vaccines

A multidisciplinary team from Texas just published their work in PLOS Medicine on U.S. vaccination rates in children, specifically focusing on nonmedical exemptions (NMEs) in states and counties. With 72.2% of those 19 to 35 months of age fully vaccinated nationwide, the researchers sought to determine the impact of parental concerns over safety and efficacy in opt out rates due to religious and philosophical beliefs. Their analysis of data was based on the 18 states that allow more nonspecific, philosophical-belief NMEs that can include religious objections.

What did they discover?

         As summarized from...

The reason there is no universal flu vaccine is because the influenza virus constantly changes. That's why we get jabbed with a new vaccine every season; the vaccine from the previous year is unlikely to work against the strains of flu circulating this year.

The hunt for a universal influenza vaccine is based on targeting parts of the virus that don't change. In theory, antibodies generated against these portions of the virus should confer protection against all influenza viruses. Whoever develops and successfully demonstrates such a vaccine should win a Nobel Prize.

But this may not be the only strategy for the creation of universal vaccines. Indeed, a team of researchers who are concerned by mosquito-borne illnesses has described a very clever idea for the development...

Measles, which still kills about 90,000 people around the world every year, isn't the only microbe making a comeback. Rotavirus could too, a bug that causes diarrhea and kills around 200,000 children under the age of five.

The CDC immunization schedule recommends that babies receive their first dose of rotavirus vaccine at the age of two months. However, only about 73% of American children have completed all doses. Once again, we are flirting with a preventable disaster....

The anti-vaccine movement is not limited just to the United States. Anti-vaxxers are influential in Europe, and the results have been entirely predictable: Europe is in the grip of a measles outbreak.

Most disappointingly, 2016 saw a record low for measles on the continent, according to the BBC. That year, there were 5,273 cases; in 2017, the number surged 400% to more than 20,000. Thirty-five people died.

One of the persistent myths about measles is that it is a mild childhood illness. It absolutely is not. Not only is it perhaps the most contagious disease known, it can also be lethal. Worldwide, nearly 90,000 people died...

Rotavirus infection is a very contagious, resulting in gastroenteritis, fever, vomiting, and diarrhea — sometimes severe enough to cause life-threatening dehydration. Thankfully, there are a couple of effective vaccines that have been available since 2006 in the United States, and now are available worldwide. Symptoms of a rotavirus infection typically appear within 2 days of acquiring the virus ( 'catching' the virus is usually via poor hygiene). Young children and infants with rotavirus infections may also develop a condition known as viremia — this occurs when the virus leaves the gastrointestinal...

It's a shocking number. Last year, nearly 90,000 people around the world died from measles. This is the same disease that anti-vaxxers mocked as "Mickey Mouse measles" following the Disneyland outbreak, implying that the viral infection isn't serious.

But it is serious. Deadly serious. As recently as the year 2000, more than 500,000 people died from measles every single year. The reason for the dramatic decrease in deaths is because of a concerted global effort to eradicate the virus through vaccination. And it is clearly paying off.

To demonstrate the benefit of vaccination, the CDC calculated the number of deaths that are still occurring worldwide due to measles and the number of deaths that would have occurred had there been no global eradication program from 2000 to...

It's been one of those days where the truth is stranger than fiction.

House of Cards has been cancelled because of sexual assault allegations against Kevin Spacey. MSNBC fired journalist Mark Halperin for similarly bad behavior. The long-anticipated Russia investigation has resulted in its first charges. And a dog bit my dad in the butt.

In exchange for free golf, my retired dad volunteers at a Boise area golf course. As he was gathering golf balls out of a pond, a man with dementia and his German shepherd service/therapy dog were sitting nearby. My family has owned many German shepherds over the decades (some wonderful, some slightly unhinged), so he was quite comfortable with a big, strange dog in his vicinity.

"Hi boy, how ya doin'?" he shouted, as the...

As ACSH's Ana Dolaskie approaches the final weeks of pregnancy, she is making sure all her vaccinations are up-to-date. This includes the TDAP vaccine (Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis) and influenza shot. And she also wants to makes sure dads, partners, and others who are spending time with baby understand why getting vaccinated is key in protecting a newborn baby against potentially life-threatening illnesses, like pertussis (whooping cough).

 

It's impossible to keep up with every "alternative fact" or crazy conspiracy theory on the Internet. By the time a lie has circled the globe, the Truth has just put its shoes on1. For some reason, people find falsehoods much more entertaining and believable than the truth.

I thought that I had heard every possible vaccine conspiracy theory out there: Vaccines cause autism. Vaccines aren't necessary and are pushed on us by greedy pharmaceutical companies. Vaccines are used for mind control. Bill Gates is using vaccines to control the human population.

So, even I was slightly surprised to discover yet another vaccine conspiracy theory. A couple days ago on Facebook, I came across the following comment:

"The key to surviving the flu is to get a...