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December 2008 Back to top
Workers with Chicken Pox OK
Straits Times
December 30, 2008
"On Dec. 28, a foreign worker in Singapore was found dead in his living quarters after being sick with chickenpox for about six days. Ten other workers were hospitalized with chickenpox and are recovering, according to Singapore's Communicable Disease Centre. Chickenpox can be fatal if it infects the body's organs, especially the lung, nervous system, and liver, says Associate Professor Leo Yee Sin, the centre's clinical director. The 10 hospitalized workers were all from Bangladesh and between 20 and 35 years of age. They were employed by a ship repair and dormitory services firm, as was the worker who died..."
Researchers Unlock Secrets of 1918 Flu Pandemic
Reuters
December 29, 2008
"Researchers have found a complex of three genes--called PA, PB1, and PB2--that help the flu virus live and reproduce deep in the lungs, causing pneumonia. These genes may be the cause for the serious strain of flu involved in the 1918 pandemic and its higher death rate. Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin and colleagues at the University of Kobe and Tokyo in Japan conducted the study on ferrets, which develop flu similarly to humans. The flu virus with the complex of three genes as well as a 1918 version of the nucleoprotein made modern flu kill ferrets in the same way the original 1918 flu. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences..."
Speaking the Language of Vaccines
American Medical News
December 15, 2008
"Childhood vaccines are entangled in a vast public controversy, and doctors often find themselves helping perplexed parents sort through misinformation before making a decision on immunization. Mindful of these discussions, a panel of physicians and journalists offered pointers to those on the front lines during the joint meeting of the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy and the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Panelist Paul Offit, MD, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital in Philadelphia..."
Malaria Vaccine Is Given a Good Shot as Big-Money Donors Boost Research
Wall Street Journal
December 9, 2008
"The fight against malaria, one of the world's biggest killers, has just gotten a booster. An experimental vaccine has shown promise in two studies in African children, who account for the majority of the more than one million victims that malaria claims every year. Published online Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine, the studies affirm encouraging results from earlier trials of the vaccine, known only as 'RTS,S.'..."
Biologists Spy Close-Up View of Poliovirus Linked to Host Cell Receptor
Science Daily
December 8, 2008
"Researchers from Purdue and Stony Brook universities have determined the precise atomic-scale structure of the poliovirus attached to key receptor molecules in human host cells and also have taken a vital snapshot of processes leading to infection. The virus binds to a receptor on the cell to form a single complex..."
FDA Approves GlaxoSmithKline Tetanus, Diphtheria, Whooping Cough Vaccine, BOOSTRIX, for Adults; New Indication for Booster Vaccine Expands Disease Protection to Individuals Aged 10-64 Years
Market Wire
December 8, 2008
"GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved BOOSTRIX [Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid, and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine, Adsorbed (Tdap)] for use in adults 19-64 years of age. BOOSTRIX offers protection against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) to individuals 10-64 years of age -- the broadest age range for any Tdap vaccine..."
Whooping Cough Cases Up
Lexington Herald-Leader
December 5, 2008
"The whooping cough has come to Kentucky, and the bacterially caused illness is causing its first outbreak in Kentucky in several years. 'We're seeing it all over the state,' said Dr. Kraig Humbaugh, the state epidemiologist in the Department of Public Health..."
Wyeth Submits European Marketing Authorization Application for its 13-Valent Vaccine for the Prevention of Pneumococcal Disease in Infants and Young Children
Fox Business News
December 4, 2008
"Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth (NYSE:WYE), announced today that it has submitted a marketing authorization application (MAA) to the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) for approval to market its investigational 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) for infants and young children. Wyeth is seeking an indication for the prevention of pneumococcal disease (PD) caused by the 13 serotypes included in the investigational vaccine in infants and children from two months to five years of age. The review of the MAA will be coordinated by the EMEA for all 27 countries in the European Union, as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. PCV13 includes the 13 most prevalent pneumococcal serotypes associated with serious PD. Seven of these (4, 6B, 9V, 14, 18C, 19F and 23F) are included in Prevenar* (Pneumococcal saccharide conjugated vaccine, adsorbed) - - the current global standard in PD prevention in infants and young children. The six additional serotypes (1, 3, 5, 6A, 7F and 19A) are associated with the greatest burden of remaining invasive disease. Both Prevenar (also known as PCV7) and PCV13 use CRM197 -- an immunological carrier protein with a 20-year history of use in pediatric vaccines..."
Measles and MMR: Sow the wind
The Economist (UK)
December 4, 2008
"Fledging engineers learn about disasters like the 1988 Piper Alpha oil-rig fire or the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger in 1986 as a reminder of the dangers that attend their profession. Perhaps, if the subject ever achieves respectability, media-studies undergraduates will pore over the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine scare in 21st-century Britain. On November 28th the Health Protection Agency (HPA), which monitors infectious diseases, said that there were 1,049 cases of measles in England and Wales in the ten months to October 2008. Even before the year is out, that makes 2008 the worst year since 1995, when current reporting methods began (see chart)..."
Measles Deaths Drop 74% Worldwide With Vaccine Push
Bloomberg
December 4, 2008
"Measles deaths tumbled 74 percent worldwide from 2000 through 2007, the result of a campaign to vaccinate children in developing countries, world health officials said today. About 197,000 people died from measles last year compared with 750,000 in 2000, according to a report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. The biggest improvements were in Africa and in eastern Mediterranean countries, among them Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sudan..."
