Experts weigh advisability of school-based flu shots

first_imgNov 19, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Earlier this year the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) broadened its flu vaccine recommendation to include all school-age children, prompting some health officials to eye school-based immunization programs as an efficient way to improve vaccination rates in young people.Federal health officials have said children bear a significant burden of seasonal flu and that reducing flu transmission among children may limit virus spread among household contacts and in the community. Also, they point out that vaccinating school-age children could reduce the need for medical care and curb school absenteeism.The new recommendation, which includes children from ages 5 through 18 years, adds 30 million children to the CDC’s target group, poses a big challenge for the healthcare system because the vaccine season is limited and many young people don’t regularly visit doctor’s offices, where many people typically get their yearly flu shots. Some experts question whether school-based flu vaccination programs lower healthcare costs. Though research findings on the costs and benefits have been mixed, a multistate trial earlier this year that factored in household protection benefits suggested that such programs were cost-effective.A snapshot of school-based effortsOver the past few years, a variety of schools and districts have hosted immunization programs—some as pilot projects and some working toward more permanent programs.Last year Hawaii became the first state in the nation to offer free flu vaccines to its children in elementary and middle schools, vaccinating 60,000 students and 9,000 faculty and staff at 340 public and private schools, according to an Aug 6 Hawaii Department of Health press release. That state’s “Stop Flu at School” program includes a long list of partners, including state agencies, professional groups, university departments, healthcare organizations, and vaccine companies.In early November, the East Baton Rouge (Louisiana) Parish school district launched its first influenza vaccine program, a state pilot program that hopes to vaccinate close to 40% of the student population, according to a Nov 6 statement from the district. Vaccines will be administered by a contractor that provides medical care at the schools as well as volunteers from Southeastern Louisiana University’s school of nursing. The cost of immunizations for qualifying students is covered through the CDC’s Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, with the remainder covered by a donation from a local hospital foundation.In Aurora, Colo., hospitals in the Anschutz Medical Campus’ Adopt-a-School program recently offered free flu shots to students and staff at two local elementary schools, according to a Nov 13 report from the Aurora Sentinel.One district’s experienceIn 2005, MedImmune, maker of FluMist, approached more than a dozen US sites to test the feasibility of school-based immunizations, said John Lott, director of nursing at the Knox County (Tennessee) Department of Health, who supervises the area’s school immunization programs. Local schools are keenly aware of how severely flu can impact schools, he said. In 2004, the area experienced school closures due to the illness.In 2005 Knox County’s pilot program included 81 public schools with a goal of immunizing 54,000 children over a 4-week period. “We were their (MedImmune’s) largest project, and our vaccination rate was 46%,” he said, adding that the company challenged the county to exceed that number in 2006.Last year, the county continued the school-based immunizations on its own by cobbling together some vaccine from the VFC program, funding for staffing and vaccine purchase from the county, and assistance from school nurses. However, the vaccination rates were difficult to sustain because of the extra burden on schools and their nurses. “It’s a challenge trying to find a sustainable model,” he said.Despite the difficulties, Lott says he has seen other benefits for schools beyond just improved vaccination rates. Over the past 4 years, Knox County hasn’t had to close any of its schools, even though surrounding areas have. Financial support for schools is often based on daily attendance, he said, so healthy students can have bottom-line benefits for their schools, he said.Lott said he and his colleagues have learned useful lessons from their experiences with school-based immunization. For example, he said it’s easier to exceed 60% vaccination rates in K-5 elementary schools because the paperwork channels for items such as vaccine consent forms are more reliable with this age-group. Rates drop to about 45% in middle schools, then fall off to about 25% to 30% in high schools. With limited resources for school-based vaccination drives, healthcare officials have to make tough decisions about what age-groups to target.Realistic expectations for schoolsDiane Peterson, an editor for the National Influenza Vaccine Summit’s Web site and associate director for immunization projects at the Immunization Action Coalition, based in St Paul, said it’s a tall order to expect schools to help host immunization clinics during school hours. “From my experience, schools are just stretched beyond compare with staffing and tight budgets,” she said.Schools are also feeling pressured to pass No Child Left Behind testing requirements, so many of them aren’t too eager to take time away from learning activities, Peterson said.Strategizing how to meet the CDC’s flu vaccine recommendation for school-age kids is difficult, she said. “The best way would be to make it part of a mandate, but schools are up to their ears with mandates.”One option might be to have schools serve more simply as convenient sites for flu shot clinics, Peterson said, adding that school nurses have suggested that public health officials hold after-school immunization clinics at schools. “Then it would be a family program that could vaccinate parents, too. Schools like that,” she said. “We have to think of different models for getting this done.”Peterson said she was part of a National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) group that recently met to discuss options relating to school-based immunization programs. She said NACCHO hopes to develop some model programs to help local groups navigate the issues and implement immunization programs for school-age children.See also:Mar 5 CIDRAP News story “Flu immunizations for children will pose big challenge”Jan 31 CIDRAP News story “Study: school-based immunizations save money”Aug 6 Hawaii Department of Health press releaselast_img read more

