Home
|
About IAC
|
Contact
|
A-Z Index
|
Donate
|
Shop
|
SUBSCRIBE
Immunization Action Coalition
IAC Home
|
News & Information
|
Vaccine News
|
View All 2009

Vaccine News

2011
|
2010
|
2009
|
2008

View All 2009

JAN
spacer
FEB
spacer
MAR
spacer
APR
spacer
MAY
spacer
JUN
spacer
JUL
spacer
AUG
spacer
SEP
spacer
OCT
spacer
NOV
spacer
DEC
#
December 2009 Back to top
Are celebrities crossing the line on medical advice?
USA Today
December 22, 2009
Actress Jenny McCarthy, who has an autistic son, has written several books linking autism with childhood vaccinations, even though a host of scientific studies show that vaccines are safe and not the cause of increasing autism rates.
#
September 2009 Back to top
Editorial: Accepting immunity
Ottawa Citizen
September 21, 2009
"With a second wave of H1N1 flu on the doorstep, Canadian public health officials face a serious stumbling block in their battle to contain the coming pandemic: the anti-vaccine movement. People who refuse to be vaccinated -- because they have misguided medical fears or because they're making a quasi-political statement against the scientific 'establishment'-- could derail progress aimed at reducing the effects of this disease, the result being that a lot of people could get seriously ill and die. Individual voices of concern about the H1N1 flu vaccine have grown into a chorus in recent weeks, and the time has come for health officials to mount a counter-offensive if they don't want to see their vaccination programs sabotaged. This needs to be done quickly..."
Vaccines Offer Preventative Solutions to High Childhood Pneumonia Rates
Voice of America
September 21, 2009
"A recent World Health Organization (WHO) study of two strains of pneumonia is providing African governments with their first ever country-by-country figures on the leading global killer of children under the age of five. The results, which appeared in the September 12 edition of The Lancet, track the rates of pneumococcal (streptococcus pneumonia) and Hib (haemophilus influenza type b) strains of the infection..."
New York Health Care Workers Resist Flu Vaccine Rule
New York Times
September 20, 2009
"When she cleans the rooms of patients with swine flu symptoms, Jana Newton, a housekeeper at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, has to suit up for her own protection in a mask, gloves, gown and hairnet. Jana Newton, an aide at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, said she has not been sick and sees no reason for a shot. But she still does not want the one thing that would give her a far better defense — a flu shot. 'Some people's immune system is good, like me,' Ms. Newton said. 'I've been here five years and never been sick. Why mess with something that's not broken...'"
Metro Health Nearly Mandates Health Care Workers Receive Flu Shots
Cleveland Leader
September 19, 2009‎
"Metro Health workers that don't receive a flu shot will be sticking out like sore thumbs this year. The hospital system is urging their workers receive a vaccination as Swine Flu threatens to wreak havoc on the United States. Metro sent an email to staff saying whoever does not receive a flu shot this year will be forced to wear surgical masks while working with patients..."
Distribution of Swine Flu Vaccine Will Begin in October
Washington Post
September 19, 2009
"Vaccine for the H1N1 influenza pandemic will be distributed on a three-day turnaround time from four regional warehouses around the country next month. The vaccine deliveries, expected to equal 20 million doses a week by the end of October, will be distributed among 90,000 immunization 'providers,' including health departments, hospitals, clinics, doctors' offices and pharmacies. Those were among the details unveiled Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of the federal government's increasingly complex response to the pandemic of H1N1 influenza, also known as swine flu. 'This is a huge logistical process. There's not [going to be] a sudden appearance of vaccine in 90,000 refrigerators around the country,' said Jay Butler, an epidemiologist who leads the CDC's task force on the vaccine..."
CDC: 1 in 3 Teen Girls Got Cervical Cancer Vaccine
USA Today
September 18, 2009
"One in three teenage girls have rolled up their sleeves for a vaccine against cervical cancer, but vaccination rates vary dramatically between states, according to a federal report released Thursday. The highest rates were in Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, where more than half of girls ages 13 through 17 got at least one dose of the three-shot vaccination. The lowest rates were in Mississippi, Georgia and South Carolina, where fewer than 20% got at least one shot..."
Flu on Campus: What Works, What Doesn't
Reuters
September 18, 2009
"Cramped living quarters on college campuses increase students' chances of being infected with all kinds of flu, but scrupulous hand hygiene and simple face masks may help some stay healthy, at least until swine flu vaccines become available next month, health experts say. Last week, U.S. colleges and universities reported a 21 percent increase in new cases of influenza-like illness, or 6,432 cases, at 253 schools tracked by the American College Health Association. So far this academic year, there have been 13,434 reported cases of flu-like illness, most of which are presumed to be swine flu because seasonal flu has not gotten under way..."
First Doses of Swine Flu Vaccine Will Go up the Nose
NPR
September 18, 2009
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the first doses of swine flu vaccine should get into Americans in a couple of weeks -- but through their noses, not their arms..."
Swine Flu Virus Causing Confusion; It's still a mystery why H1N1 often strikes the young yet tends to be fatal in middle-aged, but not elderly, adults
Los Angeles Times
September 18, 2009
"As health officials brace for a new onslaught of illness from the novel H1N1 virus, they remain perplexed by one of the most unusual and unsettling patterns to emerge from this pandemic -- the tendency of the so-called swine flu to strike younger, healthier people. The initial explanation was that the elderly, who are usually most vulnerable to the flu, have built-in immunity as a result of their exposure more than 50 years ago to ancestors of today's pandemic strain. But the limits of the theory are becoming more clear. For starters, only a third actually have antibodies to the new H1N1..."
Australia's Swine Flu Vaccination Plan to Test Global Interest
Bloomberg
September 18, 2009
"Australia will begin immunizing people against swine flu in 12 days, heralding a global health campaign that will test public interest in the inoculation. The nationwide program will start Sept. 30 after regulators approved CSL Ltd.'s pandemic vaccine, Health Minister Nicola Roxon said today. More than 4 million doses are in major cities ready for delivery to hospitals and medical clinics next week..."
Shortages of Flu Supply are Spotty
Minneapolis Star Tribune
September 18, 2009
"So many Minnesotans have rushed to get seasonal flu shots that temporary spot shortages have cropped up around the state. But, according to the Minnesota Health Department, there doesn't appear to be a full-blown shortage of the vaccine. 'There's no reason to believe we're going to run out,' department spokesman Buddy Ferguson said Friday. 'We aren't anticipating a shortage.' That said, the department's advice that people get vaccinated early, coupled with intense media coverage of the looming H1N1 flu pandemic, has caused a stampede at clinics and commercial businesses selling the vaccine..."
Hospitals Pushing Workers to get Flu Vaccines
St. Petersburg Times (FL)
September 17, 2009
"Health care workers usually don't follow their own advice. Every year, fewer than half of them get vaccinated... Hospitals here and nationally are stepping up efforts to vaccinate workers against both seasonal flu and H1N1. One state - New York - is even making flu vaccinations mandatory for health care workers..."
Surviving H1N1 -- with Baby in Belly
CNN
September 17, 2009
"For the past several months, Amy Wolf has been glued to the television, intently watching for information on how best to prepare for H1N1 flu. Eight months pregnant, Amy Wolf signed up for an H1N1 vaccine trial. She usually does not worry about the flu, but this year is different: Wolf is eight months into her second pregnancy. 'I watch the news like crazy, and it seems like every time I would watch or read something, there was a picture of a pregnant woman,' Wolf says. She's right to be concerned..."
US to Donate 10 Percent of Swine Flu Vaccine to WHO
Washington Post
‎September 17, 2009‎
"The United States plans to donate 10 percent of its supply of pandemic H1N1 influenza vaccine to the World Health Organization for use in low-income countries. The nation has on order 195 million doses of the swine flu vaccine, which is due to start arriving early next month. The White House said it "is taking this action in concert" with eight other countries..."
Low Levels of Key Antibodies May Lead To Severe Disease, Study Suggests
Metronews (Toronto)
September 16, 2009
"Australian researchers may have uncovered a clue as to why some people who catch swine flu suffer life-threatening illness. And if they are right, there is an existing weapon in the treatment arsenal that could help reduce the pandemic death toll. The group found that pregnant women who became severely ill with the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus had low levels of a particular antibody that is known to fight off viruses and help the body respond to vaccine. Moderately ill women were much less likely to have significantly suppressed levels of the antibody, the researchers reported..."
