December 20, 2011 |
Vaccination against human papilloma virus was recommended for U.S. girls almost five years ago. In October, a government advisory committee also recommended routine vaccination for boys ages 11 and 12. But vaccinating girls only makes the most sense, researchers said Tuesday. Using mathematical models, researchers in the Netherlands found vaccinating girls is the best way to reduce heterosexual transmission because girls have the highest prevalence of the virus. Immunizing the group with the highest prevalence achieves the largest population-wide reduction of the virus.
November 28, 2011 |
Vaccinating children who are more than a year old against varicella, or chicken pox, also provides "tremendous indirect benefits" to young babies, researchers reported Monday in the journal Pediatrics. The U.S. implemented a variella vaccine program in 1995, offering the vaccine to children 12 months and older. But younger babies who aren't old enough to get the vaccine are protected through so-called "herd immunity" -- because fewer older kids develop chicken pox, the younger children are less likely to be exposed to the virus.
August 16, 2011
Contrary to what baby boomers might assume, the term "conscientious objector" didn't originate with the Vietnam War. It was first used in the late 19th century to describe opponents of England's mandatory smallpox vaccinations, who received special exemption from the inoculations. Their opposition to the vaccine was as shortsighted, and as unfounded in science, as the objections of parents today who refuse to recognize the importance of inoculation not just to their children but to public health.
August 8, 2011 |
Dear Parents, I'm afraid we have some work to do. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently published a report on childhood immunizations and our own state of Washington had the highest proportion of kindergartners who hadn't been vaccinated, at 6.2%. At the other end of the spectrum, Mississippi had the best performance with fewer than 1% of kids unvaccinated. That's right, Mississippi. Maybe we could learn a thing or two from the parents down there. I know we've discussed this before, but please indulge me because it's really important.
August 5, 2011 |
No matter how many times the medical community reassures parents that vaccines are safe and necessary to prevent life-threatening diseases, some people remain unconvinced. "I believe that herd immunity is a complete myth," says J.B. Handley, co-founder of an autism advocacy organization called Generation Rescue that is critical of the way vaccinations are carried out in the U.S. "It's a tactic used to scare the public. " Handley, a father of three in Portland, Ore., has an 8-year-old son with autism.
August 5, 2011 |
As students return to middle schools and high schools in California this fall, they will need more than fresh notebooks and apples for their teachers. Thanks to a state law that took effect last month, students entering grades 7 through 12 will need proof that they received a vaccine for whooping cough. The law was prompted by last year's outbreak of the highly contagious respiratory infection, which is also known as pertussis. Nearly 9,500 cases were reported in California, the most in 65 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.