Vaccine Breaking News

Vaccine breaking news brought to you by Precision Vaccinations

Mar 31, 2023 • 1:37 am CDT
Global distribution of Avian Influenza: October 2022 to March 30, 2023

The Chilean Ministry of Health recently confirmed the country's first case of human infection with the avian influenza A(H5N1) virus.

This is the second human "H5N1 bird flu" virus infection reported in South America; Ecuador reported the first in December 2022.

Globally, this is the 11th human case of H5N1 reported since January 2022.

The prior 10 H5N1 cases also had exposure to poultry.

Bird Flu (Avian influenza) is a disease caused by influenza type A viruses that occur naturally among birds.

Detection of human infection with H5N1 bird flu in another country in South America is not surprising, wrote the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on March 29, 2023.

A recent CDC H5N1 technical report noted that "because of …the wide global prevalence of HPAI A(H5N1) viruses in wild birds and poultry outbreaks, continued sporadic human infections are anticipated."

As of early March 2023, H5N1 viruses (clade have been detected in mammals, wild birds, or poultry in 16 Latin America, the Caribbean, the United States, Canada, and most of the countries in the world.

In the U.S., about 6,300 people in 52 jurisdictions have been monitored since 2022, and only one human case has been identified in Colorado.

The CDC notes the annual flu shot does not offer protection from this type of influenza. However, there is an approved bird flu vaccine (Audenz™) should a human-to-human outbreak occur.

Mar 31, 2023 • 11:04 am CDT
U.S. CDC FluView data March 31, 2023

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today announced four additional influenza-associated pediatric fatalities have occurred during the 2022-2023 flu season in the United States.

A total of 138 pediatric flu deaths have been reported so far this flu season.

The good news is the CDC FluView week #12 report confirmed seasonal flu rates were low nationally last week, with outpatient respiratory illness below baseline, and eight of 10 HHS regions are below their respective baselines as of March 31, 2023.

Previously, the World Health Organization published Influenza Update N° 401 on March 20, 2023, stating most indicators of influenza activity decreased to levels similar to or below levels typically observed this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere.

The CDC suggests anyone traveling to the Southern Hemisphere in April 2023 speak with a healthcare provider about potentially getting an additional flu shot for protection.

Flu shots remain available for most people over six months at most clinics and pharmacies in the U.S.

As of March 4, 2023, about 173.37 million influenza vaccines had been distributed during the 2022-2023 flu season. 

Mar 31, 2023 • 3:27 am CDT
by Elena We

The start-up company PathoVax LLC announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had concluded that a Phase 1 clinical trial for its monovalent component- HPV16 RG1-VLP vaccine RGVax may proceed.

This first-in-human, global multicenter Phase 1 clinical study seeks to demonstrate RGVax's safety and immunogenicity responses to HPV16 RG1-VLP in healthy volunteers.

RGVax is a chimeric HPV virus-like particle platform that displays 360 copies of the highly conserved, neutralizing HPV epitope (RG1).

The foundational technology is based on research conducted at the Johns Hopkins University and Medical University Vienna.

Unlike existing HPV vaccines, the RGVax technology and formulation have been shown to provide comprehensive protection against at least 18 high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) types with immunogenicity lasting over a year without additional boosts in head-to-head studies with existing approved HPV vaccines.

"The world needs more, and particularly broad-based, HPV vaccines. We look forward to globally supporting these efforts in parallel and beyond this Phase 1, especially in Asia-Pacific and other developing countries, where there is a high burden of HPV diseases," said Dr. Kevin Koh, Chairman of PathoVax, in a press release on March 29, 2023.

A National Cancer Institute PREVENT contract funds the initiation of the Phase 1 study. 

As of March 31, 2023, there are various approved HPV vaccines and several vaccine candidates in development. 

Mar 31, 2023 • 2:49 am CDT
by David Mark

The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson recently disclosed that after assessing the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine landscape, the Company would discontinue its RSV adult vaccine program.

