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October 2011
Malaria Vaccine May Have Potential to Save Millions
USA Today - 10/18/11
After more than 30 years of work, researchers have for the first time succeeded in creating a vaccine against malaria, a deadly disease that kills nearly 800000 a year, most of them children.
Meningitis Patient Helped Out at Child-Care Center
Associated Press - 10/18/11
Health officials say a Colorado woman with meningococcal meningitis was a volunteer at a child-care center, but none of the children show any symptoms of the illness. The Boulder County Health Department said Tuesday that 13 families were advised to have their children get antibiotics. The families were given prescriptions but officials couldn't say how many followed through. The 21-year-old woman diagnosed with the disease is a junior at the University of Colorado who lives off campus.
Girls' HPV Vaccination Rates Falling Short
Reuters - 10/18/11
Close to half of U.S. girls ages 13 and 17 have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV), but there is still a way to go to improve those numbers, according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There are more than 100 strains of HPV, some of which cause genital and anal warts. In most people, the virus is sexually transmitted but the immune system clears the infection fairly rapidly. However, persistent infection with certain HPV strains can eventually lead to cancer. Persistent HPV infection is the primary cause of cervical cancer. For that reason, the CDC and other groups recommend that all girls ages 11 and 12 receive the HPV vaccine, and that teenagers and young women up to age 26 get 'catch-up' vaccination.
New Procedure Hopes To Take Sting Out Of Vaccines
WISN Milwaukee - 10/18/11
Researchers are developing new ways to make vaccines less painful while making sure they're still effective. A new procedure involves dozens of microscopic needles coated or filled with vaccine and then placed on a patch like a bandage. Patients need to wear the patch for about 10 minutes before taking it off. Studies showed the patch provides even better protection than traditional vaccines.
Budget Cuts Will Keep Palm Beach County Schools from Giving Out Flu Shots
Palm Beach Post - 10/16/11
The in-school flu shots that protected nearly 15,000 Palm Beach County elementary school students from the illness last year – and thousands of others in previous years – won't be given this school year. They have fallen victim to budget cuts. Local health officials said a roughly $200,000 hole left by an absence of grant money from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention meant they couldn't go forward with the popular in-school vaccinations program.
Talk with Your Child about the HPV Vaccine
Herald-Ledger (KY) - 10/15/11
Have you talked to your son or daughter about HPV vaccination? Such a conversation is one of the most important that parents can have with their teens. A recent study at Ohio State University found that college-aged women were more likely to be vaccinated against human papillomavirus if they had talked to their mothers about it. The results show that communication between a daughter and her mother can be helpful in the daughter's decision-making. The key for daughters getting the vaccine was having mothers who discussed it with them and who were confident that the vaccine was safe and effective in preventing HPV-related diseases, the study found.
Vaccine for Meningitis Faces Unnecessary Delays
Miami Herald - 10/15/11
Bella Estrada was, by all accounts, a healthy, happy baby until just three months into her young life when she suddenly contracted bacterial meningitis and became desperately ill. Her mother, Yecenia, recalls that she was in the hospital for 40 days and "we had to watch her lose her face, her arms, and her legs. After her death, we learned this could have all been prevented had there been a vaccine available." Well, now there is. Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared as safe and effective a new meningitis vaccine for infants 2 years and younger.
Whooping Cough Cases on the Rise
KRQE News (NM) - 10/15/11
The number of confirmed and suspected cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, continues to rise with more than half of them in Bernalillo County. The New Mexico Department of Health reported Friday there have been 118 confirmed and probable cases and another 27 suspected cases of the contagious respiratory infection statewide since Jan. 1. Of those 81 of the confirmed and probable cases and 16 of the suspect cases are in Bernalillo County. State health Secretary Dr. Catherine Torres said that's more cases than would be expected in Bernalillo County and that the DOH is investigating cases in schools and elsewhere.
No Excuses! A Brief Guide to the Flu Shot
TIME - 10/14/11
We got our flu shots at TIME Healthland HQ this week, which reminds us to remind you to do the same. A few flu shot basics to follow. What it is: The seasonal influenza vaccine is formulated to protect against the three strains of flu that public health researchers believe will be the most common during the upcoming season. That calculation is based on flu trends observed in the previous year and usually includes two influenza A subtypes and one influenza B subtype.
WHO: Europe's Docs Should Be Better Measles Vaccine Boosters
Family Practice News - 10/12/11
With European measles cases at more than 28,000 so far this year, the World Health Organization and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control acknowledge that Europe's goal of eliminating measles by 2015 – a deadline already extended from 2010 – is looking increasingly remote.
Childhood Disease Stalking UC Berkeley Campus
KTVU San Francisco - 10/11/11
Federal health officials confirmed Tuesday they have shipped vaccine to UC Berkeley health officials to help battle an outbreak of mumps on campus, officials said.
International Measles Outbreaks
about.com Pediatrics - 10/10/11
While news of measles outbreaks seems to be slowing down in the United States, reports continue of increased cases in other parts of the world. In addition to the well-publicized outbreaks of measles in Africa and Europe, some other large international measles outbreaks have occurred in: Quebec, Canada – 742 cases, including 89 cases that required hospitalization; New Zealand – at least 302 cases, including 50 cases that required hospitalization.
2011 Vaccine Exemptions Double '03's
Insurance News Net - 10/10/11
The number of Bernalillo County families receiving vaccine exemptions has doubled since 2003 – a fact some experts say is troubling and may be linked to recent cases of whooping cough in Albuquerque schools.
Brown Signs Bill Letting CA Minors Get STD Vaccine
Sacramento Bee - 10/9/11
Gov. Jerry Brown has waded into the national debate over child vaccinations for sexually transmitted diseases, signing into law a bill allowing children as young as 12 to get vaccinated without their parents' consent. Brown announced Sunday that he had signed AB499, which lets minors get vaccinated against a virus known as human papilloma. Also known as HPV, the virus is a precursor to a leading cause of cervical cancer.
Mass. Records First Known Flu Death of Season
Boston Globe - 10/9/11
Massachusetts health officials say the state has recorded its first flu-related death this season. The Boston Public Health Commission and the state Department of Public Health say a Boston man in his 40s died recently of the illness. They did not identify the man or give further details, but said he had underlying health problems.
Employers' Requiring Preventive Health Steps Makes Sense
Hartford Courant - 10/8/11
It's a wonder why some people won't take simple health precautions to protect not only themselves, but their loved ones, colleagues, the public. But because human nature abhors a doctor's office, Connecticut employers, public and private, are having to try a tougher health care tactic after years of gentle persuasion: Take precautions – or else.
CIA's Vaccine Ruse in Pakistan Carries Fallout
Los Angeles Times - 10/8/11
A phony vaccination campaign orchestrated by the CIA to help find and kill Osama bin Laden is undercutting Western-backed immunization drives against polio and other diseases, and now has the Pakistani doctor involved in the program possibly facing treason charges.
Few Troops Get Rabies Vaccine after Bites
Seattle Times 10/7/11
He told his parents that he received three of six rabies shots at his base after a stray dog bit him and that the final injection of vaccine, which he was not given, had expired. Army Central Command in Afghanistan is investigating Shumaker's death.
Mumps Hitting UC Berkeley: 7 cases confirmed
San Francisco Chronicle - 10/7/11
Mumps – an illness typically associated with little kids – is roaring through UC Berkeley, with seven confirmed cases and 13 more suspected. By contrast, the city of Berkeley has seen just six cases since 1990. "This is obviously big in comparison," said Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, a spokeswoman for the city.
$64,000 for School Vaccine Program in Wilson County
KOAM-TV - 10/6/11
Wilson County Health Department has been awarded $64000.00 to implement a school located vaccine program targeting students enrolled in elementary, middle, and high school. The grant period starts with the 2011-12 school year, and runs for two years.
Whooping Cough Killing Washington Babies
KEPR CBS-19 (WA) - 10/6/11
Very young infants in our state are getting pertussis (whooping cough) at much higher rates than people of other ages. The rate of whooping cough in babies is nearly 10 times greater than the combined rate of all people of all ages in Washington. Already this year, 58 infants younger than one year old have been diagnosed with whooping cough. Twenty-two of them were hospitalized, including two that died. Of the 22 babies who were hospitalized, 18 were three months old or younger.
Arkansas Schools Offering Flu Vaccine to Students
Associated Press - 10/6/11
The Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Department of Education will offer the seasonal influenza vaccine to school children from kindergarten through the 12th grade.
UC Berkeley Experiencing Outbreak of Mumps
Daily Californian - 10/5/11
There is an outbreak of mumps in the UC Berkeley campus community, campus officials announced late Tuesday night. Cases of the contagious viral infection, which is transmitted by the mucus or saliva of an infected person, were first reported on campus Friday. The confirmed cases were quarantined, but Tuesday Associate Vice Chancellor for Business and Administrative Services Ron Coley sent a campuswide email announcing the outbreak.
Role for HPV Vaccines in HPV-Positive Oropharyngeal Cancer
Medscape - 10/5/11
The sharp rise in oropharyngeal cancer associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) and its association with oral sex have been highlighted again, and this time has gained widespread media attention.
UC Berkeley Experiencing Outbreak of Mumps
Daily Californian - 10/5/11
There is an outbreak of mumps in the UC Berkeley campus community, campus officials announced late Tuesday night. Cases of the contagious viral infection, which is transmitted by the mucus or saliva of an infected person, were first reported on campus Friday. The confirmed cases were quarantined, but Tuesday Associate Vice Chancellor for Business and Administrative Services Ron Coley sent a campuswide email announcing the outbreak.
N.H., Mass. Lack Vaccination Registries
Eagle-Tribune (NH) - 10/5/11
New Hampshire will soon be the only state in the nation not tracking residents' vaccinations for the flu, measles and mumps. Today, New Hampshire and Massachusetts are the only states lacking immunization registries that track vaccinations electronically, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Registries help you to better reach those children that are maybe slipping through the cracks when it comes to their immunization," CDC spokesman Thomas Skinner said. Immunization registries are key to preventing disease outbreaks by notifying parents when their children need shots for preventable diseases, he said.
More People Turn to Pharmacy for Vaccines
WOWT.com (CA) - 10/5/11
With flu season on the way many people are turning to pharmacies to get vaccines.
Virus to Blame for Rise in Throat Cancer
Reuters - 10/4/11
Cancer of the back of the mouth and throat is on the rise, primarily because of more cases stemming from a viral infection called human papillomavirus (HPV), researchers report in a new study. The number of people who were diagnosed with HPV-related oral cancer in 2004 was triple the number diagnosed in 1988, due largely, researchers suspect, to changes in sexual behavior that have helped spread the virus.
WHO: Keep current strains in 2012 Southern Hemisphere flu vaccine
CIDRAP News) - 10/3/11
A run of stability in the makeup of seasonal influenza vaccines continued as the World Health Organization (WHO) recently recommended using the same three flu strains in next year's Southern Hemisphere vaccine as are in the current Northern Hemisphere vaccine and were used last year in southern countries. The recommendation means the WHO has seen little evidence of changes in circulating flu strains that would make the vaccines now in use a poor match for them.
Nobel Prize Winning Immunity Research May Lead to New Vaccines
CBS News - 10/3/11
Key immune system discoveries led three scientists to win the Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday. The honors – along with a $1.5 million prize – were split among American Bruce Beutler, French scientist Jules Hoffmann, and Canadian-born Ralph Steinman, the Nobel committee at Stockholm's Karolinska institute said.
More Than 1 in 10 Parents Skip, Delay Kids' Shots
USA Today - 10/3/11
By age 6, children should have vaccinations against 14 diseases, in at least two dozen separate doses, the US government advises. More than 1 in 10 parents reject that, refusing some shots or delaying others mainly because of safety concerns, a national survey found.
Dr. Dustin Ballard: The good, bad and ugly about vaccine news
Marin Independent Journal (CA) - 10/3/11
Vaccines are back in the news. In fact, the past few weeks have brought several related stories, which as a vaccine advocate, I would categorize as the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Does Medicare Cover the Shingles Vaccine?
NorthJersey.com - 10/2/11
Yes, the shingles vaccine is covered by Medicare but your physician cannot bill Medicare for the vaccine. Unlike some other vaccines that are covered under Part B Medicare, the shingles vaccine is covered by Part D, the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
Scientist Prepares to Test Vaccine to Fight Breast, Ovarian Cancers
Detroit Free Press - 10/2/11
A few weeks ago, the Mayo Clinic made an intriguing announcement: One of its scientists had discovered a possible way to prevent ovarian and breast cancer with vaccines. And Mayo was ready to start testing them in people. Within days, word had spread around the globe. Hundreds of women were suddenly vying for a few dozen spots in the clinical trials in Minnesota.
 
