Doctors Express Urgent Care
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Doctors Express Urgent Care
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.”
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.
Kathy Buckworth and Dr. Marla Shapiro discuss immunization and child health.
The Immunization Partnership
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:
Equally important: What is not associated with vaccines:
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.
NEJM Journal Watch & Pediatrics
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.
Immunization Action Coalition
Influenza poses unique risks to pregnant women, who are particularly susceptible to morbidity and mortality. Historically, pregnant women have been overrepresented among patients with severe illness and complications from influenza, and have been more likely to require hospitalization and intensive care unit admission.
An increased risk of adverse outcomes is also present for fetuses/neonates born to women affected by influenza during pregnancy. These risks to mothers and babies have been observed during both nonpandemic and pandemic influenza seasons.
During the H1N1 influenza pandemic of 2009-2010, pregnant women were more likely to be hospitalized or admitted to intensive care units, and were at higher risk of death compared to nonpregnant adults.
Vaccination remains the most effective intervention to prevent severe illness, and antiviral medications are an important adjunct to ameliorate disease when it occurs. Unfortunately, despite national guidelines recommending universal vaccination for women who are pregnant during influenza season, actual vaccination rates do not achieve desired targets among pregnant women.
Pregnant women are also sometimes reluctant to use antiviral medications during pregnancy. Some of the barriers to use of vaccines and medications during pregnancy are a lack of knowledge of recommendations and of safety data. By improving knowledge and understanding of influenza and vaccination recommendations, vaccine acceptance rates among pregnant women can be improved.
Currently, the appropriate use of vaccination and antiviral medications is the best line of defense against influenza and its sequelae among pregnant women, and strategies to increase acceptance are crucial. This article will review the importance of influenza in pregnancy, and discuss vaccination and antiviral medications for pregnant women.
International Journal of Women’s Health