GAO urges HHS to speed antiviral, prepandemic vaccine plans

first_img Sep 30 GAO report In June HHS released draft guidance on the use of antivirals during an influenza pandemic. The agency’s goal is to place 75 million treatment courses in the Strategic National Stockpile, and draft guidance proposes that the private sector stockpile 110 million additional treatment courses. Investigators also said a public comment period after the draft prepandemic vaccine allocation plan is announced is a useful step. “Public participation is an essential component for acceptance of tough decisions that will be required unless and until greater capacity or a universal vaccine can be developed,” the report said. The 72-page report, focusing on the US Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’) pandemic response plans, was published on the GAO’s Web site on Sep 30. See also: Oct 6, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – In a recent progress report to Congress on federal influenza pandemic response planning, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recognized a host of obstacles but cited two areas that officials could make headway on: finalizing guidance on allocating antivirals and developing guidance on how to prioritize groups to receive prepandemic vaccine in the early stages of a pandemic. The proposed guidance, developed by an interagency task force, advised that antivirals in government stockpiles be used to treat people who are ill, especially when supplies are scarce, and that antivirals for preventive use be mainly drawn from private stockpiles. The draft document did not attempt to prioritize groups. “We believe that finalizing guidance on the use of pharmaceutical interventions will be crucial for responding to a pandemic outbreak and that the necessary guidance documents should be finalized as soon as possible,” the GAO wrote. Bill Hall, an HHS spokesman in Washington, DC, told CIDRAP News that the agency has been working on the draft allocation plan, but that it isn’t finished and the agency can’t yet say when it will be. In a letter responding to the GAO report, Vincent Ventimiglia, Jr, assistant secretary for legislation at HHS, wrote that the agency is in the process of updating the proposed guidance on antiviral use during a pandemic, on the basis of feedback it received during the public comment period. The comment period was set to end on Jul 3, according to a May 23 Federal Register notice. Investigators looked at three response components that the GAO and outside experts have said need improvements—pharmaceutical intervention, healthcare surge capacity, and public communications. Though the GAO gave detailed status reports for all three of the areas, it made recommendations only about pharmaceutical interventions. The GAO said establishing target groups in advance is a key component of pandemic planning and warned that HHS could encounter problems if it doesn’t issue graft guidance for prepandemic vaccines in a more timely manner. “This lack of essential information could slow the initial response at the state and local levels and complicate the general public’s understanding of the necessity for rationing these interventions,” the GAO wrote. Jun 3 CIDRAP News story “HHS offers pandemic guidance on masks, antivirals” In his response accompanying the GAO report, Ventimiglia wrote that HHS will release its proposed prepandemic vaccine allocation guidance “in the near future.” As for prepandemic vaccine stockpiles, the GAO report says HHS will oversee the distribution and administration to workers who are needed to keep society functioning until a pandemic vaccine becomes widely available. According to the report, the National Infrastructure Advisory Council has estimated that the critical workforce numbers about 20 million people, and HHS’ goal is to stockpile enough to cover that number. However, HHS has not yet released draft guidance on prioritizing target groups for prepandemic vaccines. HHS officials told GAO investigators that target groups for the prepandemic vaccine would likely resemble those for the pandemic vaccine, but would have more of a critical workforce focus. They also said that a tiered approach like that used for the pandemic vaccine would be needed only if a pandemic occurs before HHS reaches its goal of stockpiling enough for 20 million people. In its other recommendation, the GAO advised HHS to release guidance for using and prioritizing prepandemic vaccine designed to protect against a pandemic virus before a vaccine closely matched to the actual pandemic strain is available. Federal officials are already stockpiling a prepandemic vaccine based on the H5N1 virus. In June HHS released its official guidance on allocating pandemic vaccine, which would be developed after the start of a pandemic and designed to match the circulating strain. HHS officials project that it would take 20 to 23 weeks after the start of a pandemic to start producing the first doses. May 23 Federal Register noticelast_img read more