States Take a Shot at Vaccine Opt-Outs
The Council of State Governments - 10/1/11
Washington Sen. Karen Keiser tried for years to strengthen the requirements that allow parents to opt their children out of immunizations. A vocal group of opposition stalled her efforts. Things changed when lawmakers considered her bill, Senate Bill 5005, this year. "We had two people die from whooping cough last year, for heaven's sake. Totally preventable," Keiser said. "The current practice (of exemption allowance) has been so convenient for parents that it was just easy for individuals to not get their children immunized."
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September 2011 Back to top
AAP Updates Several Vaccine Recommendations
Nurse.com - 9/30/11
The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued updates to several recommendations for vaccines, including one for the hepatitis A virus.
Doctors' Support for MMR Key to Halting Measles in EU
Reuters - 9/30/11
Doctors' support for the triple measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is vital if Europe is to halt the measles outbreaks and have a chance of beating the highly contagious disease, Marc Sprenger, director of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), said.
Worldwide Measles Deaths Declining
UPI.com - 9/29/11
An estimated 164,000 children died worldwide from measles in 2008, down from 733,000 in 2000, U.S. health officials report. The report, published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, said about 77 percent of the deaths in 2008 occurred in Southeast Asia – with the majority of those deaths occurring in India.
A Political Wife's Influence on an Issue
New York Times - 9/28/11
Four years after Gov. Rick Perry issued an executive order that would have made Texas the first state to require that sixth-grade girls be vaccinated against a sexually transmitted disease linked to cervical cancer, its genesis remains a mystery.
More Bad Medicine in the Perry Vaccine Saga
FactCheck.org - 9/28/11
A pro-Michele Bachmann ad claims that "doctors opposed [Rick] Perry's order [to inject girls with HPV vaccine] for safety reasons. "But the pediatrician cited by the sponsor says the ad doesn't reflect his views accurately. At the time, my position was that the vaccine was safe and effective," he told FactCheck.org. Although he had reservations about a government mandate, he was personally recommending the vaccine for all 11- and 12-year-old girls, the doctor told us.
Hundreds of San Mateo County School Kids Lag on Whooping Cough Vaccine
San Francisco Examiner - 9/28/11
Hundreds of students in San Mateo County and thousands across California have yet to get the whooping cough vaccine mandated by the state, forcing some to stay home from school. Dozens more have refused it on philosophical grounds. A state law passed last year requires seventh- through 12th-graders to get the vaccine by the start of the school year. The deadline was later pushed back 30 days and some schools have received additional extensions. There is no firm tally of unvaccinated kids, but as of last Friday, eight districts reported 617 such students, San Mateo County health officer Dr. Scott Morrow said.
New Guidelines for Whooping Cough and Polio Vaccines Announced
Fox News - 9/26/11
The nation's largest group of pediatricians announced new guidelines today regarding the use of the whooping cough booster and polio vaccines. Among the changes, adults who will have close contact with infants younger than one year old should receive a whooping cough booster (called Tdap, because the vaccine contains protects against tetanus, diphtheria and whopping cough, also called pertussis), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said in a policy statement. The vaccine is not licensed for adults over 65, but it can be given to persons in this group if they will be close to infants.
Editorial: HPV vaccine is important for both sexes
Kansan.com - 9/26/11
It has been a controversial topic hanging over the 2012 Republican presidential debates this year, and a significant uproar has surrounded false claims about the human papilloma virus made by U.S. Representative and presidential hopeful, Michele Bachmann. Despite Bachmann's ignorant assertions, the vaccine has a superb safety record after over 35 million administered doses according to the AAP report and should definitely become a state-mandated vaccine.
11,000 Students Enter California Schools Without Required Vaccines
Atlantic - 9/26/11
Last year, 10 babies died and more than 9,000 people were sickened when whooping cough spread throughout California. Last week, officials said there were 28 reported cases of measles in the state, a 10-year high.
Measles Case Traced to Unvaccinated Tot
Post Crescent (WI) - 9/25/11
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Milwaukee's measles alert began when an unvaccinated 23-month-old refugee from Burma flew to the city from Malaysia. The child flew to Wisconsin on Aug. 24 and was reported to have laboratory-confirmed measles on Sept. 7. Since then measles have been confirmed in two more people in Milwaukee.
In Calif. No Vaccination Means No School
CBS Evening News - 9/24/11
In California, where memories of last year's whooping cough outbreak are still fresh, students have just days to comply with a mandatory vaccination law. But not everyone is falling willingly into line, as CBS News correspondent John Blackstone reports. At Southgate High School in Los Angeles, it's been a painful start to the new year. Under pressure to comply with a new statewide mandate, nurses are doling out shots as fast as they can.
Measles Cases in United States Hits 15-year High
ABC 7 News (CA) - 9/23/11
Health officials across California are worried about the measles. The unusually high number of cases this year is not a good sign. Because of vaccines, we hardly hear about the measles anymore. It's very rare, but it could be making a comeback. More than 200 people across the country have been diagnosed with the disease, which is the highest count in 15 years. Public health officials say California is now outpacing the rest of the country in the number of measles cases this year, only 28 people have contracted the highly contagious disease, but that's the highest in a decade.
CDC Considers Vaccinating Boys, Not Just Girls, for HPV
U.S. News & World Report - 9/23/11
U.S. health authorities now recommend that girls and young women be vaccinated against human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted disease that is a known cause of cervical cancer, but that recommendation does not extend to boys and young men.At least for now.
Human Factor: Two beautiful hands
CNN - 9/23/11
In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship – they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. This week, meet Sheila Advento, a young woman who had to have both hands and feet amputated after a bacterial meningitis infection in 2003.
Flu Campaign Targets Nurses
StaffNurse.com (UK) - 9/23/11
Employers, unions and the government have joined forces to launch the first national flu vaccination campaign aimed at nurses and other health staff. It follows figures showing that only 34.7 per cent of front-line health workers had seasonal flu vaccinations last year, up from just one quarter in 2009. Take-up varies between trusts from over 90 per cent to under 10 per cent.
 
Local Hospital's New Policy Requires Employee Vaccination
ShorelinePlus.com - 9/22/11
The Hospital of Saint Raphael is the first hospital in the state to require that all employees get influenza vaccinations to protect patients and other employees when flu season arrives. Employees must show proof of vaccination or submit documentation for a medical exemption by Dec. 1, 2011, or they will not be allowed to work.
HHS Anthrax Vaccine Advisors Weigh Pediatric Use
CIDRAP News - 9/22/11
A federal working group recommends that the US government assess the safety and immunogenicity of anthrax vaccine in children before an attack with Bacillus anthracis occurs rather than after, according to a presentation today before the National Biodefense Science Board (NBSB). Researchers are more familiar with the vaccine's safety and immunogencity in adults, because it has been used in about 2.5 million military members. However, no studies have been conducted in children, who make up 25% of the US population, though federal bioterror response plans call for both groups to receive three doses of the vaccine, alongside antibiotic prophylaxis, after an anthrax attack.
Measles Alert Began with Flight from Malaysia to U.S.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - 9/22/11
The measles alert in Milwaukee began when an unvaccinated 23-month-old refugee from Myanmar flew here from Malaysia, according to a report Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. The child flew to Wisconsin on Aug. 24 and was reported to have laboratory-confirmed measles on Sept. 7. Since then measles have been confirmed in two more people in Milwaukee, both of whom appear to have acquired the disease through exposure to the refugee patient, said Paul Biedrzycki, the city's director of disease control and environmental health.
Silence From Rep. Bachmann As Vaccine Challenge Expires
NPR (blog) - 9/22/11
The high noon deadline for bioethicist Arthur Caplan's $10,000 challenge to Rep. Michele Bachmann has come and gone without a peep from the Republican presidential hopeful. But damage from her statement linking the HPV vaccine with mental retardation has already been done, Caplan says.
 
CDC: Rotavirus vaccine cuts kids' hospitalization rates
USA Today - 9/22/11
Since the 2006 introduction of routine inoculation against rotavirus – a leading cause of diarrhea in infants and young children – almost 65,000 fewer American children have been hospitalized and about $278 million in healthcare costs have been saved, according to new research.
 
Microneedle Flu Vaccine Now Available
Los Angeles Times - 9/22/11
A flu vaccine for adults who fear needles began shipping this week to clinics, pharmacies and doctors' offices, according to the manufacturer of the product, Sanofi Pasteur. The device is an ultrafine needle that is inserted under the skin. Typical flu shot needles are one to 1.5 inches long and are inserted into the muscle. The microneedle is 90% shorter – 0.06 inches. Studies show the vaccine confers as much immunity against flu as standard vaccines.
 
California Leads U.S. in Measles Cases
Los Angeles Times - 9/22/11
As more parents forgo measles vaccinations for their children, the number of Californians contracting the highly contagious disease has reached a 10-year high, outpacing every other state in the nation. As of Monday, there were 28 reported cases of measles so far in 2011 – the largest statewide figure reported, according to state and federal health officials.
 
Malaria Vaccine Trial Raises Hope
BBC News - 9/21/11
Researchers are to expand a clinical trial of a new malaria vaccine after promising results in a preliminary study in Burkina Faso. The trial was designed to test safety, but researchers found that vaccinated children had high levels of protection.
 
New Polio Outbreak Hits China
CNN - 9/21/11
New Polio Outbreak Hits China CNN - 9/21/11 An outbreak of polio has been confirmed in China for the first time since 1999, leaving one person dead and hospitalizing another nine, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
CDC Urges All Americans to Get Flu Vaccine
Health News - 9/21/11
There's been a steady rise in the number of Americans getting an annual flu vaccination, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases announced today. Last flu season, about 130.9 million Americans, or 43 percent of the U.S. population, received a flu shot. That's about 8 million more than the previous season, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While researchers can't predict exactly what this flu season will hold, "We can say with certainly that the best way to protect yourself, your family and your community is to get a flu shot," Frieden said at a NFID news conference today.
 
Health Requirements, Recommendations for Travel to Saudi Arabia
International Tribune - 9/21/11
Hajj is the largest annual gathering in the world. Over two million people from nearly every country attend this spiritual pilgrimage to Makkah, Saudi Arabia. The Hajj season takes place this year between November 4 and 9, 2011. Due to the large number of people at this gathering there may be an increased risk of certain infectious diseases such as meningococcal disease, tuberculosis, influenza and gastrointestinal infections. Travelers may also face a greater risk of heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and physical injuries.
Remark on HPV Vaccine Could Ripple for Years
New York Times - 9/20/11
During a debate last week for Republican presidential candidates and in interviews after it, Representative Michele Bachmann called the vaccine to prevent cervical cancer 'dangerous.' Medical experts fired back quickly. Her statements were false, they said, emphasizing that the vaccine is safe and can save lives. Mrs. Bachmann was soon on the defensive, acknowledging that she was not a doctor or a scientist. But the harm to public health may have already been done..
 
Michele Bachmann's Anti-Vaccination Rhetoric Is Not Only Bad Science – It's Bad History
The Nation - 9/20/11
For the past week, Representative Michele Bachmann has tried to revive her flagging presidential campaign by turning a HPV vaccine into a Tea Party litmus test. During a debate on Monday, Bachmann tore into front-runner Gov. Rick Perry for his 2007 executive order that would have required all sixth grade girls in Texas to get the Gardasil vaccine, unless their parents opted out of their program.
 
Another Measles Case Confirmed in Wis.
Chicago Tribune - 9/19/11
Another case of measles has been confirmed in the Milwaukee area. The Greendale Health Department confirms a new case of measles in an infant too young to be vaccinated against the highly contagious disease. The child has not been hospitalized. The baby is believed to have contracted measles from a Milwaukee child confirmed to have the disease two weeks ago.
 
Rick Perry's Quiet Friendship with Cervical Cancer Patient
Boston Herald - 9/18/11
She was 31, and her last wish was to save girls from cervical cancer. Now, four years after her death, Heather Burcham is making headlines and saving lives again – this time, in the middle of Gov. Rick Perry's Republican presidential campaign. When Perry was dogged by opponents and reporters last week about his short-lived 2007 order requiring girls to be vaccinated against HPV, he never mentioned Heather. But in her last months of life, long after legislative pressure had forced him to rescind the order, he phoned and visited her in Houston, even taking the 80-pound terminal cancer patient for a play day at a friend's ranch. Houston developer Craig Wilson, who first hired Burcham as a nanny and came to love her as a family friend, said Perry proved that he meant to save lives, not get publicity.
 
