conference here Monday all hope to dazzle the crowd with their ingenuity. But one startup, Powerset, is pursuing a particularly challenging goal: It’s aiming to outshine the Internet’s brightest star with a new search engine built to outsmart Google. After nearly two years of hushed development, Powerset is finally providing a peek at a “natural language” technology that is supposed to make it easier to communicate with search engines. Powerset’s algorithms are programmed to understand search requests submitted in plain English, a change from the “keyword” system used by Google Inc., Yahoo Inc., Microsoft Corp. and the owners of the other leading engines. The distinction means Web surfers will theoretically be able to get more meaningful results by typing more precise search requests in the form of straightforward questions like “What did Steve Jobs say about Apple?” instead of entering an ungrammatical mishmash like “Apple Steve Jobs said.” Barney Pell, Powerset’s co-founder and chief executive, likens the hit-and-miss-process of searching with keywords to talking to a 2-year-old. “In one sense, you are happy you can talk to it at all, but you still really want it to grow up so you can hold a real conversation,” he said. This isn’t the first time a search engine has tried to understand simple English, but Powerset has drawn more attention because its natural-language technology is being licensed from the Palo Alto Research Center. Better known as PARC, the Xerox Corp. subsidiary is renowned for hatching breakthroughs – such as the computer mouse and the graphical interface for personal computers – that were later commercialized by other companies. last_img read more