Hampton University partners with Sentara to provide free vaccines to some peninsula seniors

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HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Hampton University leaders with the School of Nursing partnered with Sentara Healthcare to give free vaccines to a local senior living group on the peninsula.

Officials with the university say they provided free preventative flu and shingles vaccines for the residents of Forrest Pines Senior, a senior independent living community in Newport News on Monday.

The initial request came from the building manager, who was concerned about residents’ increased vulnerability to COVID-19 from preventable viruses.

From there, leaders with Hampton University reached out to Sentara Healthcare to ask about providing flu shots and the Shingrix vaccine to some of the community’s 123 residents.

University officials say many older adults in the southeast area of Newport News live below the federal poverty line, have other multiple health conditions, and can’t easily access the health services.

All together, leaders say they administered 60 flu shots, provided by Sentara Leigh Hospital, to residents. There are plans in the works to coordinate an opportunity for Sentara nurses to administer 30 Shingrix vaccines in the near future. That particluar vaccine requires two doses given two to six months apart.

Stay with WAVY.com for more health updates.

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Trust The Science, But Celebrate The Business Of Covid-19 Vaccines

Written with Mahka Moeen

When it comes to fighting a pandemic like Covid-19, most people trust the science. They have less confidence in business to do the right thing. Industry leaders score high in competence on the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer, but low on ethics.

Companies racing to deliver vaccines might have to confront that perception in the coming weeks. Even if they solve all the associated challenges in record time, public appreciation for their work might not climb.

Many people simply won’t notice. They read news reports of research teams developing vaccines at Pfizer, BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca, and they applaud the power of science. Then they wait for supplies to show up at their local clinics. 

Nobody doubts this will happen. The worst-case scenario would be rationing during the initial months, which might cause jostling for position at the front of the line. Yet no one imagines a scenario in which Big Pharma pays for research and development, and then fails to scale up and distribute the resulting products to communities around the world.

The lack of concern about commercialization is a tribute to the power of markets. They work so well that people sometimes assume they are automatic—almost magic. Our research with Sonali Shah at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign shows the opposite. Ending the scientific uncertainty surrounding a medical or technological challenge is just the beginning.

Scaling up the innovation, cutting production costs, managing financial risks, assembling supply chains, overcoming regulatory hurdles and persuading customers are complex tasks that require knowledge generation. Entire ecosystems must emerge, and each step demands scientific rigor.

Unfortunately, casual observers frequently dismiss the work as routine because it happens out of sight. Critics will complain about profit and demand vaccines at low to zero cost, but they overlook the human achievements that make the lifesaving discoveries happen in the first place. Nevermind the reality that any profit these companies may make would represent only a small fraction of the total value created, and that profits are just rewards for market innovation. 

Despite the skewed perceptions, at least four business accomplishments will merit celebration as companies confront the Covid crisis.

Harnessing Existing Knowledge

Scientists working on difficult problems do not start from zero, and neither do business leaders. The first step in both domains is to connect new challenges to existing knowledge. As we wrote in a column at the beginning of the pandemic, teams that brought penicillin to the front lines during World War II learned many lessons that still apply in 2020.

Other opportunities abound. Moderna and Pfizer must store their Covid vaccines at -20 degrees Celsius, a challenge in rural areas where suppliers struggle with “last mile” delivery. Pharmaceutical supply chains can overcome the challenge by tapping into existing infrastructures and combine the old with the new. As an example, massive networks of freezers currently used in India to store the polio vaccine at the same temperature could be used to accelerate the dissemination strategy for Covid

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Vaccines prove US is still capable of world-changing feats

Ten years ago, a general pessimism began to set in among some pundits and technologists who convinced themselves that America can’t do big things anymore. But they only got it half right.

Although the U.S. had created digital services like Facebook, these thinkers noted, massive technological efforts to match the scale of the Manhattan Project to develop nuclear weapons, the Apollo moon landings, or big infrastructure projects like the Hoover Dam or the interstate highway system, seemed out of reach in the modern era. Countries like China boasted massive dams and ultra-fast trains, while the U.S. could barely repair its roads or keep Amtrak running.

This concern was shared by figures as diverse as Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel and President Barack Obama. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the U.S. seemed unable to carry out mass testing or even produce enough masks for hospital workers, the perception of American ineffectuality was reinforced.

But then, this month, that changed. Researchers at Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc. both announced preliminary results showing that their COVID-19 vaccines are more than 90% effective against the pandemic virus.