Governor Perry's Vaccine Tribulations
New York Times - 9/18/11
Gov. Rick Perry's rivals for the Republican presidential nomination have been pummeling him for his attempt to require sixth-grade girls in Texas to be vaccinated against a sexually transmitted disease that can cause cervical cancer. The attacks are absurd.
 
Editorial: Bachmann irresponsible to spread fear of vaccine
USA Today - 9/18/11
One of the most alarming public-health developments in recent years has been the emergence of a strident chorus of vaccine fear-mongers who have scared too many parents away from getting their children immunized. The result has been a comeback of deadly diseases such as whooping cough, mumps and measles. Measles alone killed 3,000 to 5,000 people a year before vaccines emerged to virtually eliminate it in this country.
 
The Facts About The HPV Vaccine
NPR - 9/18/11
It had to do with Texas governor Rick Perry's 2007 mandate that middle school girls in his state receive the HPV vaccine. Host Audie Cornish gets the facts on that vaccine from Dr. Jessica Kahn of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
 
Why It's So Important to Get a Flu Shot for the 2011-12 Season
Atlantic - 9/16/11
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released a statement urging parents to have their kids (and themselves) vaccinated against the flu for the upcoming 2011-2012 flu season, even if they had flu shots last year. While this year's vaccine protects against the same three viruses it did last year, the AAP says that a person's immunity can decrease by up to 50 percent as early as six months after the shot. Former ice skating champion Kristi Yamaguchi is working hard with the organization Faces of Influenza to spread word about the importance of getting one's flu vaccine. We spoke to Yamaguchi and Dr. Normal Edelman, the Chief Medical Officer of the American Lung Association (ALA), which heads the Faces of Influenza campaign, about why it's so important to re-vaccinate this year.
 
SF Students Without Vaccinations Barred from Class
San Francisco Chronicle - 9/16/11
Some 2,000 San Francisco students who still lacked proof of a whooping cough vaccination one month into the school year were barred from class Thursday and told not to return until they got the shot. A new state law requires all children in grades seven through 12 to have the vaccine by the first day of school this year, but districts struggling to get families to comply asked for and received a 30-day extension. San Francisco, which had a mid-August start to school, was among the first districts in the state to enforce the new measure. The law applies to both public and private school students in an age group that is most likely to spread a disease that is a racking three-month illness for adults and a potentially deadly disease for infants.
 
Rick Perry's HPV Stance Grounded in Case of Heather Burcham, Who Died of Cervical Cancer
ABC News - 9/15/11
Heather Burcham died in 2007 when she was 31. Cervical cancer killed her. She was misdiagnosed at age 26, and by the time she knew she had cancer, it was too late for effective treatment. But she changed lives by living hers so passionately. She was deeply religious, quick-witted, loving, with a quirky sense of humor; and she was determined to save other young women. Her passion for a cause made her a "Person of the Week" on ABC's "World News" program in 2007. Heather likely would have been shouting from the rooftops in frustration, listening to the current political debate about the HPV vaccine.
 
Bioethicist Bets Against Bachmann's Vaccine Claims
USA TODAY - 9/15/11
A bioethics professor has offered to pay $10,000 of his own money if Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R.-Minn, can prove that anyone developed mental retardation as a result of receiving the HPV vaccine. Bachmann questioned the safety of the cancer-preventing shots during the Republican presidential debate this week. On follow-up TV interviews, Bachmann described talking to a mother whose daughter developed mental retardation as a result of the shots, typically given to teenagers to protect them from a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.
 
Bachmann Vaccine Comments Toxic, Doctors Say
Reuters - 9/15/11
No matter how much the U.S. medical community repudiates the suggestion by presidential candidate Michele Bachmann that a vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV) is dangerous, doctors fear the damage has already been done. Physicians are bracing for more parents to refuse the HPV vaccine, which protects against the most common cause of cervical cancer, for their daughters. They say the comments by the Republican candidate will only stoke growing and unfounded fears about a whole class of common immunizations needed to fight disease. "There are people out there who, because of this kind of misinformation, aren't going to get their daughter immunized," said Dr. Kenneth Alexander, a pediatric infectious disease expert at the University of Chicago Medical Center. "As a result, there will be more people who die from cervical cancer," Alexander said in a telephone interview.
 
Two Boston Hospitals Mandating Flu Shots for Workers‎
Boston Globe (blog) - 9/14/11
Two of Boston's largest teaching hospitals will require all employees who have contact with patients to get a flu vaccine this fall or face suspension or possibly termination. The two, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Children's Hospital Boston, are part of a 10-hospital coalition that pledged in July to adopt policies "as quickly as logistically feasible" to mandate seasonal flu vaccines for all health care workers "as a condition of employment."
 
Rick Perry's HPV Vaccine Mandate
Colbert Nation - 9/14/11
Colbert covers recent statements made by Rep. Michele Bachmann about HPV vaccine.
 
Bachmann Shot at Perry Over Vaccine Stings Her Too
Associated Press - 9/14/11
Republican Michele Bachmann is feeling the sting of a presidential campaign jab gone awry, while the target is using the flap to shore up his pro-life credentials. Bachmann is trying to regain her footing in the race after a late-summer slide. At a GOP debate sponsored by CNN and the Tea Party Express Monday she tried to raise doubts about front-runner Rick Perry among conservatives and libertarian-style tea party members critical to both candidates.
 
Officials Warn of Mumps Exposure at Poway School
NBC San Diego - 9/13/11
School officials are asking parents at a Poway elementary school to be on alert after a child there was diagnosed with mumps. The 9-year-old attended Highland Ranch Elementary for four days while infected.
 
Editorial: Bachmann's foolish attack on vaccines
StarTribune - 9/13/11
Michele Bachmann kept her fading presidential campaign alive on Monday night with a breathtaking act of political irresponsibility – smearing a vaccine that could save the lives of 4,000 or more American women each year. The vaccine Bachmann savaged at the Republican presidential debate and afterward radically reduces the risk of cervical, vulvar and vaginal cancers caused by the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus, or HPV.
 
Bachmann's Political Contagion
The New Yorker - 9/13/11
In "Contagion," Steven Soderbergh's film about a virus that decimates the planet, Jude Law plays a conspiracy-minded freelance video blogger who regards vaccines as scams churned out by a medical establishment interested only in profits. Instead, he claims, with no evidence, that a homeopathic treatment based on the plant forsythia cured him of the infection that was killing nearly everyone else. His comments cause a panicked stampede of pharmacies, leading to many more deaths, since healthy people inevitably mix with those who are sick.
 
Commentary by Arthur Caplan, PhD: HPV vaccine attack could harm 'innocent' girls ;GOP's Bachmann claims shot to prevent cervical cancer can cause mental retardation. That is simply a lie
MSNBC - 9/13/11
Vaccines were the biggest losers in Monday's GOP presidential candidate's debate, specifically those that are intended to prevent cervical cancer. Republican hopefuls Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania piled on Texas Gov. Rick Perry about the alleged horror of the government doing what it can to help vaccinate young women. The importance of vaccinating women against the human papillomavirus – a virus that kills thousands of American women, forces tens of thousands more to undergo major surgeries to save them from death due to cervical cancer and leaves scores of other men and women to struggling with genital warts – is being debated by politicians who, arguably, could not be more self-interested in scoring cheap debating points, even at a cost of possibly killing young women.
 
Pediatricians Fact-Check Bachmann's Bashing of HPV Vaccine
NPR - 9/13/11
Now the nation's pediatricians have waded deep and early into the race for the presidency. In an unusual instance of political fact-checking of a candidate's statements by physicians themselves, the American Academy of Pediatrics has a tough prescription for Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann: Get your facts straight on the HPV vaccine. In case you missed it, she sparred with Texas Gov. Rick Perry Monday night over his executive order that would have mandated vaccination of state schoolgirls against human papillomavirus, a cause of cervical cancer.
 
What Editorial Writers Are Saying about Vaccines
American Medical News - 9/13/11
Editorial writers are largely unanimous in their message – that there are no reasons not to get inoculated against flu, mumps or any other illness for which a vaccine is available.
 
Opinion: The Real Threat of 'Contagion' by W. Ian Lipkin
New York Times - 9/11/11
I admit I was wary when I was approached, late in 2008, about working on a movie with the director Steven Soderbergh about a flulike pandemic. It seemed that every few years a filmmaker imagined a world in which a virus transformed humans into flesh-eating zombies, or scientists discovered and delivered the cure for a lethal infectious disease in an impossibly short period of time.
 
Opinion: 3 Lessons About Outbreak Preparedness from 'Contagion'
Atlantic - 9/9/11
I'm glad the new Hollywood blockbuster Contagion will be scaring moviegoers around the world this fall. The truth is, we probably should be scared. Pandemic emergencies are a very real threat in our ever more globalized society. Unfortunately, both the Obama administration and Congress are set to cut funding to investigate and track new infectious diseases. They seem to think that sudden pandemics are works of fiction.
 
New Flu Vaccine Promises Less Pain
WKYT-TV (KY) - 9/9/11
For anyone with a fear of needles, relief is coming your way this flu season. It's called the intradermal flu vaccine, and it uses a needle much smaller than the traditional syringe. Health experts hope to not only ease the pain, but also encourage more people to get vaccinated.
 
Flu Vaccine Life-saving for Pregnant Women
UPI.com - 9/8/11
Back in spring 2009, the H1N1 influenza virus crossed the U.S. border and raised concerns that it might cause a full-scale epidemic in the fall. The Food and Drug Administration worked with other Health and Human Services agencies and vaccine manufacturers to quickly develop, license and distribute a vaccine to protect the public from this particularly virulent strain of the flu. However, alongside the public's concern about H1N1 were also fears that the rapid vaccine development would lead to unanticipated problems similar to the increased risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome that occurred with the 1976 swine flu vaccine. A new study shows that those fears were unsubstantiated and reaffirms the safety of the seasonal flu and H1N1 influenza vaccines. In the 2009-2010 season, when everyone was concerned about H1N1 because it was so new, data analysis showed no increased risk for specific side effects, said Grace M. Lee, M.D., lead researcher.
Two Doses of HPV Vaccine May Work As Well As Three
HealthDay - 9/8/11
Two doses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine may offer just as much protection against cervical cancer as the three-dose regimen now being used, new U.S. government research shows. The findings stem from an analysis of data from the National Cancer Institute's Costa Rica Vaccine Trial, in which 7,466 women were enrolled, according to a news release from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, which published the results on Thursday.
 
Milwaukee Child Hospitalized with Measles, Health Department Reports
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - 9/7/11
A Milwaukee child is hospitalized with a confirmed case of highly contagious measles, the Milwaukee Health Department reported Wednesday afternoon. The child is a refugee whose family moved to the city at the end of August, according to Health Commissioner Bevan Baker and Paul Biedrzycki, disease control and environmental health director. The child was not contagious while traveling to Milwaukee by plane, Biedrzycki confirmed. A person infected with measles is considered contagious four days before symptoms appear and four days after symptoms disappear.
 
HPV Vaccination Rates Low Nationwide
Chicago Tribune - 9/7/11
Because most cervical cancer cases and some less common malignancies are caused by human papillomavirus, or HPV, area physicians and public health experts were thrilled when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2006 approved the first vaccine to prevent HPV. But five years later, local pediatricians and family physicians say they still see scores of teen girls who have not been vaccinated.
 
Indiana Doctor May Have Contained Measles
WISH-TV - 9/6/11
State health officials are crediting a northern Indiana doctor correctly diagnosing five family members with the measles as a key factor in containing the potential outbreak to 14 cases. The Journal Gazette reports the initial case was misdiagnosed as dengue fever, which produces a measles-like rash. Until emergency room physician Daniel Maas of IU Health Goshen Hospital correctly diagnosed the five cases, the original patient had carried on with daily life in the community.
 
Increasing Number of Parents Are Exempting Children from Vaccines
California Healthline - 9/6/11
Thousands of California parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children, raising concerns among physicians and public health officials, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports. California is one of 20 states that allow parents to exempt their children from booster shot requirements because of personal beliefs. Personal belief exemptions, signed by parents, allow children to start school without having received some or all vaccinations. The number of personal belief exemptions in the state has tripled in the last 10 years.
 
More U.S. 'Tweens' Getting Recommended Vaccines
HealthDay - 9/6/11
Growing numbers of 11- and 12-year-olds are receiving their recommended vaccines, which could indicate that resistance to children's inoculations is lessening in the United States.
 