American Lung Association's Faces of Influenza Campaign Stresses the Importance of Seasonal Influenza Vaccination
Reuters
September 16, 2009
"The American Lung Association is intensifying its seasonal influenza public education initiative to urge families to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The Faces of Influenza campaign aims to ensure Americans get immunized against seasonal influenza, which each year causes an estimated 36,000 deaths and over 226,000 hospitalizations from the virus and its related complications. The Faces of Influenza campaign, which includes expanded awareness initiatives nationally and in many major cities, supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) call for Americans to get vaccinated against seasonal influenza this and every year..."
FDA Approves H1N1 Flu Vaccines
Wall Street Journal
September 15, 2009
"The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved vaccines designed to protect against the H1N1 influenza virus, a key step before starting a vaccination campaign. The approval was announced by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at a hearing that was held by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. An FDA spokeswoman said the agency approved vaccines made by a unit of Sanofi-Aventis SA, Novartis AG, CSL Ltd. and AstraZeneca PLC's MedImmune unit. MedImmune makes a vaccine in the form of mist delivered through the nose rather than a shot. Ms. Sebelius said a large-scale vaccination program will begin in mid-October..."
HHS Chief: Swine Flu Vaccines Ready Soon
Washington Post
September 15, 2009
"As the administration wrestles with health-care reform, there was some good health news for a member of the team in the past few days: Help is on the way for the swine flu. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said upwards of 50 million doses of a new vaccine for the H1N1 virus will be available in mid-October, earlier than expected, with millions more doses quickly following. The initial vaccines will go to what Sebelius calls 'priority populations' -- caregivers, young people ages 6 to 24, hospital workers, pregnant women and some seniors..."
Rabies Alert Continues For North Escambia; Person Bit By Rabid Fox
NorthEscambia.com (FL)
September 13, 2009
"A Rabies Alert continues for North Escambia after one person was bit by a rabid fox and two raccoons that bit dogs tested positive for rabies. Robert Merritt, director of environmental health for the Escambia County Health Department, said that a dog was bitten by a rabid raccoon on Crabtree Church Road in Molino in May, and a dog was bitten by a rabid raccoon on Handy Road in Cottage Hill last month. He said a fox that bit a person somewhere in North Escambia last month also tested positive for rabies, but, due to patient privacy laws, he was not able to identify in which community the incident occurred..."
Hospitals to Require Flu Shots for Workers
Des Moines Register
September 10, 2009
"Des Moines' two main health-care companies will require most of their employees to receive flu shots this fall. Mercy Medical Center and Iowa Health-Des Moines told workers this week that they must be immunized against seasonal influenza unless they have a medical or religious reason not to be. If they receive an exemption, they will be required to wear masks when treating patients after Dec. 1..."
Child Deaths Fall, But 'Grossly Insufficient': U.N.
Reuters
September 10, 2009
"Childhood deaths have declined across the world, data released on Thursday showed, but mortality is increasingly concentrated in poor countries. A study by the United Nation's children's fund (UNICEF) showed that thanks to better prevention methods for malaria and action to reduce mother-to-child AIDS virus transmission, some 8.8 million children under five died in 2008 compared with 12.5 million in 1990. But 99 percent of child deaths occurred in poor countries..."
Business Not Ready for Flu, Study Says
Boston Globe
September 10, 2009
"Many American businesses are unprepared to deal with widespread employee absenteeism in the event of a swine flu outbreak, a Harvard School of Public Health study says. The survey, released yesterday, found that two-thirds of more than 1,000 businesses questioned said they could not maintain normal operations if half their workers were out for two weeks. Four-fifths expect severe problems if half are out for a month..."
Small Doctor Practices Worry about Flu Impact
Reuters
September 9, 2009
"Doctors asked the government on Wednesday to pay them more for giving vaccines and prescribing drugs on the telephone as the flu pandemic hits their communities. Meanwhile, small bankers said they should get relief from some regulatory requirements during the worst of the pandemic, as they may not have staff to fill out forms and mail out statements. The H1N1 pandemic is moderate now, and communities and governments have been planning for such a pandemic for years. But doctors, bankers and others told the House Committee on Small Business that they need some regulatory changes to handle it..."
CDC Says Most Won't Need Drugs for Flu
Washington Post
September 9, 2009
"With pandemic influenza cases on the rise across the country, federal public health authorities on Tuesday urged physicians to prescribe antiviral medicines to high-risk patients promptly but reminded the public that most people won't need, and shouldn't expect to get, the drugs if they come down with the flu. The guidance is aimed at getting optimal benefit from Tamiflu and Relenza while preventing overuse, hoarding and shortages of the drugs, as was seen briefly during the spring outbreak of swine flu. Specifically, authorities said, practitioners shouldn't wait for lab tests to confirm the presence of the novel strain of the H1N1 virus before starting antivirals in high-risk patients who show symptoms of flu..."
FDA Panel Urges HPV Vaccine Be Given to Boys
CNN
September 9, 2009
"Boys may soon be able to get Gardasil, the vaccine given to girls and young women to prevent infection by four types of human papillomavirus. Gardasil, a vaccine against human papillomavirus, would be given to boys exactly as it is to girls. A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted Wednesday to recommend that the vaccine be made available to boys and young men aged 9 to 26 for protection against genital warts caused by HPV..."
#
August 2009 Back to top
Researcher Develops Inhalable Measles Vaccine
Voice of America
August 31, 2009
"Most vaccines are given as a liquid shot using a needle and syringe, but this method can lead to infection if needles are reused or not disposed of safely. Bob Sievers is a chemistry professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and the head of a small chemical company called Aktiv-Dry. With a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Sievers is developing a dry powder form of the measles vaccine that would be inhaled, instead of injected..."
Outbreak of Chickenpox Reported at SLU
August 31, 2009
"Three students at St. Louis University are suspected to have chickenpox, according to a health alert sent to the campus on Friday. Chickenpox is a virus marked by a skin rash and fever. Public health officials consider three cases of chickenpox in one school an outbreak. Chickenpox is contagious through contact with sores, coughing and sneezing. The disease is generally not considered threatening but can be more serious in adolescents and adults..."
Rare but Deadly Meningitis: Don't forget kid shots
Seattle Times
August 31, 2009
"Fever, chills, vomiting: It starts like a stomach bug or the flu. But bacterial meningitis can go on to kill terrifyingly fast — one of the few infections in the U.S. where someone can feel fine in the morning and be dead by night. And prime targets are tweens, teens and college freshmen. Amid all the publicity about children's flu shots this year is quiet concern that vaccination against meningococcal meningitis not fall by the wayside, just as doctors are charting some progress against the rare but devastating infection..."
Your Doctor may Give You Swine Flu This Fall
Newsweek
August 31, 2009
"The CDC says health-care workers should be among the first in line to receive the swine-flu (H1N1) vaccine, which the government hopes will be available by mid-October. But will your doctors, nurses, and other medical providers roll up their sleeves? Only 45 percent of health-care workers get a seasonal flu shot every year..."
CVS, Walgreens to Offer Free Flu Shots to Unemployed
Bloomberg
August 31, 2009
"CVS and Walgreens, the nation's two largest drugstore chains, will soon offer millions of dollars of free seasonal flu shots to unemployed and uninsured people. CVS Caremark Corp. will offer 100,000 free shots valued at about $3 million to job seekers, the Rhode Island-based company said yesterday in a statement. Walgreen Co., based in Illinois, will distribute $1 million in shots to the uninsured through its 7,000 U.S. stores and clinics..."
Back to Flu
Boston Globe
August 31, 2009
"He's one of the nation's top flu fighters. But for Dr. Marty Cetron, the battle begins at home. That's where, like parents all across the country, he is preparing his three children - they're 9 to 15 years old - for the arrival of a fall flu season unlike any in their lifetimes. This will be the season of our dual discontent: Disease trackers expect both seasonal influenza and the novel swine strain to circulate. And swine flu, which made its US debut in the spring, has shown an unusual propensity for making the young sick while sparing the old..."
