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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Originally posted on Medication Health News:

Are you up-to-date on your immunizations? August is National Immunization Awareness month, a public health campaign sponsored by the CDC to recognized the importance of vaccination and to bring awareness to vaccinations that are not meeting national goals. Vaccines are the best prevention for some serious often life-threatening illnesses. This campaign is targeting a different group each week during the month of August: students starting college, students k-12, adults 26+, and pregnant women and newborns. The CDC is providing educational materials to healthcare providers so that they can encourage their patients to get immunized. Accessibility to vaccines has improved now that many pharmacists can deliver adult vaccinations. Howis your pharmacy taking advantage of this campaign toimprove vaccination rates in adults?

For more information click here CDC

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August 2, 2013 Posted by | Consumer Health, health care | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘The View’, Jenny McCarthy, and a public health nightmare

Originally posted on You Think You Know:

There’s been a lot in the new recently about the decision to hire Jenny McCarthy to replace Elizabeth Hasselback on “The View”.  I cant say that I’m particularly sad to see Hasselback go, as I was never a fan of her conservative “values” but the hiring of Jenny McCarthy – as has been pointed out by many – amounts to a public health nightmare.

For those of you who don’t know, McCarthy is a staunch believer that vaccines caused her son to have autism.  Furthermore, she is an outspoken advocate for not vaccinating children and both encourages and supports parents who choose not to do so.  McCarthy is a strong supporter of UK physician Andrew Wakefield, who published a study in 1998 showing that the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine causes autism.  That very study has been discredited as a fraud, and follow up studies have disproved Wakefield’s claim.  Despite…

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July 22, 2013 Posted by | Consumer Health, health care | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Whooping Cough Vaccine Less Effective Over Time: Study

On a related note, we went over our dog’s records, and found out he is long overdue for his rabies “booster”. He had initial at 3 months, but we forgot to update.
Am slowly discovering that vaccines are not the “magic bullets” that I thought they were.Many do lose effectiveness over time. And there are side effects.Ideally good nutrition and environmental steps would allow for no vaccinations.

And there are times when only supportive care will do. Our cat’s recent viral infection is a case in point. We followed the vet’s recommendations for hydration therapy, Vitamin B (for appetite), concentrated food force fed through syringe..and within 4 days he was OK again.

However, there are many diseases that do not respond to only supportive care. And prevention must go beyond nutrition and clean surroundings. At times, the immune system is best strengthened by directly stimulating it to make antibodies through vaccines.
Yes, I know the arguments against, Please see the Mayo Clinic article below for some FAQs.***
Personally, I don’t believe autism is a result of vaccines and that natural immunity is best.  I cannot change people’s minds if they believe otherwise.  I can only present information I have found, and let people make informed decisions…and hopefully the best possible decision for children who cannot decide on their own.

Germs are very opportunistic, and they will always be around. I still believe vaccines are one of the best steps in avoiding diseases, to be used in conjunction with public health measures.

From the November 27 issue of Health Day

California outbreak suggests need to reevaluate vaccine schedule
HealthDay news image

Related MedlinePlus Pages

TUESDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) — Vaccination does safeguard children against whooping cough, but its protective effect seems to lessen over time, new research finds.

The 2010 outbreak of whooping cough (pertussis) in California, which sickened more than 9,000 people and left 10 infants dead, prompted an examination of the current vaccine’s effectiveness. That study concluded that the vaccine is effective but loses power over the years, leaving children 7 to 10 years old particularly susceptible.

“The pertussis vaccine is our best protection against disease,” said the study’s lead author, Lara Misegades, an epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. “We found that unvaccinated children were eight times more likely to be a pertussis case than vaccinated children. Parents should ensure children complete the childhood series and make sure your children get the adolescent booster too.”

In the United States this year, more than 36,000 whooping cough cases have been reported, including 16 deaths — most in infants younger than 3 months old, according to the CDC.

Because the vaccine’s protective shield diminishes over time, health experts have suggested that the current vaccine dosing schedule may need reevaluation….

….

The takeaway message for parents, Bromberg said, is that “the vaccine works. It’s effective, so make sure everyone is appropriately vaccinated according to the current schedule.”

“We’ll have to wait for further study to [determine if the current dosing schedule needs change],” he said. “Parents should stay tuned as to whether we recommend additional vaccinations for pertussis.”

***

Childhood vaccines: Tough questions, straight answers

Do vaccines cause autism? Is it OK to skip certain vaccines? Get the facts on these and other common vaccine questions.