NH Allows Pharmacists to Give More Vaccinations
Bloomberg BusinessWeek - 9/4/11
New Hampshire is joining a growing national trend in allowing pharmacists to give more vaccinations than annual flu shots – but doctors oppose the changes in what appears to be a turf war over a profitable aspect of medical care. A new state law lets trained pharmacists give vaccinations for a bacterial form of pneumonia that can be deadly and for shingles, a painful reappearance of latent chicken pox virus that affects the nerve roots and can produce a blistering rash. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the trend to let pharmacists give vaccines has grown from 22 states allowing flu shots in 1999 to all 50 in 2009.
 
A Short-sighted Cutback
Boston Globe - 9/4/11
The state's decision to cut the number of free flu vaccines offered this year by half is short-sighted to an extreme. The total economic cost of influenza every year in the United States is $87.1 billion, with billions in lost productivity in Massachusetts. Cutting vaccinations would only add to those losses – all to save about $1 million. The arguments advanced by the state to justify this savings – which is spurred by a similarly misguided cut in federal aid for vaccines – is that most people do not need free vaccinations because they already have health insurance coverage.
 
Two Cases of Measles in Montgomery County
NBC Washington - 9/3/11
Montgomery County health officials announced that two children have been diagnosed with measles. Neither of the children received vaccinations before they came to the United States on August 24. Officials advise those who came in contact with the sick individuals may have been exposed to measles. This includes people who visited the Suburban Washington Resettlement Center in Silver Spring on August 29. The children were taken there prior to the onset of the illness, but while the disease was contagious.
 
Irene Cleanup Workers Get Tetanus Shots Amid Mucky Cleanup
NBC New York - 9/2/11
Cleanup crews are getting tetanus shots before heading out to work on the recovery efforts in Wallington, N.J. There is so much debris and garbage that some say it's a health hazard.
Measles Left Baby "Teetering Near Death"
Bellingham Herald (WA) - 9/2/11
Nuria Koto hasn't been home since Aug. 10 – the day she brought her 1-year-old son to the emergency room with an out-of-control fever. Within days the baby, Mahi Abdallah, was on life support. And for the second time this year, measles was on the loose in Minnesota. Mahi, who was infected during a family trip to Kenya, is recovering in the pediatric intensive care unit at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis.
 
No Shot, No Doc: Pediatricians refuse unvaccinated kids
TODAY Show - 9/1/11
The story of Michayla Kubasiak, hospitalized at seven weeks old with whooping cough, may prompt parents to ask their pediatricians an important question: Does your office treat unvaccinated patients? Michayla developed a cough that landed her in the pediatric intensive care unit for two weeks.
 
Survey Shows More U.S. Children Getting Vaccines
Reuters - 9/1/11
More young children are getting immunized in the United States for preventable diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella and hepatitis A, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday. The percentage of children ages 19 to 35 months who received one or more doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine increased to 91.5 percent in 2010, from 90 percent the previous year, the federal agency said.
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August 2011 Back to top
Aurora Health Care To Mandate Employee Flu Shots‎
WISN Milwaukee - 8/31/11
Aurora Health Care employees must get flu shots this season or risk discipline, including dismissal. Officials at the health care group said all 31,000 employees will have until Dec. 31 to get the vaccination. The mandate includes all health care workers and volunteers.
 
Campaign Focuses on Meningitis
Sacramento Bee - 8/30/11
When her daughter, MaryJo, complained about a sore throat one Saturday morning, Rose Kwett thought she had the flu. Kwett is a registered nurse, and nothing about her daughter's symptoms alarmed her. MaryJo was a bit warm, so her mother told her to drink lots of fluids and that she'd check on her every so often. Thirteen hours later, MaryJo died from meningococcal meningitis. It was eight days before her 16th birthday in 2000.
 
State Will Cut Free Flu Shots by Over Half
Boston Globe - 8/30/11
The state will cut the number of free flu vaccines it distributes for adults by more than half this year, sharply limiting the supplies that will be available at local health departments and community health centers. The cuts, prompted by budget constraints, mean the loss of thousands of doses that have been given in past years to pregnant women, who face higher risks from flu. Doctors said the reductions could make it harder for the uninsured and people who have relied on community flu clinics to get vaccinated.
 
Editorial: Put to rest false link of autism, vaccine
Chicago Sun-Times - 8/29/11
Belief in a false link between vital childhood vaccinations and autism has persisted for years, fueled by bad science and distressed parents searching for answers. It is time to put this falsehood to rest. One study after another has found no link, and now the most comprehensive, independent analysis of research on childhood vaccines has come to the same conclusion. The vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) does not cause autism, according to a review released last week by an expert committee of the Institute of Medicine. The review is considered the best analysis of potential side effects of eight common childhood vaccines.
 
More Teens Getting HPV Vaccines, but Not Enough CDC Reports
Los Angeles Times - 8/27/11
Popular fears about vaccines – including the belief that the measles, mumps and rubella shot causes autism – are unfounded, a study released Thursday by the Institute of Medicine reported. But another report released Thursday, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, noted with some alarm that many parents still shun another recommended vaccine: the three-shot series that protects against human papilloma virus (HPV), a widespread sexually transmitted virus, some types of which can cause cervical cancer.
 
Hospital-Based Vaccination Programs Likely Decrease Chances, Save Costs
Pediatric SuperSite - 8/26/11
Researchers noted "a progressive decrease" in the likelihood of an outbreak after the implementation of a hospital-based [tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis] vaccine program. Amy L. Greer, MSc, PhD, of the Public Health Agency of Canada, and David N. Fisman, MD, MPH, of University of Toronto, calculated the cost-effectiveness of vaccinating personnel in a neonatal ICU. Their calculations compared costs involved with no pertussis booster vaccination programs with a program that achieves between 25% and 95% vaccine coverage.
 
A Look Back at 9/11 in "I Heard The Sirens Scream"
NPR - 8/26/11
In a new book, "I Heard the Sirens Scream" Pulitzer Prize winner Laurie Garrett gives her account of the World Trade Center attacks ten years ago, and tells how she thinks those events, combined with the anthrax attacks that came shortly after, changed the country's course.
Vaccine Safety: New Report Finds Few Adverse Events Linked to Immunizations
TIME - 8/25/11
In a new report investigating adverse events caused by vaccines, a panel of experts says there are relatively few health problems caused by the most commonly recommended immunizations, which public health experts advise that all children receive. The conclusions, issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in its latest report, "Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality," represent the most comprehensive review of the available literature on the potential side effects of eight vaccines – for mumps, measles and rubella (MMR); chicken pox; influenza; hepatitis A; hepatitis B; human papillomavirus (HPV); diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP); and meningococcus.
 
Report: Vaccines safe, side effects rare
USA Today - 8/25/11
Common childhood immunizations do not cause chronic diseases such as autism and diabetes, finds a new expert report that may ease parents' fears about the safety of vaccines. Authors of the nearly 700-page report, released Thursday, say they took pains to carefully consider virtually every potential complication. While all drugs have side effects, the report notes that vaccine-related complications are extremely rare. Overall, vaccines' enormous benefits far outweigh the risks, says study co-author S. Claiborne Johnston of the University of California-San Diego.
 
HPV Vaccination Rates Low Among Teen Girls, CDC Reports
U.S. News and World Report - 8/25/11
Teen vaccination rates for human papillomavirus (HPV) are lagging behind rates for two other important vaccines in the United States, federal researchers say. HPV infection can lead to cervical cancer in females, but HPV vaccination dramatically reduces the risk of infection.
 
Back-to-School Measles Update
About.com Pediatrics - 8/24/11
In addition to a few more reports of exposures, there is an update on the situation in Minnesota. As a reminder, two unvaccinated toddlers were hospitalized during the week of August 15 after one of them developed measles during a trip to Kenya. Unfortunately, an updated report from an epidemiologist with the Minnesota Department of Health states that one of the children is still in critical condition. The other was discharged from the hospital. In addition to possible contact from these cases, other possible sources of new measles outbreaks could come from exposure to: an infected passenger on an Amtrak train that traveled from Boston to Virginia on Wednesday, August 17; an infected international traveler in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania on August 16, who arrived via an Amtrak train from Philadelphia and visited several places, including Riehl's Farm/Quilt Shop, Glick's Roadside Stand, and Amish Experience at Plain and Fancy Farm.
 
The Curious Link Between H1N1 Flu and Narcolepsy
TIME - 8/23/11
A swell in new cases of narcolepsy in China followed seasonal patterns of flu, including H1N1, according to a recent study led by Dr. Emmanuel Mignot of the Stanford University School of Medicine. The new cases appear to be associated with flu infection itself, not with flu vaccinations.
 
Funding Cut for Vaccines for Children Program
Marshall News (MO) - 8/23/11
Those with insurance will not be able to participate in the Vaccines for Children program due to a cut in 317 funding. At The Saline County Health Department Board of Trustees' regular meeting on Aug. 23, the board mourned the loss of funding for the Vaccines for Children's program. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention cut their funding to the state, which has reduced aid by almost a million dollar.
 
More Parents Say No to Vaccines
SignOnSanDiego - 8/18/11
San Diego saw more growth than any other county in the state last year in incoming kindergartners who were granted exemptions from vaccine requirements because of family beliefs. More than 1,300 of the local students went without vaccines, up by more than 200 from 2009. The county with the next highest growth was San Bernardino, which grew by 191 students for a total of 562 with exemptions.
 
Many Health Care Workers Don't Get Flu Vaccines
WebMD - 8/16/11
A new report from the CDC suggests that not enough health care workers are being vaccinated against the flu. In its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC says that only 63.5% of 1,931 health care workers who took part in a survey in April 2011 said they had received flu vaccinations. The coverage for doctors was 84%, compared to 70% for nurses.
 
Rick Perry Reverses Himself, Calls HPV Vaccine Mandate a "Mistake"
Washington Post - 8/16/11
Religious conservatives in Texas were stunned in 2007 when Republican Rick Perry became the first governor in the country to order young girls to get a vaccine against a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer.
 
Campaign Aims to Prevent Meningococcal Disease Outbreaks Through Education
Coloradoan - 8/16/11
It was nearly a week after a Fort Collins hockey game last summer when Bill Jubert began feeling ill while on vacation in one of the most remote campgrounds in Montana's Glacier National Park. After a night of vomiting, his speech was garbled and his body became covered in purple spots, said his wife, Joy Jubert, who drove him and their daughters two hours through torrential rain to the nearest emergency room in tiny Cut Bank, Mont. More than two months, three hospitals and many strokes later, Bill Jubert died. Though he died in October of vasculitis and a massive stroke, it was bacterial meningococcal disease suspected to have been contracted at a Fort Collins Adult Hockey Association game that was the underlying cause of his death.
 
Shot-Spray Combination May Protect Best for Children's First Flu Vaccine
St. Louis Public Radio - 8/16/11
A new study out of Saint Louis University suggests that a child's first doses of flu vaccine can be given as either two shots or two nasal sprays, but that giving one shot and one nasal spray may be most protective. Lead researcher Dr. Dan Hoft says the nasal spray – which is a live vaccine – can cause wheezing. But it's more effective than an inactivated vaccine, which is injected. Hoft says this initial study suggests giving children one injection and one nasal spray may provide better protection against the flu, without the respiratory side effects.
 
Editorial: Parents Who Oppose Vaccination Are Endangering Public Health
Los Angeles Times - 8/16/11
Contrary to what baby boomers might assume, the term "conscientious objector" didn't originate with the Vietnam War. It was first used in the late 19th century to describe opponents of England's mandatory smallpox vaccinations, who received special exemption from the inoculations. Their opposition to the vaccine was as shortsighted, and as unfounded in science, as the objections of parents today who refuse to recognize the importance of inoculation not just to their children but to public health.
 
State Law Requires Many No-Vaccine Kids to Get Doc's Note
KOMO News (WA) - 8/15/11
It's more than school supplies and sack lunches for a lot of kids returning to school this fall. Because of a new state law, many will now need a doctor's note if they opt out of vaccines. A shot in the arm is as much a part of back to school as a new back pack, but many parents disagree with getting their kids vaccinated. In Northshore School District, the number of holdouts are higher than the district wants for the sake of the community's health.
 