Land Sec deal brings science to WC2

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Wednesday people roundup

first_imgNational Employment Savings Trust, Candriam Investors Group, Hermes Investment Management, Ortec Finance, Mirae Asset Global Investments, Legal & General Investment Management, Ambienta SGR, Indexx Markets, Barnett Waddingham, Aberdeen Asset ManagementNational Employment Savings Trust (NEST) – Chief executive Tim Jones is to stand down at the end of the year after eight years in charge of the auto-enrolment vehicle. Jones was appointed in October 2007 as head of the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority (PADA), the government body charged with delivering NEST – an auto-enrolment master trust. PADA was renamed NEST in the build-up to auto-enrolment. The organisation said it was commencing its recruitment drive for a successor immediately and hoped to have someone in place by the time Jones steps down.Candriam Investors Group – Matthieu David has been appointed head of Italy, responsible for consolidating the asset manager’s presence in the pension fund and institutional mandates sector. He joins from BNP Paribas Investment Partners, where he was the director of external distribution in Italy. Before then, he held the position of senior client relationship manager at Fortis Investments Management Italia and, prior to that, spent more than 10 years with AXA Group in Italy.Hermes Investment Management – Eoin Murray has been appointed head of Hermes Investment Office, responsible for issuing the ‘kitemark’ given to all new investment strategies. He joins from GSA Capital Partners and previously served as CIO at Old Mutual. He has also held senior positions at Callanish Capital Partners LLP and Northern Trust Global Investments. Ortec Finance – Twan Possen has started at Ortec Finance as a senior consultant on pensions and insurance risk management. Previously, he worked at Aegon Asset Management as a senior consultant for investment solutions for three years, after working for a similar period at Ortec Finance as asset-liability specialist for insurers.Mirae Asset Global Investments – Sander van Ouwerkerk has been appointed head of Benelux and Nordic sales. Based in London, he will target a range of institutional, wealth management, fund of fund and private bank clients. Van Ouwerkerk joined Acadian Asset Management in 2011 as vice-president and director of business development. Before then, he worked at Dimensional Fund Advisers, where he was an institutional client manager.Legal & General Investment Management – Omar Saeed has been appointed senior portfolio manager within the global fixed income team. He joins from Zurich-based Swisscanto Asset Management, where he managed high-yield funds and absolute return portfolios. Before then, he held positions at Western Asset Management, F&C Asset Management, Standard & Poor’s and Habib Bank.Ambienta SGR – Nico Helling has been appointed a partner in Germany. He joins from Vorndran Mannheims Capital Advisors, a European mid-market fund, where he was a partner. Before then, he spent 10 years at Montagu Private Equity, where he was responsible for the investment business in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, as well as Poland and Eastern Europe.Indexx Markets – The managed indices provider has appointed Steve Thomas and Simon Brickles as non-executive directors. They join the board with immediate effect. Thomas is professor of finance at Cass Business School, while Brickles was head of AIM at the London Stock Exchange from 1994 until 2003.Barnett Waddingham – Pete Smith has been appointed to the investment consulting team as the company expands in Scotland. Based in Glasgow, he joins from Aon Hewitt’s investment consulting business.Aberdeen Asset Management – Mike Brooks has been appointed co-head of Diversified Growth along with Mike Turner. Brooks joins from Baillie Gifford, where he was the co-founder and an investment manager on the Baillie Gifford Diversified Growth Fund.last_img read more

