Bells of Lazonby has won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise – Innovation Award 2006 – for allergy-friendly bakery pro-ducts under its Ok Foods and Village Bakery brands.The Cumbrian family firm was the only bakery company among 145 award winners, announced as the Queen celebrated her 80th birthday last week. Its gluten-, wheat- and dairy-free products were commended as an outstanding achievement in innovation.MD Michael Bell told British Baker: “We are so delighted. We have worked tremendously hard over the past six years to reinvent our business. I don’t know any other bakery company which has ever won this award.” He added that he had never been as excited by the food industry and its diversity as he is at the moment.Michael Bell will be presented with a handmade crystal bowl on behalf of The Queen, by a representative of Her Majesty, later this year. The Awards are made each year by The Queen, on the advice of the Prime Minister, who is assisted by an Advisory Committee that includes representatives of government and the trade unions. An Award is held for a period of five years from the date of its announcement. The only other bakery company to have won a Queen’s Award is Walkers Shortbread, which has won three Awards for Export Achievement.
Twitter WhatsApp Facebook Google+ Previous articleFree app offers a map of Michigan’s breweriesNext articleElkhart County Health Dept. expects COVID restrictions to be in place for a while Tommie Lee Pinterest By Tommie Lee – February 2, 2021 0 182 Red Cross breaks mask donation goal with help of Hoosier volunteers Volunteers sew face coverings for distribution in the Red Cross’ Southwest Chapter area. (Photo provided by the American Red Cross) The Indiana Region of The American Red Cross says they received an “overwhelming response from volunteers” in the early days of the pandemic when they called for people to help sew masks.The response prompted officials to set the lofty goal of crafting and distributing 70,000 masks to local organizations.Thanks to the efforts of volunteers, the Red Cross says they’ve been able to donate more than 109,000 face coverings in the state. WhatsApp Twitter Google+ Pinterest CoronavirusIndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market Facebook
Who doesn’t like a good mustache, right? Whether it is a Magnum P.I., the Fu Manchu, a solid Handlbar, or whatever you please, the mustache is certainly a symbol. If you are down with the stache, you can see plenty of them this Saturday, April 2nd, as The Greyboy Allstars, along with Yo Mamas Big Fat Booty Band, Stache Bash Family Band, and The Routine will be playing The 9th Annual Mustache Bash at The Port Pavilion in San Diego, CA.What began as a house party several years back has grown into a serious event in the San Diego area. There will also be an after-party featuring Con Brio and Groove Session at The Music Box. Sounds like a party to us!For more information about the event, head to their official website!
Did you know that Dell Technologies has the largest IT recycling program in the world? Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do, ranging from sustainable design, responsible and ethical production through to end-of-life and recycling.We walk the talkThis isn’t a principle that we just apply to R&D and manufacturing. We incorporate it into every single business practice, including the design and construction of our exhibition booth at Hannover Messe. Typically, given the temporary nature of trade fair exhibitions, booths are not designed or constructed with sustainability in mind, as much of the material is sadly discarded after the show.Our sustainable standIn contrast, at least 85% of the elements on our booth are sustainable, have been previously used and will continue to be used in the future. In fact, many of the elements have been used at least ten times. The inner structure of our booth is made of plywood frame and laminated wood. LED lighting is used for illumination, while the furniture is sturdy and designed to last. In fact, we have some pieces of furniture on this year’s booth, which date from 2014! Our only new element this year is the monitor wall, which we plan to re-use for future shows. The same goes for our products on the booth, for example, the OptiPlex XE3 uses 44.6% post-consumer recycled plastic/closed loop recycled plastics.Of course, in addition to the sustainability aspect, the booth also has to look aesthetically pleasing with visually strong graphics and impactful demo displays. We believe that the two principles are fully compatible – it’s