Flu Vaccinations Pushed for Maryland Hospitals
Baltimore Sun - 8/12/11
Maryland hospitals have become more aggressive in recent years about vaccinating workers for the flu, but public health officials are pushing for even stricter programs to halt the spread of a virus that kills thousands each year. As manufacturers have begun shipping vaccine for the 2011-2012 flu season and vaccination programs are being planned, some officials are pushing hospitals to make vaccinations mandatory for employees. They say the vaccine is the most effective means of protecting workers and adds a crucial layer of safety for highly vulnerable patients such as newborns, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
 
Almost 2,700 Immunizations Given in Cumberland County
NBC-17 (NC - 8/11/11
The Cumberland County Public Health Department has administered almost 2,700 doses of Hepatitis A immunizations since Tuesday morning to people who may have been exposed through an employee at the Olive Garden restaurant on North McPherson Church Road in Fayetteville.
 
Opinion: Why Immunization Tracking is a Nightmare by Dr. Orin Levine
Huffington Post - 8/10/11
Consider that you are among the 50 million Americans geographically relocating this year, bouncing between primary care physicians. In addition to the transport of both your necessary and superfluous belongings, you must transition all your personal records and family documents. Though we are in the midst of a piecemeal transition to electronic medical records, your documents likely include hard copies of health records. And they are your responsibility.
 
Shingles: Vaccine to protect against painful disease is costly and in short supply
Baltimore Sun - 8/10/11
My fellow mothers used to tease me about being first in line for any new childhood vaccination: hepatitis, meningitis, HPV. If it came in a syringe and it promised to protect my kids from some terrible disease, I was all in. So it should come as no surprise that as the sun came up on my 60th birthday, I could be found in line for the shingles vaccine for which I was now officially eligible.
 
Many Teens Miss Out on Life-saving Vaccines
USA Today - 8/8/11
The Houston teen had just graduated from high school and had pro status in golf. So his parents didn't worry when Ryan, 18, developed a fever and earache one evening in June. But he wasn't suffering from any ordinary bug. He had meningococcal meningitis, a rare but devastating inflammation around the brain caused by bacteria that spread easily in close quarters, like college dorms and Army barracks. "Within 14 hours, he had blood coming from every orifice in his body," says his mother, Frankie Milley. "He was dead by 10 a.m. He literally bled to death."
 
Doctors See Chinks in Vaccination Armor
Los Angeles Times - 8/5/11
As students return to middle schools and high schools in California this fall, they will need more than fresh notebooks and apples for their teachers. Thanks to a state law that took effect last month, students entering grades 7 through 12 will need proof that they received a vaccine for whooping cough. The law was prompted by last year's outbreak of the highly contagious respiratory infection, which is also known as pertussis. Nearly 9,500 cases were reported in California, the most in 65 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ten patients died; all of them were infants, including nine who were too young to be vaccinated.
 
Low Percentage of Preschool Children Received Recent Influenza Vaccination
Pediatric SuperSite - 8/2/11
In Oregon, fewer than 40% of children aged 2 years received an influenza vaccination during the most recent influenza season. Based on these figures, CDC officials are emphasizing the need for health care provider-based and community-based strategies to increase influenza vaccination coverage among this population.
 
Immunization Education Needed
American Nurse - 8/2/11
Most children in the United States are getting regularly scheduled immunizations for infant and childhood diseases. But a new survey published in the June Health Affairs shows that some parents are not persuaded that all vaccines are safe or even necessary. The results of the survey, analyzed by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Vaccine Program Office, suggest that more should be done to address parents' concerns.
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July 2011 Back to top
WA Leads Nation in Parents Opting Out of Vaccines
Bellingham Herald (WA) - 7/31/11
Washington is experiencing an epidemic of worry over vaccine safety. The state leads the nation in the percentage of parents opting out of vaccinations for their kindergarten-age children, but a new state law could be poised to change that distinction. More than 6 percent of Washington kindergarteners were missing one or more immunizations in the 2009-2010 school year. The most commonly skipped vaccine was the chicken pox vaccine, The Daily Herald reported in Sunday's newspaper. Since 1997, there's been a steady, statewide decline in the number of school children who are fully vaccinated. A new state law that went into effect in July seeks to close a loophole that parents used to avoid providing proof of vaccinations to schools.
 
New Immunization Laws for Idaho Public Schools
KPVI (Idaho) - 7/29/11
"Idaho has always been a little bit behind on the times on immunization requirements," says Nurse Manager at the Eastern Idaho Public Health District Amy Gamett. That's why starting July 1 new laws have been enforced to prevent health outbreaks at all public schools in Idaho. The new immunization laws basically verifies that all students receive their required vaccinations. "So we are checking them not only as they initially enroll or as they change schools, but when they start the 7th grade we are rechecking everyone again," says District 93 Health and Safety Coordinator Guy Bliesner.
 
Intermountain Healthcare Delivers Mandatory Flu Shot Policy, Others Strive for Higher Immunization Rates
Desert Sun - 7/29/11
Health care systems across the nation are changing their immunization policies to protect the public, beginning with mandatory flu shots for employees. Changes at a large Utah health care employer are coming on the heels of a recommendation from local health officials, as well as the Immunization Action Coalition, which works closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
 
Flu Super Antibody May Bring Universal Shot Closer
Reuters - 7/28/11
Scientists have found a flu "super antibody" called FI6 that can fight all types of influenza A viruses that cause disease in humans and animals and say their discovery may be a turning point in the development of new flu treatments. Researchers from Britain and Switzerland used a new method aimed at beating "needle-in-a-haystack-type-odds" and managed to identify an antibody from a human patient which neutralizes both main groups of influenza A viruses.
 
Autism Doctor Here Under Scrutiny
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) - 7/28/11
An autism doctor who operates clinics in St. Peters and Springfield, Ill., has been suspended in two states for alleged mistreatment of children. Dr. Mark Geier has been accused of misdiagnosing children with early puberty and treating them with high doses of Lupron, a drug used to suppress the hormone testosterone. Geier operates autism treatment clinics called ASD Centers in at least eight states. Maryland, his home base, suspended his license in April. Washington state followed a month later.
 
Planning a Vac(cin)ation
New York Times - 7/27/11
Getting vaccinated may be the last thing on your mind when heading off on vacation, but it's important – whether you are traveling to an exotic destination or not. Case in point: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health advisory last month pointing out that the United States is currently experiencing the highest number of measles cases since 1996, many of which were acquired overseas. As of June 17, 156 confirmed cases of measles had been reported to the center this year; 136 of them involved unvaccinated Americans who had recently traveled abroad, unvaccinated visitors to the United States and people who didn't travel but may have caught the disease from those who did.
 
MMR Vaccine Take-up on the Rise After Declining Years
Guardian (UK) - 7/26/11
The number of two-year-olds getting the MMR jab, the triple measles, mumps and rubella vaccination, is at its highest level since 1998, after years of worrying measles and mumps outbreaks among teenagers and young adults. More than nine in 10 infants under 24 months across the UK have had their first jab against the highly infectious viral diseases for the first time since the now discredited doctor Andrew Wakefield suggested a link between the jab and autism. The controversy so undermined public confidence that vaccination rates fell to dangerously low levels – with then prime minister Tony Blair being quizzed repeatedly in 2001 as to whether his son Leo had had the jab.
 
Sharp Drop in Chickenpox Deaths Due to Vaccine
WebMD - 7/26/11
Chickenpox deaths in the U.S. have been nearly eliminated thanks to widespread use of the varicella vaccine, according to a new CDC study. Researchers found chickenpox deaths have dropped by 88% overall and by 97% among children and adolescents since 1995, when the varicella vaccine program began in the U.S. Before the varicella vaccine became available, chickenpox was responsible for about 100 deaths and 11,000 hospitalizations each year.
 
CDC Still Listening to Youth Vaccination Debate
Chicago Tribune - 7/26/11
Mediators were dispatched to help keep the conversation civil at a health forum in Chicago last week – a clear sign of the passionate opinions elicited by the debate about whether the federal government should recommend that babies be vaccinated against meningitis. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends meningitis immunizations for children ages 11 to 18 to help prevent the rare but potentially fatal bacterial meningitis. But the recent FDA approval of a vaccine for babies as young as 9 months has prompted federal officials to consider adding it to the 16 immunizations on the CDC recommendation schedule.
 
Rising Costs Complicate Vaccine Guidelines
NPR - 7/20/11
The group that advises the U.S. government on vaccination thinks some new vaccines may not be worth the cost. In 2009, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, decided it's not cost effective to routinely vaccinate boys for human papillomavirus, though they do recommend the vaccine for girls. Now the group is struggling to decide whether infants and toddlers should get costly new vaccines to prevent a form of meningitis caused by bacteria. The new emphasis on cost comes as vaccines are arriving that run more than $100 a dose, while only preventing illness in a relatively small number of people.
 
FDA Approves 6 Manufacturers to Make Flu Vaccine for the Coming Season
Washington Post - 7/18/11
The Food and Drug Administration said Monday it has approved the new flu vaccine for the season beginning this year. Each year the FDA works with other federal agencies and global health experts to design a vaccine to protect against the three viral strains most likely to cause the flu. This year's flu shot will be a duplicate of last year's because the same flu strains are still circulating. The vaccine will be manufactured by six companies: GlaxoSmithKline, CSL Limited, ID Biomedical Corp., Medimmune Vaccines, Novartis and Sanofi.
 
7 Measles Cases In Fla. Prompt Warnings
WJXT-TV (FL) - 7/18/11
Measles were declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000. So when more than a half-dozen cases popped up recently in Florida, doctors' ears perked up. Measles are highly contagious. They come with a red rash and a high fever. And when one person gets the virus while others aren't protected, the virus spreads.
 
Opinion: Public health: Not vaccinated? Not acceptable by David Ropeik
Los Angeles Times - 7/18/11
What does society do when one person's behavior puts the greater community at risk? We make them stop. We pass laws, or impose economic rules or find some other way to discourage individual behaviors that threaten the greater common good. You don't get to drive drunk. You don't get to smoke in public places. You don't even get to leave your house if you catch some particularly infectious disease. Then what should we do about people who decline vaccination for themselves or their children and put the public at risk by fueling the resurgence of nearly eradicated diseases? Isn't this the same thing: one person's perception of risk producing behaviors that put others at risk? Of course it is.
 
Opinion: The fallout from the CIA's vaccination ploy in Pakistan by Orin Levine and Laurie Garrett
Washington Post - 7/15/11
The reaction from public health workers was understandably fierce when the Guardian reported last week that the CIA had staged a vaccination campaign in an attempt to confirm Osama bin Laden's location by obtaining DNA from his family members. We recognize the importance of the mission to bring bin Laden to justice. But the CIA's reckless tactics could have catastrophic consequences.
 
Bill Would Give Reprieve on Pertussis Shot
SignOnSanDiego - 7/14/11
California lawmakers have given schools a 30-day grace period to enforce a state law that requires a whooping cough booster shot for students entering grades 7 through 12 this year. Both houses of the Legislature on Thursday passed SB 614, emergency legislation from Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, that allows schools to conditionally admit students who don't immediately have proof they have been vaccinated against the highly contagious disease formally called pertussis.
 
Flu Vaccine Production To Double By 2015: WHO
Reuters - 7/14/11
Global production of seasonal flu vaccine is expected to double to 1.7 billion doses by 2015, with 11 new manufacturers coming onstream in developing countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. If a new influenza pandemic erupts, the world's projected 37 vaccine makers could potentially triple their annual production of trivalent seasonal vaccine to make 5.4 billion doses of pandemic vaccine, the United Nations agency said.
 
Bill Would Give Reprieve on Pertussis Shot
SignOnSanDiego - 7/14/11
California lawmakers have given schools a 30-day grace period to enforce a state law that requires a whooping cough booster shot for students entering grades 7 through 12 this year. Both houses of the Legislature on Thursday passed SB 614, emergency legislation from Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, that allows schools to conditionally admit students who don't immediately have proof they have been vaccinated against the highly contagious disease formally called pertussis.
 
Flu Vaccine Production To Double By 2015: WHO
Reuters - 7/14/11
Global production of seasonal flu vaccine is expected to double to 1.7 billion doses by 2015, with 11 new manufacturers coming onstream in developing countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. If a new influenza pandemic erupts, the world's projected 37 vaccine makers could potentially triple their annual production of trivalent seasonal vaccine to make 5.4 billion doses of pandemic vaccine, the United Nations agency said.
 
Meningitis Vaccine Debated at CDC Forum
Seattle Times (WA) - 7/12/11
Parents don't want their children to be hurt. But what poses the greater risk: vaccines, or the diseases they're made to prevent? Should all children undergo vaccination – and its risks – to prevent a relatively rare, but potentially dangerous disease? These were among the questions debated Tuesday at a forum in Shoreline on vaccines, the second of four around the nation held by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC will decide whether to add a vaccine for bacterial meningitis to the list of those recommended for infants. For a full day, more than 100 people wrestled with questions of safety, cost and effectiveness of a vaccine for meningococcal meningitis, one of several types of the disease, which can cause inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.
 