“By periodically refocusing our portfolio, Janssen ensures that we are deeply invested in products that have the power to transform patients’ lives,” said Bill Hait, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Chief External Innovation and Medical Officer and Interim Head, Janssen R&D., in a press release on March 29, 2023.

The decision to discontinue the RSV adult vaccine program is part of a broader effort to make strategic choices for its investments to focus on medicines with the greatest potential benefit to patients. 

As of March 31, 2023, the U.S. FDA has not approved any RSV vaccine candidate.

However, the FDA previously approved monoclonal antibody therapies for infants.


Mar 31, 2023 • 2:30 am CDT
U.S. CDC - lymph gland called a bubo

The peer-reviewed journal Science Advances recently disclosed researchers from Tel Aviv University and the Israel Institute for Biological Research developed the first mRNA-based, lipid nanoparticle (LNP) vaccine effective against a lethal bacteria.

Published on March 8, 2023, this study on mice demonstrated that all vaccinated animals were fully protected against the bacteria that causes the plague.

Humans usually get the plague after being bitten by a rodent flea that is carrying the plague bacterium, says the U.S. CDC.

The most common sign of bubonic plague is the rapid development of a swollen and painful lymph gland called a bubo.

Plague morbidity and mortality rates have substantially decreased since the introduction of antimicrobials.

However, the isolation of Y. pestis strains resistant to multiple therapeutic antibiotics and the concern of a natural or intentional disease outbreak initiated by antibiotic-resistant strains emphasize the need to develop vaccines against the plague.

The researchers wrote, "Our mRNA-LNP vaccine elicited humoral and cellular immunological responses in C57BL/6 mice and conferred rapid, full protection against lethal Y. pestis infection after a single dose."

This study's findings suggest there is a new way of developing vaccines for bacterial diseases, including diseases caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Mar 29, 2023 • 11:43 am CDT
by Mojca-Peter

Lucira Health, Inc. announced today both the nationwide launch of its breakthrough Lucira COVID-19 & Flu Home Test in the United States and the combination test's inclusion in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods for use by healthcare professionals in a point-of-care setting.

The COVID-19 & Flu Home Test is the first and only combination COVID-19 & Flu test to be granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for over-the-counter (OTC) use at home and other non-laboratory sites.

The all-in-one combination test delivers results from one shallow nasal swab in 30 minutes or less.

This OTC test is a molecular nucleic acid amplification test, not an antigen test.

The Lucira COVID-19 & Flu Home Test is a molecular test demonstrating similar performance for COVID-19 and Influenza compared to highly sensitive lab-based PCR tests in clinical trials.

"Both of these accomplishments represent important milestones for Lucira and underscore the viability of the Lucira technology platform in both at-home and point-of-care settings around the globe," said Erik Engelson, President and CEO of Lucira Health, in a press release on March 28, 2023.

"U.S. consumers will, for the first time ever, be able to diagnose if they have COVID-19 or Flu A or B while at home."

"With one-touch access to telehealth via our Lucira Connect web platform, they can now get onto the path to treatment and recovery within hours of receiving a test result from the comfort of home."

This test can be purchased in the U.S. for $34.99 at

Mar 29, 2023 • 11:25 am CDT
by Ahmad Ardity

Vaccitech plc today announced positive topline final data from a Phase 1b/2a clinical trial of VTP-300 in people with chronic Hepatitis B (HBV) infection.

VTP-300 is the first antigen-specific immunotherapy shown to induce sustained reductions in Hepatitis B surface antigen. 

"The safety data and HBsAg reductions in the HBV002 study are very encouraging, and we look forward to sharing the full data set, including immune responses, at the EASL conference," said Bill Enright, CEO of Vaccitech, in a press release on March 28, 2023.

"Less than 10% of people with chronic HBV reach a functional cure with current therapies."

"We believe VTP-300 has the potential to be a critical component of a functional cure for HBV, potentially eliminating the need for chronic treatment."