This is a monumental feat. Typically, developing a vaccine takes 10 to 15 years, and the fastest ever recorded previously was four years (not counting variations on existing vaccines such as flu shots). This time, multiple vaccines were created in less than a year. And unlike China, which also developed vaccines very quickly, American researchers used a whole new type of vaccine, which will be hugely useful against future pandemics.

This was not solely a U.S. accomplishment; Pfizer partnered with the German company BioNTech SE, and funding came from the German government. But the development was possible in part because the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority committed up front to buying a large amount of the vaccine if it was successful. And Moderna’s success was the result of an all-American public-private partnership, with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and BARDA both pitching in large amounts of resources.

The COVID-19 vaccination effort isn’t the only big thing the U.S. has accomplished in recent years. Solar power, which not so long ago was so expensive that it was treated as a mere environmentalist pipe dream, has come down in price by a factor of 300 since the late 1970s. In just the last decade, solar costs have declined by over 80%, while battery storage has fallen even faster in price.

While some of the solar-cost decline has been due to China producing panels on a massive scale, much of it was due to research funded by the U.S. government. The same is true of advances in lithium-ion batteries, where one American company in particular — Tesla Inc. — has been instrumental in pushing down costs. Together, solar and batteries promise to spark a true energy revolution, which will not just help save the world from climate change, but will bring back the days when society could expect cheaper energy every year. And much

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TFF Pharmaceuticals Announces Positive Preclinical Results with University of Georgia Universal Influenza Vaccines

Company’s Thin Film Freezing dry powder was equivalent to the liquid universal influenza formulated vaccine in preclinical immunogenicity and efficacy testing

TFF Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: TFFP), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative drug products based on its patented Thin Film Freezing (TFF) technology platform, today announced that in collaboration with the University of Georgia’s (UGA) Center for Vaccines and Immunology (CVI) obtained positive preclinical immunogenicity and efficacy data from TFF formulated UGA universal Influenza hemagglutinin (HA) recombinant vaccines.

In April of 2020, TFFP and the University of Georgia’s CVI entered into a Research and Development Agreement to test the immunogenicity and efficacy of universal influenza HA recombinant vaccines following the TFF process. Animals were vaccinated with HA vaccines with or without adjuvants and challenged with H1N1 and H3N2 influenza viruses. The TFF HA vaccines elicited equivalent neutralizing antibodies and protection against influenza virus infection compared to liquid formulations. Currently, the level of neutralizing antibodies and amount of virus in the lung are being analyzed, in addition to long term stability testing of the TFF HA vaccine.

Researchers in the University of Georgia’s CVI are world-leaders in vaccine development. In 2019, the National Institutes of Health awarded UGA researchers up to $130 million to develop a new universal flu vaccine designed to protect against multiple strains of influenza virus in a single dose.

Influenza is a contagious viral infection that attacks the respiratory system infecting the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza results in tens of thousands of deaths annually in the US since 2010 and hundreds of thousands of deaths globally.

“Based on these results, we believe the TFF process and resulting dry powder allows protein vaccines to be more stable and long-lasting than in liquid solution, therefore improving stability and removing logistical cold chain challenges,” said Glenn Mattes, CEO of TFF Pharmaceuticals. “Unfortunately, there is a significant financial burden considering that cold-chain storage alone accounts for most of the vaccination cost. There is an urgent need to develop technologies that would eliminate the cold-chain and allow for better drug delivery options.”

“Our goal is to identify vaccines that are broadly protective against most variants of the influenza virus that infect humans, particularly for those populations that are most vulnerable and susceptible to the virus,” said Ted M. Ross, Director of the University of Georgia Center for Vaccines and Immunology. “Hand-in-hand with that goal is to develop a delivery mechanism that can make the vaccine easier to ship, store and administer to this population around the globe. The results observed with Thin Film Freezing converting our liquid influenza HA vaccine to a dry powder can bring us closer to achieving this goal.”

TFF Pharmaceuticals’ testing suggests that Thin Film Freezing maintains a potential vaccine’s particle size distribution and immunogenicity, is robust for extended periods at room temperature, withstands unintentional freezing, and can be stored and shipped free of cold-chain handling, displays extended

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Meningococcal Vaccines – Global Drug Forecast and Market Analysis to 2029

Summary Meningococcal disease is an infection caused by Neisseria meningitidis bacteria, and, although relatively rare, is widely feared because of its high mortality rate even in otherwise healthy individuals.