U.S. Urges Travelers to Check Measles Immunity amid Outbreak
Los Angeles Times - 7/9/11
Measles are making a comeback. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says travelers to countries with large recent outbreaks, including France, Britain, Spain, Switzerland, India and areas of Africa and Asia, have returned to the U.S. and brought cases of the highly contagious disease with them. "Every traveler needs to make sure they are immune to measles," Dr. Phyllis Kozarsky, a consultant for the CDC's division of global migration and quarantine, said in an interview.
 
As More Parents Opt Their Kids Out of Vaccinations, Florida Measles Cases Increase
St. Petersburg Times (FL) - 7/8/11
The back-to-school push for children's vaccinations has new urgency this year as Florida health officials report an alarming rise in measles. So far this year, seven cases have been reported in Florida, the most in 14 years. All but one involved an unvaccinated child 1 to 16 years old. Most of the children's parents had exempted them from state-required vaccinations by citing religious objections to vaccines…Given all the debate, the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg has recently clarified the church's position. In a letter to pastors and parochial school principals, Bishop Robert Lynch said the church does not teach that using vaccines is "intrinsically evil," even if the vaccine was produced with controversial stem cell lines. So Catholic schools shouldn't grant vaccine exemptions on religious grounds.
 
Cheap Shots: Get Vaccinated for Free
CNN Money - 7/7/11
Adults tend to miss vaccines that can help keep them healthy. "For kids, there are age-related guidelines and school requirements," says Dr. Susan Rehm of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. "For adults, we rely on health care providers and for patients to ask." So ask. Starting this year, your insurer must cover 100% of the cost of 10 vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (certain existing plans are exempt, and your insurer may charge a fee if you go out of network).
 
L.A. Unified Takes New Tack on Whooping Cough Vaccine
Los Angeles Times - 7/7/11
Los Angeles school nurses on Wednesday exhausted their entire supply of 600 doses of the whooping cough vaccine on students who began their academic year this week at area campuses that are on a year-round schedule. But officials came up with a new strategy that they hope will keep hundreds of students in class.
 
Large Study Reaffirms H1N1, Seasonal Flu Vaccine Safety
Health Behavior News Service - 7/5/11
Back in spring 2009, the H1N1 influenza virus crossed the U.S. border and raised concerns that it might cause a full-scale epidemic in the fall. The Food and Drug Administration worked with other Health and Human Services agencies and vaccine manufacturers to quickly develop, license and distribute a vaccine to protect the public from this particularly virulent strain of the flu. However, alongside the public's concern about H1N1 were also fears that the rapid vaccine development would lead to unanticipated problems similar to the increased risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome that occurred with the 1976 swine flu vaccine. A new study shows that those fears were unsubstantiated and reaffirms the safety of the seasonal flu and H1N1 influenza vaccines.
 
Editorial: Vaccine Roulette
Chicago Tribune - 7/4/11
Most parents keep close track of a child's vaccinations to protect him or her from preventable diseases such as measles or whooping cough. They know schools require proof of vaccination in the fall. If enough kids get the shots, everyone is protected. That includes those too young to be fully immunized, children who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons and those who have taken the shot but don't develop an immunity to the disease. Overall, Illinois schools boast an impressive vaccination rate of about 98 percent. But a recent Tribune analysis of state data exposed an alarming trend: In a growing number of public and private schools, immunization rates fall below 90 percent — the level the state recommends to prevent epidemics.
 
Environment May Be Especially Key to Autism: Study
U.S. News and World Reports - 7/4/11
Contrary to current thinking, environmental factors may play a larger role than shared genes in the development of autism, a new study in twins suggests. A second study in the same journal finds that anti-depressants during pregnancy may be one important environmental trigger. In the first study, researchers from Stanford University identified 192 pairs of twins from a statewide California registry of children who receive services for developmental disabilities. At least one twin was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, which researchers confirmed by examining and testing each child. The study included 54 pairs of identical twins (meaning they share all of the same genes) and 138 pairs of fraternal twins (who share half of their genes). About 42.5 percent of the male-male pairs and 43 percent of the female-female pairs of identical twins both had autism. About 12.9 percent of the male-male fraternal twins and 20 percent of the female-female fraternal twins both had autism, researchers said.
 
Measles Hits LaGrange, Grows in Noble County
Journal Gazette (Indiana) - 7/2/11
The measles outbreak in Noble County has jumped across county lines, state officials said Friday. At least one person has been infected in LaGrange County, and cases in Noble County have jumped from five to 11. The cases can be traced back to an unvaccinated adult who returned from an international trip about three weeks ago after contracting the highly contagious respiratory infection, according to Indiana Health Commissioner Gregory Larkin. The outbreak may have affected seven surrounding counties, including Allen, DeKalb, Elkhart, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Steuben and Whitley, according to officials.
 
Vaccination in France – Measles Spotlight
about.com Pediatrics - 7/2/11
Even as we talk a lot about the measles outbreaks in the United States, they are really minimal when you compare them to the number of cases in some other countries. And we are not talking about third world countries where high rates of measles continue to make measles one of the leading causes of death in children. Take France for example. There have been over 12,500 cases of measles and at least 6 deaths this year in France, with 444 cases of severe pneumonia and 14 cases of encephalitis. There have been at least 20,000 cases of measles in France since January 1, 1998. In comparison, there have been just over 150 cases in the United States this year and about 369 cases since 2008.
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June 2011 Back to top
Measles on a Plane: How contagious is measles?
About.com Pediatrics - 6/30/11
In talking about the measles outbreaks, experts always point out how contagious measles is. A new report from the CDC, "Notes from the Field: Multiple Cases of Measles After Exposure During Air Travel – Australia and New Zealand, January 2011," shows just how contagious. Three unvaccinated children flew from Singapore to Brisbane, Australia (a 7 1/2-hour flight) and then after a 9 1/2-hour layover, continued on to Auckland, New Zealand on a 4-hour flight. Unfortunately, they developed a measles rash shortly after arriving in New Zealand, and so were contagious during these flights.
 
CHOP Doctor Who Developed Rotavirus Vaccine Honored
Philadelphia Business Journal - 6/29/11
The Biotechnology Industry Organization named Dr. Paul A. Offit, chief of the division of infectious diseases and the director of the vaccine education center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, as the honoree of its 2011 Biotech Humanitarian Award.
 
Amish Parents Mirror Wider Concerns over Vaccines
Reuters - 6/27/11
Among the minority of Amish parents who do not immunize their children, the most common reasons for skipping the shots were more related to concerns over the potential side effects of vaccines, than to religious beliefs, a new study finds. "The reasons that Amish parents resist immunizations mirror reasons that non-Amish parents resist immunizations," Dr. Olivia K. Wenger of Akron Children's Hospital and her colleagues wrote in the journal Pediatrics. Previous research had suggested that lack of access could be a factor keeping vaccination rates low in Amish communities. The Amish are conservative Christians known for living in closed communities and without much modern technology. Their tenets don't prohibit vaccination, but outbreaks of measles, whooping cough and other vaccine-preventable diseases in underimmunized Amish communities have raised concern.
 
Opinion: Considering Vaccine as Public Responsibility
Philadelphia Inquirer - 6/24/11
Let's say your 13-year-old son, whom you've raised to be a free spirit, runs through Center City at lunchtime, toppling an occasional food cart and knocking over a stroller. The baby is hospitalized. Are you responsible? Now let's say that same adolescent, who hasn't been immunized because of your concerns about vaccines, returns from a trip to France, where measles is spreading. Although he has not yet had symptoms, he nevertheless passes the infection to a baby too young to be vaccinated who ends up in the hospital. Are you responsible? The example, while hypothetical, raises a question surprisingly absent from public discussion about vaccine mandates: To what extent am I responsible for my neighbors' health? "In the United States, personal medicine has dominated public health," said University of Pennsylvania bioethicist Arthur Caplan.
 
Meningitis Vaccine Suggested for At-Risk Babies
HealthDay - 6/22/11
A vaccine against meningococcal disease, which is a life-threatening bacterial infection, should be given to some infants as young as 9 months old, an advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday. The recommendation applies only to infants who are at high risk of contracting the disease, the panel said. These include infants who travel to or live in countries outside the United States where the disease is common, and those who have certain immune deficiencies.
 
CDC Urges Pregnant Women to Get Whooping Cough Vaccine
HealthDay - 6/22/11
Pregnant women should be vaccinated against the whooping cough, an advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday. It recommended that the vaccination be given in the late second or third trimester. The endorsement was a change from the panel's previous recommendation to wait until immediately after women give birth.
 
Vermont Officials Suspect Measles Case
Vermont Public Radio - 6/22/11
Vermont health officials suspect the state may have a measles case. The health department is awaiting confirmation of a suspected case of measles in Washington County. Patsy Kelso is state epidemiologist. She says measles is a highly contagious viral disease. Kelso recommends that people call their health care provider if they were born after 1957, have not already had measles and are not fully vaccinated against the disease.
 
Whooping Cough on Rise in Clatsop County
North Coast Oregon - 6/22/11
A recent case of pertussis, or whooping cough, diagnosed in a local child has prompted the Clatsop County Public Health Department to stress the importance of immunization. The case, discovered last week, involved a school-age child who was not immunized against the illness because the parents received an exemption under Oregon law governing childhood vaccinations. Figures released earlier this month by the Oregon Public Health Division show that a small but growing number of families in Oregon are refusing immunization for their children under the state's religious exemption rule – a source of concern to public health experts who say the illnesses that vaccines prevent pose a real threat to the public's health.
 
Measles Forces Utah Power Plant to Turn Employees Away
ABC 4-TV (Utah) - 6/20/11
An employee who may have exposed hundreds of employees to the measles has caused a Utah power plant to turn employees away. A spokesperson for the Intermountain Power Agency, which owns and operates the Intermountain Project plant near Delta told ABC 4 News that one employee returned from a honeymoon outside the country last week, and worked at the plant one day while feeling ill. According to IPA spokesman John Ward, the employee later discovered that he had the measles, and could have exposed more than 300 fellow employees and private contractors who work in the plant. The Central Utah Health Department confirmed the measles case, the first confirmed case of the disease in Central Health District in many years.
 
Vaccine Concerns Common among Parents of Young Children
American Medical News - 6/20/11
Family physicians and pediatricians should be prepared to talk to parents during office visits about the safety of vaccine ingredients, pain from the shots and the number of immunizations recommended for young children. These are some of parents' most common worries about childhood vaccines, according to a study published in the June issue of Health Affairs. The report found that while about 8 in 10 parents follow the childhood vaccination schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many have concerns about immunization.
 
Safe Havens for Disease
Chicago Tribune - 6/18/11
Clusters of children without their required vaccinations in about 200 Illinois schools are raising the chances of school-based outbreaks of serious preventable diseases such as measles and whooping cough, a Tribune analysis of state data has found. The Tribune found that the number of public and private schools with immunization rates below 90 percent – a protection level the state recommends in order to prevent epidemics – has grown dramatically in recent years for each vaccine.
 
Fewer Girls Develop Cervical Abnormalities after HPV Vaccine
Reuters - 6/17/11
A vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, triggered by the human papillomavirus (HPV), has helped reduce the number of teenage girls developing abnormalities in their cervix by as much as 50 percent in a study in Australia, researchers reported on Friday. Some strains of HPV are known to cause abnormal lesions in the cervix, which may turn cancerous later on. Vaccines are aimed mainly at girls between the ages of nine and 12 as they are regarded as most effective when given before the onset of sexual activity.
 
Rotavirus Vaccine Linked to Bowel Disorder
WebMD - 6/15/11
A vaccine that prevents the most common cause of severe diarrhea and dehydration in babies was associated with a potentially life-threatening bowel disorder in a large study from Mexico and Brazil, but the risk was small. Investigators with the CDC and health agencies in Latin America concluded that between 1 in 51,000 and 1 in 68,000 vaccinated babies given the rotavirus vaccine Rotarix, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, could be expected to develop intussusception, a condition in which part of the intestine slides into another part of the intestine, like parts of a telescope. Another rotavirus vaccine, Wyeth Lab's RotaShield, was withdrawn from the market in the U.S. in 1999 less than a year after its introduction. At the time, the FDA determined that the vaccine caused intussusception in 1 in 10,000 babies who got it. The new study confirms that the bowel obstruction risk was not limited to the withdrawn vaccine, but it also makes it clear that the benefits of vaccination far exceed the risks, epidemiologist Umesh D. Parashar, MD, of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, tells WebMD.
 