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Update on the latest sports

first_img Associated Press February 9, 2020 Taylor overcame two early bogeys with a 25-foot eagle putt on his 16th hole for a 69, and his first 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour. Taylor was at 17-under 198.Jason Day posted a 70 at Spyglass Hill and was only three shots behind at 14-under. Update on the latest sports — Former major league outfielder Angel Echevarria (AHN’-hehl eh-cheh-vah-REE’-ah) has died at 48. The Connecticut Post reported Saturday that Echevarria died on Friday at Bridgeport Hospital. The story said his girlfriend, Jazmine Cox, told them he took at fall in his Bridgeport home earlier in the day.PGA-PEBBLE BEACHSurging Lefty sizzles at Pebble BeachPEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Phil Mickelson is in great shape as he tries to nail down a record sixth Pebble Beach Pro-Am.Mickelson finds himself just one shot behind leader Nick Taylor through three rounds. Lefty holed out from a bunker for birdie on the 13th and chipped in from 90 feet for birdie on the next hole before closing his round with a birdie. — Drew Timme (TIH’-mee) scored 20 points and No. 2 Gonzaga made 14 of its first 15 shots to send Saint Mary’s to its worst home loss in 19 years, 90-60. The 25-1 Bulldogs turned the highly anticipated showdown between the fierce rivals into a laugher by taking a 20-point lead midway through the first half.— Fourth-ranked San Diego State remains the lone unbeaten team in Division I after K.J. Feagin dropped in 21 points and Jordan Schakel added 18 in an 89-74 win at Air Force. Malichi Flynn furnished 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to help the Aztecs move to 24-0.— Jordan Nwora (WOHR’-uh) had 22 points and No. 5 Louisville stretched its winning streak to 10 games by topping Virginia, 80-73. Malik Williams had 13 points as the Cardinals improved to 21-3 overall and 12-1 in the ACC.— Sixth-ranked Dayton picked up its 12th straight win as Obi Toppin (OH’-bee TAH’-pihn) contributed 17 points to a 71-65 win against Saint Louis. Jalen Crutcher scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half as Dayton broke open a tight game to stay unbeaten in Atlantic 10 Conference play at 10-0.— Wendell Moore scored on a putback as time expired to complete seventh-ranked Duke’s 98-96 triumph at North Carolina. Tre Jones finished with 28 points for the 20-3 Blue Devils, who led for only 1:47 of the game. — M.J. Walker and Patrick Williams each scored 14 points as No. 8 Florida State beat Miami, 99-81. The Seminoles improved to 20-3 by outrebounding the Hurricanes, 46-24 and shooting 13-for-26 from 3-point range.— Myles Powell had 19 points and 12th-ranked Seton Hall snapped a 17-game road losing streak to Villanova with a 70-64 victory over the No. 10 Wildcats. Sandro Mamukelashvili scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half for the Big East-leading Pirates, who last won at Villanova on Feb. 26, 1994.— No. 11 Auburn pulled out a 91-80 win over 18th-ranked LSU on J’Von McCormick’s floater with 0.1 second left in overtime. Samir Doughty hit five 3-pointers and scored a team-high 26 points for the Tigers, who rallied from a 14-point second half deficit and moved into a tie with LSU for the SEC lead.— Kristian Doolittle scored 27 points and Oklahoma broke West Virginia’s early defensive pressure in a 69-59 win over the 13th-ranked Mountaineers. The Sooners built an 18-point lead and withstood 19 turnovers to drop WVU to 18-5.