"Our ongoing trials are exploring dosing, including an additional booster, and combination approaches with readouts expected towards the end of the year."

And VTP-300 is a heterologous immunotherapy candidate consisting of an initial dose using the ChAdOx platform and a second dose(s) using MVA encoding multiple hepatitis B antigens, including full-length surface, modified polymerase, and core antigens.

The full announcement and study results are posted at this link.

Mar 29, 2023 • 2:13 am CDT
India Ministry of Health and Family Welfare March 2023

While the annual flu season in the United States has subsided, India's government reports an unusual influenza surge.

PTI reported today Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar informed the Rajya Sabha that 1,317 cases of H3N2 have been confirmed from January to March 21, 2023.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, of 510 H3N2 cases reported in the last two months, 19 patients required ICU admission, Pawar wrote to PTI on March 28, 2023.

The H3N2 virus spreads from an infected person through droplets in the air or direct contact with virus-laden surfaces, says the U.S. CDC.

The severity of human illness caused by H3N2 is similar to seasonal flu, which can become severe if complications like pneumonia develop.

Another influenza version is called 'swine flu.'

H3N2v is a non-human influenza virus that normally circulates in pigs. Viruses that normally circulate in pigs are "swine influenza viruses." When these viruses infect humans, they are termed "variant" viruses, says the CDC. Furthermore, the seasonal flu shot does not protect against H3N2v. 

The CDC's FluView Interactive Novel Flu A digital tool displays the most current case counts for variant virus infections reported in the U.S.

Previously, India's government confirmed that young children and old persons with co-morbidities are the most vulnerable groups in seasonal influenza.

Seasonal influenza is an acute respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses that circulate in all parts of the world, and the cases are seen to increase during certain months globally.

The cases arising from seasonal influenza in India are expected to decline by the end of March 2023.

The World Health Organization published Influenza Update N° 401 on March 20, 2023, stating most indicators of influenza activity in the Northern Hemisphere decreased to levels similar to or below levels typically observed this time of year.

In the U.S., annual flu shots remain available at many clinics and community pharmacies.

Mar 28, 2023 • 4:42 am CDT
by Fernando Zhiminaicela

Osivax today announced that it had received a pneumonia and pandemic preparedness grant of over USD 1 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support additional research and development of its lead, broad-spectrum influenza vaccine candidate, OVX836.

Osivax confirmed it would use the grant to evaluate the breadth and the duration of protection provided by OVX836 against a wider range of seasonal and highly pathogenic influenza strains.

And this research will assess the potential of OVX836 to provide long-term protection against emerging and circulating strains of influenza, thus informing its potential as a standalone influenza vaccine administered less frequently than annually. 

Alexandre Le Vert, CEO and Co-Founder of Osivax commented in a press release on March 28, 2023, "The support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will allow us to widen the scope of OVX863 development and bring us one step closer to providing much needed, universal protection against both seasonal and pandemic influenza strains, which continue posing a significant global health threat."

OVX836 has shown promising safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy data across preclinical and clinical trials (Phase 1 and 2a) and continues to be evaluated in additional studies.

As of March 4, 2023, about 173.37 influenza vaccines were distributed in the U.S. during the 2022-2023 flu season.

Mar 28, 2023 • 4:08 am CDT
by Joshua Woroniecki

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) recently confirmed the presence of poliovirus in Rockland County wastewater for the first time since October 2022.

This single positive result was collected in February 2023.

However, sequencing analysis by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed as of March 22, 2023, the presence of poliovirus in 101 positive wastewater samples, most linked to the individual case of paralytic polio among a Rockland County resident in 2022.

Transmission of this disease only continues if the overall polio vaccination rates remain low, says the CDC.

"It is our obligation to protect all our residents from debilitating and potentially fatal diseases," said Rockland County Executive Ed Day in a press release. 

"I urge our residents to act now and protect yourselves, your family, and your community."

"Polio is preventable through the complete vaccination series."

As of mid-March, 19,282 doses of the polio vaccine have been administered to Rockland County residents.

