HEALTH

Nordic Naturals launches Vitamin D3 Vegan liquid supplement

BY Michael Johnsen

WATSONVILLE, Calif. — Nordic Naturals on Tuesday added Vitamin D3 Vegan to its professional product line. The liquid formulation is naturally sourced from lichen and was developed to provide healthcare practitioners with an alternative for their clients who are vegans, strict vegetarians or who prefer a non-lanolin form of vitamin D3. 

"Nordic Naturals now offers two non fish oil products to help address [vitamin D] deficiency: Vitamin D3 soft gels and Vitamin D3 Vegan liquid," stated Keri Marshall, Nordic Naturals chief medical officer. "We are pleased to announce that this lichen-based source of Vitamin D3 is one of the first completely vegan sources of natural vitamin D3 on the market.”

The plant-based formula is in the natural form of vitamin D, or cholecalciferol, which is better absorbed and utilized by the body. The product is registered by the Vegan Society and carries the organization’s logo on the packaging.

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Chicago Mayor takes opportunity to promote flu shots at Walgreens flagship grand opening

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday joined representatives from Walgreens to celebrate the grand opening of a new Walgreens flagship store in the Bucktown-Wicker Park neighborhood on Tuesday afternoon, taking the opportunity to remind Chicagoans about the importance of getting a flu shot this season.

“This new flagship Walgreens not only provides dozens of new jobs for Chicagoans, it serves as an anchor for these neighborhoods, and is opening just in time to add to the city’s flu prevention efforts this season,” Emanuel said. “It’s important for people across the city to take steps that keep them healthy. The city has launched an interactive online tool to help Chicagoans find flu shot locations, and has crafted partnerships to provide additional opportunities for people to get flu shots right in their own neighborhoods."

This week, the Chicago Department of Public Health is teaming with Walgreens and community partners across Chicago to remind Chicagoans that "It’s Not Too Late to Get a Flu Shot," and is launching the first Vaccinate Chicago Week, which runs through Dec. 8. 

“We’re proud to welcome Mayor Emanuel to this great new location to reinforce the need for prevention and protection from influenza,” commented Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness. “We continue to work together to develop new programs that bring our pharmacists and Take Care Clinic nurse practitioners into Chicago communities, providing greater access to flu shots and other immunizations. Initiatives like Vaccinate Chicago Week can go a long way toward keeping Chicago healthy throughout the cold and flu season.”

 

 

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CDC: Influenza season officially underway

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — The influenza season is officially underway as flu incidence is already above the national threshold, Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters during a teleconference Monday. "This is the earliest regular flu season we’ve had in nearly a decade, since the 2003-2004 flu season," he said. "That was an early and severe flu year, and while flu is always unpredictable, the early nature of the cases as well as the specific strains we’re seeing suggest that this could be a bad flu year."

Influenza-like illness activity is particularly strong across five states in the southeastern and south central regions, including Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas. Moderate levels of illness activity have been reported in Georgia and Missouri. 

One of the predominant strains includes an H3N2 influenza A, Frieden noted. "What we’ve seen in past years is that H3 predominant years tend to be the worst years."

However, those who have had their flu shots should be well-protected, Frieden added. Out of the flu strains that have been submitted to the CDC so far this season, about 90% are well-matched to this year’s flu vaccine. According to CDC estimates, approximately 112 million people have been vaccinated against influenza so far this year, or approximately 37% of the U.S. population over the age of six months. "It’s a little higher among children with an estimate of 40%, and 35% in adults," noted Melinda Wharton, acting director for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "Influenza vaccination is continuing and our expectation is that as the season progresses, that coverage will rise," she said. "[Last year] it was 48% by end of the influenza season for the general population, six months of age and older."

The number of flu shots administered over the past several years has steadily increased, Frieden added. "We’re seeing that work sites and pharmacies are major sources of vaccination for adults, with more than a third of the vaccines being given either at work sites or pharmacies," he said.

 

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