NY declaration expands vaccinator poolNew York governor David A. Paterson yesterday declared a state emergency to permit more health workers to give H1N1 flu vaccinations. Normally only physicians, nurses, and nurse practitioners can do so; the declaration will enable physician assistants, dentists, some dental hygienists, and emergency personnel to participate, the state said in a news release. The action—requested by local governments—also authorizes school-based health centers to vaccinate adults and children.Do seasonal flu shots open kids more to pandemic flu?Dutch scientists suggest that vaccinating children against seasonal flu may make them more vulnerable to pandemic flu strains, according to a Canadian Press report. In a journal article, the scientists wrote that shielding children from the need to generate immunity to actual seasonal viruses might leave them more vulnerable to pandemic strains. But other experts, while not necessarily agreeing, say it’s better to protect children from an annual threat than one they may face every few decades.WHO: flu rates up in Europe, parts of AsiaThough pandemic activity continues to intensify in North America, several European countries are reporting high rates of flu-like illness and pandemic virus detections, including Iceland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and the Netherlands, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported today. Many other countries in Europe and western and central Asia are reporting early flu transmission. Flu activity is up sharply in Japan. At least 5,712 deaths have been reported, up 713 from last week.http://www.who.int/csr/don/2009_10_30/en/index.htmlOct 30 WHO pandemic updateSwiss authorities restrict GSK vaccine in someSwiss regulators today restricted the use of an adjuvanted pandemic H1N1 vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline in pregnant women, children, and people older than 60, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. The agency held back its authorization for the groups because it has little data on the vaccine’s use in children and no data for pregnant women. It endorsed one of two pandemic vaccines made by Novartis and is still examining the company’s cell-based pandemic vaccine.