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November 2008 Back to top
Another Possible Chickenpox Case in Monroe
The Herald
November 29, 2008
"Another suspected case of chickenpox would make 18 since October reported at Salem Woods Elementary School in Monroe. School and Snohomish Health District officials declared an outbreak of the disease last week at the school that has 507 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. A school district spokeswoman, Rosemary O'Neil, told The Everett Herald that of the 411 students who needed a vaccination shot, all but 22 have been cleared to return to school..."
Measles Cases Surge to New High
BBC News (UK)
November 28, 2008
"Measles cases in England and Wales have topped 1,000 in a year for the first time in more than a decade, Health Protection Agency figures show. In the first 10 months of 2008 there were 1,049 cases, more than in the whole of 2007, the agency said. It said measles was spreading more easily because of the low uptake of the combined MMR jab over the past decade. In Cheshire, an outbreak of more than 60 cases has prompted the launch of a programme to vaccinate 10,000 pupils..."
Rare Cough on Rise in Area
Charlotte Observer (NC)
November 24, 2008
"It wasn't a run-of-the-mill cough. The violent fits were long and uncontrollable, and patients made an unusual gasping noise. Folks said it sounded like a whoop. More than 50 years ago, whooping cough, also known as pertussis, killed thousands of infants and adults..."
Boston Launches Flu Shot Tracking
Boston Globe
November 21, 2008
"Using technology originally developed for mass disasters, Boston disease trackers are embarking on a novel experiment - one of the first in the country - aimed at eventually creating a citywide registry of everyone who has had a flu vaccination. The resulting vaccination map would allow swift intervention in neighborhoods left vulnerable to the fast-moving respiratory illness. The trial starts this afternoon, when several hundred people are expected to queue up for immunizations at the headquarters of the Boston Public Health Commission. Each of them will get a bracelet printed with a unique identifier code. Information about the vaccine's recipients, and the shot, will be entered into handheld devices similar to those used by delivery truck drivers..."
Teaching Moment Springs from School's Shared Sadness
Seattle Times
November 21, 2008
"Half the kids in her second grade had been out that winter. But no one imagined Marija Alumbaugh would never come back to Laurelhurst Elementary over something as simple as the flu. It happened, though. The influenza led to heart inflammation called myocarditis, and in a matter of days in February 2007, the 8-year-old girl was gone..."
Doctors to Be on Guard for Meningitis in Kids
Reuters
November 20, 2008
"U.S. health officials asked doctors on Thursday to be alert for possible cases of meningitis and other illnesses in children caused by Hib bacteria amid an ongoing vaccine shortage. Officials are most concerned about bacterial meningitis and sepsis, a bloodstream infection, caused by Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b) in children under age 5 because of the high risk of death or serious complications, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemiologist Mike Jackson said. Meningitis is the inflammation of the tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord, and can be caused by viral or bacterial infections. Before the vaccines, Hib was the most common cause of bacterial meningitis..."
New Vaccine Can Relieve Extreme Discomfort of Shingles
Cape Cod Times (MA)
November 20, 2008
"The $100 Pat Rose shelled out recently for the shingles vaccine was well worth reducing her risk of getting the painful viral disease, the East Harwich woman says. A friend in Maine got shingles this past summer and was in such pain she couldn't bear to touch her own cheek, Rose says. 'She was quite incapacitated for a while...'"
Shots All Around! The Case for Immunizing Everyone Against the Flu
Slate.com
November 19, 2008
"Problem: Influenza is a common viral disease. Because it's so common (in any one year, somewhere between 5 percent and 20 percent of Americans will get the flu) and because people tend to call any illness with fever, sore throat, vomiting, or diarrhea a "flu," it is often taken casually--more a fact of life than a cause for anxiety. Many of these misnamed infections are pretty minor, but true influenza is often quite a serious disease, leading to more than 200,000 annual hospitalizations in the United States and about 36,000 deaths every year..."
Groups Work to Boost Support for Vaccines
Journal of the American Medical Association
November 19, 2008
"Concerned about public skepticism regarding the safety of childhood vaccines, a skepticism exacerbated by misinformation on the Internet and from other sources, members of the medical and public health communities are launching a coordinated effort to bolster public support of childhood immunizations. The Immunization Alliance, an organization that includes the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases, the March of Dimes, and several other groups, issued a call to action in September urging policymakers, public health officials, physicians, and the public to join in an effort to boost confidence in childhood vaccines..."
Chelation Therapy Trials Halted
Journal of the American Medical Association
November 19, 2008
"The federal government and investigators have called off or suspended enrollment for 2 clinical trials testing chelation therapy as a treatment for autism or coronary artery disease. Critics charged that the studies had little scientific merit and exposed participants to unacceptable safety risks. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved chelating agents, which bind and remove heavy metals from the body, for treating acute toxicity of heavy metals. But, according to the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), off-label uses of chelating agents contribute to an estimated 800 000 physician visits annually..."
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October 2008 Back to top
A Dozen Cases Alone at One Omaha School
NBC News 6 (NE)
October 31, 2008
"An outbreak of whooping cough has Douglas County Health Department officials concerned as 48 cases have been reported in recent days, 12 of those at Omaha's St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic School. Also known as pertussis, whooping cough is highly contagious...Dr. Adi Pour with the Douglas County Health Department expects those numbers to grow. 'Let's say you've been vaccinated. The likelihood is much less that you're going to be infected. 'The whooping cough vaccine looses it's potency, so many school age kids are more susceptible. 'What we are most concerned is in families where you have an individual with pertussis and you have a small infant that hasn't been able to be immunized yet, that's when we are most concerned,' says Dr. Pour.".."
