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

Infection Report 5: What you really should be worried about | The Pediatric Insider

Infection Report 5: What you really should be worried about | The Pediatric Insider.

From the 10 October 2014 posting by Roy Benaroch, MD

This week’s posts have all been about infections, new and old—infections newly found, and infections sneaking back. On the one hand, the media is agog with news of Ebola and the mysterious paralysis virus; on the other hand, threats that are far more likely to kill us are being largely ignored.

One infection is on the verge of sneaking back, which is a shame. We had it beaten, and now we’re allowing it to gain a foothold. We’ve got a great way to eradicate measles, but fear and misinformation have led to pro-disease, anti-vaccine sentiment, especially among those white, elite, and wealthy. As we’ve seen, we’re all in this together—so those anti-vaccine enclaves are going to affect all of us.

Measles, itself, is just about the most contagious disease out there.

…..

English: This is the skin of a patient after 3...

English: This is the skin of a patient after 3 days of measles infection; treated at the New York – Presbyterian Hospital. Prior to widespread immunization, measles was common in childhood, with more than 90% of infants and children infected by age 12. Recently, fewer than 1,000 measles cases have been reported annually since 1993. 日本語: 麻疹患者の発疹. 中文: 感染了痲疹的皮膚. Українська: Як кір поражає шкіру. עברית: פריחה על עורו של חולה חצבת. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

October 17, 2014 Posted by | Health News Items | , , , , , , , , , | 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

[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

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

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

Vaccine and antibiotics stabilized (with silk proteins) so refrigeration is not needed — NIH study

English: Woman receiving rubella vaccination, ...

English: Woman receiving rubella vaccination, School of Public Health of the State of Minas Gerais (ESP-MG), Brazil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the 10 July 2012 EurekAlert

Could pave way for development of enhanced delivery and storage in third world, save billions in cost

Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have developed a new silk-based stabilizer that, in the laboratory, kept some vaccines and antibiotics stable up to temperatures of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This provides a new avenue toward eliminating the need to keep some vaccines and antibiotics refrigerated, which could save billions of dollars every year and increase accessibility to third world populations.

Vaccines and antibiotics often need to be refrigerated to prevent alteration of their chemical structures; such alteration can result in less potent or ineffective medications. By immobilizing their bioactive molecules using silk protein matrices, researchers were able to protect and stabilize both live vaccines and antibiotics when stored at higher than recommended temperatures for periods far longer than recommended….

July 10, 2012 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News, 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

How bacteria behind serious childhood disease evolve to evade vaccines (& related article about bad immunity genes)

Vaccines

Vaccines (Photo credit: www78)

How bacteria behind serious childhood disease evolve to evade vaccines

From the 29 January 2012 Science Daily article

 Genetics has provided surprising insights into why vaccines used in both the UK and US to combat serious childhood infections can eventually fail. The study, recently published in Nature Genetics, which investigates how bacteria change their disguise to evade the vaccines, has implications for how future vaccines can be made more effective…

n spite of the success of the vaccine programmes, some pneumococcal strains managed to continue to cause disease by camouflaging themselves from the vaccine. In research funded by the Wellcome Trust, scientists at the University of Oxford and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta studied what happened after the introduction of this vaccine in the US. They used the latest genomic techniques combined with epidemiology to understand how different serotypes of the pneumococcus bacteria evolve to replace those targeted by the initial vaccine.

The researchers found bacteria that had evaded the vaccine by swapping the region of the genome responsible for making the polysaccharide coating with the same region from a different serotype, not targeted by the vaccine. This effectively disguised the bacteria, making it invisible to the vaccine….

Why bad immunity genes survive -Utah study implicates arms race between genes and germs

 IMAGE: This electron microscope image shows yellow particles of a mouse leukemia virus named Friend virus emerging or “budding ” out of an infected white blood cell known as a T-cell. By…

Click here for more information.

SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 6, 2012 – University of Utah biologists found new evidence why mice, people and other vertebrate animals carry thousands of varieties of genes to make immune-system proteins named MHCs – even though some of those genes make us susceptible to infections and to autoimmune diseases.

“Major histocompatibility complex” (MHC) proteins are found on the surface of most cells in vertebrate animals. They distinguish self from foreign, and trigger an immune response against foreign invaders. MHCs recognize invading germs, reject or accept transplanted organs and play a role in helping us smell compatible mates.

“This study explains why there are so many versions of the MHC genes, and why the ones that cause susceptibility to diseases are being maintained and not eliminated,” says biology Professor Wayne Potts. “They are involved in a never-ending arms race that causes them, at any point in time, to be good against some infections but bad against other infections and autoimmune diseases.”

By allowing a disease virus to evolve rapidly in mice, the study produced new experimental evidence for the arms race between genes and germs – known technically as “antagonistic coevolution.” The findings will be published online the week of Feb. 6, 2012, in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Potts, the senior author, ran the study with first author and former doctoral student Jason Kubinak, now a postdoctoral fellow in pathology. Other co-authors were biology doctoral student James Ruff, biology undergraduate C. Whitney Hyzer and Patricia Slev, a clinical assistant professor of pathology. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

February 9, 2012 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

   

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