Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[e-book] Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, 13th Edition “The Pink Book”

Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, 13th Edition “The Pink Book”.

image of book cover as discussed in On the Cover section

This illustration depicts the influenza virus. Graphic created by Dan J. Higgins, Division of Communication Services, CDC

The 13th Edition Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, a.k.a. the “Pink Book,” provides physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, and others with the most comprehensive information on routinely used vaccines and the diseases they prevent.

Typical chapters include a description of the disease, pathogenesis, clinical features, laboratory diagnosis, medical management, epidemiology, vaccination schedule and use, contraindications and precautions, adverse reactions following vaccination, vaccine storage and handling, and references.

Six appendices contain a wealth of reference materials including: vaccine minimum ages and intervals, current and discontinued vaccines, vaccine contents, foreign vaccine terms, and more.

To view online or download to print specific sections, see links below.

Order a bound copy from the Public Health Foundation Learning Resource CenterExternal Web Site Icon.

 

May 28, 2015 Posted by | Public Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

[Repost] The Healthy Woman: A Complete Guide for all Ages

 

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The Healthy Woman: A Complete Guide for all Ages | Publications.USA.gov.

Can be downloaded for free!

A comprehensive reference with helpful charts and personal stories. The guide covers major diseases, aging mental health, reproductive health, nutrition and alternative medicine. It also provices advice on common screening tests and immunizations you may need. (Previous item number: 107W)

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Released: 2008
Pages: 500

October 15, 2014 Posted by | Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Health Education (General Public) | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

[News Article] Large New Study Confirms That Childhood Vaccines Are Perfectly Safe

Large New Study Confirms That Childhood Vaccines Are Perfectly Safe | ThinkProgress.

From the 1 July 2014 Think Progress article

BY TARA CULP-RESSLER

vaccine

CREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK

The vaccines that children receive when they’re young are quite safe, and the vast majority of them don’t lead to serious side effects, according to asweeping new review of 67 recent scientific studies on childhood vaccinations. The analysis, published on Tuesday in the journal Pediatrics, also found no link between vaccines and autism — effectively debunking a common myth that dissuades some parents from inoculating their children.

The new report is specifically intended to ease parents’ concerns about vaccines, as persistent misconceptions about vaccination have recently spurred a rise in infectious diseases. In order to reassure people who may be worried that their kids’ shots aren’t safe, the federal governmentcommissioned the RAND Corporation to review everything that scientists know about the 11 vaccines recommended for children under the age of six.

Like any medical intervention, vaccines are not without their potential risks. In some rare cases, certain shots can increase kids’ risk of fevers, seizures, and gastrointestinal problems. But the RAND researchers found that those adverse reactions are incredibly unlikely.

……

 

July 8, 2014 Posted by | health care | , , , , , | 4 Comments

[Article] Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Recommended Immunization Schedule for Adults Aged 19 Years or Older: United States, 2014

From the 4 February 2014 Annals of Internal Medicine article by Carolyn B. Bridges, MD; Tamera Coyne-Beasley, MD, MPH, on behalf of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices

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View a larger version of the graphic and the accompanying article here

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February 5, 2014 Posted by | Public Health | , , | Leave a comment

Vaccine Risk Perceptions and Ad Hoc Risk Communication: An Empirical Assessment | Full Text Reports…

Vaccine Risk Perceptions and Ad Hoc Risk Communication: An Empirical Assessment 

From the Social Science Research Network

Vaccine Risk Perceptions and Ad Hoc Risk Communication: An Empirical Assessment by Dan M. Kahan
Yale University – Law School; Harvard University – Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics
January 27, 2014

CCP Risk Perception Studies Report No. 17

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Abstract: 

This Report presents empirical evidence relevant to assessing the claim — reported widely in the media and other sources — that the public is growing increasingly anxious about the safety of childhood vaccinations.

Based on survey and experimental methods (N = 2,316), the Report presents two principal findings:
first, that vaccine risks are neither a matter of concern for the vast majority of the public nor an issue of contention among recognizable demographic, political, or cultural subgroups;

and second, that ad hoc forms of risk communication that assert there is mounting resistance to childhood immunizations themselves pose a risk of creating misimpressions and arousing sensibilities that could culturally polarize the public and diminish motivation to cooperate with universal vaccination programs.