CDC Stresses Need for Flu Shot Every Year
American Medical News - 6/14/11
Although this year's seasonal influenza vaccine will be identical to the one administered in the 2010-11 season, physicians still should provide the vaccine to patients who are 6 months and older, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The recommendation is in response to comments by some health experts that young, healthy people who received the 2010-11 flu immunization might not need it this year. They say that such patients already could have sufficient immunity to the three widely circulating influenza viruses included in the vaccine.
 
Childhood Diseases Return as Parents Refuse Vaccines
American Medical News - 6/14/11
Landon Lewis, 4, was living in a Minneapolis homeless shelter when he fell ill, first with a fever of 104 degrees, then with a red rash on his forehead. It took two visits to a doctor to diagnose a disease clinic staff hadn't seen in years: measles. The rash spread into his mouth and throat, so swallowing was torture. He began vomiting and developed a cough that nearly choked him. He was rushed to the emergency room and hospitalized for five days. "Seeing a child in that predicament really hurt," says his mother, Katrina Lewis, 27.
 
State Worst for Vaccine Exemptions
Columbian (Washington) - 6/12/11
A new report shows Washington state has the highest vaccine exemption rate in the country, with 6.2 percent of kindergartners entering school without required vaccines. The number of exemptions has more than doubled in the last 10 years. But health officials hope a new law that goes into effect July 22 will bring the rates back down. In Washington, parents can obtain immunization exemptions for medical, philosophical and religious reasons. The new law still allows those exemptions but requires parents speak with their child's health care provider about the benefits and risks of immunizations.
 
Opinion by Seth Mnookin: An Early Cure for Parents' Vaccine Panic
Washington Post - 6/10/11
Almost exactly 15 years ago, top officials of the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention met in Atlanta to strategize for what would have been one of the most remarkable public health victories in history: the eradication of measles, one of the most infectious microbes known to humankind. By the mid-1990s, widespread use of the measles vaccine had halted transmission of the virus among residents of the United States and Britain.
 
Cheap Vaccine Eradicates New Cases of Meningitis A
New Scientist - 6/9/11
It has taken just six months for a cheap new vaccine against meningitis A to work its magic: reducing the number of new cases in three west African countries to almost zero. The outcome is a huge boost for a part of the world where meningitis A accounts for 90 per cent of all meningitis cases and where epidemics periodically kill tens of thousands.
 
'Decade of Vaccines' Has Potential to Save Lives, But Challenges Ahead
Eurekalert - 6/9/11
Vaccinating children around the world against infectious diseases has saved the lives of millions over the past several decades. Now new opportunities exist to overcome remaining challenges and save another 6.4 million lives over the current decade, according articles in the June 2011 edition of Health Affairs. The issue was produced under the journal's grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
 
Autism Linked to Hundreds of Genetic Mutations
Los Angeles Times - 6/9/11
Autism is not caused by one or two gene defects but probably by hundreds of different mutations, many of which arise spontaneously, according to research that examined the genetic underpinnings of the disorder in more than 1,000 families.
 
Md. Health Officials Investigating Measles Exposure in Cantonsville, Easton & Baltimore
CBS Baltimore - 6/8/11
There's a confirmed case of the measles in Maryland and the health department is warning others could have been exposed.
 
State Seeing More Measles Cases
Milford Daily News - 6/8/11
As state officials investigate what could be the 18th confirmed case of measles in Massachusetts this year, local health officials are urging residents to take precautions to keep themselves safe from the highly contagious disease.
 
Measles Outbreak in New York City
WABC-TV - 6/8/11
A measles outbreak in New York City, and it seems to be spreading. The health department released an alert to doctors in the city today, telling them to be on the lookout for measles. Officials said three more people have contracted measles New York, adding to the latest outbreak that has sickened a total of 13 people since January.
 
New Law Seeks to Educate Parents on Immunizations
KLEW-TV (Washington) - 6/8/11
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Washington kindergartners do not meet state or national goals for any required immunizations when they enter school. The report released last week said Washington has the highest exemption rate in the country, with close to 6% of kids having a parent signed exemption form....But a new law going into effect next month looks to change that. Benton said the new law will require parents to seek information on vaccines, before signing an exemption.
 
All Children Deserve Vaccines
Huffington Post - 6/5/11
I have believed for more than a decade now that children in the poorest parts of the world should have access to the same life-saving vaccines available to children in rich countries. That's why I’m excited that the GAVI Alliance announced today they will be able to bring life-saving vaccines to millions more children.
 
State Leads Nation in Opting Out of Vaccinations
News Tribune - 6/5/11
A national study shows Washington parents are choosing not to vaccinate their kindergartners at a rate higher than anywhere else in the country. The rate – 6.2 percent – is below national standards and endangers residents, especially babies who are too young to get fully immunized, state health officials say. They point to recent cases of whooping cough – two babies died of the disease in Washington in 2010 – and measles, which is highly contagious.
 
Measles Reported at New England Aquarium
UPI - 6/5/11
Boston's New England Aquarium is warning visitors they could have been exposed to measles, authorities say. The aquarium began contacting visitors Saturday, a day after learning that one of its volunteers had measles, The Boston Globe reported.
 
Vaccination Rate for Kindergartners Is Over 90%
WebMD - 6/2/11
More than 90% of children entering kindergarten in the U.S. have had most recommended immunizations, although coverage rates remain below target goals for most states, the CDC says. The newly published vaccination coverage report for the first time includes state-by-state data on vaccination exceptions granted for medical, religious, or philosophical reasons. More than half of the states providing vaccination information to the CDC had exemption rates of around 1% or less. Four states – Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Vermont – had exemptions above 5%.
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May 2011 Back to top
Measles Case Confirmed in Cache County
Deseret News (Utah) - 5/31/11
Officials at the Bear River Health Department on Tuesday announced a confirmed case of measles in Cache County. While other areas throughout the state have seen outbreaks come and go this year, this is the first case within the Bear River's jurisdiction in many years. Individuals who have been in contact with the confirmed case have been notified, yet officials are encouraging everyone to protect themselves with the necessary vaccinations.
 
Suspected Fourth Case of Measles in Charlottesville
NBC29 - 5/31/11
There is a fourth suspected case of measles for the Thomas Jefferson Health District to worry about on Tuesday night. It started with three cases being reported May 20, and now, doctors suspect a fourth case.
 
New Cases Show Measles' Reach
Boston.com - 5/26/11
Measles continues to spread in Massachusetts, with two new cases confirmed this week, including one involving a 23-month-old boy from Boston who had received his first measles vaccination last year, according to the Boston Public Health Commission. The other was a teenage boy from outside the city who was treated at a Boston health care facility. That brings the state total to 17 this year — and counting.
 
CDC Report Shows Bacterial Meningitis Cases on the Decline
HealthDay - 5/25/11
The incidence of bacterial meningitis dropped by 31 percent between 1998 and 2007, new government research shows. The drop was led by reductions in infections by two powerful germs – Neisseria meningitidis and Streptococcus pneumoniae – that are covered by available immunizations. With fewer infections among young children, the burden of the disease is now mainly borne by older adults, the study authors found.
 
Washington among States Involved in Country's Largest Measles Outbreak
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - 5/25/11
After mostly disappearing in the late '90s, measles have made a national comeback with the largest outbreak in 15 years, mostly caused by unvaccinated travelers who bring the disease back home, the CDC said this week. This year so far, there were 118 reported measles cases in the country, including two in Washington. That's nearly twice as many as the country's total for all of last year, and the highest number for that time period since 1996. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that most of the patients had brought the disease home from Southeast Asia or Europe, currently in the grip of a major epidemic. The vast majority – 89 percent – were unvaccinated.
 
CDC: Measles epidemic poses travel risks
USA Today - 5/25/11
Measles – a disease that was declared eliminated in the USA in 2000 – is again breaking out across the country, in the largest outbreak in 15 years, spread largely by unvaccinated travelers who bring home the disease. Doctors have reported 118 measles cases in the USA since January – nearly twice as many as the total for all of last year, according to a report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 90% of this year's patients were unvaccinated, and 40% had to be hospitalized for complications. Most of the patients brought the disease with them from Europe, which is in the throes of a major epidemic, with more than 10,000 cases and six deaths in France alone, according to the CDC.
 
Measles Case Causes State to Declare Health Alert
Des Moines Register - 5/24/11
State health officials declared a public health emergency Tuesday after a test confirmed a case of measles in an unvaccinated Dallas County baby who apparently picked up the disease in India. They said people who might have been exposed included passengers on an American Airlines flight from Chicago to Des Moines May 11 and people who were at Mercy Medical Center or a Mercy pediatric clinic in downtown Des Moines May 14. Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, medical director for the Iowa Department of Public Health, said many Americans falsely recall measles as a benign childhood illness.
 
Passenger on Recent Flight to San Diego Hospitalized with Measles
National Examiner (CA) - 5/23/11
The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency announced Saturday that a passenger on an airline flight last week has been hospitalized with a confirmed case of measles. The infected passenger was on the Continental Airlines flight 1689 from Houston to San Diego on May 17, and was hospitalized shortly after landing in San Diego. The measles was confirmed on Friday. Health officials are attempting to contact the 50 + passengers with local addresses to warn them of the exposure and find out if they have been vaccinated. Those from outside the region are also being tracked down.
 
O'Malley Ousts David Geier from Autism Commission
Baltimore Sun - 5/20/11
Gov. Martin O'Malley removed David A. Geier from Maryland's Commission on Autism on Friday, telling his one-time appointee in a letter that 'you do not at the present time qualify to serve.' O'Malley told Geier, who has only a bachelor's degree, that he does not qualify under Maryland law to serve as a 'diagnostician,' the title he held on the advisory commission. The governor also cited charges brought against him this week by the Maryland Board of Physicians.
 
Doctor's Son Charged with Illicit Practice
Washington Post - 5/19/11
The state panel that oversees doctors in Maryland has charged a man with practicing medicine without a license just weeks after his father's license was suspended for allegedly putting autistic children at risk. The Maryland Board of Physicians says David Geier worked with his father, Mark Geier, at the Rockville and Owings Mills offices of Genetic Consultants of Maryland, where they used a drug therapy that autism experts say is based on junk science. The two have built a national following of parents who believe autism is linked to mercury in vaccines, a theory discredited by mainstream medicine. The Geiers developed a treatment using Lupron, a testosterone suppressant approved for prostate cancer and ovarian fibroids. Lupron also is sometimes used in the chemical castration of sex offenders. In children, the drug is used for "precocious puberty," which the board said Mark Geier over-diagnosed in autistic children.
 
Gates Says Vaccine Investment Offers Best Returns
Reuters - 5/17/11
Bill Gates called on Tuesday for strengthened immunization programs against infectious diseases to save 4 million lives by 2015 and 10 million lives by 2020, saying it was the best possible investment in global health. The Microsoft founder and philanthropist said five or six new vaccines could be available by the end of the decade and urged pharmaceutical manufacturers to make them affordable for poor countries.
 
Measles Cases Are on the Rise in California
Los Angeles Times - 5/14/11
As the summer vacation season nears, measles cases are on the rise in California, driven by unimmunized travelers infected elsewhere who are entering the state, health officials said Friday.
 
Rare Rabies Survivor Graduates from College
WASW - 5/9/11
She's the rabies survivor who made headlines around the world when she became the first person ever to beat rabies without the vaccine. Now Jeanna Giese is 21 years old and she's reaching a new milestone and has a new mission to save lives.
 
Opinion: The Blogger and the Doctor
Baltimore Sun - 5/7/11
You have to believe in cosmic justice when you hear about the case of Mark Geier, the doctor whose license to practice was suspended recently after the Maryland Board of Physicians ruled that his bizarre treatment regimen 'endangers autistic children and exploits their parents.' If, like me, you don't know much about autism, let me explain where the cosmic justice comes in: One form of the wide-ranging developmental disorder, on the high-functioning, high-verbal end of it, is Asperger's syndrome, which among other things is characterized by a tendency to obsess on a single subject. Geier happened to become that subject for Kathleen Seidel.
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April 2011 Back to top
Opinion: State should tighten laws requiring vaccinations
Salt Lake Tribune - 4/30/11
Two weeks ago I received a call from my adult daughter with an unusual question: "Do you have my childhood immunization records?" She told me Skyline High teachers had to show proof of having had the MMR vaccine or take a blood test at the Salt Lake Valley Health Department to see if they had immunity to measles. Olympus High teachers had to do the same or be placed on administrative leave until April 25. This action was necessitated when an Olympus High student without immunization contracted measles on a trip to Poland. From this student, the number of confirmed cases has grown to nine, but the consequences are even greater.
 