U.S. Childhood Vaccine Rates Good but Could Be Better: CDC
HealthDay News
August 27, 2009
"More than three-quarters of U.S. children have received the recommended vaccinations, but greater efforts are needed to reach youngsters who are not fully immunized, a U.S. government report finds. A 2008 survey of children from 19 months to 35 months of age, born between January 2005 and June 2007, found that 76.1 percent had received the recommended series of vaccines (called the 4:3:1:3:3:1 series), a rate statistically similar to the estimate of 77.4 percent in 2007. The national goal for coverage is 80 percent. 'Vaccination is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children's health,' Dr. Melinda Wharton, deputy director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a CDC news release..."
Op-ed: Not Enough Children Get Vaccinated for the Flu
Dr. Howard Schlansky is a pediatrician with St. John's Mercy Children's Hospital
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 27, 2009
"The annual flu season will soon be upon us, peaking anywhere from October to May. This year there are additional concerns about the swine flu virus. The flu is a viral illness with symptoms that include fever, cough, sore throat, aches, chills and fatigue, and also can result in more severe symptoms including pneumonia. It is the No. 1 vaccine preventable illness in the United States. Vaccinations could help prevent many of the nearly 60 million illnesses, 25 million doctor visits, 225,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths that occur each year resulting from the flu..."
Poll: 2/3 in U.S. Plan to Get Swine Flu Vaccine
Reuters
August 27, 2009
"More than 90 percent of Americans plan to do something to protect themselves from the H1N1 pandemic flu virus and more than 60 percent will get vaccinated, according to an American Red Cross survey released on Thursday. Only 11 percent say they are very worried about the new swine flu and another 29 percent are somewhat worried. The rest -- 60 percent -- say they are not worried."
Experts Field Questions about Novel Flu Vaccines for Pregnant Women
CIDRAP
August 27, 2009
"Federal health officials today hosted a Web telecast to help pregnant women and new mothers prepare for an uptick in novel H1N1 flu infections, a day after a federal judge rejected an advocacy group's request to limit use of the H1N1 vaccine in pregnant women. Pregnant women in the United States and other countries have had high rates of severe infections and deaths from the novel flu virus, which prompted a federal vaccine advisory group in July to recommend that pregnant women be placed high on the priority list to receive the vaccine..."
CDC Turns to Social Sites to Get Flu Message Out
Reuters
August 27, 2009
"U.S. health authorities are turning to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter in a bid to prepare people to be vaccinated against the pandemic H1N1 virus. But efforts to distribute accurate information about the dangers of swine flu and the importance of vaccination are hampered by the sheer complexity of the message that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aims to convey. For a start, the vaccine will not be ready for widespread distribution until mid-October, after the traditional flu season has begun. The U.S. government hopes to target around 50 percent of the population for vaccination, focusing on key groups including pregnant women and healthcare workers."
E.U. Officials Lay Out Priorities for Swine Flu Vaccine
New York Times
August 26, 2009
"European Union health officials issued a list Tuesday of people who should be the first in line for vaccinations against the H1N1, or swine flu, virus. People at risk of severe disease, pregnant women and health care workers should be given priority for inoculations before the winter flu season, said the officials, who represent 27 E.U. countries and the European Commission. Prioritizing those groups is necessary because 'there will probably not be vaccine available for everyone initially, and even if there is, distribution will take time,' the officials said in a statement...In the United States, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius reached a similar verdict Tuesday, saying that large-scale school closings would be ineffective in halting the spread of the virus. Instead, Ms. Sebelius said on NBC television, vaccinations would be the defense..."
Agency Urges Caution On Estimates Of Swine Flu
New York Times
August 26, 2009
"Up to 90,000 deaths from swine flu in the United States, mostly among children and young people? Up to 1.8 million people hospitalized, with 50 percent to 100 percent of the intensive-care beds in some cities filled with swine flu patients? Up to half the population infected by this winter? On Monday, a White House advisory panel issued a report with these estimates, calling them "a plausible scenario" for a second wave of infections by the new H1N1 flu. The grim numbers by the panel, the President's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology, got considerable play in the news media. On Tuesday, however, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the agency with the most expertise on influenza pandemics, suggested that the projections should be regarded with caution.."
AAFP Launches Awareness Campaign for Pertussis Vaccination
AAFP News Now
August 25, 2009
"Although the CDC estimates that 600,000 cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, occur each year in the United States, only 2 percent of American adults received the tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccine, or Tdap, from 2005 through 2007, the agency says..."
Health Officials Warn of Whooping Cough
Pensacola News Journal (Fla.)
August 25, 2009
"With a large increase in outbreaks of pertussis, commonly called whooping cough, health department officials in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties want families to consider booster vaccinations. 'In a normal year, there are three to five cases reported,' said Dr. John Lanza, Escambia County Health Department director. 'But already in 2009, we have 50 cases.' Santa Rosa County also has had 50 cases of pertussis this year, epidemiologist Samantha Rivers said. Last year, it had one. 'Pertussis has a natural four- to five-year waxing and waning, and it's been that amount of time since the last (outbreak),' she said. Pertussis is contagious, and especially dangerous to newborns too young to get vaccinated, Lanza said. The vaccination is among those given to infants at about 6 weeks of age. 'Because it can be dangerous for newborns, it is important for the teenage and adult family members to talk with their physician about getting vaccinated,' he said..."
How Safe Are New Vaccines For H1N1, HPV?
Listen to the Story [3 min 58 sec]
NPR
August 25, 2009
"School officials in Washington, D.C., are requiring all school girls 13 and older get vaccinated for Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which can lead to cervical cancer. And a vaccine for the swine flu - also known as H1N1 virus - is expected to become available later this fall. Guest host Jennifer Ludden talks with Dr. Paul Offit, Chief of Infectious Diseases at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, about the safety of the new vaccines. Dr. Offit also has the latest on plans to conduct a mass immunization for Swine flu - which is expected to be a national program of historic proportions..."
HPV Vaccine Could Prevent Many Penile Cancers
Health Day News
August 25, 2009
"The human papillomavirus (HPV) causes about half of penile cancer cases in the world, and giving vaccines to males could greatly reduce the incidence of the disease, a new study suggests. Penile cancer remains rare, accounting for less than 1 percent of adult male cancers in North America and Europe, but that rate jumps to as high as 10 percent in Africa and Asia, according to Spanish researchers reporting online Aug. 25 in the Journal of Clinical Pathology. More than 26,300 cases of penile cancer are thought to occur around the world each year..."
Swine Flu Could Infect Half of U.S.
Washington Post
August 25, 2009
"Swine flu could infect half the U.S. population this fall and winter, hospitalizing up to 1.8 million people and causing as many as 90,000 deaths -- more than double the number that occur in an average flu season, according to an estimate from a presidential panel released Monday. The virus could cause symptoms in 60 million to 120 million people, more than half of whom might seek medical attention, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology estimated in an 86-page report to the White House assessing the government's response to the first influenza pandemic in 41 years..."
CDC's Advice to Parents: Swine Flu Shots for All
Washington Post
August 25, 2009
"The first swine flu precaution that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests for parents: As soon as a vaccine is available, try to get it for everyone in your family. 'We're going to continue to stress that the vaccine is the most important thing that parents can do to protect their children,' said Tom Skinner, a CDC spokesman. This H1N1 vaccine should be taken in addition to the seasonal flu vaccine, and not as a replacement for it..."
Scientists Probe Pertussis Cases: CDC experts seek reason for high number in county
Durango Herald (Colo.)
August 23, 2009
"Experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are in Durango looking for clues as to why an unusually large percentage of the pertussis cases reported in Colorado in 2009 occurred in La Plata County. 'It warrants investigation because of the wide spectrum of symptoms atypical of pertussis,' Dr. Sema Mandal said during an interview at the San Juan Basin Health Department. It's not unusual for the CDC to investigate unusual trends such as the extraordinarily high number of pertussis cases, but they do so only at the invitation of state and local health authorities, said Matt Griffith, a CDC epidemiologist. A CDC team visited the Four Corners in 1993 during a hanta virus outbreak and more recently sent a team to New York to help with investigation into H1N1 (swine) flu, Griffith said. Experience has taught the CDC that it's important to get detailed histories of illnesses and not to rule out anything, Mandal said..."