— Oregon State pulled off a stunner by allowing just 21 points in the second half of a 63-53 triumph over 14th-ranked Oregon. Kylor Kelley had 14 points and seven boards for the Beavers, while Ethan Thompson provided a team-high 15 points. The 79-year-old combustible coach was introduced during a halftime ceremony along with former players including members of the Hoosiers’ 1980 Big Ten championship team.Knight won 662 games and three national championships in 29 seasons with the Hoosiers before he was fired on Sept. 10, 2000 after a student accused Knight of grabbing him in the hallway of Assembly Hall.NBA-SCHEDULEBucks batter MagicUNDATED (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks remain on pace to become the third team in NBA history to top 70 victories in a regular season. — Riley Smith had 15 points and UCLA shot 51% in a 65-52 upset of Arizona at Tucson. The Wildcats shot 25% and went 6 of 29 in the second half— McKinley Wright IV finished with 21 points and D’Shawn Schwartz added 20 as No. 24 Colorado rallied from 11 points down at halftime to beat Stanford, 81-74.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NCAA INITIAL SEEDSBaylor gets top seed in NCAA committee’s initial rankingsUNDTED (AP) — Baylor, Kansas, Gonzaga and San Diego State are the top seeds in the NCAA’s preliminary rankings. — The Raptors stretched their team-record winning streak to 14 games as Fred VanVleet scored 10 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter of a 119-118 triumph over the Nets. Pascal Siakam (see-A’-kam) scored 20 points, including the tiebreaking free throw with 22 seconds remaining.— Jordan McLaughlin scored a career-high 24 points and Malik Beasley added 23 in his Minnesota debut as the duo led a 142-115 pounding of the Clippers. Karl-Anthony Towns just missed a triple-double with 22 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists to help the Timberwolves end a 13-game losing streak.— Jrue (jroo) Holiday scored 14 of his 31 points in the final 2:26, including a go-ahead 3-pointer in the Pelicans’ 124-117 victory at Indiana. Reserve JJ Redick added 23 points as New Orleans handed the Pacers their fifth consecutive loss.— The Mavericks knocked off the Hornets, 116-100 as Seth Curry scored 26 points in his return to Charlotte. Curry made his first 10 shots from the field, including six 3-pointers to help the Mavericks snap a two-game losing streak.— Buddy Hield (heeld) shot 9-for-10 from beyond the arc while pouring in 31 points off the bench to highlight the Kings’ 122-102 dismantling of the Spurs. Harrison Barnes finished with 25 points for Sacramento, which drained 19 of its 35 3-point attempts. — Nikita Kucherov (KOO’-cheh-rahv) set up Steven Stamkos’ 26th goal and Brayden Point’s 20th as the Lightning notched their sixth straight win, 3-1 over the Islanders. Carter Verhaeghe (vur-HAY’-gee) provided the eventual game-winner in the third period, and Andrei Vasilevskiy (va-sih-LEHV’-skee) stopped 17 shots to help Tampa Bay improve to 18-2-1 since a Dec. 21 loss to the Capitals.— Sidney Crosby scored his 10th goal in the second period and the Penguins won for the ninth time in 12 games by downing the Panthers, 3-2. Kris Letang (leh-TANG’) had a goal and an assist as Pittsburgh pulled within three points of Washington for the Metropolitan Division lead.— Shootout goals by Justin Williams and Andrei Svechnikov (SVHEHCH’-nih-kahv) completed the Hurricanes’ comeback in a 6-5 decision over the Golden Knights. Sebastian Aho (AH’-hoh) and Erik Haula and Teuvo Teravainen each had a goal and an assist for Carolina, which trailed 3-1 and 4-2 in the third period before winning for the fifth time in seven games.— The Avalanche earned a 2-1 victory at Columbus as Philipp Grubauer handled 31 shots and Nathan MacKinnon scored the tiebreaking goal with 4:34 left. Colorado earned its third win in a row and ended the Blue Jackets’ 11-game point streak.— Leon Draisaitl (DRY’-sy-tul) scored twice in the third period to push the Oilers past the Predators, 3-2. Nashville led 2-0 until Alex Chiasson (CHAY’-sahn) notched a power-play goal with under nine seconds left in the second period.center_img — Dillon Dube (doo-BAY’) had a goal and two assists to lead five Flames with at least two points in a 6-2 rout of the Canucks. Milan Lucic (LOO’-cheeh) and Derek Ryan each had a goal and an assist against Vancouver, which has dropped four straight since a five-game winning streak.— Ilya Kovalchuk (KOH’-vahl-chuhk) scored 1:43 into overtime to complete the Canadiens’ late comeback in their seventh victory in nine games, 2-1 against the Maple Leafs. Toronto led until Marco Scandella beat Jack Campbell with 2:33 left in regulation.