Vaccines Save Lives
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Blog - 4/30/11
If you've been reading the blog this week, you know we're focusing on immunization and vaccines. From our coverage of World Malaria Day this week to our posts on the urgency of eradicating polio once and for all, there is no better time to talk about these issues! It's one reason why we've created the infographic below – to spread the word. Vaccines are one of the best long-term investments to give children a healthy start to life. Think about this: approximately 1.5 million children will die from vaccine preventable diseases this year and thousands more will be paralyzed or physically disabled. To me, and I'm sure to you as well, that is simply unacceptable.
 
Study Finds Flu Vaccine Is Safe for Kidney Transplant Patients
ABC News Radio - 4/29/11
Studies have suggested that kidney transplant patients could face high risks for organ rejection if given the flu vaccine. However, risk of death is also high if these patients are infected with flu. Now, new findings suggest otherwise. The flu vaccination is perfectly safe for kidney transplant recipients, and it may even reduce the risk of organ loss and death, the new research says.
 
One-third of Articles about Vaccines Contained Negative Messages
Pediatric Supersite - 4/28/11
Hamidah Hussain, MBBS, MSc,and colleagues from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore examined about 1,200 articles relating to vaccination, which were published between 1995 and 2005. The researchers used key terms such as "vaccine" and "adverse events" and coded these articles as having an overall "positive" or "negative" message, accordingly. The researchers noted spikes in the number of newspaper articles in 1999 regarding rotavirus vaccine safety and in 2002 and 2003 regarding smallpox vaccines.
 
Video: Paul Offit on the Dangers of the Anti-Vaccine Movement
Medscape - 4/27/11
I think we're at a tipping point and it worries me. The tipping point is evidenced by outbreaks, the likes of which we haven't seen recently. For example, we have a whooping cough outbreak in California that's bigger than anything we've seen since 1947.
 
FDA Approves Meningococcal Vaccine for Infants, Toddlers
AAFP News - 4/27/11
The FDA has approved the use of Sanofi Pasteur's quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine, which is marketed as Menactra, in children as young as 9 months for the prevention of invasive meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroups A, C, Y and W-135.
 
Whooping Cough Vaccine Law May Prevent Calif. Students From Attending School
Huffington Post - 4/26/11
In the midst of one of the worst whooping cough epidemics our country has seen in half a century, the majority of California's schoolchildren may not be vaccinated against the disease – and that may bar them from attending school. AP recently reported that there were over 21,000 cases of whooping cough in the U.S. last year, and experts are unsure as to the cause. NBC News reported that at least 7,800 of those cases happened in California the highest since 1947. In response, California's AB 354 was passed in September of last year, making proof of whooping cough vaccinations mandatory for both public and private school students starting in the 2011-12 school year.
 
New Vaccines May Diminish 'Vaccine War'
Tufts Daily - 4/25/11
Just six years ago, Tufts scientists set out to achieve a lofty goal: creating a needleless vaccine that would not need to be refrigerated. After numerous trials and tribulations, the team, partially funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has achieved just that.
 
Europe, Especially France, Hit by Measles Outbreak
Associated Press - 4/25/11
Europe, especially France, has been hit by a major outbreak of measles, which the U.N. health agency is blaming on the failure to vaccinate all children. The World Health Organization said Thursday that France had 4,937 reported cases of measles between January and March – compared with 5,090 cases during all of 2010. In all, more than 6,500 cases have been reported in 33 European nations.
 
Sacramento County Budget May Force Cuts in Kids' Flu Shots
Sacramento Bee - 4/23/11
Three thousand Sacramento County children may go without flu vaccines this year. The Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services can't afford the 10 flu clinics it usually holds each fall at the county's poorest schools, said Sacramento County public health officer Dr. Glennah Trochet. In February, a letter from the California Department of Public Health alerted county health officers that funding for its immunization program had been eliminated by state legislators.
 
New Trend in Pediatrics: Vaccines Required
CBS Local (Alabama) - 4/22/11
Lori Buher will never forget the night her healthy teenage son Carl fell terribly ill and had to be rushed to the hospital. The diagnosis: bacterial meningitis. "We couldn't even conceive that it happened so quickly," Buher says. "We were busy worrying he was going to miss his next football game or next fall basketball game or his social studies test and here they were telling us he was going to die." Carl didn't die, but he lost both his legs and three of his fingers to a disease he could have been vaccinated against. Carl's heartbreaking story is exactly the kind of thing Vestavia Hills Pediatrician Dr. Joe Hamm wants to prevent. He's made childhood vaccinations mandatory at his practice.
 
Chicago Hospital Works to Keep Infants Safe from Whooping Cough
Chicago Parent - 4/22/11
Shea O'Machel was born on September 11, 2004, a few days late but healthy and a chubby 8 pounds, 7 ounces. Her parents brought her back to their Deerfield home to join her older brother, Finn. But three weeks later, the O'Machels noticed something was wrong. Shea hadn't gained any weight and she was fussy. And that cough - like nothing her parents had ever heard. With each spasm, her little body shook, she turned blue and threw up. When it was over, there was a long rasp as she struggled to breathe again. That's the telltale sound of whooping cough, or pertussis, a highly contagious disease that can cause severe respiratory infections.
 
Measles: A Lesson Learned
Pediatric Health Blog (Texas Children's Hospital) - 4/22/11
A young mother sits in the pediatrician's office with her child. As the doctor begins to explain the immunizations the child will receive, the mother interrupts and says, "Ok, but not the MMR vaccine. I've heard it causes autism." Despite numerous reassurances and 30 minutes of discussion, the child leaves without receiving the vaccine that protects against measles, mumps and rubella. It's a scene that has played out in countless numbers of pediatric offices across the globe. After all, it's just one vaccine, right? Wrong.
 
The Crash and Burn of an Autism Guru
New York Times - 4/20/11
As people streamed into Graceview Baptist Church in Tomball, Tex., early one Saturday morning in January, two armed guards stood prominently just inside the doorway of the sanctuary. Their eyes scanned the room and returned with some frequency to a man sitting near the aisle, whom they had been hired to protect. The man, Andrew Wakefield, dressed in a blazer and jeans and peering through reading glasses, had a mild professorial air. He tapped at a laptop as the room filled with people who came to hear him speak; he looked both industrious and remote.
 
What Science Says about Science Deniers
MinnPost.com - 4/20/11
Minnesota's measles epidemic has now reached 20 confirmed cases (twice as many as occurred during all of the previous 10 years), including 13 hospitalizations. And, as has been reported here and elsewhere, a misguided fear of vaccines – particularly the fear that they cause autism – is the main fuel behind the epidemic. Study after study – solid empirical evidence – has shown that vaccines do not cause autism, but many parents continue to cling to that dangerous belief. Of course, the vaccine-autism link is not the only scientific topic that has its stubborn deniers.
 
Most Parents Vaccinate Kids, Trust Docs' Advice on Shots
HealthDay - 4/19/11
About 93 percent of parents said their children either had or were going to get all of the recommended vaccinations, and more than three-fourths said they trusted their doctor's advice on immunizations, two new surveys find. Pediatricians and infectious disease experts say this is good news. After years of hype about a supposed autism/MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) link – a claim that has been roundly discredited – it seems parents are heeding the advice of medical experts and protecting their children from potentially devastating diseases.
 
Vaccine Exemptions Likely To Be More Difficult Soon
Kings5.com - 4/16/11
Childhood vaccinations protect kids against a host of diseases, everything from measles to polio to tetanus. "A lot of the things, threats that parents had to worry about, are gone. Immunization has made that possible," said Dr. Ed Marcuse, Associate Medical Director at Seattle Children's.
 
Parents, Health Officials Eyeing Measles Outbreak with Concern
Daily Herald (Utah) - 4/13/11
Todd Winger was planning to take his family to a children's museum in Salt Lake during spring break. Then four people were diagnosed with red measles and a half dozen more were suspected of having the highly contagious disease. Instead, they played baseball at a park in Orem.
 
Seth Mnookin: On vaccines, autism and how science shapes public debate
Smart Planet - 4/12/11
Do vaccines really cause autism? And if not, why do we hear so much about it? And what are the implications for organizations such as the Gates Foundation, which is plowing millions of dollars into preventative medicine for infectious diseases? Seth Mnookin is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and author of The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science and Fear. I asked him to crack open his reporter's notebook and tell me more about what he discovered when he explored the scientific links between vaccines and autism – and what he learned about how debate in today's society is as easily shaped by hearsay as actual fact.
 
Vaccines Have Beaten Back Global Diseases Such As Smallpox and Polio
Washington Post - 4/12/11
In 1952, the number of polio cases reached nearly 60,000, making it one of the worst epidemics in U.S. history. More than 3,000 people died, and more than 21,000 were left with mild to disabling paralysis. In early April 1955, Marvin M. Lipman, who has been Consumers Union's chief medical adviser since 1967, was an intern. While attending a scientific meeting in Atlantic City, N.J., he heard Jonas Salk describe the results of a preliminary study demonstrating the efficacy of his polio vaccine. He still recalls that the thunderous applause lasted at least 10 minutes.
 
Did CDC Conspire to Hide Vaccine Risk? 'Simpsonwood Conspiracy' Claims Debunked; Concerns Remain
WebMD - 4/10/11
Did the CDC conspire with vaccine advocates to hide evidence that children get autism from mercury in vaccines? The claim was made most forcefully by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
 
Doctors Most Trusted Source of Vaccine Information, Study Finds
HealthDay - 4/7/11
For American parents, doctors are the most trusted source of information about the safety of children's vaccines, a new study indicates. Researchers conducted a national survey of 1,552 parents of children aged 17 and younger, and found that 76 percent said they trusted their child's doctor 'a lot' when it came to getting information about vaccine safety. Other sources trusted 'a lot' by parents included other health care providers (26 percent) and government vaccine experts/officials (23 percent).
 
The Measles Whodunit
Minneapolis StarTribune - 4/7/11
he virus slipped into Minneapolis unnoticed on the first day of February. Then it found its way to a day care center. And two homeless shelters. And an emergency room. Each time, it followed at least one stranger home in search of more victims. That was the start of the Minnesota measles outbreak of 2011, according to a report published Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The account of the outbreak, which so far has sickened 13 infants and preschoolers in Hennepin County, appears in a dispatch by state investigators in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a weekly update on disease in America. It reveals new details of the way state and county health officials have tracked the spread of the virus as they scramble to avoid a repeat of a deadly 1990 measles outbreak that's still fresh in their minds.
 
First Case of Measles Reported in Utah since 2005
Salt Lake Tribune - 4/7/11
A Holladay-area teenager has the state's first confirmed case of the measles since 2005. The teen is a student at Olympus High, a school district spokesman confirmed. The student is under a voluntary quarantine, according to the Salt Lake Valley Health Department.
 
State Sees 72% Increase in Whooping Cough
Daily Press (Virginia) - 4/7/11
Virginia has seen a 72 percent increase in reported cases of pertussis, better known as whooping cough, according to the state health department. About 30 cases have been reported in Floyd County, southwest of Roanoke, prompting a private school to temporarily close.
 
Measles Cases in Tarrant County Are the First in 17 Years
Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas)- 4/5/11
Public health officials are investigating two confirmed cases of measles, the first in Tarrant County in 17 years. Both cases involve adults: a female in her 30s and a man who had contact with the household, according to Tarrant County Public Health.
 
Fighting Measles Spike among Minn. Somalis Complicated by Autism Fears, Disgraced Researcher
Minneapolis StarTribune - 4/3/11
Health officials struggling to contain a measles outbreak that's hit hard in Minneapolis' large Somali community are running into resistance from parents who fear the vaccine could give their children autism. Fourteen confirmed measles cases have been reported in Minnesota since February. Half have been in Somali children, six of whom were not vaccinated and one who was not old enough for shots. State officials have linked all but one of the cases to an unvaccinated Somali infant who returned from a trip to Kenya in February.
 
WebMD Survey: Safety Biggest Vaccine Worry for Parents
WebMD - 4/2/11
Parents worry a lot about vaccine risks and side effects, and most of them are questioning doctors about those concerns. A recent WebMD survey of parents found that: About two-thirds search online for information about the vaccines recommended for their children. Nearly 70% say they're looking for news about potential vaccine risks, and for news of benefits that might offset those risks. 66% said they had either questioned or refused vaccines.
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