Feb 18, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – A US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee today recommended that pharmaceutical companies use one new influenza strain, the B component, in next season’s flu vaccine.The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee voted to follow the lead of the World Health Organization (WHO), which last week recommended replacing the influenza B strain in this year’s vaccine, which is from the Yamagata lineage, to one from the Victoria lineage, said Karen Reilly, an FDA spokeswoman. The WHO and the FDA panel recommended that the two influenza A strains for the Northern Hemisphere remain the same.Reilly told CIDRAP News that the votes on retaining the current influenza A/H1N1 and A/H3N2 strains were unanimous. However, the vote on changing the influenza B strain was 14 to 0 with one abstention.The flu vaccine is reformulated each year in an attempt to match ever-evolving virus strains. The WHO and FDA recommend the strains for the vaccine in February, allowing companies enough time to grow the viruses in chicken eggs and process them into vaccine doses. Most years the vaccine is protective, but last flu season all three strains in the vaccine were a poor match for circulating viruses, and the WHO and FDA recommended changing all three strains for this season.The influenza B component of this year’s flu vaccine was from the Yamagata lineage, but the proportion of strains from the Victoria lineage continues to increase and has become predominant in many countries, including the United States.The WHO and now the FDA committee recommend the following for next season’s vaccine:For the H1N1 component, a strain similar to A/Brisbane/59/2007For the H3N2 component, a strain similar to A/Brisbane/10/2007For the B component, a strain similar to B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus, replacing B/Florida/4/2006Reilly said the committee discussed recommending the addition of a second B strain to the vaccine, but did not vote on the measure. Health officials in the United States have discussed including both lineages in the seasonal vaccine to address the unpredictable circulation of the influenza B strains, given that a vaccine against one lineage offers little protection against the other.Some of the committee members said there was not enough research yet to support adding a second B strain lineage, she said.See also:Feb 13 CIDRAP News story “WHO picks new B strain for 2009-10 flu vaccine”Jan 16 CIDRAP News story “Experts consider 4-strain flu vaccine to fight B viruses”
Gov. Wolf Visits Kindergarteners Using PAsmart-Funded Robots to Learn Coding SHARE Email Facebook Twitter November 15, 2019 Education, PAsmart, Press Release, Schools That Teach Prospect Park, PA – Governor Tom Wolf toured the Interboro Kindergarten Academy in Delaware County today to talk with kindergarten students using robots to learn about programming and coding. The Interboro School District purchased the robots with a grant through the governor’s PAsmart program which is expanding science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in classrooms across the commonwealth.“Preparing young people for the jobs of tomorrow starts by bringing STEM learning directly to students today,” said Governor Wolf. “These students will experience tremendous technological advances in their careers in every job. Programs like this are preparing them now with the skills to thrive.”The governor has secured $70 million for PAsmart over two years. In the inaugural year, the Wolf administration awarded nearly $10 million, of up to $35,000 each, to 765 schools, including Interboro Kindergarten Academy, to expand computer science classes and teacher training. An additional $10 million in advancing grants, up to $500,000 each, was awarded to 24 schools and community partnerships. The remaining $10 million supported apprenticeships and job training. The grant availability for this school year will be announced soon.“PAsmart provides the funding so schools, industry and communities can build the partnerships that focus on great STEM learning. This is about investing in our future so people can compete for good-paying, in-demand jobs and emerging businesses expand here and strengthen the economy for everyone.”During the tour, the governor visited kindergarten students using KIBO robots purchased with PAsmart funds. Teachers use the robots to engage students in small groups to learn about computer programing and coding.The PAsmart grant also enabled teachers in the school district to attend multiple workshops on design thinking, coding and engineering as well as participate in the Pennsylvania Computer Science for All Summit, held by the Department of Education. From that experience, the district created a K-5 computer science curriculum that blends hands-on and technology-based programming.PAsmart has made Pennsylvania a national leader in STEM and computer science education. Accomplishments under Governor Wolf include:Ranking second in the nation for investments in computer science education;Advancing Pennsylvania to third in the nation in the number of nationally-recognized STEM ecosystems and making the commonwealth the fifth largest producer of STEM graduates;Establishing standards for computer science education in all Pennsylvania schools;Joining the Governors’ Partnership for K-12 Computer Science, a bipartisan initiative organized by Code.org, to advance policy, funding, and professional learning for computer science education.The State Board of Education recently directed the Department of Education to begin the process of updating Pennsylvania’s science standards.
British number two Kyle Edmund also progressed after beating Renzo Olivo 7-5 6-3 6-1.The 22-year-old Yorkshireman will next play South Africa’s Kevin Anderson, who beat Australian Nick Kyrgios 5-7 6-4 6-1 6-2.Del Potro, seeded 29th after his own injury struggles, went through when his opponent Nicolas Almagro retired at one set all.Asked about facing former US Open champion Del Potro as early as the third round, Murray said: “It’s a tough match. In my opinion he’s one of the best players in the world.Murray needed three hours and 34 minutes to see off Klizan, the world number 50, and claim his second four-set win of the week.The Scot, 30, could again be heard to complain he was struggling with his movement, but once again his form improved as the match wore on.“I’m playing way better than I was two weeks ago, and today’s match will have done me a lot of good,” said Murray.“Physically I pulled up well and felt good, so I will gain a lot of confidence from that. And also, I hit a lot of balls out there today, more than the first-round match.”Murray occasionally appeared frustrated with movement in the crowd in the early stages of the matchIt could have been a much quicker afternoon on the Suzanne Lenglen Court had Murray completed a comeback from a break down in the first set.Having weathered the expected early storm from his big-hitting opponent, Murray drew level at 5-5 only to play a poor tie-break and fall a set behind.Klizan, 27, began the match with his left calf heavily strapped and it was no surprise that his level dropped in the second set.Murray raced through seven straight games and when he made it 11 out of 13 to take a two-sets-to-one lead, there looked no way back for the Czech.He was offered a lifeline early in the fourth thanks to a wayward Murray forehand and made it through to 5-3, only to fail once again when trying to serve out the set.Klizan was broken for the sixth time when he framed a smash over the baseline and, despite brilliantly saving one match point, saw his challenge end in another tie-break.Murray lunged to his right to send a superb volley past the Slovakian on the second match point.“Consistency is definitely what I’m looking for,” Murray told BBC Sport.“I felt a little bit more in control of the first-round match than I did today. At times today I played some very solid stuff.“The most positive things for me are physically I felt good after a pretty long match in tough conditions, and also I made some quite significant changes during the match to my tactics.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram World number one Andy Murray came from a set down to beat unseeded Slovakian Martin Klizan in the French Open second round.The Briton won 6-7 (3-7) 6-2 6-2 7-6 (7-3) and goes on to face Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro.It was Murray’s 18th win of a season that has been interrupted by illness and injury.