entirely possible to have a sustainable and attractive booth. Seeing is believing – we invite you to drop by to see for yourself! Store, adapt and refurbishHow does the whole process work? Easy. The big focus is on storing, adapting and refurbishing existing materials. When our booth is dismantled, all the elements are logged and placed in central warehouse storage. When the next event is scheduled, we design our new booth, using the existing materials.What about damage? Not a problem! If there’s a hole on an existing board, it is simply filled in, sanded down and painted over. Of course, we may need to add new boards depending on the dimension of the new booth, but all surplus materials are stored, ready to be re-used in the future.A practical approachIs there anything that cannot be reused? Carpets fall into this category, but they are put to good use afterwards as protective packaging material. Likewise, we cannot re-use graphics, but the materials are made of recycled material and are fully recyclable. In total, these elements represent around 3% of the total materials used on a typical booth. To avoid unnecessary transportation, we also store all the show materials – including computer equipment for demos – in one central location.Common sense prevailsOf course, Hannover is a great venue, easily accessible by public transport. True to that principle, we always look to use sustainable venues, for example, hotels or conference centers versus building a bespoke location. In the booth, we ask for clear sorting of waste and avoid single-use items like paper cups, plastic bottles, printed materials and unsustainable merchandising. In terms of food and beverages, we choose local suppliers as much as possible, estimating quantities as precisely as possible to avoid waste. If food is served, we look to use chicken, fish and vegetables versus red meat.Cost-neutral over the long termWhile a sustainable stand is more expensive initially due to the associated warehousing and refurbishments costs, over the longer-term, it becomes cost-neutral. More importantly, we believe that it’s the right thing to do. Our world faces pressing social and environmental challenges. It’s no longer enough to sit on the side-lines – we all need to do more, consume less and make better use of resources.AnalyticsAnd, that’s not all! Thanks to technology and the use of smart tags, our sustainable booth is smart. We can track what type of visitors come onto the booth, what areas they are most attracted too and how long they stay on average. These insights will help in future designs.Our commitment and our visionOn a closing note, I believe that technology plays a crucial role in driving environmental progress. Digital transformation is giving the world the opportunity to find lasting solutions by decoupling economic growth from carbon emissions. And, we can now use tools to understand what is happening to our climate more clearly than ever before. In fact, IoT and Artificial Intelligence are already helping to improve our knowledge of the world, reduce energy consumption and protect endangered species – read my colleague, Bryan Jones’ fascinating blog here.What are your thoughts on positive social impact? I’d love to hear your comments and questions. If you’re attending Hannover Messe, please stop by to visit our sustainable booth and say hi to our team from Dell Technologies and VMware plus partners from IOTech, SAS, Bormann, TeamViewer, ActionPoint, Tridium and Alleantia. We’ll be at Hall 6, Booth C40, April 1-5.Experience our amazing, interactive demo to learn how Dell Technologies infrastructure can help you harness the power of IoT and AI in your operations at scale.Learn more about how we advance sustainabilityLearn more about Dell Technologies OEM & IoT SolutionsLearn more about Next Generation OEM & IoT Solutions from Dell TechnologiesJoin our LinkedIn OEM & IoT Solutions Showcase pageFollow us on Twitter @delltech and at @dellemcoem
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is set to announce a wide-ranging moratorium on new oil and gas leasing on U.S. lands and waters, as his administration moves quickly to reverse Trump administration policies on energy and the environment and address climate change. Two people with knowledge of Biden’s plans outlined the proposed moratorium, which will be announced Wednesday. The move follows a 60-day suspension of new drilling permits for U.S. lands and waters announced last week and follows Biden’s campaign pledge to halt new drilling on federal lands and water as part of his plan to address climate change.
