06-19-2018  3:14 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

CareOregon Awards $250,000 for Housing Projects

Recipients include Rogue Retreat, Bridges to Change, Luke Dorf, Transition Projects and Bridge Meadows ...

Colorado to adopt California's stricter car pollution rules

DENVER (AP) — Colorado's governor on Tuesday ordered his state to adopt California's vehicle pollution rules, joining other states in resisting the Trump administration's plans to ease up on emission standards.Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper told state regulators begin writing rules that...

Protesters on round-the-clock vigil at Oregon ICE facility

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A small group of protesters has set up camp outside the Portland, Oregon headquarters of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to protest the Trump administration's policy of separating families after illegal border crossings.About two dozen protesters gathered...

Woman shot to death in Snohomish-area home, man arrested

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say 45-year-old woman was shot to death northeast of Seattle in her Snohomish-area home and a man believed to be her husband has been arrested.The Seattle Times reports a man called 911 around 9 p.m. Monday and reported that someone had been hurt in his...

Colorado to adopt California's stricter car pollution rules

DENVER (AP) — Colorado's governor on Tuesday ordered his state to adopt California's vehicle pollution rules, joining other states in resisting the Trump administration's plans to ease up on emission standards.Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper told state regulators begin writing rules that...

OPINION

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

What Happened? Assessing the Singapore Summit

For all its weaknesses, we are better off having had the summit than not ...

Redlining Settlement Fails to Provide Strong Penalties

A recent settlement of a federal redlining lawsuit is yet another sign that justice is still being denied ...

5 Lessons on Peace I Learned from My Cat Soleil

Dr. Jasmine Streeter takes some cues on comfort from her cat ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Bucks' Sterling Brown sues Milwaukee over stun-gun arrest

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown sued the city of Milwaukee and its police department Tuesday, saying officers' use of a stun gun during his arrest for a parking violation constitutes excessive force and that they targeted him because he is black.Brown's attorney Mark...

Lawsuit claims Kansas official exposed private voter data

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A civil rights group filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach challenging a multi-state voter registration database it claims exposed sensitive information including partial Social Security numbers from nearly a thousand state...

California lawmakers push diversity through film tax credit

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers passed legislation Monday that puts more conditions on state film tax credits to encourage better sexual harassment reporting and diverse hiring amid revelations of misconduct and discrimination in the movie industry.The legislation would...

ENTERTAINMENT

CBS' '60 Minutes' gathers audience week by week

NEW YORK (AP) — The newsmagazine "60 Minutes" was not television's most popular program this year, but for the 11th consecutive season it had more people who watched at least once during the year than any other non-sports show on TV.The Nielsen company's cumulative measurement of programs...

Film Review: 'The King' is guilty of an Elvis crime- excess

It's usually a bad sign when critics start questioning your film before it's even finished. But director Eugene Jarecki had to endure worse. While making the documentary "The King," he actually got gruff from a member of his own film crew.After a car breaks down, Jarecki takes the opportunity to...

Birthplace of singer, activist Nina Simone to be preserved

TRYON, N.C. (AP) — The dilapidated wooden cottage in North Carolina that was the birthplace of singer and civil rights activist Nina Simone now has the protection of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.The trust said in a news release Tuesday that it will develop and find a new use...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Lawyer: Police think slaying of XXXTentacion was random

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The lawyer for slain rapper XXXTentacion said Tuesday that detectives believe...

Trump raises risk of economically harmful US-China trade war

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and China edged closer Tuesday to triggering the riskiest trade war in...

Meat 2.0? Clean meat? Spat shows the power of food wording

NEW YORK (AP) — If meat is grown in a lab without slaughtering animals, what should it be called?That...

Merkel says climate change is 'a fact,' laments US stance

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel took aim Tuesday at U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to...

Blurring the border, Turkey deepens roots in northern Syria

AL-BAB, Syria (AP) — A newly paved road links the Turkish town of Elbeyli to the Syrian town of al-Bab,...

London police say short circuit caused minor subway blast

LONDON (AP) — A battery short circuit caused a small explosion at a London Underground station that injured...

Dr. Anthony Fauci Special to CNN

Editor's note: Dr. Anthony Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

(CNN) -- During the heat of summer, people tend to forget about the flu. Yet as high temperatures begin to decline, we're reminded that influenza, a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death, will soon return.

For the past several months, pharmaceutical companies and U.S. public health officials have been busy making and planning for the distribution of millions of doses of the flu vaccine to protect Americans in the upcoming season. The American Academy of Pediatrics released a new recommendation this week that all children ages 6 months or older be immunized against influenza as soon as the vaccine is available.

Getting vaccinated each year remains the best way to protect yourself against the seasonal flu and lessen the chance you will spread the infection to others.

Despite these efforts, each year between 3,000 and 49,000 people in the United States and approximately 500,000 worldwide die from the flu and its complications. Seasonal flu vaccines reduce the risk of illness in those vaccinated by about 60%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Clearly, we need new improved influenza vaccines to provide an even a better level of protection.

The problem is that for decades the technologies used to make flu vaccines have remained static. This fact, coupled with the intrinsic nature of these viruses to change, has created an untenable situation.

Year-round, scientists, vaccine manufacturers, and public health officials scramble to protect the public against both seasonal and potential pandemic influenza threats, the latter illustrated most recently by the H7N9 bird flu infections in humans occurring in China.

Flu viruses are monitored continually to identify those most likely to cause human illness. But it takes at least six months to produce an influenza vaccine once the targets have been identified; by late February public health officials must choose three or four virus strains expected to be circulating widely the following season.

It's a time-consuming and cumbersome process. These strains usually are grown in eggs (or more recently, in cells), inactivated and then incorporated into next season's flu vaccines.

A major drawback of this strategy is that the circulating flu viruses can evolve significantly while the vaccine is being prepared and deployed, leaving us with a less effective vaccine for the threat at hand. And always looming is the specter of a novel flu virus emerging to which humans have little or no immunity, potentially triggering an influenza pandemic -- as happened in 1918, and again in 1957, 1968 and 2009.

Among the two dozen vaccine-preventable diseases, including measles, mumps, polio, smallpox and hepatitis, seasonal influenza is the only one for which a new vaccine is recommended every year. A more efficient approach is long overdue.

The medical research community has set its sights on developing a revolutionary type of flu vaccine, one to protect against a broad spectrum of flu viruses -- a so-called universal influenza vaccine. Experiments in animals and early phase clinical trials in humans indicate that this concept of broad protection is entirely feasible.

Traditional flu vaccines target regions in the head of a protein found on the surface of the virus, regions readily seen by the immune system but prone to mutations as the viruses carelessly reproduce themselves. In contrast, the new vaccine may target more stable regions of the influenza protein found in the stem, somewhat hidden from the immune system by other molecules nearby, that rarely vary from virus to virus.

Optimally, a universal flu vaccine would protect against both seasonal and potential pandemic flu viruses and provide long-lasting protection so it would be given just once or in a series of boosts, like the measles vaccine.

Realistically, however, a universal flu vaccine likely will be developed in incremental steps rather than in one giant leap -- a flu vaccine given once every ten years, like a tetanus shot, for example, or one shot that offers cross-protection against a subgroup of related influenza viruses is more likely in the short term.

A universal flu vaccine would modernize our prevention strategy, lower health care costs, and bring influenza vaccines more in line with other licensed vaccines.

Much work needs to be done before this goal is reached, and in the meantime, getting an annual flu shot in its current form is still the best protection for everyone. But in 2013, 80 years after scientists discovered that influenza is caused by a virus, we all can be encouraged that research on a transformative approach to influenza prevention is moving ahead.

 

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