— Patrik Laine (LY’-nay) registered his eighth career hat trick by providing three power-play goals in the Jets’ 5-2 win over the visiting Senators. Kyle Connor had a goal and three assists for the Jets, who are 3-0-1 since a five-game losing streak.— Mackenzie Blackwood posted his second straight shutout by stopping a penalty shot and making 37 saves in the Devils’ 3-0 decision over the Kings. Nikita Gusev (GOO’-sehv), Blake Coleman and Kyle Palmieri scored for the Devils, who extended their points streak to a season-high six games at 3-0-3.MLB-RED SOX-BENINTENDI — Julius Randle scored 17 points, including a bank shot with 13.5 seconds left that helped the Knicks secure their season-high fourth straight victory, 95-92 over the Pistons. Wayne Ellington scored 17 points for New York, which grabbed 16 offensive rebounds compared to three for Detroit.NHL-SCHEDULEBruins extend win streakUNDATED (AP) — The Boston Bruins have expanded their lead in the NHL’s overall standings, moving three points ahead of the Washington Capitals.Charlie Coyle scored twice and Patrice Bergeron (pah-TREES’ BEHR’-zhuh-rahn) had a goal and two assists as the Bruins picked up their sixth consecutive win, 4-2 over the Coyotes. The game was tied 1-1 until Bergeron and Jake DeBrusk netted power-play goals 2:29 apart in the second period. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditT25 MEN’S BASKETBALL-SCHEDULESelf gets 700th winUNDATED (AP) — Third-ranked Kansas and Jayhawks head coach Bill Self earned milestone victories this afternoon. The Jayhawks’ 60-46 victory against TCU gives them 31 consecutive 20-win seasons, matching North Carolina’s record. It also made Self the second-youngest head coach with 700 career victories.Udoka Azubuike (oo-DOH’-kah az-ah-BOO’-kay) had 20 points and 15 rebounds in his 10th double-double of the season. Azubuike had five dunks during a 13-3 run early that put Kansas ahead to stay.Devon Dotson added 18 points and 11 assists to help Self improve to 700-214 in 27 seasons spent with the Jayhawks, Oral Roberts, Tulsa and Illinois.In other top-25 games Saturday:— MaCio Teague scored 24 points and top-ranked Baylor stretched its winning streak to 20 games with a 78-70 victory over Oklahoma State. Teague hit six consecutive free throws in the final 14 seconds, four coming after Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton Jr. was assessed two consecutive technical fouls and ejected from the game. — Immanuel Quickley scored 18 points as No. 15 Kentucky beat Tennessee, 77-64 for its sixth win in seven games. Tyrese Maxey and Nick Richards each had 15 points to help the Wildcats beat the Volunteers in Knoxville for the first time in Rick Barnes’ five seasons as Tennessee’s coach.— Isaiah Livers scored 14 points in his return to the lineup and Zavier Simpson added 16 to lift Michigan to a 77-68 victory over No. 16 Michigan State. Livers was back in the starting lineup after missing nine of the Wolverines’ previous 10 games with a groin injury.— Joe Wieskamp dropped in a career-high 30 points and Luka Garza added 22 to help No. 17 Iowa slam Nebraska, 96-72. The Hawkeyes led by 11 at the break before opening the second half with a 25-8 run to put the game away.— Creighton was a 94-82 winner against St. John’s as Marcus Zegarowski had 23 points and Denzel Mahoney had 18 points for the 21st-rated Bluejays.— Lamar Stevens scored a career-high 33 points and No. 22 Penn State picked up its sixth consecutive victory by downing Minnesota, 83-77. Reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-tah-KOON’-poh) just missed a triple-double and Brook Lopez scored a team-high 23 points as the Bucks hammered the Magic, 112-95. Antetokounmpo finished with 19 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists to help the Bucks win for the 13th time in their last 14 games. Lopez shot 5-for-5 from 3-point range, and Khris Middleton chipped in 21 points with 13 rebounds as Milwaukee improved to a league-best 45-7.Eric Bledsoe finished with 18 points for the Bucks, who led by as many as 27 in the third quarter.Checking out Saturday’s other NBA action:— LeBron James heated up in the second half and finished with 22 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds in guiding the Lakers to a 125-120 victory over the Warriors. Avery Bradley added 21 points with five 3-pointers, and Anthony Davis contributed 27 points and 10 rebounds for Los Angeles.