Workers are young and productive”From class surveys, we’ve seen that some of these Hispanicworkers have technical school or college degrees,” Martinez said.”Most are young, single and in the prime of their productivity.They can easily work 14 hour days at strong, labor-intensivework.”Most say they’re in the United States to work so they can sendmoney back home to their families. Their goal is to return home.”Regardless of why they’re here, they’re here and working in avital industry, and they need to be trained,” he said.Fonseca, who began training Hispanic landscape and greenhouseworkers as a Cherokee County extension agent, said the trainingneeds are great.”The poultry industry in the state has the need, too,” he said.”The majority of their workers are now Hispanic.” By Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaA $105,000 Occupational Safety and Health Administration grantwill help University of Georgia faculty members accomplish whatthey’ve been trying to do on a shoestring budget: train thestate’s Hispanic landscape workers.OSHA’s Susan Harwood Training Grants focus on improving workers’on-the-job safety records. Plant pathologist Alfredo Martinezserves as the project director for UGA.The project is aimed at reducing equipment- and driving-relatedinjuries and the misuse of pesticides and unnecessary exposure tothem. 75 percent of the work force”Of the 65,000 workers in the state’s green industry, 75 percentare Hispanic,” Martinez said. “As three-fourths of the work force,Hispanics are the backbone of this industry.”The turf, ornamental and landscape companies that make upGeorgia’s green industry are among the fastest-growing in thestate.And the trainings don’t just help those companies and theirworkers. It’s important to everyone around them that theseworkers are trained to work safely, Martinez said.”Every day,” he said, “they’re mixing chemicals and using heavyequipment and tools with rather limited training.”Business owners are eager to have their Hispanic workers trained,he said. The lower insurance premiums and other benefits ofreducing accidents are easy for them to see.Martinez, horticulturist Marco Fonseca and other UGA colleagueshave trained Hispanic workers for years through programs in theUGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Bilingual training materials”We plan to develop more in-depth trainings that include manualsin both Spanish and English,” he said.The HSG specialists plan to train both the Hispanic workers andtheir managers. “We’ve developed a training for managers thatfocuses on understanding cultural differences,” Fonseca said.”These things affect production and safety.”Over the past two years, the group has reached more than 500Hispanic workers.”The workers have learned to trust us, and they’re no longerafraid to approach us,” Martinez said. “I get four to six calls aweek from Hispanics I have met who have questions and need moreinformation.”Of the Hispanic workers who have come to his trainings, Martinezsaid, 75 percent are Mexican. The rest are from Central or SouthAmerica. Hispanic Specialists GroupTwo years ago, they formed Georgia’s Hispanic SpecialistsGroup tounify their efforts.Jorge Atiles, an extension housing specialist with the UGACollege of Family and Consumer Sciences, helped with the grantprocess. Martinez, Fonseca and Atiles have both professional andpersonal reasons to see the program succeed.They work closely with the green industry in their UGA programs,and they’re all Hispanic. Martinez is from Mexico, FonsecaHonduras and Atiles the Dominican Republic.”The Hispanic work force in Georgia has grown 300 percent overthe past decade,” Fonseca said. “They’re a very important laborforce to agribusinesses in the state. And the UGA ExtensionService is in the position to deliver training to them across thestate where it is desperately needed.”In the past, the group trained Hispanic workers primarily onproper pesticide handling. With the grant, Martinez sees morepossibilities.
Georgia wines may not have the same cachet as California chardonnays or French Burgundies, but they’re earning new accolades each year thanks to a community of dedicated grape growers and a little help from University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. UGA Extension agent Paula Burke in Carroll County, Georgia, is working with the Vineyard and Winery Association of West Georgia, Georgia wine growers and the UGA Agricultural and Environmental Services Laboratories (AESL) to help produce better wines by perfecting growing methods. According to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, Georgia’s fledgling wine industry has an impact of $81.6 million on Georgia’s economy each year. There’s been very little research into what it takes to grow wine grapes in Georgia. Most of the grape research in the state has focused on muscadine varieties, but wine growers in west Georgia are using hybrid vines that incorporate the genetics of classic viniferous or European varieties and the genetics of wild grapes to help combat disease. “These hybrid grapes grow very vigorously,” Burke said. “They seem to love poor soil, and they just seem to love this area of Georgia. The poorer the soil, it seems the faster they grow.” These are Texas-cultivated hybrids, like Blanc du Bois, Norton, Lenoir and Villard Blanc. They can