Judge dismisses suit to limit DoD anthrax vaccinations

first_img In 2004 HHS awarded an $877 million contract to VaxGen Inc. to make a new vaccine, but in 2006 the agency canceled the contract after problems with the vaccine’s stability delayed a clinical trial. No new contract has yet been announced. Judge Rosemary M. Collyer in Washington, DC, said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acted appropriately when it determined the vaccine was safe and approved its use, according to the AP. In her ruling, the story said, Collyer wrote, “The court will not substitute its own judgment when the FDA made no clear error of judgment.” She dismissed a suit by eight military personnel who argued that the vaccine is unproved and that vaccination should be optional. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been trying to develop a second-generation anthrax vaccine for the nation’s emergency stockpile of drugs and medical supplies for civilians. The aim is to acquire a vaccine that requires fewer doses and has fewer side effects. “We vaccinate our service members to protect them against deadly diseases, both natural and those potentially spread by terrorists or enemy forces,” Smith told CIDRAP News in an e-mail message. “We take very seriously the potential use of weapons of mass destruction by terrorists.” In response, the FDA affirmed that the vaccine was safe and effective for all forms of anthrax disease, and the judge then lifted his injunction. But in October 2004 he stopped the program again, ruling that the FDA had not followed proper procedures in issuing the new approval. The vaccine, called anthrax vaccine adsorbed and developed in the 1950s, requires six doses over a period of 18 months, followed by annual boosters. Feb 29, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – A federal district judge has dismissed a lawsuit aiming to stop the Pentagon’s mandatory anthrax vaccination program for troops serving in some areas overseas, the Associated Press (AP) reported today. Smith said the vaccination requirement covers all uniformed personnel and “emergency-essential” civilian workers in the US Central Command and Korea. The shots are also required for certain forces at sea and uniformed personnel in units with missions related to biological warfare or bioterrorism, she reported.center_img A legal battle over the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) mandatory vaccination program has dragged on for years. Soldiers concerned about the vaccine’s side effects sued to stop the program, arguing that the FDA had never specifically approved the vaccine for preventing inhalational anthrax. In December 2003 a federal judge in Washington, DC, ordered the program stopped. About 1.8 million troops have received anthrax shots since the program was launched in March 1998, according to online information from DoD. The program has been controversial, with some troops objecting to the shots because of reported serious side effects. When the shots were optional, only about 50% of affected personnel accepted them, the Pentagon said in 2006. In October 2006 the Pentagon again made the shots mandatory for personnel serving in the Middle East and South Korea. Mandatory vaccinations have continued since then, according to Cynthia O. Smith, a DoD spokeswoman in Washington. Oct 19, 2006, CIDRAP News story “Pentagon to resume mandatory anthrax shots for some” See also: DoD anthrax vaccine immunization programhttp://www.anthrax.osd.mil/ In January 2005, the FDA granted a Pentagon request for emergency permission to restart the vaccination program, but said the shots had to be voluntary. DoD resumed the program on a voluntary basis in April 2005. In December 2005, the FDA completed a final investigation of the vaccine and reaffirmed its earlier finding that it was safe and effective.last_img read more

Parks contribute to local quality of life

first_imgA timely article in the November 2017 magazine of the American Planning Association concludes: “Parks and recreation planning is more than fun and games. Parks contribute significantly to the quality of life for all, deliver a wide range of benefits beyond their borders, and hold immense potential for advancing sustainability in communities.”Parks, urban forests and green community elements help us manage stormwater, clean the air, provide places for relaxation and study and enhance health and wellness. Planners now know that the financial value-added can be measured. Once lost, mature forests can’t be replaced, especially in areas like rapidly developing southern Saratoga County.Communities as diverse as Madison, Wisc.; Vancouver, Canada; Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Los Angeles County are all devoting significant resources to the preservation and enhancement of trees and forests within their communities. Clifton Park should follow the forward-looking examples above by preserving the complex of mature forest, wetlands and foot trails nestled between Clifton Park Center and Moe Road.Vote yes on Dec. 5 and urge the school board to sell 34 acres in central Clifton Park for public recreational use. A yes vote is a yes for a healthier, more sustainable and better southern Saratoga County. Keith MartinClifton Park More from The Daily Gazette:Controversial solar project goes before Clifton Park Planning BoardGame 7: Shenendehowa grad and Braves rookie Ian Anderson gets start with World Series spot on the li…High-risk COVID exposure reported in Clifton ParkFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

