Should you get vaccinated?

September 2nd, 2014 (last updated)

Should you get vaccinated? Find out how vaccines work to protect the population and what can happen when celebrities get in the way of Science.

Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD TV)

Herd immunity

September 1st, 2014 (last updated)

herd immunity

Refutations to Anti-Vaccine Memes

Back to school tips & immunizations

August 31st, 2014 (last updated)

Doctors Express Urgent Care

Vaccines can cut spread of meningitis by nearly 40 percent

August 30th, 2014 (last updated)

Investigators at the University of Southampton have discovered that two new vaccines can prevent the transmission of meningitis bacteria from person to person.

The vaccines do this by reducing ‘carriage’ of the responsible bacteria in the nose and throats of the population.

Meningitis is a devastating condition and the Southampton team believe this discovery will change the way new vaccines are made in the future.

Robert Read, Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Southampton, who led the study, says: “The standard practice is to vaccinate with the aim of inducing high levels of antibodies in the blood to protect against the disease, but we know that these antibodies can disappear over the course of a few months.

“This study is telling us that the vaccines also have an effect on carriage in the throat and explains why they can be so effective across the population.”

The study, published in The Lancet, took place over 10 centres across the UK and tested the effectiveness of two meningitis vaccines — MenACWY-CRM and 4CMenB — on participants aged 18 to 24 years old.

Participants were either given two doses of a control vaccine, two doses of the 4CMenB vaccine or one dose of MenACWY-CRM and then a placebo.

MenACWY-CRM was shown to reduce carriage rates by 39 per cent while the 4CMenB vaccine, which was recently approved by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) in March, reduced carriage rates by between 20 and 30 per cent.

Meningitis is an infection of the meninges — the membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Meningococcal bacteria are common and carried harmlessly in the nose or throat by about one in 10 people and are passed on through close contact. Anyone can get meningitis, but babies and young children are most vulnerable.

Professor Read adds: “This is a significant piece of work in helping more and more people be protected from meningitis. We have shown that vaccines modify the way the bacteria are carried, so even when the antibodies are no longer present in the blood, the carriage in the throat is still prevented, and so is onward transmission of the infection to others. This could provide a degree of herd protection against meningitis if implemented in a campaign in which high transmission occurs, for example in teenagers and young adults.”

Vaccines can cut spread of meningitis by nearly 40 percent

Science Daily

“Children do not belong to any party, they are the children of Pakistan”

August 29th, 2014 (last updated)

“Children do not belong to any party, they are the children of Pakistan”

The local administration of Islamabad has decided to administer polio vaccine to the children who have come from different parts of the country along with their parents to participate in the sit-ins.

Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Barrister Usman Ibrahim has directed the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims), the National Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (Nirm) and Polyclinic to make special arrangements to vaccinate the children.

“Children do not belong to any party, they are the children of Pakistan, so the government is responsible for their healthcare,” he said.“Our teams would go to the sit-in venue and administer the polio vaccine to children,” the minister said. He requested the parents sitting there to cooperate with the polio teams.

Vice Chancellor of Pims Prof Javed Akram while talking to Dawn said 30 per cent children in the sit-ins belonged to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) so there was a possibility that they might carry the poliovirus.

“Moreover, in the absence of proper hand-washing facility and sewerage system, the chances of transfer of virus increased,” he said.

After the vaccination, certificates will be issued to the children, he said.


Vaccines for preteens and teens: what parents should know

August 28th, 2014 (last updated)

Vaccines for preteens and teens: what parents should know


Children and immunization

August 27th, 2014 (last updated)

Kathy Buckworth and Dr. Marla Shapiro discuss immunization and child health.

Savvy Mom

Immunize: prevent what’s preventable

August 26th, 2014 (last updated)


The Immunization Partnership

Vaccine safety in children: huge benefit, minimal risks

August 25th, 2014 (last updated)

The Rand Corporation updated a 2011 Institute of Medicine consensus report on vaccine safety (National Academies Press 2011). To do so, they performed a systematic review of evidence published from 2010 to August 2013. Of 20,478 possible articles, 67 met inclusion criteria. The combined data revealed the following:

Concerning adverse events associated with vaccines:

  • Hepatitis A vaccine: Moderate evidence of an association with immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) only in older children (age 7–17 years).
  • MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine: Strong evidence of an association with febrile seizure. Moderate evidence of an association with ITP.
  • Pneumococcal (PCV13) vaccine: Moderate evidence of an association with febrile seizure (estimated rates for infants aged 16 months, 13.7 per 100,000 doses for PCV13 alone and 45 per 100,000 for PVC13 combined with influenza trivalent inactivated vaccine).
  • Rotavirus vaccine: Moderate evidence of an association with intussusception (estimated rate, 1–5 cases per 100,000 doses).

Equally important: What is not associated with vaccines:

  • High-quality evidence that MMR vaccine is not associated with autism.
  • No vaccines studied were associated with childhood leukemia.
  • Moderate evidence that DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis) vaccine is not associated with diabetes mellitus and hepatitis B vaccination is not associated with multiple sclerosis.
  • Moderate evidence that Hib (Haemophilus influenza type b) vaccine is not associated with serious adverse events.


This study should reassure everyone that vaccines are safe, that adverse events are rare, and in most cases will resolve completely. Transparency about adverse events may provide reassurance of the benefit of immunizations. If these data do not reassure parents, at least clinicians can speak with confidence of the safety and importance of vaccines for the health of children.

Vaccine safety in children: huge benefit, minimal risks Click here

NEJM Journal Watch & Pediatrics

Back to School: children, preteens and teens need vaccines

August 24th, 2014 (last updated)

Preparing for school is the perfect time to make sure children are up to date on their vaccines. Getting all of the recommended vaccines is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children’s health.

When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for disease and can spread disease to others in their classroom and community – including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions. Schools are highly susceptible to outbreaks of infectious diseases because students can easily transmit illnesses to one another as a result of poor hand washing, uncovered coughs and dense populations.

Back to school

Immunization Action Coalition