be treated like classic pinots and merlots in the wine barrel, but are resistant to problems like Pierce’s disease, which makes wine grape cultivation very difficult in Georgia. “When you say ‘Norton’ or ‘Blanc du Bois,’ nobody knows those varieties, but they make fantastic wines,” Burke said. “You can make sweet wines out of them; you can make dry wines out of them … They’re great wines, they’re just not the merlots or pinots that you see in the store.” But even if the right variety of the right crop is planted in the right place, knowing the right growing methods for the region can greatly impact growers’ success, Burke said. Burke started working with nearby Haralson County, Georgia, winery Trillium Vineyard in 2014. She took copious soil samples to help the AESL, which is best known for analyzing soil and water samples, develop soil-testing recommendations for hybrid grape wineries in Georgia. Burke also started working with owners Bruce and Karen Cross on variety testing. The goal was to compare varieties of grapes and trellising systems to see which combination provided the best yields and the highest quality grapes. But determining the “highest quality grapes” can be subjective, and that’s where the team at the UGA Crop and Environmental Quality Laboratory, one of the labs that make up the AESL, had some influence. Daniel Jackson, manager of the lab, has taken on the task of quantifying what makes a grape great for winemaking. Building on a testing system he developed to chemically describe the sweetness of Vidalia onions, Jackson developed a battery of tests for the Trillium Vineyard grapes. Jackson and his team measure pH and titratable acidity (measurements of the acidity of the grape juice), how quickly that acidity will mellow and meld with other flavors, and the Brix and sugar profiles, which characterize the potential alcohol content of the wine and the overall sweetness of the juice. For thousands of years, winemakers have developed a knowledge base about how growing practices affect the wine made from traditional wine grapes. Tests from the UGA lab allow Georgia’s wine growers to accelerate this process by using modern chemistry. They’ll be able to skip the generations of trial and error and pinpoint the best uses for each variety of grape and how growing methods will improve the quality of each variety. “This is a systematic approach to identifying how these varieties (which have not seen widespread use in this region) will perform in the vineyard and in the wine barrel,” Jackson said. “It’s allowing us to look at these newly adopted varieties and see how they respond to different growing conditions, how growing conditions affect quality and what kind of wines they can be used for.” This information can help growers make informed decisions about which grapes to grow and which cultivation techniques will maximize yield and quality.Burke and Jackson’s work with the Trillium Vineyard is being funded by a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and has received significant technical advice from Fritz Westover of Westover Vineyard Advising and Rachel Itle, a postdoctoral horticulture researcher on the UGA campus in Griffin, Georgia. Separately, Jackson’s lab has started accepting grapes and wines from other Georgia producers. More information about the UGA Extension AESL can be found at aesl.ces.uga.edu.
MONTPELIER, Vt. The state has awarded nearly $438,000 in Municipal Planning Grants to communities across the state to help them plan for future growth and development. Governor Jim Douglas announced the Municipal Planning Grants Wednesday, which range from projects to update town plans and bylaws to funding downtown and village revitalization studies. These grants support the planning activities that are at the heart of smart growth, Douglas said. These investments will help promote economic and housing development in our downtowns and village centers, while protecting Vermont s working landscape.The Municipal and Regional Planning Fund was first established in 1988, and now offers grants of up to $15,000 to help Vermont municipalities develop their town plans and to conduct special planning projects.Through a competitive process, 40 Vermont towns across the state were awarded funds for a diverse collection of planning projects. The vast majority of the projects this year are traditional planning activities such as updating town plans, maps and zoning bylaws.However, there are also several downtown and village revitalization projects, including a study of pedestrian improvements in St Johnsbury, transportation and redevelopment planning for Merchants Row in Barre, an infrastructure and development plan for St Albans, and a master plan for School Street in Wolcott.The St. Johnsbury grant will fund a study on the adequacy and safety of pedestrian crosswalks on Main Street and in the Main Street Historic District. St. Johnsbury s downtown has made an amazing comeback since the fire that destroyed the Daniels Block in 2000, Douglas said. New shops and residences are bringing commercial vitality back, and this study will help improve pedestrian access.The $15,000 grant to the City of Barre will provide assistance to create new parking and traffic plans for the Merchants Row/Enterprise Alley space just off Main Street. Merchants Row is an