Nov 10, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – The current shortage of influenza vaccine has generated new support for proposed federal legislation introduced last January that would make the production of flu vaccine more financially attractive, according to sponsors of the bill.Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., and Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, announced recently that their proposed Flu Protection Act of 2004 has won endorsements from the American Public Health Association, the American Lung Association, and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).In a news release, Bayh and Craig expressed hope that Congress will act on the bill in its lame-duck session, which begins next week. They also said the number of sponsors for the bill has doubled to ten since the loss of flu vaccine from Chiron Corp. in October triggered the current vaccine shortage.Among other things, the bill directs the government to buy any flu vaccine doses that manufacturers can’t sell by the end of the flu season.”It’s a buy-back plan,” Meg Keck, a spokeswoman for Bayh, told CIDRAP News. “It takes away the economic disincentive that the manufacturers currently face if they produce a surplus. Right now they have to eat that cost.”The legislation, Senate bill 2038, also offers a 20% tax credit for the cost of building or expanding vaccine production facilities, Keck said. The measure also directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop a contingency plan for dealing with future vaccine shortages and to run an annual public education campaign on the importance of flu vaccination.Bayh and Craig said they wrote letters to Senate leaders and the Senate Appropriations Committee urging them to take up the legislation so that appropriate steps can be taken in time for next year’s flu season. “The plan is ready, the support is growing—Congress needs only to act to protect the American people from another flu season nightmare,” Bayh said in the news release.Keck said the bill was introduced last January in the Senate Finance Committee and the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. She noted that last year’s flu season arrived early and concern about vaccine supplies had died down by January. The bill remained in committee because “there wasn’t a sense of urgency at the time,” she said.Keck said she is not aware of any particular opposition to the bill. “I think it’s a straightforward, fiscally responsible way to make sure we won’t have another flu vaccine shortage,” she said. She noted that Craig is the only Republican sponsor or cosponsor of the bill.Bayh’s news release said the legislation also calls for increased government-industry cooperation to provide accurate estimates of the amount of vaccine needed each year and authorizes funds to encourage the creation of more vaccine producers.The bill calls for the CDC director to contract with manufacturers each year to produce the amount of vaccine the CDC thinks will be needed. If any of that supply remains unsold by the end of the flu season, the CDC would pay for it at a mutually negotiated price, the bill specifies.Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy Thompson has said he supports the idea of a government guarantee to buy flu vaccine in order to protect manufacturers from losses if the demand for vaccine is overestimated. Phone calls to HHS to ask about the department’s position on Bayh’s bill were not returned in time for this story.A companion bill, HR 3758, has been introduced in the House by Rep. Rahm Emmanuel, D-Ill., and has 13 cosponsors.See also:Library of Congress’s Thomas site for information on and text of Senate bill 2038 (search “S 2038”)http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.html
Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 17, 2014 at 10:59 pm Five years ago, Stefanie Marty took the ice as a member of Syracuse’s inaugural team. Four years ago, she scored an Olympic-record nine goals as Switzerland’s star forward in the Vancouver Games.And Saturday, she notched her first tally of the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia — her third Olympics at just 24 years old.“What an awesome experience it must be for her,” SU head coach Paul Flanagan said. “Three Olympics is pretty amazing. It’s a credit to Stefanie with her training.”After playing at Syracuse for two seasons, Marty is now in her third Olympics. The Swiss advanced to the semifinals after a 2-0 win over Russia on Saturday, but fell to Canada and will face Sweden in the bronze-medal game Thursday. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhile at Syracuse, Marty trained with the goal of becoming an Olympian and has transferred that work ethic to the ice in Russia. Marty’s career began at the University of New Hampshire, where she stayed for one season before leaving for Syracuse.Flanagan reminisced about the time when she first visited Syracuse, a critical moment in the program’s history.“For me as the coach, not having anyone, when Stefanie transferred in here, it gave us immediate credibility,” he said. When Marty began her sophomore season with SU, she quickly proved her worth when she was named co-captain. She led the Orange in points with 22, and was second on the team in goals with 10. “She was our first captain. We’ve missed her ever since she’s left,” Flanagan said.It was evident in the locker room that Marty held her teammates accountable. But she would also be the first to express disappointment in her play if it didn’t meet expectations.Caitlin Roach, who was a freshman during Marty’s final season with Syracuse, said Marty’s success in Sochi is a testament to her dedication to the sport.“It’s awesome seeing someone out there represent the Orange during the Olympics,” Roach said. “She was just really a hard worker, both on and off the ice.“Marty’s goal was to sustain the necessary training that would elevate her to compete with the best hockey players in the world at the Olympics.Flanagan said that Marty was in the weight room every single day, providing an example for the younger players to follow. Her combination of elite offensive prowess and pursuit of excellence was the exception, not the norm. “She always had that drive that she would be an Olympian,” Flanagan said. “She had that drive to do the extra things. For some of our girls, it’s hard to get them to understand that because a lot of them don’t have the Olympic dream.”Marty achieved her dream at a young age playing in the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy, at the age of 17. Now in her third Olympic Games, her success is leaving lasting impressions on former teammate Margot Scharfe, who watches from Syracuse. Scharfe earned the honor of team captain, which was held by Marty for two straight seasons. As the new leader of this program, Scharfe can’t help but attempt to emulate the role of the former Syracuse standout.“She was an inspiring player to play under, so I was really lucky as a freshman to have her as a senior,” Scharfe said. “I can honestly say that she’s the hardest worker I ever played with.” Comments
