Archive for January, 2014

Map of the day: the high cost of vaccine hysteria

Friday, January 31st, 2014 (last updated)

This map shows outbreaks of measles and mumps over the past five years:

vaccine hysteria

It’s no surprise that Africa has been heavily hit, but why are the United States and Europe seeing so many outbreaks? Aaron Carroll explains:

All of that red, which seems to dominate? It’s measles. It’s even peeking through in the United States, and it’s smothering the United Kingdom.

If you get rid of the measles, you can start to see mumps. Again, crushing the UK and popping up in the US.

Both measles and mumps are part of the MMR vaccine.

Use of the MMR vaccine plummeted during the aughts, as vaccine-autism hysteria was spread by charlatans and the ignorati. Needless to say, this did nothing to affect the incidence of autism, but it sure had an effect on measles and mumps. To this day, though, I don’t think any of the vectors of this hysteria have so much as apologized. It’s shameful.

Mother Jones

FDA warns public against buying medicines and vaccines online

Thursday, January 30th, 2014 (last updated)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned the public against buying vaccines and prescription medicines over the Internet, saying the government prohibits any advertisement of such kind of drugs in any form of mass media.

In an advisory posted on its website, the FDA has taken the operator of the popular buy-and-sell website “” to task after it discovered the illegal advertisement of at least 166 medicines, which are mostly prescription vaccines and other biological products for humans and pet animals.

The website operator agreed to take down the advertisements on November 27, 2013, the FDA said.

FDA head Kenneth Hartigan-Go said this was despite the cooperation from the site’s owner, who took down 166 medicines – mostly prescription vaccines and biological products for human and pet animals – last November.

“All consumers are hereby warned against buying their medicines (through) the Internet. Buying prescription and over-the-counter drugs from the buy-and-sell website like “” is risky. The advertisers may be bogus,” he said.

He added that while the links to the sites may look professional and legitimate, “it could actually be an illegal operation or a scam.”

So far, Hartigan-Go said they found at least five vaccines still being sold online through “”, including:

  • Meningo Vaccine Home Service Vaccination
  • 5 in 1 vaccine SM Fairview area, free delivery
  • Cervical cancer vaccines (Healthway Clinics), 3 doses
  • Immunization Cervical Cancer + Pneumoccal vaccine
  • Immunization – Pneumoccal vaccine (Christmas promo)

FDA warns public against buying medicines and vaccines online Click here

GMA News

1950s H2N2 pandemic influenza virus remains a serious health threat

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 (last updated)

H2N2 influenza A viruses were the cause of the 1957-1958 pandemic. Historical evidence demonstrates they arose from avian virus ancestors, and while the H2N2 subtype has disappeared from humans, it persists in wild and domestic birds.

1950s H2N2 pandemic influenza virus

Reemergence of H2N2 in humans is a significant threat due to the absence of humoral immunity in individuals under the age of 50. Thus, examination of these viruses, particularly those from the avian reservoir, must be addressed through surveillance, characterization, and antiviral testing. The data presented here are a risk assessment of 22 avian H2N2 viruses isolated from wild and domestic birds over 6 decades. Our data show that they have a low rate of genetic and antigenic evolution and remained similar to isolates circulating near the time of the pandemic. Most isolates replicated in mice and human bronchial epithelial cells, but replication in swine tissues was low or absent. Multiple isolates replicated in ferrets, and 3 viruses were transmitted to direct-contact cage mates. Markers of mammalian adaptation in hemagglutinin (HA) and PB2 proteins were absent from all isolates, and they retained a preference for avian-like α2,3-linked sialic acid receptors. Most isolates remained antigenically similar to pandemic A/Singapore/1/57 (H2N2) virus, suggesting they could be controlled by the pandemic vaccine candidate. All viruses were susceptible to neuraminidase inhibitors and adamantanes. Nonetheless, the sustained pathogenicity of avian H2N2 viruses in multiple mammalian models elevates their risk potential for human infections and stresses the need for continual surveillance as a component of prepandemic planning.

