Content about Pandemics

August 22, 2013

Novartis said Wednesday it would ship a "minimum" of 30 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine to customers in the United States this season.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Novartis said Wednesday it would ship a "minimum" of 30 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine to customers in the United States this season.

August 16, 2013

Customers can visit any of the more than 4,600 Rite Aid pharmacies to receive a flu shot, which are covered by most insurance plans including Medicare Part B, from a Rite Aid certified immunizing pharmacist, subject to state regulations.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid has announced that seasonal flu shots are now available at all Rite Aid pharmacies nationwide.

Customers can visit any of the more than 4,600 Rite Aid pharmacies to receive a flu shot, which are covered by most insurance plans including Medicare Part B, from a Rite Aid certified immunizing pharmacist, subject to state regulations.

August 15, 2013

According to a new survey from CVS/pharmacy, less than half of those surveyed (46%) were more likely to get a flu shot this year following last season's late flu outbreak. However, many more (59%) said they consider it a social responsibility to get the flu shot every year in order to keep their community healthy and minimize the spread of the influenza virus.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — According to a new survey from CVS/pharmacy, less than half of those surveyed (46%) were more likely to get a flu shot this year following last season's late flu outbreak. However, many more (59%) said they consider it a social responsibility to get the flu shot every year in order to keep their community healthy and minimize the spread of the influenza virus.

June 17, 2013

Walgreens today announced a donation to the Pan American Health Organization to help make 35,000 doses of flu vaccine available to at-risk populations in Laos and Nicaragua, building upon a successful public-private initiative to help create greater access to seasonal flu vaccine in developing countries.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens today announced a donation to the Pan American Health Organization to help make 35,000 doses of flu vaccine available to at-risk populations in Laos and Nicaragua, building upon a successful public-private initiative to help create greater access to seasonal flu vaccine in developing countries.

June 5, 2013

The Illinois Lottery will use the net proceeds from a new game to promote HIV/AIDS education, prevention and support, the agency said Wednesday.

CHICAGO — The Illinois Lottery will use the net proceeds from a new game to promote HIV/AIDS education, prevention and support, the agency said Wednesday.

The Illinois Department of Public Health and several HIV/AIDS organizations in the state announced the launch of Spread the Word, the only lottery in the country with a game whose profits will be used exclusively to fund HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs.

May 14, 2013

A Harris Interactive poll released found that 44% of all adults reported getting their flu shot this past season, the second time flu shot penetration has reached that high in four years, and even more are expected to get a flu shot next season.

NEW YORK — A Harris Interactive poll released Tuesday found that 44% of all adults reported getting their flu shot this past season, the second time flu shot penetration has reached that high in four years, and even more are expected to get a flu shot next season. Almost half of consumers had reported getting the flu shot in the previous season in April 2011.

March 29, 2013

According to a study by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, text-message reminders do not increase the likelihood an expecting mother will receive a flu shot, Reuters reported.

NEW YORK — According to a study by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, text-message reminders do not increase the likelihood an expecting mother will receive a flu shot, Reuters reported this week.

March 25, 2013

An early look at this season’s reports indicates that about 90% of flu-related pediatric deaths occurred in children who had not received a flu vaccination this season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

ATLANTA — An early look at this season’s reports indicates that about 90% of flu-related pediatric deaths occurred in children who had not received a flu vaccination this season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday. 

The number of influenza-associated pediatric deaths reported to the CDC during the current season surpassed 100 as an additional 6 deaths were reported in FluView last week. To date, this brings the total number of influenza-associated pediatric deaths reported to the CDC to 105 for the 2012-2013 season.

March 4, 2013

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention set the stage for the first quadrivalent influenza vaccine to be introduced in the 2013-2014 flu season, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

NEW YORK — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week set the stage for the first quadrivalent influenza vaccine to be introduced in the 2013-2014 flu season, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal

Quadrivalent vaccines will contain two A strains and two B strains of flu. The triumvirate vaccines in use today contain two A strains and one B strain of flu. 

February 25, 2013

There were more sick people cruising the cold relief aisles this year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu incidence peaked at 6.1% this season, making this season the most virulent since the 2007-2008 season — excepting the H1N1 pandemic in 2009, which was atypical.