Doctor Disputes Autism, Vaccine Link
Video link: www.msnbc.com
NBC: Today Show
October 30, 2008
"In his book, “Autism's False Prophets,” Paul A. Offit, a national expert on vaccines, recounts the history of autism and challenges the idea that vaccines lead to autism. An excerpt. From the prologue: Although most of my hate mail mentions my work with Merck on a rotavirus vaccine, that alone doesn’t explain why some people hate me..."
Op-ed: Our Vote to End Cervical Cancer
Author: Lance Armstrong and John Seffrin
Washington Post
October 30, 2008
"Preventing, treating and defeating cancer are among the greatest scientific challenges and personal triumphs of our time. And right now, we have the power to save our mothers, sisters and daughters from a type of cancer that claims a life every two minutes globally..."
Idaho Health Officials Report First Flu Death
Associated Press
October 29, 2008
"State health officials say a 50-year-old woman from northern Idaho has died from influenza complications. The case was reported Tuesday and is the first flu-related death of the season in Idaho. The case was reported Tuesday and is the first flu-related death of the season in Idaho..."
Flu Widow's Message: Get your flu shot
Star Tribune
October 29, 2008
"As the daughter of one Minneapolis firefighter and the wife of another, Linda DeLude thought she knew the dangers that her husband, Barry, faced on the job. The flu virus didn't even make the list. Until one day in 2007. In late January, Barry DeLude and his crew responded to a medical emergency at a nursing home. Two days later, he started feeling achy and complained of the worst headache of his life..."
Cast a Vote, Get Vaccinated, Nonprofit Urges
CNN.com
October 29, 2008
"Record numbers of early voters are lining up across America, and one nonprofit hopes health is on at least some of their minds. The non-partisan program Vote & Vax is teaming up with local health agencies to provide flu vaccinations at 250 polling locations around the country. "It's a win-win situation for everyone," said Dr. Doug Shenson, national program director of Vote & Vax. "The providers are delivering flu shots. The community is protected. The election experience is an efficient and good one..."
Vaccinations’ Benefits Proved; Enforce the Law
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
October 29, 2008
"Unfounded fears about vaccines are causing too many parents to forgo getting the shots their children need to stay healthy and not spread dangerous diseases among their playmates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last month that measles cases in the United States had reached the highest level in more than a decade, an alarming rise in a disease thought to be eliminated in the United States eight years ago. The spike is directly linked to parents refusing to get their children inoculated against the easily spread disease..."
Letter: Is Gardasil Safe?
Washington Post
October 28, 2008
"Fretting about whether to get your daughter vaccinated against cervical cancer? Or perhaps about getting the Gardasil shots yourself? The federal government has new information that officials say should help calm fears about the safety of the shots. The analysis of data collected from about 190,000 women and girls who got at least one Gardasil shot found no evidence that the vaccine increased the risk for any serious complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention..."
Promising Results for Wyeth Vaccine
Wall Street Journal
October 28, 2008
"An investigational Wyeth vaccine known as Prevnar-13 appears to offer enhanced protection against pneumococcal disease in young children, compared with the company's current blockbuster vaccine, Prevnar, according to new data presented Monday. Wyeth has high commercial hopes for Prevnar-13, which is designed to protect against six more disease-causing types of the bacteria streptococcus pneumoniae than does Prevnar...The data on Prevnar-13 come from findings of four European studies, including a 604-infant trial conducted in Germany, which will be part of the package to be submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration when the company files for approval of the vaccine in the first quarter..."
Vaccination Programmes Avert 3.4 Million Deaths: GAVI Alliance
AFP (Global)
October 28, 2008
"Immunisation programmes against meningitis and hepatitis in the world's poorest countries will have averted 3.4 million deaths by the end of the year, the public-private GAVI alliance said Wednesday. The alliance, set up by IT magnate Bill Gates and funded by donor governments, international institutions and private philanthropists, also said that 213 million children will have been reached with GAVI-supported vaccines in the period 2000-2008..."
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September 2008 Back to top
Link Between Vaccine and MS Unproven
HealthDay News-Washington Post
September 30, 2008
"Children vaccinated against hepatitis B probably are not at an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) unless they were inoculated with a particular brand of the vaccine, according to a new study. The French study found that children with MS were almost twice as likely to have received the vaccine called Engerix B three or more years before the disease's onset. Further studies will need to be done to determine whether the vaccine is a direct cause of the development of MS. The study, which involved 349 children with MS and 2,941 children without the disease, is to be published in the Oct. 8 online issue of Neurology..."
86% of Americans Told to Get Flu Shot
Washington Post
September 25, 2008
"A record-setting amount of influenza vaccine is available this fall for a record-setting number of people being advised to get it. That was the message yesterday from officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and several private organizations, who convened in Washington to urge Americans to get flu shots. The number of people targeted for flu vaccination has grown steadily in recent years and now constitutes 86 percent of the population. For the first time, the federal government is recommending this year that children 5 to 18 years old get vaccinated, along with the previously targeted group of 6 months to 5 years..."
Schools Could Star in Battle vs Flu
Boston Globe
September 25, 2008
"It is a black-and-white portrait from a bygone era: children queued up in a school auditorium, arms bared for a shot of protection against a deadly disease...With the federal government urging for the first time that all children 6 months and older get the flu vaccine, the state is preparing for one of the most ambitious public health campaigns undertaken in years. Pediatricians would be inundated if they had to vaccinate most of the state's 1.5 million children every year, authorities said yesterday. So schools have emerged, much as they did half a century ago, as central to the effort. Pilot programs making the flu vaccine available in schools could start as early as influenza season this fall, said John Auerbach, the state's public health commissioner. And if those succeed, Auerbach said yesterday, the initiative would be primed for expansion...While the disease poses the greatest threat to the aged and infirm, it can prove deadly to children: Last flu season, more than 70 youngsters died from the illness. And researchers have found that children play a major role in spreading the disease, with day-care centers and schools acting like incubators for the virus..."