In 2022, there were over 330,000 residents in Rockland County.

"While certainly, the number of doses is strong, the polio vaccine is a series of 4-doses, so it takes time to reach full protection," added Day. 

"As I've said before, this is why it is crucial for schools and the New York State Education Department to maintain and enforce these required vaccinations."

"But families with unvaccinated children who are not yet of school age completely lack protection from this dreaded disease and must get on the schedule now."

Rockland County Department of Health (RCDOH) is actively working on strategies to increase vaccination rates, including working with the CDC and NYSDOH to perform daycare and school assessments and audits.

To enhance local detections, New York recently received $21.6 million in funding to expand its wastewater surveillance and infectious disease monitoring capabilities.

In 2023, this funding will increase the number of participating sewer sheds from 125 to over 215, reaching about 81% of the population of New York public sewer systems.

Moreover, with holiday travelers peaking this spring break, enhancing protection from polio is a priority, says the CDC.

For example, Israel's Ministry of Health also recently confirmed four children tested positive for poliovirus in Northern Israel.

With increased travel expected between New Yorkers and Israel over Passover 2023, the RCDOH reminds families there is a real risk of paralysis if they are unvaccinated.

Furthermore, adults who completed the polio vaccine series as children may receive a one-time polio booster dose before traveling abroad to any of the thirty countries reporting poliovirus detections.

And any New York resident who needs vaccination can obtain one by calling the RCDOH at 845-364-2520 or 845-364-2524.

Throughout the U.S., polio vaccines are offered by health clinics and community pharmacies as of March 28, 2023.

Mar 27, 2023 • 4:52 pm CDT
CSL Waltham, Massachusetts March 27, 2023

Global biotechnology leader CSL today announced the official opening of the company's new state-of-the-art research and development (R&D) center in Waltham, Massachusetts.

CSL's global R&D organization has over 2,000 employees in ten countries, contributing to a robust and promising pipeline of novel therapeutic candidates.

The custom-built facility west of Boston will serve as CSL's central hub for current and future vaccine designs, such as cell-based flu shots.

"CSL's growing R&D presence in Waltham is the latest example of our investment in our future – which includes advancing our growing capabilities in disruptive technologies like next-generation mRNA," said Jon Edelman, Senior Vice President of the CSL Vaccines Innovation Unit, in a press release on March 27, 2023.

In addition to Waltham, Massachusetts, the company has an R&D presence helping create an integrated global organization that can conveniently collaborate with institutions everywhere, offer access to professional development opportunities, and enhance external innovation.

"The Waltham site's location and our investment in this world-class facility will provide our talented people with the ideal environment to deliver the breakthroughs that CSL aims to achieve," added Ethan Settembre, Ph.D., Vice President, Research, CSL Vaccines Innovation Unit and site head for this facility.

"We are also excited that this location provides an opportunity for our scientists to collaborate closely with industry and academic partners, allowing greater access to ongoing innovation and talent."

CSL already produces world-class vaccines, such as Flucelvax® Quadrivalent, a cell culture-based flu vaccine, and bird flu vaccines, such as Audenz™ monovalent, adjuvanted, cell-based inactivated influenza (H5N1) subunit vaccine.

Note: This news article is not paid content.

Mar 27, 2023 • 6:09 am CDT
by Jerzy Górecki

BioNTech SE today reported financial results as of December 31, 2022, and provided an update on its corporate progress.

In December 2022, BioNTech and Pfizer announced that approximately 2 billion doses of COMIRNATY®  were invoiced globally in 2022 between the two companies.

This includes approximately 550 million doses of the Original/Omicron BA.4-5-adapted bivalent COVID-19 vaccine as of mid-December 2022.

And as part of BioNTech's and Pfizer's 2-billion-doses-pledge to support equitable access to medicines, the companies have delivered approximately 1.7 billion doses of COMIRNATY to low- and middle-income countries in line with demand.