Journal of Virology January 2014; 88 (2): 1175-1188.

Tracking anti-vaccination sentiment in Eastern European social media networks

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 (last updated)

This UNICEF working paper aims to track and analyse online anti-vaccination sentiment in social media networks by examining conversations across social media in English, Russian, Romanian and Polish.

The findings support the assumption that parents actively use social networks and blogs to inform their decisions on vaccinating their children.

The paper proposes a research model that detects and clusters commonly-used keywords and intensity of user interaction. The end goal is the development of targeted and efficient engagement strategies for health and communication experts in the field as well as for partner organisations.


Tracking anti-vaccination Click here


Measles: the facts

Monday, January 27th, 2014 (last updated)

Measles is a highly contagious, viral disease. It can be spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes and can affect anyone who remains unvaccinated.

measles the facts


Don’t refuse protection

Sunday, January 26th, 2014 (last updated)

Refusing protection


The complex journey of a vaccine The manufacturing chain, regulatory requirements and vaccine availability

Saturday, January 25th, 2014 (last updated)

Immunization is one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions. This brochure explains why the regulatory environment is critical to allow timely access to vaccines by answering the following questions:

  • Why has the vaccine manufacturing chain become so complex?
  • How can some regulatory requirements unnecessarily slow the availability of vaccines to patients?
  • What can we do to secure timely vaccine availability to patients?

The complex journey of a vaccine Click here


Pakistani city is world’s biggest reservoir of polio viruses

Friday, January 24th, 2014 (last updated)

Pakistan’s volatile northwestern city of Peshawar is the largest reservoir of endemic polio viruses in the world, the World Health Organization said on Friday, amid concerns over continuing violence against polio vaccination teams.

Pakistan is also the only polio-endemic country in the world where polio cases rose from 2012 to 2013, the statement said. There were 91 cases last year but only 58 the year before.

Pakistani city

Polio can permanently paralyze or kill victims within hours of infection. Intensive vaccination campaigns have almost eradicated the disease worldwide, but it remains endemic in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

In Pakistan, Taliban commanders have forbidden vaccination teams access in some areas. A handful of religious leaders have also denounced the campaign as a plot to sterilize Muslim children.

The rhetoric has fueled violence against the vaccination teams. Many teams travel only with police protection. Last year there were more than 30 attacks on polio teams.

But Dr. Elias Durry, the head of the WHO’s polio eradication program in Pakistan, emphasized that campaigns in most parts of the country had been successful.

“The virus has not been seen in all parts of Pakistan,” he said. “It’s in very limited areas that we have problems in accessing.”

Some of the attacks took place in Peshawar, the capital of northern Khyber Paktunkhwa province. The old city is a maze of shops and homes where open sewers run through the streets.

The city is plagued by Taliban and sectarian violence. Many families fleeing the Taliban insurgency in the north seek refuge there.

Peshawar’s huge, mobile population and poor sanitation make it an ideal incubating ground for the disease. More than 90 percent of Pakistani polio cases last year were linked to a strain of disease found in the Peshawar sewers.

All but one of the 13 cases in Afghanistan were also linked to Peshawar, WHO said.


2013 Rota Roundup

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014 (last updated)

2013 was an unprecedented year for rotavirus vaccines, the best tool to prevent severe rotavirus disease and the deadly, dehydrating diarrhea that it causes. These important policy initiatives and compelling scientific evidence hold great promise for 2014 and beyond.

Rota roundup


VacciNewsNet received the ‘Flu Vaccination Digital Ambassador’ badge

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 (last updated)

CDC Flu Vaccination Digital Ambassador Badge FINAL

VacciNewsNet is one of CDC’s Flu Vaccination Digital Ambassadors. CDC’s Flu Vaccination Digital Ambassador program recognizes online publishers who commit to posting about flu vaccination multiple times throughout the season. The Flu Vaccination Digital Ambassadors are integral to raising awareness about the importance of flu vaccination among the general public as well as individuals at high risk for severe complications from flu