Measles Are a Growing Threat
Louisville Courier Journal (KY)
September 25, 2008
"Measles cases in the United States are at the highest level in more than a decade with almost half of them involving children whose parents rejected vaccination, federal health officials report. Concerned pediatricians are troubled by the trend and by the failure of parents to realize that measles is a highly contagious and potentially deadly disease…'By getting the immunization, you are not only protecting your children, but the elderly, the immune-compromised and babies,' said Dr. Joshua Honaker, an Oldham County pediatrician who is chairman of the Kentucky Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics...Apparently, Internet-based reports and celebrities on TV talk shows have created anxiety in parents about the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, Honaker said. 'I tell them there is no connection between the vaccine and autism,' he said...Honaker is a member of a newly formed local group of academic and practicing pediatricians who call themselves Pediatricians for Immunization. They hope to develop more avenues for educating parents and getting them the information they need so they aren't scared about vaccinations of all kinds..."
Charlatans to the Rescue
Wall Street Journal
September 23, 2008
"Ever since psychiatrist Leo Kanner identified a neurological condition he called autism in 1943, parents whose children have been diagnosed with the most severe form of the illness -- usually in the toddler stage, before age 3 -- have found themselves desperately searching for some way not to lose their children to autism's closed-off world. Unfortunately, such parents have often found misguided doctors, ill-informed psychologists and outright charlatans eager to proffer help..."
Blog: To vaccinate or not to vaccinate?
Consumer Reports Blog
September 23, 2008
"For parents looking for information on vaccines, the Web can be a confusing place. Misinformation abounds about a purported link between childhood vaccines and autism, and anti-vaccination Web sites have been on the rise in recent years. Naturally, that can cause parents anguish about when and whether to vaccinate their children. But the science is clear; there is no concrete evidence of a link between vaccinations and autism. Meanwhile, largely because of the movement by a determined minority against vaccination, long eradicated diseases are gaining a new foothold, making vaccination as important as ever..."
Clinic on Wheels Called a Success 1385 People Received Hepatitis A Booster
Buffalo News (NY)
September 22, 2008
"A total of 1,385 people received the hepatitis A vaccine in Amherst on Sept. 13, and most never got out of their cars. Instead, they were funneled through an Amherst town highway garage and received a hepatitis booster shot by sticking their arms out of car windows. The event provided a public service. But its main purpose was to see if a drive-through emergency response program using real patients and real vaccine could succeed on a large scale. Bottom line: It can. In fact, while the event had some glitches, it was successful enough to gain praise from affiliates with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the University at Albany School of Public Health..."
Inside the Vaccine-and-Autism Scare
Salon.com
September 22, 2008
"Early in Dr. Paul A. Offit's new book, "Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure," he describes a threatening letter he received from a man in Seattle. The threats against him and his family have come not from antiabortion advocates, but rather from anti-vaccine crusaders who believe that vaccines cause autism. Offit, it turns out, has been targeted by them because he helped to develop a vaccine that prevents rotavirus, a serious gastrointestinal infection in children, and because he has been staunchly pro-vaccine in a time when there are many doubts about their safety. Offit begins by tracing the history of the anti-vaccine movement to its roots in England in 1998..."
Defending Vaccines in the Autism Debate
Philadelphia Inquirer
September 21, 2008
"Next to clean drinking water, vaccines are arguably the most important advance in public health in the last 300 years. Thanks to vaccines, we have eradicated smallpox, wiped out polio virus in the Western hemisphere, closed in on measles, and brought many other once fatal or debilitating diseases under control. But despite the indisputable track record of vaccines in lowering mortality and morbidity here and around the world, the American public has been embroiled, over the last decade, in a heated debate about whether vaccines are safe. In particular, the notion that vaccines cause autism has taken hold of the public imagination and refuses to let go, even in the face of growing scientific evidence to the contrary. In Autism's False Prophets, Paul A. Offit, co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine and chief of infectious disease at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, helps to explain why..."
Blog: NIH Wakes Up
Discover Magazine Blog
September 21, 2008
"The National Institutes of Health has shut down a study based on antivaccination garbage. Hurray! The research was looking into chelation, the idea that an amino acid can be pumped into the bloodstream where it will remove some potentially toxic metals. What spurred this? The nonsense that mercury is present in the blood due to childhood vaccines...So why was the study stopped by NIH? The board determined that there was no clear evidence for direct benefit to the children who would participate in the chelation trial and that the study presents more than a minimal risk. In other words, they looked into chelation, and it doesn’t work well enough to risk performing it on children. In fact, it can do substantial harm, and can even be fatal: children have died because they were chelated. Isn’t it bad enough that antivaxxers want to see kids suffer through preventable diseases like measles and rubella? Do we have to make people sicker or even kill them to make some antiaxxers happy? I’m actually happy the NIH saw fit to look into this -- it’s always better to investigate and be sure -- and I’m not surprised they found it to be not worth the risk, especially given that it was based on nonsense to start with..."