important part of Barre s downtown, providing access and parking for not only Main Street merchants but for City Hall and the Barre Opera House, Douglas said.In St. Albans, a $15,000 grant will pay for a consultant to draft a Master Plan that will guide future development and infrastructure needs such as streets, sidewalks, bike paths, utilities, and parks. The people of St. Albans will be able to craft a plan that will continue to revitalize their downtown, which is an important center for commercial and residential activity in Franklin County, Douglas said. These grants support the work of Vermont s towns and the volunteers who serve on panels like planning commissions and development review boards, said Tayt Brooks, Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Housing and Community Affairs. Their work is the foundation of our shared success.The Department of Housing and Community Affairs is part of the Vermont Agency of Commerce & Community Development. For more information please visit: http://www.dhca.state.vt.us/Planning/MPG.htm(link is external)FY2009 Municipal Planning Grant Program Award List: $437,720Addison County Regional Planning Commission: $35,225Town of Bristol: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw Update — $13,125 Implementation of a newly completed Town Plan including complete review of all existing zoning districts, update of zoning bylaws, creation of new maps, and consideration of subdivision regulations all with as much public input as possible.Town of New Haven: Municipal Plan Update — $6,600 Completes the Town Plan Update that was partially funded in the last round.Town of Orwell: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw Update — $7,500 The project reviews and revises the Land Use Regulations, encompass both zoning and subdivisions regulations, in preparation for Village Center Designation.Town of Shoreham: Municipal Plan Update — $8,000 Grant fund will support the Town Plan updateBennington County Regional Commission: $29,990Town of Bennington: Municipal Plan Update — $14,990 Hire the RPC to update Bennington Town Plan and conduct extensive public outreach.Town of Sandgate: Municipal Plan — $15,000 Grant fund will support the Town Plan update.Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission: $37,500City of Barre: Barre City Merchants Row/Enterprise Alley Planning — $15,000 Grant provides professional assistance to create new parking, circulation, and other use plans for the underused Merchants Row/Enterprise Alley space.Town of Plainfield: Municipal Plan Update — $7,500 Grant funds will hire a consultant to assist with the creation of a new town plan based on new surveys and outreach.Town of Waitsfield: Municipal Plan Update — $15,000 Underwrites professional Town Plan assistance to update and analyze the socio-economic and transportation data and coordinate extensive public outreach.Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission: $41,240Town of Hinesburg: Municipal Plan Update — $10,400 Hire a consultant to adapt the plan to account for accomplishments and new priorities since last revised in 2005, address the evolving Greenspace Plan, and share the plan as user-friendly on-line product.Town of Richmond: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw Update — $9,770 This project will result in updates to the zoning and subdivision regulations to conform with the 2007 Richmond Town PlanCity of South Burlington: Municipal Plan Update — $8,000 The City will complete the upgrade and revision of its Comprehensive Plan focusing on Future Land Use, “Grey” Infrastructure, Energy Planning, and Goals & Policies, with significant public input.Town of Underhill: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw Update — $13,070 Publicize and conduct public forums and public hearings on preliminary and final drafts of unified bylaws. Hire a consultant to facilitate forums and hearings and prepare preliminary and final documents.Lamoille County Planning Commission: $21,400Town of Belvidere: Municipal Plan Update — $7,450 This project will update and revise the Belvidere Municipal Plan. The current plan was adopted in 2005 and will expire on May 5, 2010.Town of Wolcott: Other — $13,950 Hire a consultant who will, through public outreach and professional guidance, develop a plan for School Street to help this area develop into a new village core for Wolcott connecting new facilities with existing ones.Northeastern Vermont Development Association: $59,060Town of Danville: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw Update — $14,720 Financial assistance to develop a detailed land use plan that will serve as the framework for new implementation strategies (regulatory and non-regulatory) that protect the town’s rural character.City of Newport: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw — $15,000 Revise the Newport City Bylaw-specifically for the Downtown/Main street Commercial Core District.Town of St. Johnsbury: Other — $14,340 Hire a consultant to study the adequacy and safety of pedestrian crosswalks on Main Street and Main Street Historic District.Town of Troy: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw Update — $15,000 Hire consultant to rewrite the zoning bylaws for consistency with the new town plan and compliance with Chapter 117 requirements.Northwest