USC ready for clash of conference powers

first_imgIt took only one thing for USC men’s water polo coach Jovan Vavic to start questioning his team’s identity — a 5-3 road loss to Stanford.“We’re going to find out what kind of team we are,” Vavic said, referring to USC’s upcoming clash with California. “We’ll see how we rebound.”After 13 games away from the friendly confines of McDonald’s Swim Stadium, USC is coming home. The No. 1 Trojans (15-1, 1-1) will return from an exhausting road trip to dive into familiar waters for a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation matchup with No. 2 Cal Saturday at 10 a.m.But for the first time in 2010, the Trojans are faced with the challenge of rebounding from an agonizing defeat against a team that they had defeated on 17 consecutive occasions.“We just missed our shots,” Vavic said. “Maybe we were both tired and unfocused. Certainly, we did not look like ourselves in that game when we were shooting the ball.”But as the nation’s second-ranked team descends upon Los Angeles, USC will have to do more than just put the ball in the opposing net. Instead, the Trojans will be forced to contend with one of the country’s best offensive units.“They do a number of things very well,” Vavic said. “In particular, they have two great Serbian scorers who are very dangerous. They’re a great offensive team.”The two players referenced are junior attackers Ivan Rackov and Luka Saponjic, who lead the team with 36 and 21 goals respectively, and are also members of the Serbian national team.But despite Cal’s offensive prowess, the Trojans’ defensive unit remains just as nationally prominent — largely because of its anchor, junior goalie Joel Dennerley, who is having arguably the best season of his collegiate career after already being named MPSF Player of the Week twice this season.“He’s a focused athlete,” Vavic said. “He wants to play in the Olympics, so he really understands that he has to get better and improve.”In recent weeks, Dennerley has been as sharp as ever. Against UCLA in the SoCal Tournament championship game, he tallied 15 saves. Even in defeat against Stanford, he finished with four saves and surrendered just five goals — below the team’s per game average of 5.9 goals.Even with Dennerley’s consistency, however, Saturday’s contest will likely hinge on the team’s offensive capabilities, which were tough to notice against Stanford.“I don’t think our guys were really following through in regards to where we told them to shoot the ball,” Vavic said. “We talked about how to beat the goalie and where to shoot the ball, but we did not do what we were talking about.”If following the game plan means anything, it often results in balanced scoring. Thus far this season, the Trojans — who average a conference best 14.6 goals per game — have a total of eight players averaging at least one goal per contest.“We really don’t plan to give this guy or that guy a shot,” Vavic said. “We really play to what the situation is. If we play to the opponent, and see what they’re doing, we’ll be OK.”But even more notable might be the fact that two freshmen, two-meter Jeremy Davie and driver Nikola Vavic, lead the team in scoring with a combined 53 goals on the year.Even relying on freshmen hasn’t stopped the team from swimming past many of the challenges thrown its way.Outside of their loss in Palo Alto, Calif., the Trojans have posted a 15-game winning streak, which included NorCal and SoCal tournament titles.“We have done a very good job of winning games when we really needed to,” Vavic said. “We’ve really been fantastic in pressure situations. I feel that this team has a tendency to rise to the occasion and I think they can do it again.”last_img read more

