Recent News

Biden Administration Announces Ad Campaign to Combat Vaccine Hesitancy

Apr 02 2021

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Thursday morning announced an ambitious advertising campaign intended to encourage as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. The campaign, with ads in English and Spanish that will air throughout April on network TV and cable channels nationwide, as well as online, comes as the administration is rapidly expanding access to coronavirus vaccines but skepticism about the vaccines also remains high.

Source: NYT

HPV vaccine is protecting even young women who haven't been vaccinated, CDC report finds

Apr 02 2021

There's growing evidence that the HPV vaccine can protect even young women and girls who haven't been immunized. A new government study finds human papillomavirus infections have declined dramatically in both vaccinated and unvaccinated teen girls and young women. Data from a national database reveal an 88 percent decline in the prevalence of the HPV strains targeted by the vaccine in girls ages 14 to 19 and an 81 percent decline in young women ages 20 to 24, compared to a time period before 2006, when the vaccine was released in the United States, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers reported Thursday.

Source: NBC

Pregnant women 'didn't have the data' – until now: COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, even for babies, study shows

Apr 02 2021

COVID-19 vaccines are extremely effective at protecting pregnant women and likely provide protection for their babies as well, according to a new study. The research, published Thursday in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, examined 131 vaccine recipients, including 84 who were pregnant, 31 who were breastfeeding and 16 who weren't pregnant as a control group. Earlier studies suggested the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna would be safe and effective. But this is the largest study to date looking at the immune responses of pregnant and lactating women to vaccination. Large-scale clinical trials intentionally excluded pregnant women, leaving them to wonder whether to get the shots.

Source: USA Today

The Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Is Said to Be Powerfully Protective in Adolescents

Apr 02 2021

The Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine is extremely effective in young adolescents, perhaps even more so than in adults, the companies reported on Wednesday — a finding that could ease the return to normalcy for millions of American families. No symptomatic infections were found among children aged 12 to 15 who received the vaccine in a recent clinical trial, the drug makers said; the children produced strong antibody responses and experienced no serious side effects.

Source: NYT

Colorado opening up COVID-19 vaccines to everyone 16 and older beginning Friday

Apr 02 2021

Colorado will open COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to the general public sooner than expected, with anyone 16 and older able to be inoculated beginning at the end of this week, Gov. Jared Polis announced Monday. The state will move to Phase 2 — the final stage — of its vaccination distribution plan Friday, Polis said. Previously, the governor had said Phase 2 likely would come in mid-April. “Every day we’re getting closer to ending the pandemic, but it’s not over yet,” Polis said at a news conference, stressing that the virus is still

Source: Denver Post

New Anti-vaccine Documentary on Racism in Healthcare Is Full of Harmful Falsehoods

Mar 26 2021

Systemic racism in medicine and public health is a serious and urgent issue — and one we’ve talked about before. But this latest documentary is part of a larger trend to target marginalized communities with misinformation about vaccines. At its heart, the film exploits and misleads, falsely tying modern vaccines to historical atrocities like the Tuskegee study, in order to discourage Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) from getting vaccinated.

Source: Shot of Prevention

On the Shoulders of Giants — From Jenner’s Cowpox to mRNA Covid Vaccines

Mar 26 2021

In September 2008, Katalin Karikó, Drew Weissman, and their colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania modified messenger RNA (mRNA) using nucleoside analogues. These modifications stabilized the molecule and eliminated its capacity for inducing innate immunity, thereby making mRNA a promising tool for both gene replacement and vaccination.1 In December 2020, on the basis of safety and efficacy data generated in two large, placebo-controlled studies, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued emergency use authorizations for two mRNA vaccines for the prevention of Covid-19. Clearance of this hurdle by the first mRNA vaccines represents the most recent in a series of breakthroughs in the realm of viral vaccines, each building on the last and each with a compelling record of disease prevention.

Source: NEJM

Where Anti-Vaccine Propaganda Went When YouTube Banned It

Mar 26 2021

Search the term “vaccine” on YouTube, and the top results will be news stories about the COVID-19 vaccines from sources like CBS, Good Morning America, and CNN. Search that same term on Rumble, a video-streaming platform that has become popular with conservatives as an alternative to YouTube, and it serves up videos with titles like, “Vaccine Halted In Europe After Deaths & DC Arrests” and “Why You MUST Refuse The Vaccine.” As coronavirus vaccines become more widely available to the general public, misinformation meant to discourage people from getting a shot is rising in tandem. Major platforms have been trying to crack down on medical myths and unfounded anti-vax scares: YouTube announced last week that it had deleted more than 30,000 videos containing false or misleading claims about the vaccines, while Facebook recently changed its policies so that moderators will remove vaccine misinformation, rather than just downranking it in newsfeeds. (Of course, some of this content still makes it through. “This is the right step for Facebook, but they still need to keep up because anti-vaxxers are moving fast,” said George Washington University public health professor Y. Tony Yang, who noted that some users have found workarounds for the bans like using codewords.) Content creators pushing anti-vaccine propaganda are now fleeing to smaller social media platforms that market themselves as “free speech” alternatives with lax to nonexistent moderation policies. For video, the biggest of these alternative platforms appears to be Rumble.

Source: Slate

A dozen anti-vaccine accounts are responsible for 65% of disinformation shared online, new report finds

Mar 26 2021

A new report by the Center for Countering Digital Hate finds that "just 12 anti-vaxxers are responsible for almost two-thirds of anti-vaccine content circulating on social media platforms." The so-called "Disinformation Dozen" remain prominent figures on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, despite repeatedly violating their terms of service, according to the center. "Living in full view of the public on the internet are a small group of individuals who do not have relevant medical expertise and have their own pockets to line, who are abusing social media platforms to misrepresent the threat of COVID and spread misinformation about the safety of vaccines," reads the report from the nonprofit organization, which works to disrupt "the spread of digital hate and misinformation."

Source: CBS

Flu vaccine rate expected to reach all-time high for 2020-2021 season

Mar 26 2021

Glen Nowak, director of the UGA Center for Health and Risk Communication in Athens, and colleagues conducted a survey of 1,027 U.S. adults in December 2020. According to the results of the survey, 43.5 percent of respondents reported having already received a flu vaccination, with an additional 13.5 percent stating they "definitely will get one" and 9.3 percent stating they "probably will get one." This increase in vaccination, which was only 48.4 percent in 2019-2020, was driven by people 60 years and older, of whom 61.5 percent said they already received the influenza vaccine, 12 percent said they "would definitely get it," and 5.8 percent said they "would probably get it."

Source: Medical Xpress