No Side Effects So Far in Trial of Swine Flu Shot
New York Times
August 22, 2009
"There have been no serious side effects from the first set of injections of the new swine flu vaccine, federal health officials said Friday in predicting that nearly 200 million doses could be produced by year's end. Clinical trials in adults began on Aug. 7, and those in children on Wednesday..."
Bringing Science Back into America's Sphere
Los Angeles Times
August 22, 2009
"Chris Mooney, author of 'Unscientific America,' talks about the significance of Pluto's demotion from planet, the belief that vaccines are linked to autism, and the role played by religion. 'Science has become much less cool,' journalist Chris Mooney writes in "Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future" (July 2009, Basic Books). Mooney, author of the 2005 bestseller The Republican War on Science, and his coauthor Sheril Kirshenbaum, a marine scientist at Duke University, seek to explain how Americans have come to minimize science in a time when, they assert, we will need it most -- as global warming, advances in genetics and the possibility of large-scale engineering of the Earth's climate loom in our future..."
FDA Approves Glaxo's Hiberix Vaccine
Philadelphia Inquirer
August 21, 2009
"GlaxoSmithKline P.L.C. has won swift approval from the federal government to produce and sell a booster vaccine against Haemophilus influenzae type b, which should help eliminate shortages of the shot against the deadly disease. The London drugmaker, which has large operations in the Philadelphia region, said late Wednesday that its Hiberix vaccine was approved as a booster dose for children 15 months to 4 years old. The vaccine targets the bacterial infection known as Hib, which can cause meningitis, pneumonia, and other deadly illnesses..."
Who Should Get Swine Flu Shots First?
TIME Magazine
August 21, 2009
"Influenza vaccinations are usually an afterthought for most people. Despite the easy availability of the shots, fewer than 40% of Americans get them in any one year — never mind that flu kills some 36,000 of us annually. But this flu season is likely to be different. Thanks to the new H1N1/09 virus, to which almost none of us are immune, flu anxiety is high — and demand for the new vaccine should be too. Washington is now gearing up to respond, hoping to inoculate millions of Americans and blunt the severity of the first pandemic in four decades..."
College Students with Flu Advised to Avoid Others
Associated Press
August 21, 2009
"Health officials are offering some basic advice for college students with flu symptoms: Avoid other people until 24 hours after a fever is gone. At colleges across the country, planning for flu season, particularly the swine flu, is well under way. Recommended safeguards could mean students with a private dorm room should stay in their rooms and find a 'flu buddy' to deliver meals and notes from class. Or it could mean students with roommates might need to move to some kind of temporary housing for sick students. And if sick students can't avoid close contact with other people, they need to wear surgical masks. The point is for sick students to isolate themselves, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said."
#
July 2009 Back to top
CDC to Seek Public's Advice on H1N1 Vaccination Drive
CIDRAP
July 31, 2009
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plans to gather the public's thoughts in August on how big this fall's H1N1 influenza vaccination drive should be. The CDC will hold 10 'public engagement' meetings around the country to get the citizenry's advice on whether the vaccination program should be an all-out effort or something more modest, according to Roger Bernier, PhD, MPH, senior advisor in the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. The agency wants to take the public pulse on the issue because there's so much uncertainty about the scale and of the severity of the pandemic and the demand for the vaccine this fall and winter, Bernier said..."
Vaccine Plan in U.S. May Endanger Supply, Lancet Says
Bloomberg News
July 31, 2009
"U.S. plan to rely on swine flu vaccines without ingredients to stretch the supply would reduce the number of available shots just when other countries need them most, the British journal Lancet said in an editorial. The ingredients, called adjuvants, have never been approved for flu vaccines in the U.S. and are controversial because some studies show they cause immune disorders in mice..."
Nasal Vaccine Holds Promise Against Swine Flu
New York Times
July 30, 2009
"As the nation girds for a possible swine flu pandemic, one of the big weapons may come from an unexpected source - a vaccine squirted or dropped into the nose. MedImmune, which already makes the nasal spray vaccine FluMist for seasonal flu viruses, says it is on track to produce about five times as much swine flu vaccine as it had expected - so much, in fact, that it will run out of nasal spray devices and is looking to administer the vaccines with droppers instead..."
Flu Vaccine Panel Creates Priority List
Washington Post
July 30, 2009
"A complicated list of who should get pandemic flu vaccine in the fall is now set. When the vaccine starts arriving in September, first in line will be pregnant women; the caretakers of infants; children and young adults; older people with chronic illness; and health-care workers. That's the advice of a 15-member committee of experts, which met all day Wednesday at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to advise the federal government on vaccine policy..."
Wal-Mart Weighs Role in U.S. H1N1 Vaccination Plans
Reuters
July 30, 2009
"Wal-Mart Stores Inc is discussing with U.S. health officials the possibility of putting vaccination sites at some of its stores for an H1N1 swine flu inoculation campaign this fall, a company official said on Thursday. Federal officials met with Wal-Mart executives on Wednesday in Arkansas to discuss the issue, Dr. John Agwunobi, president of health and wellness for Wal-Mart U.S., told public health leaders at a conference in Orlando..."
Volunteers Swarm for Shot at Swine Flu Vaccine
MSNBC
July 29, 2009
"It's been just a week since Monica Hankins first heard scientists were looking for volunteers to test an experimental vaccine to prevent the H1N1 swine flu, but the Festus, Mo., mom and her family already are signed up. She wants her two young daughters, Isabella, 3, and Maya, 19 months, to be among the first to be protected against the previously unknown virus that has launched a global pandemic and claimed more than 800 lives worldwide, including more than 300 in the United States..."
Federal Panel Issues H1N1 Vaccine Guidelines
CNN
July 29, 2009
“A federal advisory committee issued sweeping guidelines Wednesday for a vaccination campaign against the pandemic swine flu strain, identifying more than half the U.S. population as targets for the first round of vaccinations. The advisory panel's guidelines don't trigger the start of vaccinations but are usually accepted by the government. The priority groups include pregnant women; health care and emergency services personnel; children, adolescents and young adults up to age 24; household and caregiver contacts of children younger than six months; and healthy adults with certain medical conditions..."
CDC Says Pregnant Women with Flu Symptoms Should Receive Anti-Viral Drugs
Wall Street Journal
July 29, 2009
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday pregnant women suspected of having the flu should be promptly treated with antiviral medications. The CDC, in a study set to be published in the medical journal Lancet, said pregnant women are more severely impacted by the H1N1 virus. CDC said pregnant women had higher rates of hospitalization and a greater risk of death compared to the general population...“
First Defense Against Swine Flu - Seasonal Vaccine
Reuters
July 24, 2009
“U.S. health officials strengthened their recommendations for seasonal flu vaccines on Friday, saying all children aged 6 months to 18 years should be immunized -- especially because of the H1N1 flu pandemic. The seasonal vaccine provides little or no protection against H1N1 swine flu, but immunization will help prevent people from being infected with both at once and can help minimize the effects of the pandemic on schools, workplaces and the economy in general, health experts say....“
EU Panel to Review H1N1 Vaccines Before Flu Season
Wall Street Journal
July 24, 2009
“The European Medicines Agency said Friday it has started to receive data on H1N1 pandemic vaccines following the review beginning in July, with the commitment from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, to fast-track the review of data as vaccine manufacturers make them available.... “
#
June 2009 Back to top
Henderson Led WHO's Effort to Rid the World of Smallpox
USA Today
June 30, 2009
“One day in 1947, two cases of smallpox turned up in New York City. An investigation identified more cases. The outbreak's source turned out to be a visitor from Mexico who stayed in a hotel with 3,000 guests from 28 states. Health workers raced to vaccinate each one. And they didn't stop there. Over the next four weeks, to make sure smallpox didn't take hold in the USA, health workers vaccinated 6 million New Yorkers, all to contain a 12-person outbreak with just two deaths..."
ACIP: No Preference for Separate MMR and Varicella Vaccines
MedPage Today
June 30, 2009
“The government's vaccine advisory panel has endorsed giving an infant varicella vaccine either by itself or in combination with the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR)...”