Regional Planning Commission: $41,150Town of Berkshire: Municipal Plan Update — $10,300 Hire the RPC to assist with the update to the Berkshire Town Plan, including a strong public participation component.Town of Fairfax: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw Update — $10,850 Hire the RPC to work with Town on a revision to the Zoning Bylaws and Subdivision Regulations for consistency with Town Plan.City of St. Albans: Other — $15,000 Hire a consultant to create a Master Plan that will guide future development and infrastructure needs (streets, sidewalks, bike paths, utilities, lighting, parks, water/sewer, etc.).Town of Swanton: Municipal Plan Update — $5,000 Hire the RPC to update the 2005 Swanton Municipal Plan with current data and analysis and solicit new community input on municipal goals and policiesRutland Regional Planning Commission: $43,705Town of Castleton: Municipal Plan Update — $14,980 Complete the update of the Town Plan including an extensive economic development element, a comprehensive public involvement program, and revision of goals, objectives and strategies.Town of Chittenden: Municipal Plan — $15,000 Grant funding will assist the update of the Chittenden Town Plan, including a strong public participation component.Town of Mt. Holly: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw Update — $13,725 Revise the 1998 Subdivision Regulation for compliance with the 2008 Mount Holly Town Plan and to ensure that are legally enforceable.Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission: $23,400Town of Springfield: Municipal Plan Update — $7,700 Town Plan update.Town of West Windsor: Municipal Plan Update — $8,700 The Planning Commission will update current Town Plan maps, and the following chapters to its Town Plan: Energy, Housing, and Economic Development, with strategic updates to Natural Resources and Future Land Use.Town of Windsor: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw Update — $7,000 Update of the Windsor Zoning Bylaws.Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission: $61,750Town of Norwich: Municipal Plan Update — $12,800 Preparation and public review of the final draft of a new comprehensive town plan based on several years of research, public surveys, and public workshops. The project includes the plan, maps, and graphics.Town of Pittsfield: Municipal Plan Update — $13,100 The Town, with assistance from the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission will revise the Pittsfield Town Plan to reflect resident’s vision for the future.Town of Randolph: Municipal Plan Update — $15,000 The project will revise the Town Plan, paying special attention to the downtown and village areas.Town of Rochester: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw Update — $7,075 This project will bring Rochester’s 1976 Subdivision Regulations into compliance with the Town Plan.Town of Sharon: Municipal Plan Update — $7,775 This project will update the town plan, focusing on the utilities and facilities, transportation, and energy sections.Town of Strafford: Municipal Plan Update — $6,000 The Town, with assistance from the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission will revise the Strafford Town Plan to reflect resident’s vision for the future.Windham Regional Commission: $43,300Town of Dummerston: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw Update — $6,500 Hire professional planners to assist the Dummerston Planning Commission in a comprehensive rewrite of the existing Zoning Bylaw.Town of Guilford: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw — $7,550 The grant underwrites technical assistance and public outreach to help the planning commission draft new Zoning Bylaws.Town of Readsboro: Municipal Plan Update — $11,250 Underwrites technical assistance for the rewrite of the Readsboro Town Plan focusing on writing clear policies, village revitalization, and wind energy.Town of Rockingham: Municipal Plan Update — $3,000 The project would update the Town Plan maps.Town of Wilmington: Municipal Plan Update — $15,000 Town Plan Update in general concentrating effort on land use, energy, housing, economic development, recreation and implementation sections.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Forget what the calendar says, winter is here. Long Islanders woke up to chilly conditions Tuesday with gusty winds and temperatures in the low 30s. Forecasters at the National Weather Service in Upton expect a high near 34 Tuesday, but wind chill values between 15 and 25 degrees will make it feel much colder. Forecasters predict gusts as high as 33 mph. The mercury will drop in the evening hours, with meteorologists calling for a low of 21 and wind chill values between 10 and 15 degrees. Sure, it’s blistery, but it could be worse. In Buffalo, residents are dealing with up to 3 feet of snow. The deluge forced officials to close a long stretch of the New York State Thruway and other state roads. There’s no snow in the forecast for the Island in the near future, but the chilly temperatures will hang around. The forecast for Wednesday calls for sunny skies with a high of 33 and wind chill values between 10 and 20 degrees. There will be daytime relief from the cold Thursday and Friday with temperatures in the low 40s but dropping significantly at night.