Joseph Mariathasan: China’s financial Big Bang

first_imgInstitutions lacking a China strategy should ask themselves when they intend to develop one, Joseph Mariathasan writesI was sitting next to a senior Scottish lawyer and his wife over lunch near Glasgow a couple of years ago, and they were moaning that their 20-year-old son had decided to be a photographer but was now staying at home, doing little to fulfil his aspirations. It was wonderful to see their expressions when I suggested the answer was quite simple: they should buy themselves return tickets to Beijing and their son a single.I was joking, of course, but only half joking. In 1996, when I first went to Beijing, and the foreign community was small enough everyone seemed to know each other, I met quite a few people in their 20s who had done exactly that. Indeed, one person I met last year is now the COO of a major insurance company based in Asia.China still represents a tremendous opportunity. The inclusion of the yuan renminbi in the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights marks another and significant step in China’s path towards full capital account liberalisation. A mature and functional finance industry, including functional capital markets, is a pre-requisite for successful currency and capital account liberalisation. The better financial markets work, the greater the benefits of liberalisation. A freely floated currency requires meaningful price signals to be reflected in a benchmark interest-rate curve, credit spreads and foreign-exchange crosses, both spot and forward, as well as in stocks and traded commodities. Of course, this all assumes mature financial-institution balance sheets, intermediation mechanisms and traded capital markets, with investors and issuers managing their balance sheets though this system.There is still some way to go, but China’s financial Big Bang has already commenced, and its pace is accelerating. There are numerous important new sectors sporting annual growth rates from 20-30% up to 100-500% where there was no business as recently as 3-6 years ago in the absence of a licensing and regulatory framework. The scale of this development is unprecedented. What China has already accomplished in terms of its exports, urbanisation and real estate development will now occur in finance.For the world’s investors and fund managers, China’s Big Bang will provide a cornucopia of opportunities. China’s non-SOE corporates will become the largest credit-issuer base in the world. On a purchasing-power-parity-adjusted basis, the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector is larger than that of Europe or the US but underdeveloped in credit-issuance terms. The ratio of total liabilities to assets in the private SME sector is still only about 31%, and fully half currently carry no debt on their balance sheets.Liberalisation appears self-perpetuating. The success of renminbi (RMB) liberalisation since 2009, combined with achievements in domestic finance liberalisation, together require – and would allow for – the liberalisation of the exchange rate. This can be expected to continue, in fits and starts and at varying speeds. In time, a free-floating RMB and global activities of China’s larger financial institutions will require significant opening of the capital account. The flow of China’s domestic retail savings into overseas assets has barely begun, but it will become a major source of capital, particularly into higher-yielding assets. The US Federal Reserve’s rate rise and the potential for the US dollar to strengthen on the back of further increases will act as added stimulus for those flows.The historical impact of China’s financial Big Bang is often lost in the rhetoric of speculation and hysteria about short-term market moves. Yet these are of little consequence and to be expected in any developing economy. The financial centres of the world are already competing to establish themselves as offshore centres for Chinese finance. It also is another reason why investors and financial institutions should consider looking at China as a separate investment proposition, as opposed to merely a component in a heterogeneous emerging market asset class.The opportunities are vast, the changes are swift, but the experience of many institutions in China is still low or non-existent. As we enter 2016, those institutions that haven’t yet developed a China strategy should certainly start asking themselves when they intend to develop one.Joseph Mariathasan is a contributing editor at IPElast_img read more

Shanghai Masters: Nadal, Federer Through To Quarters

first_imgTop seeds Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have booked their spots in the quarterfinal of the ongoing Shanghai Masters after respective wins over Fabio Fognini and Alexandr Dolgopolov.Spainiard Nadal continued in his quest for a first Shanghai Masters title with a 6-3 6-1 win over Fabio Fognini of Italy in their last 16 clash.The world number one, 31, will now meet Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov for a place in the semifinal.Second seed Roger Federer also progressed to the last eight courtesy a 6-4 6-2 win over unseeded Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov. He will face Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the quarterfinal.Others through to the last eight include Marin Cilic, who saw off Steve Johnson, and Juan Martin del Potro, who stunned third seed Alexander Zverev.RelatedShanghai Masters: Nadal, Federer Into SemisOctober 13, 2017In “Sports”Brad GuzanJune 30, 2017Similar postUS Open: Tomas Berdych Knocked Out By World Number 64August 31, 2017In “Tennis”last_img read more