Americans not worried about H1N1 but will get vaccineMore than 60% of Americans say they are not worried about the novel H1N1 flu, but 55% plan to get the H1N1 vaccine for themselves or someone in their household, according to a Washington Post ABC News Poll. The poll indicates that about one in eight Americans is very worried that the pandemic will affect his or her family, while twice as many are not at all worried, the Post reported. Nearly 75% were confident that the government will be able to cope effectively with the epidemic.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/19/AR2009081901585.htmlAug 19 Washington Post storyMany British firms have had H1N1-related absencesIn a survey of 429 small and medium-sized British companies, 72% said they had weathered staff absenteeism because of the H1N1 flu and 38% expected that their sales would suffer, Reuters reported yesterday. The survey by the law firm Eversheds also found that one in five businesses said they expected to have to close or partially close premises, and 87% said they had introduced new sanitation measures to combat the virus.http://www.reuters.com/article/internal_ReutersNewsRoom_ExclusivesAndWins_MOLT/idUSTRE57I42920090819Aug 19 Reuters reportCanada expects November vaccination launch, adequate supplyCanadian officials hope to license the country’s novel flu vaccine and begin immunizing people in November, the Canadian Press reported yesterday. Canada’s vaccine supplier, GlaxoSmithKline, will ship about 10 to 15 million doses and will be able to quickly replenish supplies as healthcare workers administer the vaccine to patients. Officials project that GSK’s antigen production will outpace its fill-and-finish capacity but said finishing the vaccine elsewhere would cause delays.Australian doctors question country’s vaccination plans Australia’s major infectious disease society is questioning the safety of the country’s novel H1N1 vaccination plans, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported today. In a letter to the government, the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases cited a risk of cross-contamination when using multidose vials and said the flu epidemic has subsided, so the campaign needn’t be rushed. A spokeswoman for vaccine maker CSL countered that the single-dose approach would be slower and more expensive.http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/08/20/2662321.htm?section=justinAug 20 Australian Broadcasting Corp. storyNovel H1N1 deaths in Latin America exceed 1,300Deaths from H1N1 flu in Latin America, the world’s hardest-hit region, have reached 1,303, more than 70% of the global total of 1,799 listed by the World Health Organization, Agence France-Presse reported yesterday. Argentina has had 404 deaths, the second-highest toll after the United States’ 477, and Brazil has 368, the story said. Trailing Brazil are Mexico, with 164 deaths; Chile, 105; and Peru, 62.Zimbabwe, Belarus report first novel flu casesZimbabwe’s health ministry today announced the confirmation of the country’s first novel H1N1 cases, in five private-school children who got sick in early August, Agence France-Presse reported. Doctors at Zimbabwe’s state hospitals are on strike over wage and allowance issues, but the health minister said the medical system is coping. Meanwhile, Belarus confirmed its first novel flu case yesterday, in a Chinese man who had recently returned from visiting China, the Interfax news agency reported.
n Shortlisting of qualified bidders for the Taipei – Kaohsiung high speed line in Taiwan could be announced this month following close of tenders on January 15. The winner should be announced in November.n South Korea’s Ministry of Transport & Construction is planning to proceed with a 66 km high capacity rail link from Seoul to the future international airport being built on reclaimed land in Inchon harbour off the west coast. Private enterprise will be asked to fund the scheme next year.n As the merger trend continues in the USA, look for pressure to build for some form of open access following a Surface Transportation Board ruling on January 2 that railways serving utilities had the right to set their own prices and routes. Three utilities had filed against Conrail and Union Pacific in 1994, claiming that the railways had prevented them from lowering coal delivery costs by using a competitor for part of the journey.n Watch for award of a contract for up to 30 light rail cars for Dublin. Bidders in the closely fought contest include GEC Alsthom with its Citadis design and Siemens with a version of the Combino.n Belgian National Railways expects to place a contract next month for 80 Class 41 two-car DMU sets; supplier tipped to win the deal is GEC Alsthom Transporte of Spain. Other bidders include Jenbacher Werke, Siemens and Bombardier Eurorail. A contract for 240 double-deck coaches is also in the offing.n New Jersey Transit is seeking firms interested in a DBOM project for a 55 km light rail network connecting Camden with Trenton. Diesel powered vehicles are specified, and some funding will need to be arranged by the contractor. An extension between Camden and Glassboro may be included in the package.