We may be one step closer to saving thousands of newborns from a potentially nasty illness and death. A press release this month from Novavax, a clinical-stage biotechnology company, states that they have reached a milestone in their clinical trial for the highly anticipated vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV.)

What is RSV? 

Although you may not have heard of it, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that almost all children have had RSV in the first two years of life. To put it into persepctive, the numbers of the morbidity and mortality of RSV are nearly identical to influenza virus. Indeed, more than 57,000 children under the age of 5 in the United States require hospitalization for RSV each year. 

It is common...

Recently I gave a brief update on the progress of VCL-HB01, an experimental therapeutic vaccine for genital herpes, which is being developed by Vical, a San Diego-based biopharmaceutical company. The update was brief because there was little new information on the progress of the vaccine as it made its way through human clinical trials.

But Larry R. Smith, Ph.D., who is Vical’s Senior Vice President of Research agreed to answer some questions about the progress of the vaccine. 

JB: There has been considerable controversy about the utility of synthetic vs live attenuated vaccines for either treatment or prevention of genital herpes. This issue...

We‘ve written extensively about the move by some to avoid routine vaccinations of children on the totally unproven grounds that some vaccines contain mercury or might cause autism. The truth is, of course, that vaccination not only prevents disease in vaccine recipients but also via herd immunity, can protect those who can’t be vaccinated for medical or other reasons. Considering the coverage anti-vaxxers have garnered at times, one might fear that most children entering school are at risk of measles or chickenpox or other ills. However, some recent statistics from the CDC should help allay these concerns.

Writing in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Dr. Michael Underwood and colleagues...

A company in Boston, MA, wants to change the way that vaccines are administered, and Bill and Melinda Gates are lending them a hand to make it a reality. 

Vaxess Technologies, Inc. received two grants from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, totaling $6 million dollars, to fund their innovative work in vaccine stabilization and delivery technologies. 

In vaccine administration, even with an incredibly effective vaccine, there are perpetual hurdles to overcome. One, for example, is the availability of syringes and needles. This was an issue just last year when, despite the long awaited arrival of the yellow fever...

Make room, Genocea and Rational Vaccines. There may be a new Herpes kid on the block.

A new study describes a trivalent vaccine—containing different strains — called HSV-2 gC2/gD2/gE2. HSV-2 refers to the herpes strain that causes genital herpes (1), and gC2, gD2, and gE2 are glycoproteins—proteins that are bound to sugars—that have different functions. The gD2 protein helps block the entry of the virus into the cell, while gC2 and gE2 help the virus evade the immune system.

This means that the vaccine produces antibodies that target two different mechanisms that help HSV-2 cause infection. 

The degree of protection of the new vaccine, as well as...

Credit: Shutterstock Credit: Shutterstock

Earlier this week the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created a panic among healthcare workers when they released data confirming growing resistance to the antibiotics used in the treatment of Gonorrhea. While it appears we are on our way to losing the battle against antibiotic resistance, not all hope is lost for the fight against another sexually transmitted infection (STI) – Chlamydia.


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Did you see "Vaxxed"? Neither did I. It turns out that very few people did.

It would seem that their slogan -- “The film they don’t want you to see” -- was taken a little too literally, since there were only a total of 19,570 tickets sold. (1)

The Yankees sell almost three times that many tickets for one game (Yankee stadium seats 54,251), and they are terrible this year. But, apparently not as terrible as "Vaxxed".

The film, created and starring Andrew Wakefield, attempts to perpetuate ...


A new, elegantly-designed study sought to document the degree of loss of efficacy of the booster shot against pertussis, or whooping cough, among teens. Unfortunately, rapid decline was in fact found.

The study, led by Dr. Nicola P. Klein and her colleagues based at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC) group, was entitled "Waning Tdap Effectiveness in Adolescents," and was published in the journal Pediatrics...

148559465A new study published in JAMA Oncology has, for the first time, proven that the human papillomavirus, long known to be closely associated with numerous other cancers, is a cause of oropharyngeal cancers which occur in the soft regions of the throat, like the palate and tonsillar areas and head and neck cancers.

The proof came via a simple, yet elegant method.

Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx N.Y., used oral rinses supplied by 97,000 people (part of two large study...

reminder for flu shot via shutterstock
reminder for flu shot via shutterstock

It's already mid-November, so if you haven't gotten your flu shot yet, you're behind schedule; public health advocates recommend you get it by Halloween. However, it is not too late to protect yourself and your loved ones against the influenza virus.

For most healthy people,...