Wayne Marasco: A Shot at a Universal Flu Vaccine
US News and World Report
June 30, 2009
“Wayne Marasco is no doubt the only Harvard medical researcher who abandoned a successful construction firm, Waymar Roofing and Siding, to become an immunologist. The man with the unorthodox history recently made a striking discovery: a human antibody that attacks a newfound vulnerability in flu viruses. His finding could be the key to a single, perennial vaccine against all forms of influenza, including swine flu. Vaccines work by training the body's immune system to recognize distinctive molecules on the surface of a virus. The body then makes antibodies that grab those molecules and disable the virus. But flu viruses constantly change the shape of their surface molecules. So the vaccine that 143 million Americans get annually has to be matched each year to the mutating virus. That process takes months, making it hard to quickly cook up a vaccine for a new bug. After SARS, Marasco started searching for antibodies to the H5N1 bird flu virus. By 2007, he had found an antibody that stuck to all four circulating bird flu strains, the 1918 pandemic flu, and representatives of 8,000 other flu strains..."
Dr. Eric London Resigns from Autism Speaks
Autism Science Foundation
June 29, 2009
Press Release: "Dr. Eric London has announced his resignation from the Autism Speaks Scientific Affairs Committee..."
Swine Flu 'Shows Drug Resistance'
BBC News
June 29, 2009
"Experts have reported the 1st case of swine flu that is resistant to Tamiflu, the main drug being used to fight the pandemic. Roche Holding AG confirmed a patient with H1N1 influenza in Denmark showed resistance to the antiviral drug. David Reddy, company executive, said it was not unexpected given that common seasonal flu could do the same..."
Study Shows Swine Flu's Spread Can Be Tracked Through Air Travel
Chicago Tribune
June 29, 2009
"In a startling measure of just how widely a new disease can spread, researchers accurately plotted swine flu's course around the world by tracking air travel from Mexico. The research was based on an analysis of flight data from March and April last year, which showed more than 2 million people flew from Mexico to more than 1,000 cities worldwide. Researchers said patterns of departures from Mexico in those months varies little from year to year; swine flu began its spread in March and April this year..."
U.S. Cases of New Flu Hit a High This Week
Wall Street Journal
June 29, 2009
“The new H1N1 swine flu may cause more-severe illness than similar seasonal strains but may spread less easily, according to preliminary findings from a study of ferrets to be published soon by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientists. CDC officials said Friday they received reports of nearly 6,300 new U.S. cases in the past week, more than in any other week since the outbreak began in late April, signaling the virus isn't letting up despite summer's arrival. Almost all flu cases now tested are the new H1N1 flu rather than regular seasonal flu, the agency said. U.S. government officials and manufacturers are preparing to produce 600 million doses of vaccine for the H1N1 virus, an effort that would dwarf seasonal-flu campaigns and would include enough for those vaccinated to receive two doses. As many as 60 million doses could be ready by September, they said at a meeting Friday of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. But federal officials haven't decided whether to go ahead definitively with the campaign, determined who would get vaccinated, or worked out logistics for carrying out a campaign alongside seasonal-flu vaccinations...”
Federal Circuit Reverses Denial of Vaccine Injury Claim
National Law Journal
June 26, 2009
“A recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decision reversing the U.S. Court of Federal Claims' denial of a vaccine injury claim highlights the widening gulf between the Federal Circuit and Federal Claims court on vaccine cases. On June 18, the Federal Circuit reversed the Federal Claims court's decision to deny the petitioner compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The Federal Circuit case, brought on behalf of Enrique Andreu, alleged that he began having seizures the day after receiving a diphtheria, whole-cell pertussis and tetanus (DPT) vaccine at the age of eight weeks. According to the case, the seizure disorder ultimately led to a low IQ and language and developmental delays..."
AMA Rejects Call for More Research on Vaccine Link to Autism, Reaffirms Immunization Policies
AAFP News
June 26, 2009
“There's no need for more research into a possible link between vaccines and autism. But there is a continuing need for support of ongoing research into the true etiology of autism and its treatment. And physicians should continue to take a lead role in extolling the benefits of vaccines to health policymakers and the public. Those were among the messages recently sent by the AMA House of Delegates, which met June 13-17 in Chicago. A resolution submitted by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law initially proposed that the AMA reaffirm its support for universal vaccination, asked the AMA Council on Science and Public Health to review the most recent research on vaccines and autism, and urged the association to continue to support research into the etiology and treatment of autism. Although delegates at the meeting overwhelmingly supported the first and third resolves, they steadfastly opposed the request for a council review of vaccine research…"
CDC to Reinstate Booster Shots of Hib Vaccine
Reuters
June 26, 2009
“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday it plans to reinstate booster shots of a vaccine that protects children against bacterial meningitis. The CDC said in a statement it now believes manufacturers will have enough supply of the vaccine to resume giving a booster shot of HiB (Haemophilus influenza type b) to children aged 12 to 15 months. Booster shots will resume on July 1. Scarce supplies of the vaccine starting in 2007 prompted U.S. health authorities to recommend dropping the booster shot, which is typically given to children at 12 to 15 months who were not at high risk of infection..."
#
May 2009 Back to top
Talk of 'Underlying Conditions' May Add to Flu Worries
New York Times
May 28, 2009
"In announcing this week that swine flu had been implicated in the deaths of two more New Yorkers, the city's health commissioner, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, added a by-now familiar caveat: Both of them, he said, had ''underlying conditions." He went on to enumerate a list of conditions that could aggravate the effects of swine flu and that characterize a large portion of New York's population: diabetes, asthma, heart disease, lung disease, a weakened immune system and, possibly, obesity. He did not even mention three other risk factors that alone apply to more than 1.2 million New Yorkers and 50 million Americans: pregnancy, being younger than 2, or being older than 65..."
Editorial: New Perspective for Vaccine 'Refusers'
Star Tribune (MN)
May 28, 2009
"At first glance, there seems little in common between Danny Hauser's Minnesota family and a group of Colorado parents causing concern in a sobering recent medical journal article. The Hausers, who made headlines in refusing chemotherapy for their cancer-stricken 13-year-old, eke out a living with their seven other children on a farm near Sleepy Eye. The Colorado parents needed only routine care for their children and tended to come from metro neighborhoods indicating a 'higher socioeconomic status,' according to the study published in June's issue of Pediatrics..."
Officials: Hospital Safe Despite Fatal Case of Meningitis
The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio)
May 27, 2009
Officials at Mary Rutan Hospital in Bellefontaine say they don't know how two women in separate rooms of the maternity ward -- one of whom later died -- contracted bacterial meningitis late last week. But they say there is no threat of an outbreak and that expectant mothers ready to deliver their babies at the Logan County hospital have no cause for concern. The hospital has pulled batches of any medications the women may have been given and what remains of any supplies that were used and they will be tested as a possible source, said hospital spokeswoman Tammy Allison. She did not know whether hospital employees would be tested for the bacteria...."
Health Department 'Closely Monitoring' 3 Measles Cases
The Intelligencer (Philadelphia)
May 27, 2009
"State and county health officials are saying little about three measles cases involving unvaccinated residents - at least one a school-age child - other than the situation has been contained..."
Measles outbreak in Wales could cause deaths
Western Mail (UK)
May 27, 2009
"It is only a matter of time before someone dies from measles in Wales, public health experts warned last night. There are also fears children could be left with permanent brain damage as the number of people affected by the potentially lethal virus in a series of outbreaks across Wales has risen to 207. The outbreaks and disease are so serious 26 people have been hospitalised and some patients have even been treated in intensive care units..."
Editorial: Refusing to Immunize Raises Kids' Health Risks
Denver Post (CO)
May 27, 2009
"Parents who ignore the research and refuse to have their kids vaccinated increase the risk for everyone. It's a selfish stance. So many horrible diseases have been all but eradicated over the years by routine vaccinations that it's easy to lose touch with the devastation those illnesses can inflict. Polio-stricken children in wheelchairs are images typically confined to old photographs. The terrifying wheeze of a child with whooping cough is virtually unknown. And who among us has seen someone gone rigid with tetanus? Unfamiliarity with the horrors of such diseases is likely one reason why a small minority of parents decline to vaccinate their children against preventable diseases..."
Swine Flu, with 63 More Confirmed Cases, Closes Boston's Biggest Charter School
Boston Globe
May 27, 2009
"Public health authorities in Boston announced that they are temporarily closing the city's biggest charter school, Boston Renaissance, for a week because of a suspected outbreak of swine flu. Classes are suspended at the Theatre District school starting today and are expected to resume June 4. The closing was prompted by an unusually high number of absences in recent days, the Boston Public Health Commission said. Boston Renaissance is the eighth public or private school in the city to shut down because of swine flu fears..."
