Archive for September, 2012

After the shots… what to do if your child has discomfort

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012 (last updated)

Your child may need extra love and care after getting vaccinated. Some vaccinations that protect children from serious diseases also can cause discomfort for a while. Here are answers to questions many parents have after their children have been vac­cinated. If this sheet doesn’t answer your questions, call your healthcare provider.

After The Shots Click here

Immunization Action Coalition

More kids get nonmedical exemptions from vaccines

Friday, September 21st, 2012 (last updated)

The percentage of school children obtaining exemptions from required vaccinations for nonmedical reasons is increasing, a new report says.

In 2011, just over 2 percent of school children were exempt from getting their vaccines for nonmedical reasons, up from about 1 percent in 2006, the report found.

“Our results show that nonmedical exemptions have continued to increase, and the rate of increase has accelerated,” in recent years, the researchers at Emory University wrote in a letter published today (Sept. 20) in the New England Journal of Medicine.

All U.S. states allow children to be exempt from vaccination requirements for medical reasons — some children are allergic to vaccines, others have conditions that severely compromise their immune systems, and could make vaccination dangerous to a child’s health.

In addition, 48 states allow exemptions for nonmedical reasons (Mississippi and West Virginia do not). Nonmedical exemptions can be granted for religious reasons or philosophical reasons, though fewer states allow philosophical exemptions than religious ones.

For their report, researchers used data on vaccine exemptions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for school years 2005–2006 through 2010–2011.

They found that the rates of nonmedical exemptions were 2.5 times higher in states that allowed philosophical exemptions, compared with states that allowed only religious exemptions.

However, the rate of exemptions was rising faster in states that allowed only religious exemptions, the report said.

The researchers also looked at state exemption rates in terms of how difficult exemptions are for parents to get — some states use a standardized form to request exemptions and make this form available at schools, others require parents to go though the state health department, or require a specifically worded letter or notarization.

Over the study period, the exemption rates were higher in states with “easy” exemption policies, compared with states with “difficult” policies. In 2011, the average exemption rate in states with easy policies was 3.3. percent, while it was 1.3 percent in states with difficult policies.

“In an earlier analysis of data from 1991 through 2004, we found an increase in exemption rates only in states with philosophical exemptions and in states with easy exemption procedures,” the researchers said.


Chickenpox vaccine: what you need to know

Friday, September 21st, 2012 (last updated)

Chickenpox (also called varicella) is a common childhood disease. It is usually mild, but it can be serious, especially in young infants and adults.

  • It causes a rash, itching, fever, and tiredness.
  • It can lead to severe skin infection, scars, pneumonia, brain damage, or death.
  • The chickenpox virus can be spread from person to person through the air, or by contact with fluid from chickenpox blisters.
  • A person who has had chickenpox can get a painful rash called shingles years later.
  • Before the vaccine, about 11,000 people were hospitalized for chickenpox each year in the United States.
  • Before the vaccine, about 100 people died each year as a result of chickenpox in the United States.

Chickenpox vaccine can prevent chickenpox.

Most people who get chickenpox vaccine will not get chickenpox. But if someone who has been vaccinated does get chickenpox, it is usually very mild. They will have fewer blisters, are less likely to have a fever, and will recover faster.

Chickenpox Vaccine Click here


Middle Tennessee State University student dies of meningitis

Thursday, September 20th, 2012 (last updated)

Jacob Nunley was starting his college career at Middle Tennessee State University when his life was cut short.

He died after contacting bacterial meningitis.

Tennessee universities, including the University of Memphis, do not mandate that students  get inoculated for meningitis, but it is recommended and doctors also agree that is a good idea.

“This is  a disease that has scared people for a long time,” said Dr. Sandy Arnold of Le Bonheur Children’s hospital who specializes in infectious diseases.

When it comes to bacterial meningitis, Dr. Arnold says prevention always works much better than treatment because a teen can get sick with normal cold-like symptoms and the next day be dead, “It can happen so quickly and sometimes there is nothing you can do.”

Just this week, at MTSU, doctors say 18-year old-freshman Jacob Nunley died from the infectious disease.

Dr. Arnold says this bacterial infection is most common in social teens and college students.

“You pick up this bacteria from somebody else because we all share our bacteria with each other,” said Dr. Arnold.  “And its more common to occur in kids who are mixing a lot more with other kids and having closer contact.”

Dr. Arnold says Nunley likely picked up the disease from a carrier of meningitis that wasn’t sick and that’s why she says it’s important for every child to get vaccinated so they can’t spread it or become ill from it.

The vaccine is available for pre-teens 11 and 12 with a booster shot at age 16.

College students living in dorms should be vaccinated as well.

But despite the vaccines effectiveness, Dr. Arnold says only about 30 percent of parents decide to get their children inoculated.

As a mom, she says she hasn’t taken any chances, “I have two children and I vaccinate them against anything that I possibly can.”

WREG Memphis

Hajj precautions: Pakistan pilgrims to receive polio drops in Jeddah

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 (last updated)

The former Health Minister of Saudi Arabia, Dr Hussain Al Gezairy, has announced that in accordance with the decision of the Saudi government, all Hajj pilgrims leaving from Pakistan to perform Hajj will receive two drops of the oral polio vaccine upon arrival in Saudi Arabia starting from Wednesday (today).