Alex Hornibrook’s 26-6 record is the best for any quarterback in program history, yet his performance often contradicted his team’s success. Now, ex-Wisconsin quarterback Hornibrook is officially headed to Tallahassee, Florida, to play his final season for Head Coach Willie Taggart at Florida State University.With Kansas high school sensation Graham Mertz coming to Madison in the fall, a new era of Badger football is underway. Now that Hornibrook is gone, it’s time to address what narrative will surround him as the years go by, and as his time at Wisconsin becomes a distant memory.Football: Alex Hornibrook to leave UW in pursuit of finishing his career elsewhereThe three-year starting quarterback for the University of Wisconsin football team Alex Hornibrook notified Head Coach Paul Chryst early Wednesday Read…One may look back and see a quarterback who failed to illustrate a game-winning drive against Ohio State in the 2017 Big Ten Championship, or who benefited greatly from weak competition in the Big Ten West, or who didn’t need to do much but hand the ball off to Jonathan Taylor and get out of the way.In total, these narratives drive a similar sentiment — it was impressive how much he won given the numbers he produced.But how much did Hornibrook actually win?He ended his Badger career with a 26-6 record — good for the highest winning percentage in Wisconsin football history.It’s worth noting that Hornibrook’s tenure at Wisconsin was replete with luxuries — he played under the nation’s best offensive line and could hand the ball off to one of the greatest running backs to ever play at Wisconsin.But despite his subpar performance at times, Hornibrook was a winner at Wisconsin.Hornibrook came to Head Coach Paul Chryst’s team as a three-star recruit from the Philadelphia area in 2015. After redshirting the 2015 season, he battled senior Bart Houston for the starting position as a freshman and led the Badgers to an 11-3 overall record.Hornibrook’s freshman year was a microcosm for his career at Wisconsin — generally subpar quarterback play, with flashes of greatness, but a lot of winning to show for it.Hornibrook finished his freshman season with a 58.6 completion percentage, 1,262 yards, 7 yards-per-attempt, 9 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, leading the Badgers to the 2016 Big Ten Championship Game and a No. 9 national ranking to end the season.For reference, only three quarterbacks in the NFL last season completed less than 58 percent of their passes. Their combined record was 12-25.Hornibrook’s sophomore season — his first season as the full-time starter — followed a similar trend. In the 14 games he started, Hornibrook completed 62.3 percent of his passes, threw for 2644 yards, 25 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.The Badgers went 13-1 in what was arguably the greatest season in program history. If it weren’t for a questionable holding call on the Badgers as they marched down the field late in the fourth quarter of the Big Ten Championship Game against Ohio State, they would have likely been Playoff bound.Still, Hornibrook made his mark at the 2017 Orange Bowl, where he was named the game’s MVP after throwing for 258 yards and four touchdowns in a 34–24 takedown of the Miami Hurricanes. It was the seminal moment of Hornibrook’s tenure as Wisconsin’s quarterback.While Hornibrook was pivotal to the Badgers’ success that season, eight quarterbacks in the NFL last season completed 62.3 percent of their passes or fewer. None of them had a winning record.Through two seasons in Madison, it seemed like Hornibrook had taken steps to become one of the elite quarterbacks in the country, especially after his Orange Bowl performance. The progress was evident into his third season — five weeks into his junior year, Hornibrook was the fifth-highest graded quarterback in the nation by Pro Football Focus and sported a passer rating of 122.5 when he had a clean pocket.But after week five, the team went 2-2 with him under center. In those games, he had a completion percentage above 60 just once and threw six touchdowns to nine interceptions.Football: Badgers seek consistency in quarterback battle for the agesSpring is coming, and University of Wisconsin Head Football Coach Paul Chryst has much to consider in the coming months Read…So, Hornibrook’s junior season didn’t break the trend — in reality, it was eerily similar to his freshman campaign. He finished the season with a 59.5 completion percentage, 1,532 yards, 13 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in just nine games played.And it bears repeating — only three quarterbacks in the NFL last season completed less than 58 percent of their passes. Their combined record was 12-25.Hornibrook ended his Wisconsin career with a 60.5 completion percentage, 5,438 yards, 47 touchdowns and 33 interceptions — good enough to rank 21st all-time in the Big Ten in passer efficiency rating, and 23rd all-time in the Big Ten in yards-per-attempt. And, of course, good enough to win 26 of 32 games.But with four-star quarterback Graham Mertz coming to Madison next season, and Jack Coan playing well at times in relief of Hornibrook, it seems Hornibrook made a smart choice to play out his final season elsewhere. What’s surprising, though, is where he’s going.Hornibrook has transferred to battle for the starting job at Florida State University, an almost polar opposite team and school to Wisconsin.Wisconsin is a cold-weather team, premised around dominating the game on the line of scrimmage, running the football and playing tough defense. FSU, on the other hand, is a warm-weather team, one which relies on skill-position players to get out into space and make big plays. It will be interesting to see how his final season plays out, and whether he can continue to play winning football.For Badger fans, Hornibrook’s career was a series of ups and downs. Those fans should hope incoming freshman Graham Mertz brings success with him to Madison, or they’ll wish they still had Alex Hornibrook — check-downs and all — under center.