By Mayo Clinic staff

Childhood vaccines protect children from a variety of serious or potentially fatal diseases, including diphtheria, measles, meningitis, polio, tetanus and whooping cough. If these diseases seem uncommon — or even unheard of — it simply means that vaccines are doing their job. Still, you may wonder about the benefits and risks of childhood vaccines. Here are straight answers to common questions about childhood vaccines.

Is natural immunity better than vaccination?

A natural infection often provides more complete immunity than a series of vaccinations — but there’s a price to pay for natural immunity. For example, a natural chickenpox (varicella) infection could lead to pneumonia. A natural polio infection could cause permanent paralysis. A natural mumps infection could lead to deafness. A natural Hib infection could result in permanent brain damage. Vaccination can help prevent these diseases and their potentially serious complications.

Do vaccines cause autism?

Vaccines do not cause autism. Despite much controversy on the topic, researchers haven’t found a connection between autism and childhood vaccines. In fact, the original study that ignited the debate years ago has been retracted. Although signs of autism may appear at about the same time children receive certain vaccines — such as the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine — this is simply a coincidence.

Are vaccine side effects dangerous?

Any vaccine can cause side effects. Usually, these side effects are minor — low-grade fever, and soreness, redness or swelling at the injection site. Some vaccines cause a temporary headache, dizziness, fatigue or loss of appetite. Rarely, a child may experience a severe allergic reaction or a neurological side effect, such as a seizure. Although these rare side effects are a concern, vaccines are much safer than the diseases they prevent.

Of course, vaccines aren’t given to children who have known allergies to specific vaccine components. Likewise, if your child develops a life-threatening reaction to a particular vaccine, further doses of that vaccine won’t be given.

Why are vaccines given so early?

The diseases that childhood vaccines are meant to prevent are most likely to occur when a child is very young and the risk of complications is greatest. That makes early vaccination — sometimes beginning shortly after birth — essential. If you postpone vaccines until a child is older, it may be too late.

Is it OK to pick and choose vaccines?

In general, skipping vaccines isn’t a good idea. This can leave your child vulnerable to potentially serious diseases that could otherwise be avoided. And consider this: For some children — including those who can’t receive certain vaccines for medical reasons — the only protection from vaccine-preventable diseases is the immunity of the people around them. If immunization rates drop, vaccine-preventable diseases may once again become common threats.

If you have reservations about particular vaccines, discuss your concerns with your child’s doctor. If your child falls behind the standard vaccines schedule, ask the doctor about catch-up immunizations.

Related Resources

December 1, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , | Leave a comment

The Nightmare before Vaccines by Kim Rendfeld

The Nightmare before Vaccines « Kim Rendfeld.

Excerpt from the 30 December blog - Kim Rendfeld~ Outtakes from a Historical Novelist

 am baffled whenever I hear news stories about parents refusing to get their kids vaccinated. With no scientific proof that vaccines cause autism, such a practice can only be called insanity.

Perhaps more people should write a novel set in the Middle Ages or at least do the research of an era before vaccines made smallpox, polio, and diphtheria relics of the past in the West and fodder for a historical novelist to set time and place.

Studies of a couple of medieval cemeteries cited by Julia M.H. Smith inEurope After Rome provide chilling statistics, even to a writer who has accepted the fact that most medieval people died young.

A sixth-century cemetery in Cannington in southwest Britain reveals that 15 percent of babies did not survive their first year, and 64 percent of the population died before the age of 18. Yes. That’s two-thirds.///

December 2, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , , | Leave a comment

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

National Immunization Awareness Month is the perfect time to promote immunizations and remind family, friends, and coworkers to get caught up on their shots.)

Immunizations (or vaccinations) aren’t just for babies and young kids. We all need shotsto help protect us from serious diseases and illness.

• Children under age 6 get a series of shots to protect against measles, polio,chicken pox, and hepatitis.

All 11- and 12-year-olds need shots to help protect against tetanus, diphtheria,whooping cough, and meningitis.

• Doctors recommend girls also get the HPV vaccine to protect against the mostcommon cause of cervical cancer.Adults:• All adults need a tetanus shot every 10 years.

• Adults age 50 and older need a flu shot every year.

• People age 65 need a one-time pneumonia shot.