New York, Oct. 26, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report “Meningococcal Vaccines – Global Drug Forecast and Market Analysis to 2029” – https://www.reportlinker.com/p05978764/?utm_source=GNW
Serogroups A, B, C, W, and Y are the most common meningococcal types in the nine major markets (9MM) covered in this report (US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, Argentina, Brazil, and China), and immunization of high-risk groups such as infants and adolescents provides the best protection against the infection.

Immunization with conjugated meningococcal serogroup C (MenC) is routinely recommended for infants in the 5EU and Brazil, and immunization against serogroup ACWY (MenACWY vaccines) is recommended in the US, UK, Italy, and Spain for adolescents, and in Argentina for infants. In China, immunization with polysaccharide MenA and MenAC vaccines is routinely recommended for infants and young children.

Sanofi, GSK, and Pfizer are the major players in the meningococcal vaccine market, with GSK and Pfizer providing vaccines in each category, while Sanofi is offering only MenACWY vaccines. A major unmet need remains in a vaccine that combines the protection against all five serogroups most common in the 9MM.

Key Questions Answered
– How will the meningococcal vaccine market landscape in the 9MM (US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, Argentina, Brazil, China) change from 2019-2029?
– What are the most promising late-stage pipeline products for meningococcal vaccination?
– How do the clinical and commercial attributes of late-stage pipeline products compare with one another, and against existing immunization options?
– What are the remaining unmet needs in meningococcal immunization?
– What drivers and barriers will affect meningococcal vaccine sales in the 9MM over the forecast period?

– Overview of meningococcal disease, including epidemiology, etiology, pathophysiology, symptoms, diagnosis, and current management strategies.
– Topline meningococcal vaccine market revenue from 2019-2029. Annual cost of immunization and major pipeline product sales in this forecast period are included.
– Key topics covered include current vaccination options, unmet needs and opportunities, and the drivers and barriers affecting meningococcal vaccine sales in the 9MM.
– Pipeline analysis: comprehensive data split across different phases, emerging novel trends under development, synopses of innovative early-stage projects, and detailed analysis of late-stage pipeline products.
– Analysis of the current and future market competition in the global meningococcal vaccine market. Insightful review of the key industry drivers, constraints, and challenges. Each trend is independently researched to provide qualitative analysis of its implications.

Reasons to Buy
The report will enable you to –
– Develop and design your in-licensing and out-licensing strategies through a review of pipeline products and technologies, and by identifying the companies with the most robust pipeline.
– Develop business strategies by understanding the trends shaping and driving the global meningococcal vaccine market.
– Drive revenues by understanding the key trends, innovative products and technologies, market segments, and companies likely to impact the meningococcal

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Charlie Baker applauds area’s key role in creating coronavirus vaccines

As public schools delve deeper into science, technology, engineering and math skill sets during this year’s STEM week, Gov. Charlie Baker said the pandemic has underscored the importance of the skills.

Charlie Baker wearing a suit and tie: BOSTON MA. OCTOBER 14: Gov. Charlie Baker speaks during a press conference at the State House announcing the budget for fiscal year 20201on October 14, 2020 in Boston, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

© Provided by Boston Herald
BOSTON MA. OCTOBER 14: Gov. Charlie Baker speaks during a press conference at the State House announcing the budget for fiscal year 20201on October 14, 2020 in Boston, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

“The fact that you currently have three companies — one of which was started here and two of which have big footprints here — that are currently in phase three clinical trials associated with COVID-19 just speaks to some extent to the power and the importance of having a community here in Massachusetts that is so dedicated to the STEM issues and has been for a really long time,” Baker said Monday, referring to Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson which are all conducting trials for coronavirus vaccines.

Joined by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, Education Secretary James Peyser and STEM leaders from industry and academia, Baker kicked off the third annual statewide STEM week during a Monday press conference saying the skills are especially important amid the pandemic “in 2020 and beyond.”

He highlighted the importance of developing the skill sets for students as they enter employment.

“You can’t find a sector of the economy anymore that doesn’t need and benefit from the tools and the toolbox that come with STEM,” Baker said.

The week features hundreds of educational events in collaboration with nonprofits, colleges, museums and businesses across the state that impact tens of thousands of students

The annual focus on science, technology, engineering and math was launched in an effort to boost the interest, awareness and ability for students from all sectors of the community to engage in STEM education and employment opportunities.

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