The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended the use of AstraZeneca's FluMist Quadrivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine for the 2018-19 flu season, reversing its 2016 and 2017 announcements that the product was ineffective after seeing data demonstrating improved efficacy. The latest version uses a different type of influenza A H1N1 virus than the 2015-16 formulation, and providers may offer it as well as the inactivated influenza vaccine or the recombinant influenza vaccine for the upcoming season, CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund says.
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Babies whose mothers received flu and whooping cough vaccines while pregnant showed no higher risk of mortality or hospitalization than children whose mothers did not receive vaccines, a study published in Pediatrics suggests. Researchers combed through the medical records of 413,000 babies from various health care systems to reach their findings.
Mesoblast's off-the-shelf stem cell therapy, remestemcel-L, achieved the primary goal of its Phase III US trial showing 69% of 55 pediatric patients with potentially fatal acute graft-versus-host disease responding to the treatment. Mesoblast plans to file for regulatory approval with the FDA based on six-month safety and efficacy data from the trial.
A study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found a high intratumor heterogeneity of the estrogen receptor was associated with a two times greater risk of mortality from breast cancer, compared with low ER intratumor heterogeneity. The findings were based on data for 1,780 postmenopausal women with lymph node-negative breast cancer.
Columbia University scientists are developing a chip-based blood test to detect eight tick-borne diseases, according to a study in the journal Scientific Reports. The test detects antibodies for Babesia microti, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia miyamotoi, Ehrlichia chaffeensis, Rickettsia rickettsii, the Powassan virus and the Heartland virus.
CHG Healthcare in Utah found 3 in 5 employees using its on-site clinic had mental health-related issues, so it added mental health counselors, allowing workers to receive services during office hours. Nicole Thurman, vice president of talent management, said the services are part of the company's holistic approach to employee well-being.
Data from the Family Evaluation of Hospice Care survey showed about 84% of family members felt a hospice referral was made at the right time for their loved one, and about 63% rated the care as excellent, researchers reported in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Families were less likely to say hospice care in nursing homes was as good as hospice care in assisted living facilities.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar said he's open to state experimentation on Affordable Care Act and Medicaid rules so states can provide more affordable health care coverage. Azar said that without legislation to repeal and replace the ACA, the administration may lack the flexibility to support states' ideas, but he intends to work with CMS Administrator Seema Verma to explore the options under current law.
The American Nurses Association (ANA)'s #EndNurseAbuse initiative, which launched in 2017 to address workplace abuse against nurses, includes eliminating sexual harassment. As part of the initiative, ANA has underscored its strong support for the #TimesUpNow movement that promotes accountability and consequences for abuse, harassment, sexual assault, and inequality in the workplace. "Nurse safety is a critical component to ensure quality and safe care. 'Time's up' for employers who don't take swift and meaningful action to make the workplace safe for nurses," said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, Ph.D., RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. "Together, nurses, employers and the public must take steps to change our culture. Abuse is not part of anyone's job and has no place in healthcare settings." Read the full statement from ANA and take the pledge to #EndNurseAbuse.
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Growth is an erratic forward movement: two steps forward, one step back. Remember that and be very gentle with yourself.
Julia Cameron, writer and artist
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