— Jamal Murray was 6 of 8 from 3-point range and 14 of 17 overall while scoring 36 points in the Nuggets’ 117-108 downing of the Suns. Nikola Jokic (nih-KOH’-lah YOH’-kihch) added 23 points, nine boards and six assists, while Paul Millsap furnished 12 points and 11 boards in his first game since Jan. 6. The Bears were the No. 1 overall seed in rankings released Saturday by the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee.The preliminary rankings are designed to be a sneak peek at the selection process before the official seeds are revealed on March 15.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-INDIANA-KNIGHT RETURNSKnight back at Indiana after 20 yearsBLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Bob Knight has ended his 20-year split with Indiana. Tuukka (TOO’-kah) Rask stopped 29 shots as the Bruins became the league’s first team with 80 points.In Washington, Sean Couturier (koo-TOOR’-ee-ay) scored twice and Claude Giroux (juh-ROO’) recorded three points in the Flyers’ 7-2 rout of the Capitals. Giroux scored a late power-play goal and collected two assists to reach 800 points for his career.Brian Elliott made 25 saves and helped Philadelphia keep Alex Ovechkin (oh-VEHCH’-kihn) two shy of 700 career goals.Elsewhere on NHL ice:— Roope (ROO’-peh) Hintz provided a pair of goals in the Stars’ 3-2 win over the Blues, including the game-winner at 2:19 of overtime. Jamie Benn also scored and Anton Khudobin (koo-DOH’-bihn) stopped 23 shots as Dallas improved to 10-5 in OT. Benintendi gets extensionBOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox avoided arbitration with Andrew Benintendi by signing the outfielder to a two, year, $10 million contract.The 25-year-old Benintendi has hit .277 with 51 homers and 259 RBIs in his first three-plus major league seasons. He batted .266 with 13 homers, 68 RBIs and 10 stolen bases last year.Also, in the majors:— Giants catcher Aramis Garcia had surgery on his right hip after getting injured during winter ball in the Dominican Republic in December. He will miss up to eight months.last_img read more

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College football’s toughest places to play for 2019, from Death Valley (again) to the Horseshoe

first_imgMORE: College sports’ best football/basketball coaching duosThe truth is it’s a subjective question with more than one good answer. Sporting News, using stats from TeamRankings.com, looked at some of the toughest places to play in 2019, and we have several different categories to pick from.A closer look:Overall: Bryant-Denny Stadium (Alabama) By every metric, it’s just hard to win there. Alabama is 59-4 at home since 2010 and hasn’t lost a home game since 2015, against Ole Miss. There’s a reason why Alabama coach Nick Saban admonishes students who don’t stay for games: He wants to make it even tougher for opponents to win. The Tide were one of 17 FBS teams to go undefeated at home last season, and they did it by winning by an average of 33 points per game. Alabama beat Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Auburn by an average of 25.7 points per game.Last two years: Samford Stadium (Georgia)  The Bulldogs have not lost a home game the last two seasons, though it could be argued they haven’t faced that big a test. In fact, Mississippi State is the only ranked team that has faced Georgia at home. That will be tested this year with a schedule that includes visits from Notre Dame, South Carolina and Texas A&M.Last four years: Memorial Stadium (Clemson)  Clemson has all the same metrics as Alabama the last four years. The Tigers have an identical 27-1 record at home under Dabo Swinney, and a 5-0 record against ranked teams with nonconference victories against Notre Dame and Auburn. Texas A&M will be the next big visitor this season. The pageantry by Howard’s Rock before games hasn’t lost its charm.Since 2010: Ohio Stadium (Ohio State)  The Buckeyes have an FBS-best 60 wins at home since 2010, and that comes with just five losses. Baker Mayfield-led Oklahoma is the only team to walk into The Shoe and win the last two seasons. Urban Meyer lost one Big Ten game at home since 2012 — a shocking upset against Michigan State in 2015. These are the