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August 2008 Back to top
Washington Post Investigations: Measles on Rise as Parents Question Vaccine
Washington Post
August 28, 2008
"Reports of measles are on the rise, with health experts attributing the increase to the decision by some parents to forego vaccinations for their children out of fears the shots could trigger diseases...The American Academy of Pediatrics says extensive reports from several leading researchers have found no 'proven association' between autism and measles vaccines. Experts recently told the Chicago Tribune that autism 'tends to emerge at the same age children receive their shots, leading to a false sense of cause and effect...' Many parents of children afflicted with autism continue to argue that a link exists, pointing to a legal dispute in Georgia between the family of 9-year-old Hannah Poling and the federal government...At the time, several researchers -- including Dr. William Schaffner, professor and chairman of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University, and Dr. Ira Rubin of Naperville Pediatrics in Naperville, Ill. -- said legal action does not equate with scientific proof of a link between vaccines and autism..."
Vaccines Seek to Offer Cradle-to-Grave Protection
Forbes (NY)
August 28, 2008
"Immunization shots used to be the realm of the young. Babies would go through series after series of vaccinations. And toddlers would take their shots before entering preschool. And they still do. But vaccines are now expanding to include all age ranges, in an attempt to ward off disease from the cradle to the grave. What's more, immunization rates continue to gradually improve in the United States, although not as quickly as public health officials would like..."
Op-ed: The Unprotected among Us
Scripps News Service
August 27, 2008
"The development of increasingly effective vaccines is one of medicine's great triumphs. Thanks to large-scaled vaccination programs, the World Health Organization has wiped out smallpox and is close to doing the same to polio..."
Cost of Vaccines Puts Them Out of Reach for Many
Scripps News Service
August 27, 2008
"Some parents are unable to vaccinate their children because the shots are too expensive and too complicated, experts say. The federal government each year buys enough vaccine to inoculate more than 10 million children and subsidizes vaccination through state Medicaid programs. But the government's cost to buy all vaccines for a child up to age 12 -- $155 in 1995 -- had grown by 2007 to $927 for a boy, and $1,214 for a girl (including the new vaccine against cervical cancer). 'The increasing cost of vaccines has raised concerns that some children are being denied access to immunization and that overall immunity in society will also suffer,' said Dr. Jerome Klein, a professor of pediatrics at Boston University, who's studied vaccine financing..."
Thousands of Unvaccinated Children Enter Schools
Scripps News Service
August 27, 2008
"Hundreds of thousands of children are going to school this fall without protection from deadly diseases. More parents are deciding not to vaccinate their children against mumps, measles, rubella, polio and other dangerous diseases. The parents are refusing to vaccinate because of concerns that the vaccinations themselves are harmful, or because of the growing cost and complexity of getting the shots..."
Oregon's Low Vaccination Rate Causes Health Concerns
The Oregonian
August 27, 2008
"Vaccine skeptics have plenty of company in Ashland. There, doubts about the necessity and safety of immunizations are as much a part of the community as its embrace of naturopathic medicine, environmental ethos and counterculture roots..."
Op-ed: Measles Returns
New York Times
August 24, 2008
"There has been an upsurge of measles cases in the United States, mostly because of parents’ misguided fears of vaccinations. The number is still relatively small -- but climbing. In the first seven months of this year, 131 cases were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than during the same period in any year since 1996. No deaths were reported, but at least 15 patients were hospitalized..."
Jump in Measles Outbreaks Worries Health Officials
Associated Press
August 21, 2008
"The number of measles cases in the U.S. is at its highest level since 1997, and nearly half of those involve children whose parents rejected vaccination, government health officials reported Thursday. The number of cases is still small, just 131, but that's just for the first seven months of the year and doctors are troubled by the trend. There were only 42 cases for all of last year..."
Autism-Treatment Study Dropped
LA Times: Science Briefing
September 20, 2008
"A government agency has dropped plans for a study of a controversial autism treatment that critics had called an unethical experiment on children. The National Institute of Mental Health said in a statement Wednesday that the study of the treatment -- called chelation -- has been abandoned. The agency decided the money would be better used testing other potential therapies, the statement said. The study had been on hold because of safety concerns after another study published last year linked a drug used in the treatment to lasting brain problems in rats..."
Meningitis Vaccine Urged for Older Kids
La Vista Sun (NE)
August 18, 2008
"A rare disease that kills or maims many of its victims is gaining increased attention in the hope that it can be largely wiped out. Meningococcal disease, a form of bacterial meningitis, can kill within 24 hours of the appearance of symptoms..."
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Jul 2008 Back to top
WSU Student Diagnosed with Rubella
Washington State University News
July 29, 2008
"The Whitman County Health Department has confirmed the diagnosis of rubella (German measles, three-day measles) in an 18-year-old student from China. The student attended intensive language classes at Washington State University from July 7 to July 21, 2008..."
Vaccination Clinic Helps Control High School Pertussis Outbreak
Reuters
July 24, 2008
"The introduction of an on-site clinic providing the pertussis booster vaccine (Tdap) is credited with helping to control a pertussis outbreak that occurred in an Illinois high school 2 years ago, according to findings in the July 25th Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Immunity to pertussis wanes after childhood vaccination, but in 2005 booster vaccines were introduced for adolescents and adults to combat this problem. A year later, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices began recommending Tdap booster vaccination for all adolescents and adults..."
Area Residents Bit by Rabid Fox
Clay County Progress
July 24, 2008
"A dead fox found July 15 near where a fox attacked a 10-year-old girl and 61-year-old woman on July 14 has been confirmed as rabid. Kim McClain of the Cherokee County Health Department wrote in a report on Thursday that the state lab called and said the fox tested positive for the rabies virus, said Tim Nicholson, a registered environmental health specialist/registered sanitarian with the health department..."