Nov 2, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Interim clinical trial findings announced today affirm that children younger than 10 need two pandemic H1N1 vaccine doses, and initial findings in pregnant women reveal no safety concerns and a need for only one dose.Federal officials also detailed the role of an independent panel of experts to review vaccine safety data and released a report outlining the government’s vaccine safety monitoring system.At a media briefing today, Bruce Gellin, MD, director of the National Vaccine Program at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), said federal officials realize that, despite problems with vaccine supply and demand, Americans still have concerns about its safety. He told reporters that an independent expert group charged with reviewing vaccine safety data met for the first time today to become familiar with the data sources they’ll be reviewing.In addition, a federal task force today released a 20-page report that outlines beefed-up systems that officials have put in place to monitor the safety of the vaccine. US health officials are mindful of the 1976 swine flu vaccination campaign, which reached more than 40 million people but was associated with an increase in cases of Guillian-Barre syndrome, a temporary paralytic condition.Though vaccine safety and purifications steps are much more advanced today, officials have added new systems to track the pandemic H1N1 vaccine and are taking extra steps to add transparency to the process, in hopes of reassuring the public.Anne Schuchat, MD, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters that a cumulative total of 30 million doses of pandemic H1N1 vaccine have been produced for states to order, which represents an increase of 3.4 million since Friday.Vaccine data for childrenThe latest findings of vaccine efficacy in children come on the heels of a recommendation from World Health Organization (WHO) vaccine experts who on Oct 30 recommended that most people, even young children, receive just one dose of the vaccine.Though the group acknowledged they didn’t have much data to base their guidance on, they said countries that have placed children as a high-priority group to receive the vaccine should administer one dose so they can immunize as many children as possible.Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the findings today, from National Institutes of Health (NIH) studies, are critical to public health officials who are charged with making policy decisions and to the public for making personal decisions for themselves and their loved ones.He said interim results on vaccine in healthy children ages 6 months to 17 years confirm early results reported on Sep 21. The new findings show that children younger than 10 who receive a second 15-microgram (mcg) dose of pandemic H1N1 vaccine have significant immune response improvement.The new data were obtained 8 to 10 days after the second vaccine dose, compared with the first findings, which were obtained 21 days after the first dose.In the youngest children (6 to 35 months), 100% had a robust immune response after the second dose compared with only 25% after the first dose. In those ages 3 through 9, 94% had a robust immune response after the second dose, compared with 55% after the first dose.Immune responses were comparable in those receiving two 15-mcg doses and in those who got two 30-mcg doses, suggesting that the smaller dose is enough to elicit a strong immune response, according to an NIH press release today.”Our guidelines seem to fit quite nicely with the science,” Fauci said at the news conference. “We would like to get children as fully protected as we can.”Efficacy in pregnant womenIn the initial results on the vaccine in pregnant women, immune response to the pandemic H1N1 shot was similar to that seen in healthy adults.Public health officials have placed pregnant women at the front of the line to receive the vaccine because they have been disproportionately hit by the virus. So far the CDC has received reports of at least 100 pandemic flu infections in pregnant women that required intensive care unit (ICU) treatment, as well as reports of 28 deaths.In a subgroup of 50 pregnant women participating in an NIH clinical trial, a preliminary analysis of blood drawn 21 days after vaccination showed the vaccine was likely protective in 23 of 25 women (92%) who received a single 15-mcg dose and that it was likely protective in 24 of 25 (96%) who received a single 30-mcg dose.The trial began on Sep 9, according to an NIH press release. Participants were between ages 18 and 39 and were in their second or third trimester when they began the study. The ongoing study will also assess the effects of a second dose. Investigators are using Sanofi’s pandemic H1N1 vaccine, which does not contain the preservative thimerosal or an immune-response-boosting adjuvant.Despite the heightened threat of the virus to pregnant women, public health officials worry about the uptake of the pandemic vaccine in this group, because only about 15% of pregnant women typically receive the seasonal vaccine. Safety monitoring of the drug conducted by researchers and an independent expert panel so far suggests that the vaccine is well tolerated, with no safety concerns so far.”For pregnant women, who are among the most vulnerable to serious health problems from 2009 H1N1 infection, these initial results are very reassuring,” Fauci said.Vaccine-safety groupGellin said the independent vaccine safety expert group that met today in its first face-to-face meeting will meet biweekly to review the latest data and will report its findings each month in a publicly accessible conference call with the HHS’s National Vaccine Advisory Committee.The vaccine safety group will be receiving regular briefings from the NIH and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency (BARDA) and can convene rapidly if needed.See also:Nov 2 NIH press release on vaccine response in childrenNov 2 NIH press release on vaccine response in pregnant womenFederal Immunization Task Force report on plans for monitoring pandemic H1N1 vaccine safetySep 21 CIDRAP News story “Trial predicts 2 H1N1 shots for young kids, 1 for older”