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September 12, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
Overall, young children in the U.S. maintained high vaccination rates in 2012, officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. But researchers also said there were 159 reported cases of measles between Jan. 1 and Aug. 24 this year - a higher number than usual - and gaps in immunization appear to be to blame. The new data were published in two reports included in the latest edition of the health agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report . In the first of the two papers, CDC researchers analyzed responses from the National Immunization Survey, which monitors vaccine coverage among children 19 to 35 months of age. The federal government targets 90% childhood vaccination rates.
September 9, 2013 | By Paul Thornton
Those watching Jenny McCarthy's debut on ABC's "The View" this morning should keep in mind one thing: She's not qualified in the least to give you advice on vaccinating your children. McCarthy, the model and TV personality who moonlights as the anti-vaccine movement's most influential (read: dangerous) voice, sells plenty of books , speaks passionately about parenting and cracks off-color jokes. She also peddles the discredited , poisonous claims that the way we vaccinate our children against the diseases that were once regular killers of children places our young ones at greater risk of developing autism -- the kind of conspiracy theorizing that will draw only more eyeballs.
August 27, 2013 | By Alexandra Le Tellier
A man travels to Indonesia and contracts the measles. He then visits a church in Texas, sickening 21 people -- at least so far. Who should feel responsible? The unvaccinated man who contracted the disease or the ministers at the church who've questioned the practice of vaccination and instead advocate for faith-healing?  NBC News health correspondent JoNel Aleccia reports : “ Sixteen people -- nine children and seven adults -- ranging in age from 4 months to 44 years had come down with the highly contagious virus in Tarrant County, Texas, as of Monday.
August 27, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan
The infants who get the rotavirus vaccine aren't the only ones who benefit. New research shows that older children and even adults were less likely to be hospitalized with the gastrointestinal virus after the vaccine was introduced in the U.S. in 2006. Rotavirus causes "severe watery diarrhea, often with vomiting, fever, and abdominal pain," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Before the RotaTeq and Rotarix vaccines came on the market, nearly all U.S. children became infected with rotavirus before their 5th birthday.
August 13, 2013
Re "Take your shots, L.A.," Opinion, Aug. 11 Dr. Nina Shapiro is right on in lamenting the sorry state of childhood immunization in California because of the state's misguided "personal beliefs" opt-out provision. "Personal beliefs " are little consolation for the parent who needlessly loses a child to whooping cough, measles encephalitis or bacterial meningitis. Shapiro could also have emphasized the ironic paradox that California - among the bluest of states, with excellent educational, environmental and social programs and top-notch state, county and city health department resources - ranks among the lowest of the states in enforcement of child immunization.
August 12, 2013 | By Alexandra Le Tellier
Fewer parents are vaccinating their children, but still sending them off to school, warns physician and professor Nina Shapiro in our Opinion pages. In it, she argues for " unvaccinated-free zones " to protect all children from disease. “The law in California mandates that students in public and private schools be immunized, but it also allows easy-to-get exemptions for personal beliefs,” Shapiro writes. She continues: Although some 90% of the state's kindergartners are up to date on their immunizations, it is not uncommon for individual public elementary schools to report that more than one-third of their kindergartners are not. And if you're thinking this must be a problem unique to schools in low-income neighborhoods, think again.
August 10, 2013 | By Nina Shapiro
Across the country, preschools and elementary schools are declaring themselves nut free or peanut free, asking families not to pack lunch foods that could pose life-threatening dangers to highly allergic children. And the prohibitions are expanding beyond nuts. Some schools, for example, have prohibited powdered cheese products to protect children who are especially dairy sensitive. These measures may be excessive, but as a physician, I understand the desire to protect students. Children with serious allergies really can have severe reactions to trigger foods, so it's not that surprising that some schools have reacted aggressively.
August 8, 2013 | By Melissa Pandika
An experimental malaria vaccine is safe and effective, researchers said, performing better in early trials than any vaccine tested so far in the fight against the disease. In a small clinical trial involving 40 U.S. adults, 12 of the 15 people who received doses of the PfSPZ vaccine were protected from malaria, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science. Though preliminary, the results represent hope in the battle against an illness contracted by hundreds of millions of people every year.
July 25, 2013 | By Monte Morin
Although HPV vaccinations can reduce the risk of cancer-causing infections in adolescent girls by half, immunization rates across the United States have stalled over the last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At a Thursday press briefing, health officials said they were alarmed to find that despite the vaccine's proven effectiveness and safety, both parents and doctors were failing to ensure that teens received the three-dose human papillomavirus vaccine along with other recommended shots.
July 20, 2013 | By Rong-Gong Lin II
Two visitors from Europe are suspected of falling ill with measles in Ventura County, prompting public health officials to remind the public to get vaccinated. Health authorities said one of the visitors was confirmed to have measles, and the other is suspected of contracting the highly contagious disease. The cases were in eastern Ventura County, which borders Los Angeles County. The confirmation of measles comes as cases of the disease have been on the rise in the United States, despite it being virtually eradicated in this country in 2000.
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