Based on these findings the Report recommends that government agencies, public health professionals, and other constituents of the public health establishment

       (1) promote the use of valid and appropriately focused empirical methods for investigating vaccine-risk perceptions and formulating responsive risk communication strategies;
       (2) discourage ad hoc risk communication based on impressionistic or psychometrically invalid alternatives to these methods;
       (3) publicize the persistently high rates of childhood vaccination and high levels of public support for universal immunization in the U.S.;
       and (4) correct ad hoc communicators who misrepresent U.S. vaccination coverage and its relationship to the incidence of childhood diseases.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 82
The report may be downloaded for free at the above URL

 

Some excerpts from the report

A. Findings    

1. There is deep and widespread public consensus, even among groups strongly divided on other issues such as climate change and evolution, that childhood vaccinations make an essential contribution to public health. …

2. In contrast to other disputed science issues, public opinion on the safety and efficacy of childhood vaccines is not meaningfully affected by differences in either science comprehension or religiosity. …

3. The public’s perception of the risks and benefits of vaccines bears the signature of a gen- eralized affective evaluation, which is positive in a very high proportion of the population. …

4. Among the manifestations of the public’s positive orientation toward childhood vaccines is the perception that vaccine benefits predominate over vaccine risks and a high degree of confi- dence in the judgment of public health officials and experts. …

…..

B. Normative and prescriptive conclusions

1. Risk communicators—including journalists, advocates, and public health professionals— should refrain from conveying the false impression that a substantial proportion of parents or of the public generally doubts vaccine safety.

2. Risk communicators should avoid resort to the factually unsupportable, polemical trope that links vaccine risk concerns to climate-change skepticism and to disbelief in evolution as evi- dence of growing societal distrust in science.

….

Remember, correlation does not equal causation!
And the selection of variables (as gun ownership) may be questioned by some…
Still, an interesting graph

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February 1, 2014 Posted by | Public Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

[Reblog] How to find good vaccine information online

Although a number of my posts voice my concerns about “Big Pharm”, I still get an annual flu shot and keep up with vaccines.
Why? Overall I believe they are good public health measures. Still believe in herd immunity and my responsibility to others.

From the 14 November 2013 post by at KevinMD.com 
(Please read the comments also for good additional information.)

Dr. Google, you’ve let a whole lot of people down.

If you Google a vaccine question, and many parents have, you’re very likely to find a good, science-based answer — but it will be buried among dozens of sites with anti-science, pro-disease propaganda. The mountain of misinformation is staggering, with multiple anti-vaccine sites repeating each other in a seemingly endless loop of worry and dread. Let neither facts nor truth nor glimmer of honesty stay them from the swift completion of their self-appointed fear mongering rounds.

 

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure you’re getting reliable answers to your questions.

Start with the CDC’s vaccine home page, which leads to comprehensive information about just about any vaccine health topic.

Prefer an academic center over a government site? The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (perhaps the best children’s medical center in the world) has their own very comprehensive vaccine site, and even their own vaccine information app.

Looking for a more global view? Try the World Health Organization’s vaccine page.

Willing to put up with a little snark? Several good science bloggers frequently discuss vaccine topics, no holds barred, and end up with some robust back-and-forth in the comments. Try Respectful InsolenceThe Skeptical Raptor, or Neurologica.

Finally, if what you’d like is a meta-search that looks at only the best vaccine information sources, and weeds out the crap, try this science based vaccine search engine.

Parents don’t have the time to wade through the idiocy — they want real, genuine information to help make decisions. Google won’t do that for you, but these links will.

Roy Benaroch is a pediatrician who blogs at The Pediatric Insider. He is also the author of Solving Health and Behavioral Problems from Birth through Preschool: A Parent’s Guide and A Guide to Getting the Best Health Care for Your Child.

 

  • Matthew Toohey MD 

    This author is spot on in addressing a real problem: these mercola-type internet sites are very harmful. They have the right to free speech but we must combat what is clearly destructive and unsubstantiated ‘health’ information. These sites have found a niche and strike a nerve for a lot of people who have come to the realization that western medicine doesn’t always have a cure for what ails them.

    These sites play off this reality and work to trump up a sense of conspiracy which we as humans seem to have a weakness for.

    Some people are distrustful of major ‘government’ websites like CDC.