China Quarantines Teens, Teachers from Md.
Washington Post
May 27, 2009
"Twenty-one students and three teachers from a Silver Spring private school who flew last week to China for a weeklong tour have been confined to their hotel rooms, quarantined for possible exposure to swine flu during their flight from the United States. The group arrived in Guizhou province in southwestern China on Friday for an "extended study week," one of several such excursions from the Barrie School, which stresses experiential learning. Government officials quarantined the students and chaperons at a hotel in the city of Kaili because a passenger on the plane was suspected of having swine flu..."
Op-ed: Preparing Ourselves for the Next Epidemic
Oregonian
By Jay Nelson, director of OHSU's Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute
May 27, 2009
"While it's still hard to tell just how big the H1N1 (also known as swine flu) outbreak will be, it has already highlighted some urgent needs for our country. We must continue to improve our methods for rapidly detecting and tracking outbreaks. We must improve communications between international, national, state and local health officials. We must also use our limited research resources to improve and speed up vaccine development. As a scientist who has devoted most of my professional career to researching infectious disease, I know there is still an enormous amount of work to accomplish before the next epidemic comes. How serious is the threat? Consider this: Each year up to 20 percent of the American population gets the common flu. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized due to complications and about 36,000 people die annually from flu-related causes. Now imagine the impact and casualties from a more serious outbreak..."
Swine Flu Spreads in Australia
Voice of America
May 27, 2009
"The number of H1N1 flu cases in Australia has doubled in the past day to 59. The federal government has warned that the H1N1 influenza A virus is spreading fast. Health experts say its rapid transmission coincides with the southern hemisphere's traditional winter flu season. The H1N1 flu has been confirmed in most Australian states and territories. The epicenter of the outbreak is in Victoria, where a group of children are among those being treated. Virus origin unknown. Tests have yet to reveal if the infections in Australia have been imported from other countries or whether the virus has started to spread among those who have not traveled overseas..."
#
April 2009 Back to top
W.H.O. Alert Says a Global Spread of Flu Is Likely
New York Times
April 30, 2009
"For the first time since it rolled out the pandemic warning system in 2005, the World Heath Organization (WHO) has increased the alert level to Phase 5, which is the second-highest level. The increase is in response to the ongoing spread of the swine flu in the United States and Mexico, with the number of U.S. cases rising to 91 in 10 states from 64 in five states on April 28, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The first swine flu-related death in the United States was reported on Wednesday, a 23-month-old child from Mexico who was being treated in Houston. WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan has urged every country to activate their pandemic preparedness plans right away, while at the same time encouraging people to remain calm. Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases says the lack of background immunity in the population is a major concern and, along with human-to-human transmission, could lead to a pandemic..."
Officials Face a Tough Decision over Ordering Vaccine
Wall Street Journal
April 30, 2009
"Global health officials trying to gauge the severity of the swine-flu outbreak face a tough call on how quickly to move on creating a vaccine for the new virus. As confirmed cases of the new A/H1N1 flu virus mount and spread around the world, health officials must balance the desire to stop the spread quickly with some serious risks of moving too fast. Even with a full push, it would take months to get a vaccine ready, and the effort could force drug companies to cut corners or reduce production of regular flu vaccine needed for the winter. But waiting too long could allow the swine-flu virus to have a much more deadly impact. Work has already begun on a vaccine. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has the basic components for a swine-flu vaccine, and is studying the makeup of the virus to better understand a central mystery: why it has caused serious illness and deaths in Mexico but generally milder symptoms elsewhere."
Swine Flu Case in Spain May Point to Global Pandemic, WHO Says
Bloomberg
April 30, 2009
"A swine-flu patient in Spain who hadn't traveled to Mexico may signal a new front of the outbreak, potentially heralding the first influenza pandemic in 41 years. The World Health Organization raised its six-tier alert to 5, the second-highest, and said a pandemic declaration may come soon. It urged countries to make final preparations to deal with a virus that may sweep across the globe. The WHO has confirmed 154 cases in nine countries, and hundreds of people are being tested for the virus from Australia to New York. Eight of those known to have had swine flu have died, though many more may be carrying the virus and not getting seriously ill, the WHO said..."
Vaccine Makers Await Critical Swine Flu Samples; Swine Flu Won't Be in Seasonal Flu Vaccines
April 29, 2009
"As the World Health Organization (WHO) today acknowledged the spreading swine influenza virus by moving the pandemic threat awareness level up one notch to 5, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) worked to get drug companies the materials they need to create a vaccine. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said it is unlikely that any new swine flu vaccine would be included in the batches of seasonal influenza vaccines already in production for the typical August vaccine ship date..."
CHOP, Penn Research Points to Genetic Link in Autism
Philadelphia Inquirer
April 29, 2009
"By analyzing DNA from more than 2,000 autistic children, researchers have uncovered the best evidence yet for genetic links to the disorder - all tied to the way brain cells form and dissolve connections. The research effort, led by Hakon Hakonarson at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, used much larger samples than had been analyzed before to identify genetic differences between autistic subjects and controls. The CHOP group collaborated with Penn, UCLA, and other institutions, announcing their findings in two papers in today's issue of the journal Nature. One paper revealed the first common genetic variation found to occur more often among autistic people. The other paper announced 13 rarer genetic mistakes that are strongly associated with autism. Both papers back the consensus that there is no single autism gene, but perhaps 100 ways to develop the disorder..."
Obama Says Flu-Hit Schools May Need to Close
NPR
April 29, 2009
"President Barack Obama suggested Wednesday that school closings may be necessary in an escalating global health emergency that claimed the first death in the United States — a 23-month-old child in Texas. Obama said educators with confirmed swine flu infections should weigh shutting down classes if conditions worsen..."
Swine Flu Vaccine May Be Months Away, Experts Say
New York Times
April 29, 2009
"Federal officials said it would take until January, or late November at the earliest, to make enough vaccine to protect all Americans from a possible epidemic of swine flu. And beyond the United States and a few other countries that also make vaccines, some experts said it could take years to produce enough swine flu vaccine to satisfy global demand. Although production is much faster than would have been possible even a few years ago, it still may not be in time to avert death and illness if the virus starts spreading widely and becomes more virulent, some experts said. In this country, the biggest problem is that despite years of effort, the country is still relying on half-century-old technology to make the flu vaccines..."
The Naming of Swine Flu, a Curious Matter
New York Times
April 29, 2009
"What to call the new strain of flu raising alarms around the world has taken on political, economic and diplomatic overtones. Pork producers question whether the term "swine flu" is appropriate, given that the new virus has not yet been isolated in samples taken from pigs in Mexico or elsewhere. While the new virus seems to be most heavily composed of genetic sequences from swine influenza virus material, it also has human and avian influenza genetic sequences as well, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta..."
Op-ed: Understanding Swine Flu
Wall Street Journal
April 29, 2009
"The trouble starts in poor countries where too many people live in proximity to pigs and poultry. The extent and impact of the swine flu epidemic, which appears to have originated in Mexico and spread rapidly to a dozen countries and parts of the U.S., is still unknown. The epidemiology of such disease outbreaks is rather like a jigsaw puzzle, and we are now at the stage where the picture is intriguing even if we're not sure what we're seeing..."
Swine Flu Kills First Victim in U.S.
Los Angeles Times
April 29, 2009
"A 23-month-old child in Texas has become the first swine flu fatality in the U.S. The child was one of six people with confirmed cases of swine flu in the Lone Star State, in addition to the 10 confirmed cases in California, two in Kansas, and one in Ohio, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control. Another 45 cases have been confirmed in New York City. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in the U.S. to 64. Meanwhile, President Obama is calling for action to contain the spread of the virus. He noted that health authorities across the country need to be diligent in monitoring the outbreak of swine flu, and said that schools with suspected cases of the virus should follow the advice of public health officials and consider closing temporarily. Obama has also asked for $1.5 billion to deal with swine flu, and has put his new Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, to work on dealing with the outbreak..."
#
March 2009 Back to top
The Checkup; Circumcise Your Son?
