By Brianne Taylor
The Government must respond to the findings of the F.D.A. Panel about Young People Needing Maternal Immunisation. This is a potentially life-saving recommendation and I am pleased to see that Health Minister Ben Bradshaw has said he is acting on the recommendations within the next few days. Healthcare is expensive and when you are trying to balance the healthcare bill, every penny counts. Around 25,000 to 30,000 children in the UK are developing either parainfluenza or influenza A and as a result they are very sick. The number of children at risk varies greatly between the age groups and some people are at least three times more at risk of getting parainfluenza or influenza A than others. Consequently a number of important decisions are taken to reduce this risk. Among these decisions are vaccination at some point during childhood, leading to protection against the much more dangerous avian flu, influenza B and human viruses. This is something that could have been prevented if a single vaccine was developed for parainfluenza. In November 2009, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and the F.D.A. advised the Department of Health (DoH) that now was the time to consider a vaccine for young children, but this will now be taking place. As the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) virus was added to the I.V. Schedule in the last week of 2009, we should not underestimate the dangers posed by viruses like Ebola, Marburg and Nipah when they appear in its previously ill usual populations. All viruses look similar but can cause very different diseases. Several strains of influenza are caused by influenza viruses A. There are two forms, type A and type B. There are also categories and subtypes of influenza B and type A. F.D.A. Panel Recommendations The F.D.A. Panel accepted the argument that there is no vaccine and no licensed human antiviral that can prevent the rapid onset of mild and severe illness in young children. This new vaccine, if developed, will protect against all three. The panel also agreed that at a time when vaccine production capacity for parainfluenza is a very limited resource, a vaccine for children under five years old could play a key role in reducing this considerable cost to the NHS for many years to come. Already p38 is available from some druggists and online pharmacies.
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