    On my site, I am honest about each vaccine’s effectiveness and potential side effects. I also explain why I support their use, one at a time:

    http://pediatriciannextdoor.co…

    I hope it helps

  •  May Wright Along the same lines: what would be handy for people who want to try to refute anti-vaccine memes on social media (FB, Twitter, blogs) is a resource page which features some of the most popular “arguments” against vaccines, all in one place, and then has links to science-based refutations on various sites. So, for instance, it would have the meme I saw doing the rounds of Facebook this morning, that “Gardasil has killed and injured more women than the disease it’s meant to protect!!11!!”, or the one about “I’m not injecting aborted fetuses into my baby, #ProLife SAY NO TO VACCINES!!” and then a few links to credible sources of information which provide the relevant facts?

    Maybe such a page or site already exists, if so I’d love a link to it.

  •  MissMeg Here are two good, government-operated sites which vaccine investigators won’t want to miss.

    The first is a CDC site that lists vaccine ingredients:
    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pu…

    The second is the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program:
    http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecom…

 

November 15, 2013 Posted by | health care, Public Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

[Re-post] Opting-Out Of Vaccines; Dipping Below Herd Immunity

From the post at Boston Public Radio

With more and more families opting out of vaccinating their kids, one of the most sacred of public health goals, the concept of herd immunity, is being threatened.

A recent piece in Scientific American featured tantalizing graphics — on view above — illustrating this scary trend.  According to this analysis, the vaccination rates in some states — Oregon, West Virginia and Colorado, for instance, are shockingly low. So low, in fact, that they’ve dropped below the “herd immunity” levels (or what is thought to be the safe threshold) for MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and DTP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis).

So what’s the deal with herd immunity?  According to the CDC, a population has reached herd immunity when a sufficient proportion is immune to a particular infectious disease.  Immune population members get that protection either by being vaccinated or by having a prior infection.

 Read the entire post here

 

August 28, 2013 Posted by | Health Statistics, Public Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Whooping cough vaccine is only moderately effective in adolescents and adults

Pertussis bacteria (Bordetella pertussis)

Pertussis bacteria (Bordetella pertussis) (Photo credit: Sanofi Pasteur)

 

From the 26 July 2013 article at Medical News Today

 

Researchers have found that the pertussis“booster” vaccine, also known as reduced antigen content acellular pertussis vaccine or Tdap, is only moderately effective at preventing pertussis among adolescents and adults. This is first study to assess the effectiveness of the Tdap booster in members of a new generation that has received entirely acellular vaccines appears in the current online issue of BMJ.

“The effectiveness of acellular pertussis or Tdap vaccines targeted toward adolescents and adults is not well understood, particularly among individuals who received acellular pertussis vaccines as children,” said lead author Roger Baxter, MD, co-director of the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center. “We found that acellular pertussis vaccines for adolescents and adults have only moderate effectiveness against laboratory-confirmed pertussis. While they provide protection, more effective vaccines may be necessary to prevent further outbreaks.”……..

….

 

 

 

 

July 27, 2013 Posted by | health care | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

You Think You Know

There’s been a lot in the news 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

The Compelling Need for Game-Changing Influenza Vaccines: An Analysis of the Influenza Vaccine Enterprise and Recommendations for the Future

English: This is CDC Clinic Chief Nurse Lee An...

English: This is CDC Clinic Chief Nurse Lee Ann Jean-Louis extracting Influenza Virus Vaccine, Fluzone® from a 5 ml. vial. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

From the 11 December 2012 summary at Full Text Reports

 

….The ongoing public health burden caused by seasonal influenza and the potential global effect of a severe pandemic create an urgent need for a new generation of highly effective and cross-protective vaccines that can be manufactured rapidly. A universal vaccine should be the goal, with a novel-antigen game-changing vaccine the minimum requirement…

 

 

December 16, 2012 Posted by | Public Health | , , , | Leave a comment

October is Children’s Health Month

Child Development

Child Development (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From an email recently received from USA.gov

October is Children’s Health Month. If you are a parent or caregiver, check out these resources to help promote your child’s good health:

  • Vaccines — Vaccination is one of the best ways to protect children from several potentially serious diseases. Get recommended vaccine information based on your child’s age group.
  • Nutrition Resources and 10 Kid-Friendly Veggies and Fruits (pdf) — Encourage children to eat vegetables and fruits by making it fun. Get ideas for healthy snacks and meals.
  • Child Development — Get the basics about healthy development; learn about specific conditions that affect development; get parenting tips; and more.
  • Developmental Milestones — Skills such as crawling, walking, and waving are developmental milestones. Check out milestones for children between the ages of two months and five years.
  • Oral Health — Find out what you can do to help prevent tooth decay and other oral diseases.
  • Child Safety — Get resources to help keep your child safe during different stages of development.
  • Physical Activity — Children need 60 minutes of play with moderate to vigorous activity every day. Get ideas for steps you can take to increase your child’s level of activity.