standards first-year coach Ryan Day will have to uphold.Last 15 years: Albertsons Stadium (Boise State)  When the Broncos say they don’t lose on “The Blue,” they mean it. Boise State is 89-8 at home over the last 15 seasons, and they have lost just five home games under coach Bryan Harsin. They lead FBS football with a 91.8 win percentage in that timeframe.MORE: College football’s best programs this decadeAs Power 5 home favorite: Bill Snyder Family Stadium (Kansas State)Three Power 5 schools have one home loss as the favored team the last five years. You already knew Alabama and Clemson. You might not have known about Kansas State. Imagine how first-year coach Chris Klieman can use that to his advantage once the Wildcats are rolling again.As Group of 5 home favorite: Maverik Stadium (Utah State)The Aggies are 21-0 at home as a home favorite the last five years, but it will be interesting to monitor how that changes with the coaching change from Matt Wells to Gary Andersen.As Power 5 home underdog: Sun Devil Stadium (Arizona State)It’s all about that heat. The Sun Devils have an 8-6 record as the underdog at home the last five years; tied for the most wins among Power 5 schools with Virginia (8-9). Herm Edwards will continue to build on that.As Group of 5 home underdog: Falcon Stadium (Air Force)Playing against an Academy School is tough. Playing against that school in their house when they are an underdog isn’t any easier. The Falcons are 6-2 as a home underdog since 2014.MORE: SN’s prediction for Playoff, bowl gamesConference game: Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (Oklahoma)It’s the same answer as last year. Oklahoma has lost just one Big 12 game at home the last four seasons — against Iowa State in 2017 — and that includes a 5-0 record against ranked teams. Texas never visits Norman due to the neutral site nature of that rivalry, but every other Big 12 team has. Not one of them has come away from unscathed.At night, Part I: Tiger Stadium (LSU)  The stands are always shaking when LSU plays at home at night, even if the last big game was a 29-0 loss to No. 1 Alabama. Still, the reputation alone for an unmatched atmosphere keeps the Tigers on this list.  At night, Part II: Beaver Stadium (Penn State)  You can’t mention Tiger Stadium at Night and not have a sidebar about the “White Out” at Penn State, though the last one featured a heart-breaking loss against Ohio State. There aren’t many better settings in college football.One Power 5 to watch in 2019: Michigan Stadium (Michigan)  The Wolverines have the sixth-best record among Power 5 schools at home, boasting 24-4 record since Jim Harbaugh took over in 2015. Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Penn State and Oklahoma — all schools mentioned above — are the only ones that have been better in that stretch. The problem is those four losses came two times each to Michigan State and Ohio State. The Spartans, Buckeyes and Notre Dame all visit the Big House this year. It’s a big home schedule for Michigan.One Group of 5 to watch in 2019: Spectrum Stadium (UCF)UAB is the only other Group of 5 school that is undefeated at home the last two seasons, but the Knights have got a lot more publicity. UCF is 15-0 at home as part of a two-year unbeaten streak in the regular season. They will put that on the line against Stanford, Houston and South Florida this season. MORE: Ranking college football coaches 1-130 for 2019 seasonUnder 80K: Husky Stadium (Washington) Washington is 19-1 the last three seasons and has re-established its Pac-12 power. With that, the reputation for going to Husky Stadium will continue to increase. Chris Petersen did the same thing at Boise State.Between 80-100K: Jordan-Hare Stadium (Auburn) The configuration puts fans at eye level with the players, and despite home losses to LSU and Tennessee last year we’re sticking with this answer. Auburn is 4-1 against ranked teams at home the last two years, including wins against Alabama and Georgia. The Tide and Bulldogs visit Jordan-Hare in November. What’s the toughest venue in college football? That’s a question that’s almost impossible to put a true measurement on. You can go by the wins and losses. You can go by the size of the stadium. You can go by the atmosphere or by time of day (or in most cases, time of night).last_img read more

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