The Washington Post
March 31, 2009
"There's new evidence that men who are circumcised are less likely to get infected with sexually transmitted viruses, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Previous research had found that men who were circumcised were 50 to 60 percent less likely to get infected with the AIDS virus. Now, researchers have found that circumcision also significantly reduces a man's risk of being infected with the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), which causes genital herpes, and the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause genital warts in men and cervical cancer in women. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Health in Baltimore..."
Vaccine Approved for Japanese Encephalitis: Mosquito-borne virus strikes mostly in Asia
US News and Reports
March 31, 2009
"The Ixiaro vaccine to prevent Japanese encephalitis (JE) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as the only sanctioned JE vaccine in the United States. The mosquito-transmitted virus is found mostly in Asia, where it affects up to 50,000 people each year and causes as many as 15,000 deaths, the FDA said in a news release. Though rarely seen in the United States, a few cases have been reported among people traveling to and from Asia..."
Case of Whooping Cough Reported at Terra Linda High
Marin Independent Journal
March 30, 2009
"A suspected case of whooping cough, a highly contagious respiratory tract infection, at Terra Linda High School has prompted health officials to send letters to the parents of the school's 1,200 students. Also known as pertussis, whooping cough can cause serious illness in children and adults.."
Concern over Vaccination Rate in N.J.; Responding to a reported drop, a doctors' group says parents and government must do more
The Philadelphia Inquirer
March 30, 2009
"Both parents and government must do more to ensure timely vaccination of children, a New Jersey doctors' group says, pointing to a new national survey that suggests the state may have dropped from the top 10 in the country to the bottom 10 in less than a year. "We live in the most urban state in the nation," Robert Morgan, a pediatrician and member of the Medical Society of New Jersey, said in an interview. "When you choose not to vaccinate your child, you are making choices for every other child as well." It is not clear that the latest National Immunization Survey results in New Jersey accurately reflect actual vaccination rates. The survey, conducted from July 2007 through June 2008, found that 70.5 percent of children in New Jersey had received the standard series of vaccines - down from 80.5 percent during the January-to-December 2007 period..."
Immunization Laws and Attitudes Vary
Los Angeles Times
March 29, 2009
"States have long been able to require students to be vaccinated before entering school, a power upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1922. But how strictly immunization laws are enforced varies, with tougher requirements leading to higher rates of compliance. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. in 2006 found that states that made it easiest to opt out of mandated vaccinations were nearly twice as likely to have cases of whooping cough as states with more difficult procedures. The authors, who noted that California was among the most lenient, urged all states to "balance parental autonomy with the tremendous public health benefit of vaccines" and consider tougher standards for exemptions..."
Measles Case Led to Concern, Quarantines
Los Angeles Times
March 29, 2009
"Once vaccination rates dip below a certain point, outbreaks of childhood diseases can spread quickly. Last year, Hilary Chambers, a San Diego radio host and mother of a baby girl, saw firsthand how fast measles can be passed among children. A 7-year-old boy brought back a case of the disease from Switzerland and infected his two siblings and nine other children at his public charter school and doctors' office. One of those children, a 10-month-old boy too young to be vaccinated, went to day care with Chambers' daughter Finlee. Public health officials informed Chambers that her daughter was at risk for contracting measles. Finlee had just turned 12 months old, meaning she was eligible for her first measles shot, but that inoculation appointment hadn't yet been scheduled. Chambers was told that she needed to keep Finlee quarantined at home, 24 hours a day, for three weeks. "So I totally freaked out," Chambers said. "The child at our day care that contracted measles was hospitalized with a 106-degree fever." Finlee was one of about 70 children who were quarantined in the case..."
California Schools' Risks Rise as Vaccinations Drop
Los Angeles Times
March 29, 2009
"Parents fear shots more than measles or mumps. A rising number of California parents are choosing to send their children to kindergarten without routine vaccinations, putting hundreds of elementary schools in the state at risk for outbreaks of childhood diseases eradicated in the U.S. years ago. Exemptions from vaccines -- which allow children to enroll in public and private schools without state-mandated shots -- have more than doubled since 1997, according to a Times analysis of state data obtained last week. The rise in unvaccinated children appears to be driven by affluent parents choosing not to immunize. Many do so because they fear the shots could trigger autism, a concern widely discredited in medical research. But with autism rates rising, some parents find that fear more worrisome than the chance that their child could contract diseases that, while now very rare in this country, can still be deadly..."
Sonoma County at Center of Anti-vaccine Debate
Santa Rose Press Democrat (CA)
March 28, 2009
"Whether it's a decision of the well-informed, non-traditional, alternative or paranoid, vaccinations are not considered a must-do by many North Bay parents. Long gone are the days when vaccinating infants and toddlers prior to kindergarten is done as a matter of course and without question. Especially in western Sonoma County. A study conducted by the Los Angeles Times reveals that the North Bay, and Sonoma County in particular, is a hot bed of anti-vaccine sentiment..."
Health Dept. Prepares for Immunization Week
Moultrie Observer (GA)
March 28, 2009
"During the 1950s, nearly every child developed measles, an easily spread virus known for causing a rash, fever, cough and watery eyes -- and feared because it can also cause pneumonia, seizures, brain damage or death. Today, thanks to childhood immunizations, the disease is extremely rare in the United States..."
President Barack Obama Talks about Daughter Sasha's Meningitis Scare During Infancy
Chicago Tribune
March 28, 2009
"She may be her parents' "precious pea," but Sasha Obama gave them quite a scare as an infant. Sasha developed meningitis when she was 3 months old and underwent a battery of frightening tests, President Barack Obama recalled during his Internet town hall meeting Thursday. It was the first time aides could recall him publicly discussing the family's medical crisis. "The doctors did a terrific job," Obama said, "but, frankly, it was the nurses that were there with us when she had to get a spinal tap, and all sorts of things that were just bringing me to tears." The White House could not confirm Friday which type of meningitis Sasha developed or other details about the illness. Sasha, now a spirited 7-year-old whom Obama referred to as "our little precious pea" during the Internet chat, does not seem to have suffered lasting effects. Her father, however, said the experience changed the way he viewed medical care, prompting him to promise to give nurses a voice in an upcoming health-care summit..."
#
February 2009 Back to top
San Francisco Department of Public Health Contained Measles Outbreak, Possibly Saving Lives
San Francisco Weekly
February 27, 2009
"Just weeks ago, a San Francisco man who had traveled abroad brought back a deadly souvenir. He had spent some time in Europe with a friend who had been diagnosed with measles, and several days after he returned to the city, he began showing symptoms..."
Meningitis Kills 3 in Sedgwick County
February 27, 2009
"Three people in Sedgwick County have died of bacterial meningitis since January, but only one of the victims suffered from a more contagious variety of the illness, health officials said Friday. A Sedgwick County resident died in January, and two others died in February, according to Jennifer McCausland, spokeswoman for the Sedgwick County Health Department. The person who died in January had a more contagious strain of bacterial meningitis, called neisseria meningitidis, said Janice McCoy, public health emergency coordinator for the health department..."
2nd Md. Teen's Death Also Blamed on Flu; Officials Urge Shots
The Washington Post
February 27, 2009
"The flu-related deaths of two Maryland teenagers in the past two weeks have prompted health officials across the region to urge people of all ages to get flu shots if they haven't already. Zachary Weiland, 15, of Woodbine in Howard County died Sunday at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and Ian M. Willis, 13, of Urbana in Frederick County died Feb. 19 at Children's National Medical Center in the District, health officials said..."
Sanofi "Micro" Flu Shot Wins European Approval
Reuters Health
February 26, 2009
"A new kind of "micro" vaccine against seasonal flu from Sanofi-Aventis has been cleared for sale by the European Commission, the French drugmaker said on Thursday. The green light had been expected following a positive recommendation from the European Medicines Agency in December. Sanofi's Intanza vaccine is the first intradermal microinjection flu shot and was developed in collaboration with Becton Dickinson. The shot is approved for use in adults 60 years of age and older, especially in those who run an increased risk of influenza-associated complications. Older people tend to become less responsive to vaccination and are expected to benefit particularly from a vaccine that provides direct access to the immune system through the dermal skin layer. Sanofi has tested the new shot in clinical trials involving more than 7,000 adult or elderly participants..."