• Talk to your doctor or nurse about which shots you and your family need.Get the Word Out

Great places to start

Immunization Reference Information Links

Easy Immunization Recordkeeping and Other Printables for Adults:

Especially for children

(More at http://blog.gale.com/thepulse/library-programming/librarians-plan-ahead-for-august-national-immunization-awareness-month-2/, scroll down)

Coloring Pages:

Puzzles and Activities for Children:

Bookmarks and Other Printables for Children:

Pass it on

Share a video

            Send an e-card
Additional Resources

August 8, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , | Leave a comment

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

[Video] Supermovie: Everyone can be a super hero to their community a… on Twitpic.

August 18 Webinar: Protecting Your Child’s Health Through Safe and Effective Vaccines

Do you know how vaccines are developed and approved? Or how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ensures that vaccines are safe and effective in preventing disease?

Learn about the vital role that FDA plays in protecting the health of our nation’s children through regulation of vaccines in this 30-minute webinar. An FDA expert will discuss the importance of vaccines to a child’s health, the development process for vaccines, how FDA makes sure vaccines that are granted licensure (approval) are safe and effective, and how the agency oversees their continued safety and effectiveness.

An opportunity to ask questions will follow the presentation.

When:  Thursday, Aug. 18, 2:00 p.m. ET

Length: 30 minutes

Where:  To join the webinar, see the instructions here. Webinar slides will be posted here also.

Host: Office of Vaccines Research and Review within FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research

Featured speaker: Norman Baylor, Ph.D., director of the Office of Vaccines Research and Review within FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research

This webinar is part of a series of online sessions hosted by different FDA centers and offices. The series is part of FDA Basics, a Web-based resource aimed at helping the public better understand what the agency does.

Great places to start

Immunization Reference Information Links

Easy Immunization Recordkeeping and Other Printables for Adults:

Especially for children

(More at http://blog.gale.com/thepulse/library-programming/librarians-plan-ahead-for-august-national-immunization-awareness-month-2/, scroll down)

Coloring Pages:

Puzzles and Activities for Children:

Bookmarks and Other Printables for Children:

Pass it on

Share a video

            Send an e-card
Additional Resources

August 1, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories | , | Leave a comment

HHS Launches New Consumer-Focused Immunization Website

From the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) Public Health Partners listerv

HHS Launches New Consumer-Focused Immunization Website
http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2011pres/03/20110330a.html

vaccines.gov. your best shot at good health

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has unveiled a new
website, Vaccines.gov, to help parents and other consumers learn about the
most effective way to protect themselves and their children from
infectious diseases and learn about immunization.

Vaccines.gov puts the power of prevention at the fingertips of all Americans,” said Dr. Howard K. Koh, HHS Assistant Secretary for Health. “We urge everyone to visit this site and learn more about how vaccines can protect the health of each family member as well as the entire Nation.”

Vaccines.govis the first cross-government website devoted to providing consumer information about vaccines and immunization, combining content and expertise from agencies across the Department. It is the result of unprecedented collaboration among federal health and communications experts to offer online content about vaccine and immunization based on consumer needs.

The site includes content about vaccine recommendations, the diseases that vaccines prevent, important information for getting vaccinated, and tips on travel health. It also links consumers with resources in their states to learn about vaccine requirements for school or child care entry and local community information.

“This website will help ensure that Americans have accurate, Web-based information on immunizations,” said Dr. Bruce Gellin, director of the National Vaccine Program Office at HHS, which led the creation of Vaccines.gov. “It was developed with significant consumer input based on the public’s feedback and is remarkably easy to navigate. It is designed to answer consumers’ questions, educate them about diseases that vaccines prevent, and connect Americans with resources to keep themselves and their families healthy.”

In the coming year, Vaccines.gov will be expanded to include information from other government Departments, grow to include a Spanish version of the site, offer new content on vaccine recommendations and infectious disease outbreaks, and be continually tested to ensure Vaccines.gov addresses the needs and questions of consumers.

April 2, 2011 Posted by | Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Health Education (General Public), Librarian Resources, Public Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

The History of Vaccines

The History of Vaccines is an informational, educational website created by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the oldest professional society in the United States.

The History of Vaccines provides continually updated information to provide a compelling history of vaccine development as well as news about cutting edge technologies in vaccine development and delivery.

The site aims to improve public knowledge through categories as timelines, activities, and articles.
You can also find material through the links at the top of the page: Parents, and also Educators.
Students can find useful material through the links Parents, Educators, Timelines, Activities and also Articles.
Most material is at the high school or early college level.

November 6, 2010 Posted by | Educational Resources (High School/Early College( | , , , | Leave a comment

   

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