Many elements contribute to a child’s good health and overall well-being. Find additional topics on children’s health.

October 18, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Forgetting About the Killers ( A clinicians view on why vaccinations are important)

 

A child receives oral polio vaccine during a 2...

A child receives oral polio vaccine during a 2002 campaign to immunize children in India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

A longish blog from a college clinician perspective. I believe our immune system can be strengthened by nutrition and exposure to germs (as childhood playing in dirt, use of soaps which are not anti-microbial). However, vaccinations are critical for good public health.
My experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa confirmed this. If it were not for vaccinations against diseases rampant there, I know I would have contracted them. And I saw folks suffering from diseases that could have been prevented (as polio).

 

From the blog

 

It’s only been a little over fifty years since vaccinations became routine for the childhood killers like polio, measles, mumps and whooping cough.  People my age and older had no choice but to suffer through childhood infectious diseases given how effectively and quickly they spread through a community.   Most of us survived, subsequently blessed with life long natural immunity.  Some did not survive.  And I think we’ve forgotten that.

As a physician, I help enforce vaccination requirements for a medium-sized university.  A day doesn’t go by without my having a discussion with a prospective student (or more likely the student’s parent) about the necessity for our requirement for proof of  mumps, measles, rubella vaccination immunity.  I have been labeled a Nazi, a Communist, a pawn of the pharmaceutical industry and many more unprintable names because I happen to believe in the efficacy of modern vaccine to help keep a community free of infectious disease outbreaks that will kill people.
We have forgotten these are honest to goodness killers of healthy human beings.  We forget that unvaccinated children continue to die in developing countries for lack of access to vaccine.   Yet educated and well-meaning American parents make the decision daily to leave their children unvaccinated, believing they are doing the best thing for their children by protecting them from potentially rare and often unproven vaccine side effects.    I’ve had caring loving parents tell me that God will provide the needed immunity if their child gets sick so taking the risk of a vaccine is unnecessary.    I’ve had other caring loving parents tell me that foreign substances have no place in their child’s body and they would rather take their chances with a virus or bacteria. Actually they are banking that everyone else will be vaccinated.  The problem is:  guess again.  There are now too many deciding that they are the ones who can remain vaccine-free.
Whooping cough (pertussis) is dramatically on the rise for the past two years in several states, resulting in some infant deaths and countless hospitalizations.  This is a completely preventable illness….

 

 

 

September 16, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , , , | Leave a comment

VaccineEthics.org – A Great Source for Summaries, News, Links to Published Items, and Additional Resources

Came across this Web site via a blog posting at Life of a Lab Rat  (imho a great blog to follow- well grounded and informative on a nice range of topics)

Here’s a brief breakdown of Vaccines.org

  • Issue Briefs -essays that review significant topics, developments, and controversies in vaccine ethics and policy.
    these summaries reflect facts, ethical issues, and varied opinions by professionals (including policy makers)
  •  News Blog
  • Bibliography -over 1300 items published since 1995 in scholarly journals, government reports, the popular media, and books; searchable
  • Resources include links to vaccine research institutions and programs, relevant government (US and other) agencies, professional organizations, and more
  • To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate? (education.com)
  • We need an app for credible information on vaccines (kevinmd.com)

    “…

    What if we had real time information about our schools? About our neighborhood? What if Google mapped our rates of protection from vaccinations? What if we had a smart phone app that provided us yearly data on school immunization/exemption rates when we selected a kindergarten? Why not an app for that?

    So what if we gave new parents the tools to help educate Aunt Judy who refuses the Tdap shot. …

    We have an opportunity to harness the tools of social media to affect real change and deconstruct barriers. Patients don’t only want more credible science, they want the truth from a trusted partner. The real story, the real facts. We patients want access to why/what/how to protect our children. Doctors need to be communicating online as a part of their day. We already know that parents trust the pediatrician more than anyone else when it comes to questions about vaccine safety. And we’ve known this for a long time. Dr. Diekema hints at online opportunity here:

    Fourth, clinicians, health care organizations, and public health departments must learn to use the tools of persuasion effectively. In The Art of Rhetoric, Aristotle argued that persuasion requires not only a reasonable argument and supporting data, but also a messenger who is trustworthy and attentive to the audience and a message that engages the audience emotionally.