There were more sick people cruising the cold relief aisles this year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu incidence peaked at 6.1% this season, making this season the most virulent since the 2007-2008 season — excepting the H1N1 pandemic in 2009, which was atypical.

With that in mind, sales of cough and cold medicines — or sales of just about anything else that had something to do with the flu, from hand sanitizers to flu shots — were through the roof.

February 15, 2013

According to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, not all respiratory ailments that generate influenza-like symptoms can be attributed to the flu.

BOSTON — According to research published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, not all respiratory ailments that generate influenza-like symptoms can be attributed to the flu. The human metapneumovirus — which is not a strain of influenza, is impervious to antiviral medicines like Tamiflu and does not have an available vaccine according to reports — causes just as many hospitalizations and outpatient visits among children as does the flu. 

February 14, 2013

Google seems to have found a nifty niche for itself with Google Flu Trends, which seeks to track the influenza outbreak by monitoring Web searches for flu-related topics, but its accuracy may be in doubt, according to published reports.

NEW YORK — Google seems to have found a nifty niche for itself with Google Flu Trends, which seeks to track the influenza outbreak by monitoring Web searches for flu-related topics, but its accuracy may be in doubt, according to published reports.

Nature reported that a comparison between data from Google Flu Trends and official surveillance data found that the Google tool had overestimated peak flu levels. Nevertheless, according to Nature, the problem is minor, and the Internet services giant will probably be able to fix it.

February 7, 2013

While this season's flu epidemic maintains its strength across the West Coast, one vaccine distributor announced they still have vaccine on hand.

TEMECULA, Calif. — While this season's flu epidemic maintains its strength across the West Coast, one vaccine distributor announced Wednesday they still have vaccine on hand. 

"FFF is prepared to respond to the unpredictable nature of flu season. And our secure supply chain can always be counted on to deliver safe products — even in times of limited supply," stated Patrick Schmidt, CEO FFF Enterprises. "We purchase direct from manufacturers and sell only to licensed hospitals, pharmacies and clinics."

February 1, 2013

The flu epidemic is in full swing in the West and across the Southwest, as just about every state west of the Mississippi through to California is in the red on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention weekly FluView for the week ended Jan. 26.

ATLANTA — The flu epidemic is in full swing in the West and across the Southwest, as just about every state west of the Mississippi through to California is in the red on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention weekly FluView for the week ended Jan. 26. 

As expected, many of those living in areas with high influenza-like illness activity were visiting their local drug stores for symptomatic relief. Drug store front-end sales were up 7.4% for the four weeks ended Jan. 26, according to reports citing Nielsen data. 

February 1, 2013

Most Americans who reported getting a flu shot in the past season received that vaccination in their physician's office. However, about 20% received their flu shot at a retail pharmacy and 12.6% at a walk-in clinic, according to an Ipsos Public Affairs poll.

WASHINGTON — Most Americans who reported getting a flu shot in the past season received that vaccination in their physician's office. However, about 20% received their flu shot at a retail pharmacy and 12.6% at a walk-in clinic, according to an Ipsos Public Affairs poll released Friday. That suggests that as many as 18.5 million flu shots were administered to adults at retail pharmacy and another 11.7 million to adults at walk-in clinics. 

January 31, 2013

While experts say climate change could produce a wide range of side effects, a new one could be earlier and more severe flu seasons, according to a new study.

NEW YORK — While experts say climate change could produce a wide range of side effects, a new one could be earlier and more severe flu seasons, according to a new study.

January 31, 2013

Ever since H1N1, prevention has been a strong theme resonating through each cough-cold season.

LEBANON, Pa.  — Ever since H1N1, prevention has been a strong theme resonating through each cough-cold season. And now that there's a strong flu season driving traffic, retailers like CVS/pharmacy here are strategically placing end-caps, such as this Lysol display, leading into the cough-cold sets. Tissues and even hand sanitizers had always been good ancillary categories that enjoyed a lift during cold and flu season. Now disinfectant cleaners are a good category to benefit from those sniffles and sneezes too.