Op-ed: Ouch! That’s painful ... but it’s for your own good
North Kitsap Herald (WA)
July 23, 2008
"Nobody likes needles, that much is fact. Whether you’re on the health care side administering a vaccination shot or on the patient side receiving it, the experience isn’t one you mark on your calendar and anticipate eagerly..."
Researchers Look for Autism Links
Rocky Mount Telegram (NC)
July 22, 2008
"Kristina Day's gut tells her that her youngest son does not have autism. In his short, 6-month life, William Day has not shown any of the symptoms, but she is not willing to rule it out. She said she was burned too badly before her oldest son, Matthew, 4, was diagnosed with the disorder..."
It's Time For Back To School Vaccinations
Fayette Front Page (GA)
July 21, 2008
"It's that time of the year again when parents nationwide are making sure their children have everything they need to head back to school. At the top of your list should be checking that your child is up to date on all of the required immunizations..."
HPV Vaccine Inspires Yellow Health Journalism
Conde Nast Portfolio
July 21, 2008
"As the son of a doctor and the husband of another, I'm always on the lookout for irresponsible health journalism. And, boy, did I find some this weekend..."
Plans for Large-Scale AIDS Vaccine Trial Dropped
Associated Press
July 18, 2008
"Plans for a large-scale trial of a potential AIDS vaccine are being dropped in favor of a smaller, more focused study, the National Institutes of Health said Thursday..."
Deciding Who Gets the Vaccine First
Indianapolis Star
July 16, 2008
"Disease pandemic doesn't have to exist to have a discussion about ethical dilemmas that could come with it, including: How should limited, potentially life-saving resources like vaccines or ventilators be allocated? Do those who are sickest or those who are hardiest have first dibs when such resources are limited.."
Doctor Dismisses Link of Autism to Vaccines
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
July 14, 2008
"Until doctors find a cure for the 1 in 150 children living with an autism spectrum disorder, parents will continue to search for solutions and answers. In the meantime, Dr. Rolanda Maxim, a developmental pediatrician, weighs in with one answer to a well-publicized dispute: No scientific evidence links childhood vaccines with autism..."
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June 2008 Back to top
Millions of Vaccines to be Bought for Children Worldwide
International Herald Tribune
June 25, 2008
"Millions of children and teenagers in poor countries may soon be vaccinated against seven common diseases, health officials said Wednesday..."
US Panel Endorses 2nd Vaccine for Kids' Virus
The Associated Press
June 25, 2008
"A federal advisory panel has endorsed a second vaccine to combat a common and potentially fatal virus that causes diarrhea and vomiting in children. The new two-dose vaccine for infants, made by GlaxoSmithKline, was licensed by the Food and Drug Administration in April. The vaccine advisory committee agreed Wednesday that it should be added to the recommended vaccines for infants, as well as the three-dose vaccine made by Merck & Co. and approved in 2006..."
New Vaccine May Account for Less Severe Rotavirus Season
Washington Post
June 25, 2008
"A recent vaccine for rotavirus -- a leading cause of vomiting and diarrhea in infants and children -- may account for this year's less severe season, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday. The highly contagious virus is shed in the stools of infected people and is transmitted by contaminated hands and objects. Children can transmit the virus before and after they become sick with diarrhea..."
New Pediatric Vaccine Reduces Shots
United Press International
June 24, 2008
"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has licensed a vaccine against five childhood ailments in a single vaccine, officials at Sanofi Pasteur said..."
New Autism Research May Allow Earliest Ever Detection
City News (Canada)
June 24, 2008
"It is one of the most baffling syndromes that doctors, parents and families have to deal with. And it continues to be a mystery because the person suffering from it can't tell anyone what's wrong with them..."
Official Warning: Measles 'endemic' in Britain
The Independent (UK)
June 21, 2008
"Measles has become endemic in Britain, 14 years after its spread was halted in the resident population, the country's public health watchdog says. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) warned that the number of unvaccinated children was now large enough to sustain the "continuous spread" of the potentially lethal virus in the community. It blamed a failure by parents over the past 10 years to give their children the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine..."
Doc Hasn't Stopped Helping
News & Observer (NC)
June 20, 2008
"Dr. Sam Katz has long enjoyed an international profile for developing the measles vaccine, helping to save millions of children's lives since its approval in 1963..."
Op-ed: Joining Forces to Combat Global Illness
Author: Jean Stephenne, president of GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
June 19, 2008
"A recent vaccine for rotavirus -- a leading cause of vomiting and diarrhea in infants and children -- may account for this year's less severe season, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday. The highly contagious virus is shed in the stools of infected people and is transmitted by contaminated hands and objects. Children can transmit the virus before and after they become sick with diarrhea..."
Most People with Asthma in U.S. Don't Get a Flu Shot
Reuters.com
June 19, 2008
"Despite being at increased risk for influenza-related complications, almost two-thirds of people with asthma in the US are not vaccinated against influenza each year, according to an analysis of data from the 2005-2006 flu season..."
Rubella Case Reported in North Dakota
Star Tribune
June 12, 2008
"North Dakota's first case since 1991 of rubella, commonly known as German measles, is being reported in a county bordering Minnesota. North Dakota's Health Department was notified last week of a Cass County man who had a rash, and tests confirmed that he had contracted rubella..."
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May 2008 Back to top
Nigeria Puts Polio Eradication at Risk
Voice of America
May 26, 2008
"Health Experts are concerned that a big outbreak of polio in Nigeria this year could put the World Health Organization's efforts to wipe out this crippling disease at risk. WHO has made enormous progress since it launched its global eradication campaign in 1988. At that time, 350,000 children a year became paralyzed because of polio. That number now stands at 450. Most of the world now is polio-free. But, that achievement is being threatened by reluctance on the part of some religious, traditional and political leaders in the northern part of Nigeria to immunize all their children against polio. Lisa Schlein reports for VOA from Geneva..."