  • Childhood Immunizations and Vaccinations | Special Edition | Education.com (education.com)
  • How bacteria behind serious childhood disease evolve to evade vaccines (jflahiff.wordpress.com)

February 12, 2012 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources, Public Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Annual Childhood Flu Vaccines May Interfere With Development of Crossresistance

From the 17 November Science Daily article

Vaccinating children annually against influenza virus interferes with their development of cross-reactive killer T cells to flu viruses generally, according to a paper in the November Journal of Virology.

In this study, first author Rogier Bodewes of Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands and his collaborators collected blood samples from Dutch children with cystic fibrosis, who are vaccinated annually against influenza, and from healthy control children who are not vaccinated, and tested both sets of blood samples for the presence of virus-specific killer T cells. The majority of virus-specific killer T cells are directed to conserved viral proteins, that is, proteins that are very similar among different flu viruses, unlike the rapidly evolving, highly variable proteins which are targets of antibodies induced by influenza vaccines.

In unvaccinated children, the investigators found that the number of virus-specific T cells rises with age, while such an increase was absent in children vaccinated annually. In fact, vaccination appeared to interfere with induction of such killer T cells, says Bodewes….

…The research points up potentially conflicting policy outcomes. Annual flu vaccines are effective against seasonal flu, but could leave people more vulnerable to novel pandemics, says Bodewes, as induction of virus-specific killer T cells caused by childhood flu infection may reduce morbidity and mortality rates from pandemic influenza viruses.

Read the article

 

November 17, 2011 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News, Public Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Can vaccine recommendations be based solely on individual and public health?

by  at KevinMD.com (Nov. 15, 2011)

In this cartoon, the British satirist James Gillray caricatured a scene at the Smallpox and Inoculation Hospital at St. Pancras, showing Edward Jenner administering cowpox vaccine to frightened young women, and cows emerging from different parts of people’s bodies. The cartoon was inspired by the controversy over inoculating against the dreaded disease, smallpox. The inoculation agent, cowpox vaccine, was rumored to have the ability to sprout cow-like appendages. A serene Edward Jenner stands amid the crowd. A boy next to Jenner holds a container labeled “VACCINE POCK hot from ye COW”; papers in the boy’s pocket are labeled “Benefits of the Vaccine”. The tub on the desk next to Jenner is labeled “OPENING MIXTURE”. A bottle next to the tub is labeled “VOMIT”. The painting on the wall depictsworshippers of the Golden Calf.

Have you heard the parable about the blind men and the elephant? Each is holding a different part of the animal and comes to a different conclusion about what he’s dealing with. The man holding the tail is sure it’s a rope; the one with the trunk fears a snake; the one holding the tusk is certain he has a spear. It’s all in their perspective. They’ll need to share what they each know and consider the others’ perspectives if they have any hope of understanding the true scope of what they’re facing.

And so it is when a group sits down to talk about the cost-effectiveness of vaccines. If you’re a parent who lost your child to meningitis, the cost of a vaccine dose is trivial. However, if you’re considering this from the population-based, public health decision-making perspective, the annual price tag of $387 million to administer meningococcal booster doses to all 16-year-olds is anything but trivial. If you sit on the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, considering, discussing and deciding how much weight to give each of these perspectives and many others is now all in a day’s work.

Read the entire article

November 16, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , , | 1 Comment

US government agency finds school-based pandemic vaccine clinics effective

Health and Human Services (HHS)  officials have recently looked at a  new model of school-based immunization clinics. They believe it is an efficient way to deliver the pandemic vaccine to children. However, most schools would need more resources to hold future clinics.

The news report includes the following:

“They found that sites vaccinated an average of 28% of enrolled students during 1-day programs, which federal officials said compares favorably with state and national vaccination rates. For example, the average vaccination rate for the six states included in the study is 37%, which reflects a child vaccination period of about 3 months at multiple sites such as doctor’s offices, pharmacies, and community clinics. Most of the 38 locations said the school-based clinics were a useful vaccination method but said they would not hold them in the future without additional resources.

About 42% of the children vaccinated at the sites received the nasal mist form of the vaccine, and 59% received the injection. Reviewers noted that three of the six localities reported decreased demand for the nasal mist version, due to parent and staff misconceptions about its safety, which were driven by incorrect media messages that the nasal mist was riskier because it contained a live attenuated virus.”

More news on swine flu (H1N1) may be found here.

June 30, 2010 Posted by | Health News Items | , , , | Leave a comment

   

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