WHO: Pandemic expands in Northern HemispherePandemic flu is spreading in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in the United States and British Columbia, Canada, the World Health Organization reported today. In Europe, medical visits for flu-like illnesses rose above baseline with high rates of virus detections, possibly signaling an early start to the flu season. The proportion of Asian cases attributed to seasonal H3N2 flu declined, with only East Asia reporting significant numbers. The global H1N1 death total is at least 4,999.http://www.who.int/csr/don/2009_10_23/en/index.htmlOct 23 WHO pandemic updateEU regulators stick with 2-dose pandemic vaccine scheduleEurope’s drug regulatory agency today announced that it would stick to its initial recommendation that the three pandemic H1N1 vaccines it approved be given in two doses, despite data from two companies that suggests one-dose efficacy. The agency said the data on the GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis vaccines, both adjuvanted, were too limited to warrant recommending a single-dose schedule, but added that one dose may be sufficient in adults. The third vaccine is a cell-based product made by Baxter.MedImmune reports clinical findings on intranasal pandemic vaccineMedImmune yesterday reported long-awaited clinical trial findings on the immunogenicity of its nasal-mist pandemic H1N1 flu vaccine. US officials approved the live attenuated vaccine on Sep 15 without the immunogenicity results. In a press release the company said trials in children and adults showed that the safety and immunogenicity profiles of the pandemic vaccine are similar to those of its seasonal vaccine. The firm said further data are being collected after a second dose of the vaccine.http://pressroom.medimmune.com/press-releases/2009/10/22/interim-clinical-trial-results-show-medimmune%e2%80%99s-h1n1-vaccine-has-similar-safety-profile-as-seasonal-vaccine-in-eligible-children-and-adults/Oct 22 MedImmune press releaseNew York suspends mandatory vaccination for healthcare workersNew York state yesterday suspended its new flu vaccination requirement for healthcare workers in order to free up scarce supplies of the vaccine for high-risk groups. Gov. David Paterson said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has signaled that the state would receive only 23% of its expected pandemic vaccine by the end of the month. He said slow delivery of seasonal vaccine was also a factor. Some healthcare workers opposed the order and had filed suit to reverse it.