Archive for February, 2014

“We can see why kids are dying, and we can see how to prevent it.”

Friday, February 28th, 2014 (last updated)

children death causes

“We can see why kids are dying, and we can see how to prevent it.”
Bill Nye ‘the science guy’ tells us about the effects of preventable diseases on child mortality.

Gates Foundation

French caricature of vaccination “Beware. The vaccine”

Thursday, February 27th, 2014 (last updated)

This French caricature from around 1800 shows that fear of vaccination quickly produced reactions among artists.

vaccine caricature

History of Vaccines (

Can vaccines overwhelm or weaken the immune system?

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 (last updated)

Can vaccines overwhelm or weaken the immune system? 

The answer is no, the vaccination schedule contains safe antigens that are enough to prime your immune system without causing disease, so that if exposed to the disease you are fully prepared to fight it off.

immune system

Northern Rivers Vaccination Supporters (

The weak link: adult immunisations

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 (last updated)

Adults account for 95 percent of individuals who die from vaccine-preventable diseases. Yet vaccination rates among adults remain “very low”. The latest feature film from Chain of Protection discusses the importance and need for adult immunisation in the fight against preventable infectious diseases.

Chain of Protection

WHO keeps same influenza strains for next season’s flu vaccine

Monday, February 24th, 2014 (last updated)

flu vaccine

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended keeping the same strains for the Northern Hemisphere’s 2014-15 flu season, based on its advisory group’s in-depth analysis of the most recent circulating strains and patterns.

The advisors met in Geneva this week, and their recommendation today involves the same strains recommended for the Southern Hemisphere’s upcoming flu season, which typically runs from May through October.

The WHO recommended strains similar to the following for the 2014-15 flu season:

  • A/California/7/2009 (H1H1) pdm09
  • A/Texas/50/2012 (H3N2)
  • B/Massachusetts/2/2012

Also, the WHO recommended an additional strain similar to influenza B/Brisbane/60/2008, of the Victoria lineage, for quadrivalent (four-strain) vaccines, which contain two influenza B viruses. That is also the same as last year’s second B strain choice.

Today’s announcement allows vaccine companies to start formulating the next season’s flu vaccine, a process that takes about 6 months. Strain selection clears the way for the first step—preparing the vaccine viruses and growing them in eggs. WHO typically makes its recommendation for the Northern Hemisphere in February, repeating the process in September for the Southern Hemisphere.

In a technical report that accompanied the recommendations, the WHO said between September and February all seasonal H1N1 viruses detected across the globe were 2009 H1N1, and tests show all are closely related to the current vaccine strain.

For recent H3N2 viruses, tests against reference viruses showed no sign of significant antigenic drift, the agency said.

Though both influenza B lineages circulated, the Yamagata lineage predominated in countries reporting influenza B activity, the WHO said. The B/Massachusetts/2/2012 strain recommended for the trivalent vaccine is of the Yamagata lineage.

Antiviral resistance testing found that most 2009 H1N1 viruses were sensitive to oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and all were sensitive to zanamivir (Relenza). A small number of viruses in China, Japan, and the United States showed resistance to oseltamivir, with a community cluster in Japan that was resistant to both oseltamivir and peramivir.

The WHO said in all instances, those viruses had the H275Y substitution, and in most cases patients had not been treated with antiviral drugs.

National and regional authorities approve the make-up and formulation of vaccines made in each country, and health officials in each country make their own recommendations on the use of flu vaccines, the WHO said.

WHOClick here


Prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines for obesity

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014 (last updated)

Chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes are major causes of death and disability throughout the world. Many causes are known to trigger these chronic diseases, and infectious agents such as viruses are also pathological factors. In particular, it is considered that adenovirus 36 infections may be associated with obesity. If this is the case, a vaccine against adenovirus 36 may be a form of prophylaxis to combat obesity. Other types of therapeutic vaccines to combat obesity are also being developed. Recently, hormones such as glucagon-like peptide-1, ghrelin, and peptide YY have been studied as treatments to prevent obesity. This review describes the ongoing development of therapeutic vaccines to treat obesity, and the possibility of using inactivated adenovirus 36 as a vaccine and an anti-obesity agent.

Prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines Click here

Clinical and Experimental Vaccine Research

Do we still need an HIV vaccine?

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014 (last updated)

NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., discusses the continuing need for a vaccine to help end the HIV/AIDS pandemic.


Designing vaccines for the twenty-first century society

Friday, February 21st, 2014 (last updated)

The history of vaccination clearly demonstrates that vaccines have been highly successful in preventing infectious diseases, reducing significantly the incidence of childhood diseases and mortality. However, many infections are still not preventable with the currently avail- able vaccines and they represent a major cause of mortality worldwide. In the twenty-first century, the innovation brought by novel technologies in antigen discovery and formulation together with a deeper knowledge of the human immune responses are paving the way for the development of new vaccines. Final goal will be to rationally design effective vaccines where conventional approaches have failed.

vaccine development Click here

Frontiers in Immunology

Breast cancer vaccine developed by Australian scientists can stop disease returning

Thursday, February 20th, 2014 (last updated)

A vaccine that can prevent breast cancer returning has been developed by Australian scientists and could be on the market within five to ten years.

Trials of the vaccine in 31 women have shown it slashes the rate of breast cancer returning from 60 to just 12 per cent over a 15-year period. One of the scientists behind the breakthrough, Burnet Institute Professor Ian McKenzie, hopes that one day every woman will get the vaccine to prevent breast cancer. “This is my dream. The matter is harmless, why not inject it in all young women to protect them from cancer?” he said.

The revolutionary vaccine, which uses the body’s own immune system to fight off cancer, could also be useful in treating and preventing pancreatic, ovarian, colon and lung cancer.

The team behind the discovery identified a protein called mucin 1 that is different on cancer cells than normal cells. They then developed a sugar polymer, mannan, from baker’s yeast that was able to bind to this protein and attached a cancer antigen onto it. When it is injected into the body it prompts the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells.


Chickenpox: setting the facts straight

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 (last updated)

Watch as Dr Ariza together with Puan Meilina Puteh explain about chickenpox in this fun animated video. Chickenpox is a disease which can affect anyone at any age. Most people and children recover from chickenpox but the virus may stay in the body and can cause shingles later in adulthood. Immunise yourself and your family against chickenpox today!