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Flu News Day, 7/5/2022

Read the latest on influenza vaccines and upcoming funding opportunities in this week’s roundup.

June 2022

Global impact of the first year of COVID-19 vaccination: a mathematical modelling study

Modeling both official COVID-19 deaths and excess mortality, a new study shows that COVID-19 vaccines saved between 14.1 million – 19.8 million lives within the first year of vaccine distribution. While the study did not account for decreasing non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as lockdowns, masking, social distancing, in some high-income countries as vaccine uptake increased, this study still provides the best estimate of the additional cost to human life that could have occurred had the current COVID-19 vaccines not become available. Notably, even as many low-income countries continued these non-pharmaceutical interventions, this study found that over 150,000 lives and 600,000 lives could have been saved if COVAX’s 20% vaccination goal and WHO’s 40% vaccination goal had been met, respectively. To learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines altered the course of the pandemic, read the study here.

Read the full article here
June 2022

ACIP Flu Meeting Update: Flu Vaccines Worked Better than Reported & ACIP Recommends Specific Vaccines For Seniors

Data from the CDC show that the 2021-2022 seasonal influenza vaccines successfully lowered recipients’ risk of mild to moderate influenza. Previously reported in March to be statistically insignificant, the effect of this year’s influenza vaccines was misconstrued by a small sample size and biases caused by COVID-19 infections. Now, the corrected data from October 2021-April 2022 shows the vaccines decreased mild to moderate illness from H2N2 influenza by 35%. Read the CDC’s statement here.

Read the full article here
June 2022

Cost-Effectiveness of Extending the National Influenza Vaccination Program in South Korea: Does Vaccination of Older Adults Provide Health Benefits to the Entire Population?

Using dynamic epidemiological and economic modelling, a new study among older adults in South Korea found that providing free influenza vaccines to those age 50-64 would prevent 340,000 inflections, 119 unnecessary deaths and result in healthcare savings. South Korea currently provides free influenza vaccines to those 65 and older through its Natural Immunization Program (NIP), which successfully increased vaccine uptake to 83% among those 65 and older (compared to 35% among non-eligible 50-64 year olds). Due to the broader societal effects that vaccinating a larger portion of adults would have on the population as a whole, study authors recommend that the NIP consider expanding the program to offer free influenza vaccine access to include those 50 and older. I tis important to note that unlike past studies which have relied on static models, these findings are especially useful for policymakers as this study considered the effects of herd immunity. Read the study here.

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Funding Opportunities & Announcements

Centre for Doctoral Training: environmental solutions to zoonoses [Grant]
NERC, BBSRC, MRC / June 23, 2022 /July 29, 2022             Apply Here

Postdoc Computational Bioinformatics (d/f/m) [Job]                                 Leibniz Institute of Virology / April 2022 / July 10, 2022  Apply Here

AAAS David and Betty Hamburg Award for Science Diplomacy [Prize]    AAAS / April 15, 2022 / June 30, 2022                                        Apply Here