A Shot in the Dark No More
The Economist
May 22, 2008
"Doctors often exude an air of omniscience, but in truth they are surprisingly ignorant. For example, they have spent eight decades adding alum to vaccines as what is known as an adjuvant. Somehow, it boosts the immunity-inducing effectiveness of the antigens derived from whichever bug the vaccine is designed to protect against. But no one has known how it works. Alum is used in the textile industry as a way of making dyes bind to cloth. Possibly, the original thought may have been that it would play a similar binding role in the immune system..."
State Gives $350K More to Fight Measles Outbreak
The Independent (UK)
May 21, 2008
"With the measles outbreak now affecting 22 people in two Arizona counties, Gov. Janet Napolitano has released $350,000 more from the state health-crisis fund to fight it. That follows an initial $50,000 given from the fund last month..."
How Safe Are Vaccines?
Time Magazine
May 21, 2008
"Life, if you're a bacterium or virus, boils down to this: finding a pristine human home to provide for your every need, from food and nutrients to shelter against biological storms. As a microbial drifter, you can literally travel the world, hopping from host to host when the opportunity presents itself or when conditions at your temporary residence start heading south. There's no worry about taking along life's necessities either--viruses in particular are adept at traveling light; incapable of reproducing on their own, they think nothing of co-opting the reproductive machinery of their cellular sponsors to help them spawn generation after generation of freeloading progeny...."
U of L Study Finds HPV Vaccine May Help Prevent Other Cancers
Louisville Courier-Journal (KY)
May 16, 2008
"Some people might be able to avoid head and neck cancer if they receive a special vaccine that protects against the human papillomavirus, according to a researcher at the University of Louisville's James Graham Brown Cancer Center..."
Vaccines and Autism Revisited -- The Hannah Poling Case
Author: Paul A. Offit, MD
New England Journal of Medicine
May 15, 2008
"On April 11, 2008, the National Vaccine Advisory Committee took an unusual step: in the name of transparency, trust, and collaboration, it asked members of the public to help set its vaccine-safety research agenda for the next 5 years. Several parents, given this opportunity, expressed concern that vaccines might cause autism -- a fear that had recently been fueled by extensive media coverage of a press conference involving a 9-year-old girl named Hannah Poling..."
Measles Control to Cost at Least $1 Million
Arizona Daily Star
May 15, 2008
"Handling the measles outbreak will cost the county at least $1 million, county officials reported to the state. Pima County Health Department spokeswoman Patti Woodcock said the county submitted a $1 million budget for its costs of fighting the outbreak between mid-April and the end of May. Woodcock said the county won't know until the fall how much the outbreak has cost. Twenty people in Pima County have been infected since February, when a Swiss tourist visited Northwest Medical Center, exposing staffers and visitors..."
A Dose of Reality on HPV
University Wire (Eastern Illinois U)
May 15, 2008
"Marie Smith answered a phone call in the middle of the night from her best friend. Her friend had been crying because earlier that day she was diagnosed with the humanpapillomavirus disease..."
Court Hears More Claims of Vaccine-Autism Link
New York Times
May 13, 2008
"The United States Court of Federal Claims began another hearing on Monday to decide whether a vaccine additive led thousands of children to become autistic. The hearing is the second in a series of three in which the court is considering whether the government should pay millions of dollars to the parents of some 4,800 autistic children. In this hearing, parents are claiming that thimerosal, a preservative that contains mercury, damaged their children’s brains. Thimerosal was removed from all routinely administered childhood vaccines by 2001..."
Oral Cancer in Men Associated with HPV
New York Times
May 13, 2008
"The sexually transmitted virus called HPV, for human papillomavirus, is well known to lead to cervical cancer in women -- which is why the federal government recommends that all girls be vaccinated for HPV at 11 or 12, before they become sexually active..."
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April 2008 Back to top
Quarter of Kids Don't Meet Vaccine Schedule
Reuters
April 29, 2008
"More than a quarter of American children are not meeting the U.S. government's recommendations for childhood vaccinations, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers said on Tuesday. Their report went beyond the government's typical evaluation of whether children are getting the recommended number of doses of various vaccines and examined whether they were getting them at the right time..."
Op-ed: We Must Vaccinate Kids
Los Angeles Times
April 29, 2008
"Vaccines protect us all. We can't allow the fears of a few parents to endanger society..."
Op-ed: What the Autism Studies Show Isn't Reflected in What the Candidates Say
Washington Post
April 22, 2008
"Two leading presidential candidates have now wandered into an exceptionally emotional medical debate in which they have no known scientific expertise. Several advocacy groups and families of children with autism are embroiled in a long-running court case seeking billions of dollars in damages because of alleged links between autism and a preservative in vaccines given to children at a young age. While some doctors have testified that there is a link, the medical establishment in the form of the World Health Organization, the Institute of Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has dismissed the allegations as scientifically unfounded..."
Polio Cases Double in Nigeria
Seattle Times
April 22, 2008
"Polio cases have nearly doubled this year in the West African nation of Nigeria as officials struggle to fight various natural strains of the virus as well as an outbreak set off by the polio vaccine itself three years ago. Outbreaks linked to the vaccine, as opposed to the naturally occurring virus, are usually stamped out within months. But Nigeria has a very low immunization rate, partly from its weak health system and also from rumors about the safety of the vaccine..."
