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JAMA. Major Challenges in Providing an Effective and Timely Pandemic Vaccine for Influenza A(H7N9)

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  • JAMA. Major Challenges in Providing an Effective and Timely Pandemic Vaccine for Influenza A(H7N9)

    [Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, full text: (LINK). Extract.]
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    Major Challenges in Providing an Effective and Timely Pandemic Vaccine for Influenza A(H7N9)

    FREE ONLINE FIRST

    Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH; Katie S. Ballering, PhD; Nicholas S. Kelley, PhD


    Author Affiliations: Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (Drs Osterholm, Ballering, and Kelley), Minnesota Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (Drs Osterholm and Kelley), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

    JAMA. 2013;():1-2. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.6589. Published online May 9, 2013


    The emergence of avian influenza A(H7N9) virus in humans has public health authorities around the world on high alert for the potential development of a human influenza pandemic.<SUP>1</SUP> As of May 8, 2013, authorities had identified 131 confirmed cases and 32 deaths among residents of 8 provinces and 2 municipalities in China.<SUP> </SUP>Three primary scenarios exist for how this A(H7N9) virus outbreak will unfold. First, the virus could disappear in the animal reservoir, ending new human cases. Second, the virus could persist in the animal reservoir, resulting in sporadic human infections. Third, the virus could, through mutation or reassortment, become readily transmissible between humans, resulting in a global pandemic. The arsenal of public health tools to reduce morbidity and mortality from an influenza pandemic is limited. Options include vaccines, antiviral drugs, and interventions such as respiratory protection and social distancing. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Influenza vaccination is the most important intervention in reducing the impact of influenza, and a key component of the WHO response and preparedness efforts for influenza of pandemic potential, including avian influenza A(H5N1), A(H9N2) and A(H7N9).” However, seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines have significant limitations, including limited vaccine effectiveness, the inability to identify reliable correlates of protection, and the need to distribute large quantities of vaccine early in the pandemic course.

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