LaMarcus Aldridge turns down Lakers, who make deal for Pacers’ Hibbert

first_imgThe Lakers officially missed out on their top free-agent target, sending a prideful organization into another summer tailspin.LaMarcus Aldridge agreed to a four-year deal worth $80 million with San Antonio on Saturday, according to an NBA source, giving Kobe Bryant even more reason to view the Spurs with envy for their endless continuity. “I’m happy to say I’m going home to Texas and will be a Spur!!” Aldridge wrote on Twitter. “I’m excited to join the team and be close to my family and friends.”The Lakers were hardly excited to hear this news. They already experienced a devastating week of free agency that included Greg Monroe and DeAndre Jordan expressing no thanks to the Lakers’ pitches. Published accounts said Aldridge walked away from the Lakers’ two-hour meeting Tuesday unimpressed with the team’s pitch, believing it focused too much on Hollywood style over X’s and O’s substance. Although the Lakers landed a second meeting with Aldridge on Thursday just to talk about basketball-related issues, that could not sway Aldridge, who was also courted by Phoenix, Portland, Miami and Toronto.There is also a sense Aldridge granted the Lakers’ request for a second meeting just so a historically successful franchise could save face. Aldridge’s rejection also continues a three-year-long trend in which the Lakers have whiffed out on their free-agent targets. Dwight Howard defected to Houston two years ago for less money for reasons including a younger roster, Kobe Bryant’s demanding personality and Mike D’Antoni’s coaching philosophy. Unlike Aldridge, Carmelo Anthony reported feeling impressed with the Lakers’ branding presentation last year that included a four-minute trailer on his life, made by movie producer Joel Silver. But Anthony still stayed in New York.Shortly after, Pau Gasol took less money to go to Chicago, his concerns over the Lakers’ rebuilding and endless trade rumors factored in more than any nostalgia over winning two NBA titles here. The Lakers also could not land in-person meetings last year with LeBron James or this year with Kevin Love and Marc Gasol. As for Aldridge, he had plenty of better options than the Lakers, including Phoenix, Houston and Miami. But Aldridge joined San Antonio partly in hopes that he and Kawhi Leonard could become the franchise’s future following Duncan’s eventual retirement. Aldridge could have carried the same torch under Bryant, but his future elicits far more question marks. Bryant has suffered three season-ending injuries in consecutive years. After the Lakers granted him a two-year, $48.5 million extension before returning from an injured left Achilles tendon on Dec. 2013, the Lakers have only had enough cap space to offer one max contract. With the Lakers determined to dance with the stars in free agency, they have lost out on second-tier talent. They could not retain sharpshooter Jodie Meeks in 2014 and emerging big man Ed Davis this past season. The Lakers also declined to pursue point guard Eric Bledsoe in 2014 and center Robin Lopez in 2015. The Lakers have $23 million to spend on underwhelming options. Other available free-agent big men include Kosta Koufas, Amare Stoudemire and Jason Smith. The Lakers could re-sign some of their own free agents, including Wayne Ellington or Jordan Hill.The Lakers have not revisited trade talks with the Sacramento Kings about All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins, according to a league source familiar with the situation. The Kings are currently not looking to trade Cousins, either. But to sway Sacramento’s opinion, the Lakers would have to offer plenty of their young talent. That would include Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson, if not more in future draft picks. Regardless of how that plays out, that won’t erase the sting of another top free agent saying no thanks to the Lakers, a disturbing trend for a franchise that usually could land stars anytime it asked. However, the Lakers have apparently found a bandage for their wound.The Lakers reached an agreement with the Indiana Pacers for center Roy Hibbert, a former All-Star who faced a diminished role. Terms of the deal haven’t been decided and the trade can’t be completed until July 9, when the NBA moratorium is lifted.Aldridge’s rejection seemed even more painful for a few reasons. The 29-year-old Aldridge averaged a career 23.4 points 10.2 rebounds per game last season, while making the All-Star team for a fourth consecutive year. With the Lakers choosing point guard D’Angelo Russell with the second pick of the 2015 NBA Draft over Duke’s Jahlil Okafor, the Lakers were left without a definitive post presence. The Lakers’ lone big men, Robert Sacre and Tarik Black, have a combined four years of NBA experience. Aldridge’s case also raised questions about whether the Lakers have not adjusted to an evolving NBA landscape.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more