Meningitis C Deaths Cut to Zero
BBC News (UK)
April 22, 2008
"There were no deaths from meningitis C among under-19s in England last year, a government report has revealed. Before routine immunisation was introduced in 1999, up to 78 children a year were killed by the infection..."
Op-ed: Vaccine Study
Winston Salem Journal (NC)
April 21, 2008
"Federal health officials have wisely decided to include the public in its study of safety questions related to vaccines. A federal study group is charged with finding the most important safety questions for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research over the next five years, The Associated Press reports. The group was told to listen to the public..."
Op-ed: Don't Blame Vaccines for Autism
Roanoke Times
April 20, 2008
"Confusion swirls around the issue of vaccines and autism. The government's concession that vaccines led to Hannah Poling's "symptoms of autism" is partially to blame..."
Op-ed: Foul Shots
New York Post
April 20, 2008
"In 1957, a remarkable man named Maurice Hilleman, a J.C. Penney salesman turned microbiologist, predicted and prevented a pandemic strain of the Asian flu..."
Current Flu Season Worst in 4 Years
HealthDay
April 17, 2008
"The current U.S. flu season has been the worst in four years, due, in part, to a vaccine that was not a good match for certain circulating strains of flu virus, U.S. health officials said Thursday..."
Our Stories: My Life Shows Why Polio Vaccination Is So Crucial
Asheville Citizen-Times (NC)
April 17, 2008
"I was 2 1/2 years old in 1950 when I became sick. The nation was gripped by the polio epidemic. My earliest memories began in a hospital..."
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March 2008 Back to top
Op-ed: Inoculated Against Facts
Author: Paul A. Offit, MD
New York Times
March 31, 2008
"On March 6, Terry and Jon Poling stood outside a federal courthouse in Atlanta, Ga., with their 9-year-old daughter Hannah and announced that the federal government had admitted that vaccines had contributed to her autism. The news was shocking. Health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and at the American Academy of Pediatrics have steadfastly assured the public that vaccines do not cause autism. Now, in a special vaccine claims court, the federal government appeared to have said exactly the opposite. What happened?..."
Op-ed: Fear over Vaccines and Autism
Author: Ned Calonge, MD
Denver Post
March 30, 2008
"Vaccinations do not cause autism. Certainly, we are past due in dedicating the appropriate resources to look for the potential causes -- and in identifying effective therapies -- for the very serious condition of autism. But the March "Vaccine Court" decision, a single legal settlement involving an unfortunate child suffering from a rare heritable disorder, serves as an unnecessary distraction from this course. The worst decision parents could make as a result of this isolated event would be to avoid immunizing their children against serious childhood disease, where the risks are real and proven..."
Measles Claims 165 Children in Katsina
All Africa
March 28, 2008
"Measles epidemic killed 165 children in Katsina State in the last three months, the state director, Disease Control, Dr Halliru Idris, has said. He told newsmen yesterday in Katsina that so far 3,064 cases were recorded in the state from January 2008 to date..."
TV Researcher 'Brought Fatal Flu to Amazon Tribe'
The Times Online (UK)
March 27, 2008
"Amazonian tribes have called for film and television crews to be banned from their territories after a British production company was accused of starting a flu epidemic that killed four members of a remote Indian people..."
AIDS Vaccine Testing at Crossroads
Washington Post
March 26, 2008
"The leaders of the federal government's effort to develop an AIDS vaccine said yesterday that more of their budget needs to be spent on basic lab research and less on testing the current crop of vaccines, none of which has proved useful in human trials..."
Correlation, Causation, Vaccination
The Atlantic Monthly
March 25, 2008
"You would have to be harder hearted than I to ignore the anguished search of parents of autistic children for the cause of their child's condition. "I saw it," they say; "one shot, and then the child who had talked and laughed started retreating into himself." It's hard to argue with someone's pain..."
Angered Patients Vent to Lawmakers Over Hepatitis Scare
Las Vegas Eyewitness News
March 25, 2008
"Victims of medical negligence were given a voice Monday night in front of state lawmakers. One by one their stories were told -- from fear to confirmation that some were among the patients that did contract hepatitis C From a clinic that practiced poor procedures..."
Immunization Roulette
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette (IN)
March 25, 2008
"A 7-year-old boy traveled to Switzerland with his family early this year and returned to his San Diego home Jan. 13. He developed a fever and sore throat about a week later but went to school. When his condition worsened, he was taken to the family doctor’s office. By Feb. 1, the boy - who was not vaccinated - was diagnosed with measles. He infected five children at his school and four more at the pediatrician’s office..."
16-Year Old Dies of Rabies in Santa Maria; Public Health Officials Trying to Track Down Traveling Companion
The Santa Barbara Independent
March 21, 2008
"Rabies is what killed a 16-year-old in Santa Maria on Tuesday, and public health officials are trying to track down a companion who recently traveled with the teenager from Mexico. The boy came into the Marian Medical Center on March 18 delirious and drooling, and was having trouble breathing. He required resuscitation immediately, but doctors were not able to save his life..."
'Influenza-Like Illness' Kills 2 in Same Minnesota Family
Star Tribune (MN)
March 20, 2008
"The victims' wife and mother is in intensive care in a Duluth hospital. A state health official said the men had Type B strain. A father and his adult son from north-central Minnesota died this week from complications of an "influenza-like illness," health officials said Thursday..."
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This website is supported in part by a cooperative agreement from the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (Grant No. 5U38IP000290) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA. The website content is the sole responsibility of IAC and does not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.