While speaking to The Express Tribune, Dr Gezairy said that a few years ago, pilgrims travelling from Nigeria caused an outbreak of the polio virus in Makkah which resulted in four Saudi Arabian children becoming infected during the Hajj season.

“We want to ensure that Saudi children remain protected against the crippling polio virus,” said Gezairy.

He once again appealed to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan to support the polio vaccination drive and lift the ban on polio.

“As thousands of Pakistani brothers and sisters embark on the holy journey to perform Hajj, I once again appeal to Hafiz Gul Bahadur, Maulvi Nazir and Mangal Bagh to lift the ban on polio immunisation and save the future generations of the country and the Muslim world,” he urged.

Dr Gezairy, who is currently working as an adviser to the Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) for polio eradication, is in Pakistan on a three day visit which ends today (Wednesday).

Gezairy conveyed his best wishes to the pilgrims of the first Hajj flights leaving from Peshawar and Islamabad on Wednesday, and added that special polio teams have been posted at all entry points in the country to ensure that all pilgrims arriving from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are vaccinated against the polio virus.

“All the 832 hajj pilgrims arriving in the Holy Land on Wednesday from Peshawar and Islamabad will receive polio drops at Jeddah International Airport,” he said.

Approximately 95,000 pilgrims in total will be vaccinated against polio upon their arrival in Jeddah through 204 Hajj flights, and four flights will land in Madinah, according to the Ministry of Religious Affairs. The pre-Hajj operation 2012 will conclude on 20th October 2012.

The Express Tribune

Take “The HPV Challenge”

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 (last updated)

Test your knowledge of HPV. Take the HPV Challenge – it’s fun AND educational! Click Play game to play online, or download the game here:

HPV Challenge


Vaccine hunters – the price of life

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 (last updated)

In the developing world, millions of children die every year from diseases that can be prevented by vaccines. Often it’s about money and what developing countries can afford. Vaccines are big business. It’s estimated worldwide sales are worth between $4.8 and $6 billion dollars a year. But the cost of developing new vaccines is huge, often costing many millions of dollars.

GAVI Alliance & BBC

Soon, cavity-fighting vaccine to end tooth decay

Sunday, September 16th, 2012 (last updated)

In a finding that could soon render dentists out of business, scientists have
discovered a new vaccine that can rid us of tooth decay for ever.
Researchers at the Forsyth Institute in the US are developing a vaccine that targets
the bacterium `mutans streptococci`, which causes tooth decay.

When the bacteria break down food, they produce lactic acid, which wears away
tooth enamel, producing cavities.
The new cavity-fighting vaccine teaches the immune system to make antibodies that
kill the enzymes which enable bacteria to stick to teeth, the `Daily Mail` reported.
Unable to cling to tooth enamel, the bacteria are washed away by saliva, and the
teeth are protected.
Rats given the vaccine in experiments developed almost no cavities. Trials on people
have also found the vaccine to have a similar effect.
Ultimately the vaccine would be given to children under the age of one while their
teeth are developing, but before the plaque bacteria have become established,
researchers said.
“If given to children at a young age, we think it may prevent colonisation of plaque
bacteria altogether,” said Dr Daniel Smith of the Forsyth Institute.
“The bacteria wouldn`t be able to stick to teeth or gain a foothold. Children would be
protected from caries for life,” Smith said.
The vaccine protects teeth and reduces, rather than eradicates, bacteria in the mouth
in adults. It will probably be administered as nasal drops, sparing children and adults
the ordeal of painful injections.
“The nose and mouth are connected. If you give the vaccine nasally, you get
antibodies in the saliva,” said Smith.
Dr Jacinta Yeo, of the British Dental Association, believes the vaccine, which may be
available in a few years, could revolutionise dental health.
“The research sounds exciting. If bacteria can`t stick to teeth, they can`t do harm,”
she says.
“Saliva can neutralise acids and kill bacteria, but it`s not effective enough to prevent
damage by bacterial acids. It sounds as if this vaccine could equip the body with a
natural defence system,” said Yeo.

Tooth Decay


The importance of senior immunizations

Saturday, September 15th, 2012 (last updated)

Paramount MD

Toddler immunization rates remain high

Friday, September 14th, 2012 (last updated)

Almost all toddlers in the United States are receiving recommended childhood vaccinations, despite the concerns of parents about giving so many shots during a short window of time.

Approximately 90 percent or more of children between the ages of 19 months and 35 months received most routine vaccinations. According to the new government report, 91.6 percent of children in the age group received the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, 93.9 percent received the polio vaccine, 90.8 percent received the varicella vaccine and 91.1 percent received the hepatitis B vaccine.

Coverage for the birth dose of hepatitis B rose from 64.1 percent in 2010 to 68.6 percent in 2011 and hepatitis A coverage increased from 49.7 percent to 52.2 percent. Rotavirus coverage grew from 59.2 percent to 67.3 percent during the same time period and Haemophilus influenzae type b coverage increased from 66.8 percent to 80.4 percent.

The results were collected in the 2011 National Immunization Survey and were reported in Thursday’s issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Vaccination coverage did not vary significantly by ethnicity and race but white and black children living below the poverty level did have lower immunization rates than toddlers living above the poverty level. Less than one percent of toddlers received no vaccinations at all.

The report also found that 15 states failed to reach the measles immunization coverage rates of the Healthy People 2020 goal of 90 percent. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged public health officials, community leaders and parents to get children the necessary vaccinations.

Click here

Vaccine News Daily