January 25, 2013

If the flu were a storm cloud, the influenza virus is hovering over America's Bread Basket on its way to the Southwest, according to data provided through the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network.

ATLANTA — If the flu were a storm cloud, the influenza virus is hovering over America's Bread Basket on its way to the Southwest, according to data provided through the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday reported that 4.3% of patient visits reported through ILINet were due to influenza-like illness, above the national baseline of 2.2%. But as the map indicates, influenza rates are declining up and down the East Coast and is most virulent in Texas and states west.

January 25, 2013

"Too sick to go to work, but not sick enough not to tweet about it" Twitter users are helping to predict flu trends.

BALTIMORE — "Too sick to go to work, but not sick enough not to tweet about it" Twitter users are helping to predict flu trends. Johns Hopkins researchers recently created a Twitter search method that helps differentiate between people merely tweeting about the flu in general and those who are actually sick, the university announced Thursday. The new tweet-screening method not only delivers real-time data on flu cases, but also filters out online chatter that is not linked to actual flu infections. 

January 25, 2013

For the week ended Jan. 19, flu incidence was predominant in the central United States and picking up across the West Coast. According to data provided through the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network, 4.3% of patient visits reported through the network were due to influenza-like illness, above the national baseline of 2.2%.

At this time last year, the conversation was all about the flu season that never materialized. Only one week in January last year did flu-like incidence rise above the 2.2% national baseline, and then only slightly. So cough-cold and flu comparisons across the front-end and pharmacy were both projected to be double-digit positive if even there were a moderate flu season this year.

For the week ended Jan. 19, flu incidence was predominant in the central United States and picking up across the West Coast. According to data provided through the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network, 4.3% of patient visits reported through the network were due to influenza-like illness, above the national baseline of 2.2%. 

January 24, 2013

The number of people who have died from flu in Minnesota is 75, more than double what it was last year, according to the state health department and published reports.

NEW YORK — The number of people who have died from flu in Minnesota is 75, more than double what it was last year, according to the state health department and published reports.

According to data released by the department, the third week of January — Jan. 13-19 — saw 15 people die from flu-related illness, bringing the total for the season to 75. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that 33 people died from flu last season, while 67 died during the 2009-2010 season, coinciding with the H1N1 pandemic.

January 18, 2013

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a slight drop in influenza-like illnesses across the country, but even so the season is still going strong.

ATLANTA — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday reported a slight drop in influenza-like illnesses across the country, but even so the season is still going strong. The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness for the week ended Jan. 12 was 4.6%, above the national baseline of 2.2%

January 16, 2013

An advocacy group focused on a rare lung disorder is working with government authorities to educate patients about the need to get flu shots.

CULVER CITY, Calif. — An advocacy group focused on a rare lung disorder is working with government authorities to educate patients about the need to get flu shots.

The Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis said it would partner with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to inform patients about the need for immunizations. PF is a disorder with no known cause or cure that causes scarring and deterioration of the lungs, affecting about 128,000 Americans.

January 16, 2013

This year is turning out to be a strong cough and cold season even though there are more flu shots being administered at retail, and those flu shots are a pretty good match to the popular strains this year — 99.4% of the H3N2 influenza viruses tested matched one of the three components of the 2012-2013 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccine.

NEW YORK — This year is turning out to be a strong cough and cold season even though there are more flu shots being administered at retail, and those flu shots are a pretty good match to the popular strains this year — 99.4% of the H3N2 influenza viruses tested matched one of the three components of the 2012 to 2013 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccine. Overall, for the four weeks ending Dec. 30, sales of remedies for sore throats and cough syrups were up 12.5% and 26.2%, respectively, according to SymphonyIRI Group data as measured across all channels. 

January 15, 2013

While most of the nation is beginning to populate the cough-cold aisle in search of relief of their runny noses, coughs and sore throats, manufacturers of nonprescription cough-cold remedies are realizing the largest jump in sales that they've seen for quite some time.

NEW YORK — While most of the nation is beginning to populate the cough-cold aisle in search of relief of their runny noses, coughs and sore throats, manufacturers of nonprescription cough-cold remedies are realizing the largest jump in sales that they've seen for quite some time.