The deliveries include the Original/Omicron BA.4-5-adapted bivalent COVID-19 vaccine and the original COVID-19 vaccine. 

"Our COVID-19 vaccine revenues, driven by the delivery of our Omicron-adapted bivalent vaccines, have ensured another strong financial performance in 2022," said Jens Holstein, CFO of BioNTech, in a press release on March 27, 2023.

"We believe that the Company's financial success in 2022 will provide a springboard to accelerate and build upon our diversified clinical pipeline and fuel our research and development in the coming years. 

The complete press release is posted at this link.

Mar 24, 2023 • 4:34 am CDT
Salt Lake City airport March 24, 2023

Salt Lake County Health Department (SLCoHD) today announced a case of measles in a local unvaccinated resident.

This is the first case of measles in Utah since 2017.

Utah joins Kentucky and Ohio in reporting recent measles cases.

The SLCHD stated in a press release on March 23, 2023, the public is at minimal risk of illness due to this case related to international travel.

The infected person's exposure is limited to healthcare settings and the person's family members.

Anyone vaccinated against measles is protected even if they may have been exposed. This means they do not need to take any action.

And contact tracers notified people who may have been exposed and advised unvaccinated contacts to get vaccinated immediately.

Receiving a measles vaccine after exposure can prevent illness if administered within 72 hours.

Furthermore, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says no specific antiviral treatment exists for the measles virus.

However, research indicates vitamin A deficiency is a recognized risk factor for severe measles infections. Therefore, at-risk children diagnosed with measles should receive two vitamin A supplements 24 hours apart.

"Measles is a vaccine-preventable disease," commented Dr. Angela Dunn, SLCoHD executive director.

"While over 90% of children in Utah schools and childcare facilities are adequately vaccinated, there are still people in our community who are not protected," continued Dr. Dunn.

"Being fully vaccinated against measles does more than just protect the person who receives the vaccination; it also protects their family and friends, including children who may be too young to be vaccinated, and it helps limit the spread of disease in the community."

Furthermore, the CDC recommends protecting international travelers with an MMR vaccine before visiting measles outbreak communities in countries such as India.

Various measles vaccines are available at most health clinics and community pharmacies in the U.S.

Mar 23, 2023 • 5:49 pm CDT
WHO Influenza Report 441 March 20, 2023

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently published Influenza Update N° 441, confirming influenza activity continued to decrease following the peak in late 2022.

In the countries of North America, most indicators of influenza activity were at levels typically observed towards the end of the flu season.

Influenza A viruses predominated overall, with influenza A(H3N2) accounting for most subtyped influenza A viruses in the United States, whereas influenza A and B viruses circulated similarly in Canada.

And in Europe, out of 39 countries, 17 reported high or moderate intensity, and over half continued to report widespread activity.

Overall, influenza B viruses were predominated in both sentinel and non-sentinel surveillance as all subregions experienced a wave of influenza B activity after an initial influenza A surge.

While the Northern Hemishpere flu season is ending, the WHO's data on March 20, 2023, indicates the Southern Hemishpere is just starting.

For international travelers, the means another flu shot may be needed when visiting countries such as Brazil, Peru, or Argentina later this year.

Community pharmacies in the U.S. generally offer influenza vaccines throughout the year.

Mar 23, 2023 • 7:34 am CDT
U.S. CDC polio outbreak map March 22, 2023

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today announced it had expanded its Alert - Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions global polio travel notice.

As of March 22, 2023, the CDC increased the number of countries listed.

Furthermore, the CDC stated that before traveling to any destination listed, adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose.

Previously, the World Health Organization confirmed the spread of poliovirus remained a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

Recently, the New York State Department of Health announced that New Yorkers intending to visit Israel and other countries with circulating poliovirus should ensure they are fully immunized against polio.

In the U.S., CDC updated the pediatric and adult polio vaccination schedules in February 2023.

The inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) is recommended within four weeks of travel. Various IPV-containing vaccines are available at most health clinics and community pharmacies.