Taiwan DOH on Guard Against Measles Outbreak
Taiwan News
February 25, 2009
"The Department of Health (DOH) is monitoring the conditions of individuals having had contact with a child who was infected with the measles after traveling to China, a DOH official said Tuesday. Chou Jih-haw, deputy director of the DOH's Center for Disease Control, said that although no one has been infected after coming into contact with the baby boy, the DOH will not let down its guard until mid-March. The 15-month-old baby boy living in central Taiwan caught the measles when he was hospitalized for diarrhea while traveling with his mother in Hunan, China, Chou said..."
Polio Infects Child in Kenya, First Case Since 2006
Reuters
February 25, 2009
"Polio has infected a four-year-old girl in northern Kenya in the country's first case of the disease since 2006, the government said on Wednesday. The girl is believed to have contracted the virus from neighbouring southern Sudan, which has struggled to improve its health sector since a 2005 peace deal ended a two-decade civil war. Shahnaaz Sharif, Kenya's director of public health and sanitation, said a vaccination campaign would begin in the area on March 7 and would aim to immunise more than 95,000 children. Youngsters under three are most at risk from the disease, which can cause irreversible paralysis..."
CDC Urging Docs to Complete Hib Primary Series
AAFP News
February 25, 2009
"With the nation's shortage of Haemophilus influenzae type b, or Hib, vaccine now stretching into its 15th month, the CDC is directly contacting thousands of health care providers with a reminder that all children should complete the primary Hib immunization series. The CDC is including this message in a letter dated Feb. 10..."
Panel Widens Recommendations on Hepatitis A Jab
Reuters
February 25, 2009
"U.S. citizens who expect to have close contact with an adopted child from countries with high rates of hepatitis A should be immunized if they have not been already, U.S. immunization advisers said on Wednesday. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which advises the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said unvaccinated people who will have close contact with such a child should get the vaccine within 60 days of the adoptee's arrival in the United States..."
Op-ed: A dose of reality on vaccines and autism
Los Angeles Times
February 25, 2009
"A special court found no significant link between the two, but that probably won't mean anything to a vocal group of parents who keep the debate alive. The unsubstantiated belief that vaccines are to blame for increasing rates of autism has diverted too much attention from the quest to find the causes of this complex syndrome. Sadly, a decision by the nation's vaccine court won't make much difference to the very vocal parents who refuse to let this theory die..."
With More Deaths, Hepatitis Toll Now 43
Hindu Times
February 24, 2009
"The toll in the hepatitis-hit Sabarkantha district climbed to 43 with the report of 5 new deaths. Meanwhile, state health department launched a mass vaccination drive in Modasa town on Monday. According to district health officials, 6 new cases of hepatitis have been registered on Monday from Modasa town and nearby villages. The officials said that people of all ages had queued up since morning to get themselves vaccinated..."
#
January 2009 Back to top
Vaccines Still Blamed for Autism
Science News Examiner
January 30, 2009
"A new study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases is taking on one of the most bitter battles in the medicinal world: the link between autism and vaccines. Complied by researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the article considered large-scale experiments conducted all over the world and came to a conclusion that has already been made by scientists: there simply is no evidence that vaccines cause autism..."
For Ian's Sake, Take Flu Seriously
Kansas City (MO) Star
January 30, 2009
"Julie Moise thought she knew the flu. Sure it could knock you flat. But in several days you'd be fine. Tons of people got it. It was no big deal. The Southwest Airlines flight attendant knows better now. The flu is serious. And it can be deadly. Julie Moise lost her son Ian to the flu in 2003She learned that in the hardest of ways. In December 2003, her 6-month-old son, Ian, started showing mild influenza symptoms. Less than two days later, he was dead. Now the 42-year-old Northland mother wants to spread the word about the dangers of flu and the importance of flu vaccines..."
Invasive Hib Disease Cases in Minnesota Linked to Vaccine Shortage Parents' Refusal to Vaccinate Also a Possible Factor
January 28, 2009
"A nationwide shortage of Haemophilus influenzae type b, or Hib, vaccine and the refusal by some parents to vaccinate their children may have sparked a re-emergence of invasive Hib disease in Minnesota. In the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released Jan. 23, CDC officials said that five cases of invasive Hib disease in children younger than age 5 years were reported last year to the Minnesota Department of Health. Three of the five children were completely unvaccinated against the disease. One child died..."
Influenza May Trigger Guillain-Barre Syndrome
Reuters Health Medical News
January 28, 2009
"Influenza may trigger Guillain-Barre syndrome Influenza infection can infrequently precipitate the occurrence of Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), French researchers report in the January issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases. GBS "is usually triggered by infectious disease or vaccine," senior investigator Dr. Elyanne Gault told Reuters Health. "To date, influenza was associated with GBS through vaccination, based on the report of a high number of GBS cases during a mass vaccination campaign against swine influenza in the US." The current study reports "virological evidence that influenza infection is a trigger for GBS, with a frequency related to the level of influenza epidemics," she explained..."
CDC Expands Pneumonia Vaccine Recommendations
American Medical News
January 27, 2009
"The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its recommendations for whom should be vaccinated against pneumococcal disease to include adults who smoke and those with asthma. The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices approved the changes, which apply for individuals age 19 to 64 years, late last year. The CDC already recommended that adults 65 years or older and those with chronic illnesses receive the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, or PPSV23. Research published several years ago revealed that approximately 50 percent of otherwise healthy adults with invasive pneumococcal disease smoked cigarettes. The CDC published its recommendations in the Jan. 9 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report..."
Vaccine Study Backs Safety of Chemical
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
January 26, 2009
"A new study of about 1,400 children exposed to thimerosal in routine vaccinations during the 1990s adds further evidence to the safety of the mercury-based preservative for children. Brain-function tests of the children who received two different levels of the preservative via routine inoculations revealed only one case of autism 10 years later, and that was in the group that received a lower level of thimerosal. The study, published in the February issue of the journal Pediatrics, was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention..."
Hib Illness Rise Could Be Linked to Vaccine Shortages
Wall Street Journal
January 26, 2009
"Sanofi Aventis currently is the only supplier of the Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine, as bacteria contaminated equipment forced Merck & Co. to cease production in late 2007. Due to the short supply, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requests that healthcare providers administer the first few doses to babies, but put off the final booster shot typically provided between the ages of 12 months and 15 months..."
Vaccine Call after 16 Mumps Cases
BBC News
January 24, 2009
"The National Public Health Service for Wales reports that there have been 16 cases of mumps in Anglesey and Gwynedd in the last month, and 15 of those affected have received the recommended doses of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. Area doctors have been alerted of the problem, and 10 secondary school students were reportedly sent home with mumps. All cases arose since Dec. 27, and the Anglesey Local Health Board sent letters about the situation to parents..."
Rare Sickness Kills Child; Officials Urge Vaccination
CNN.com
January 23, 2009
"A childhood illness that has mostly been curbed through vaccinations has killed one child and sickened four others in Minnesota, health officials said Friday. Authorities recommend that those younger than 2 years be vaccinated against 14 diseases, including Hib. The five children were infected with a bacterial infection known as Hib: Haemophilus influenzae type b. Three of the affected children had not received any vaccinations, including the 7-month-old who died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention..."
Don't Risk Going Unvaccinated
Huffington Post
January 22, 2009
This past year the United States witnessed a measles epidemic that was the largest in more than a decade. About 135 people, mostly children, were infected with measles; some of those children were hospitalized with severe dehydration and others with pneumonia caused by the virus. Why did this happen? The answer can be found in a study published in December 2008 in the American Journal of Epidemiology that received little attention from the media. The authors, epidemiologists from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, examined school children in Michigan whose parents had chosen not to vaccinate them. They compared clusters of unvaccinated children with clusters of documented whooping cough (pertussis) outbreaks. Not surprisingly, the clusters overlapped. The authors concluded: "Geographic pockets of vaccine exemptors pose a risk to the whole community..."
VIEW ALL:
2011
|
2010
|
2009
|
2008
Vaccine News
News & Information Home
View All
Vaccine Index
Topic Index
News & Information
IAC Express
Weekly email immunization news for health professionals
What's New at IAC
New and revised handouts and staff resources and VIS translations
Official Releases
Vaccine licensures, recommendations, and resources
Calendar of Events
Conferences and meetings on immunization
 
This page was reviewed on September 30, 2011
Immunization Action Coalition  •  Saint Paul, MN
tel 651-647-9009  •  fax 651-647-9131
 
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.