Recent News

Vaccines for women: Before conception, during pregnancy, and after a birth

Jan 10 2020

The rise of vaccine-preventable illnesses, such as measles and hepatitis, in the United States and around the globe has been alarming in recent years. For women — especially those hoping to become pregnant, as well as women who are pregnant or have recently had a baby — vaccines can be a worrisome topic. There are many misconceptions about vaccine safety in and around pregnancy that can lead to confusion and unnecessary fear of a lifesaving medical tool. As a practicing ob/gyn, I often discuss vaccines with my patients and help them sort out fears versus facts. Which vaccines should you consider before conception? The preconception period offers a unique opportunity to find your immunization records and review them with your primary care provider. Some vaccines should be considered for all women who are hoping to conceive. Others are recommended based on additional medical issues.

Source: Harvard Health Harvard Health

Colo Lawmaker Introduces Anti-Vaccination Bill in Name of Consumer Protection

Jan 10 2020

After Tuesday’s vaccine-oriented rally in front of the Colorado State Capitol, a few parents and some of their school-age children filled a committee room in the ornate building’s basement for a town-hall meeting, organized by state Rep. Dave Williams (R-Colorado Springs), to discuss his proposed legislation, called the Vaccine Consumer Protection bill. “If families believe that [vaccination is] a benefit to them, then so be it – take it on yourself,” Williams said, summarizing his bill, which has yet to be released. “But if there are parents and families that know of vaccine injuries that have occurred and they don’t want to have that risk, then that’s fine, too.”

Source: Colorado Times Recorder Colorado Times Recorder

More Americans Believe Measles Vaccine Is Safe and Healthy Option

Jan 09 2020

The return of vaccine-preventable illnesses like last year’s measles outbreak has put a spotlight on the rise of anti-vaccine advocates who go against medical advice and do not fully vaccinate their children. While this group may make headlines, research finds they are still firmly in the minority. A new report from the Pew Research Center is showing that the public attitude toward one controversial vaccine in particular, the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, is increasingly positive.

Source: Healthline Healthline

Without a Vaccine, These Are Your Odds

Jan 09 2020

Vaccines prevent diseases, and being unvaccinated carries a risk. Last year, the World Health Organization ranked vaccine hesitancy, a “reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines,” among the top 10 health threats worldwide, alongside Ebola, H.I.V. and drug-resistant infections. To state it bluntly, being unvaccinated can result in illness or death. Vaccines, in contrast, are extremely unlikely to lead to side effects, even minor ones like fainting. As vaccination rates have fallen, highly contagious illnesses like measles have resurged globally. For instance, measles is now widespread in several European countries. In Samoa, a Pacific island nation of about 200,000 people, almost 5,700 measles cases have been recorded since September, resulting in at least 83 deaths. Almost all of those who died were young children.

Source: The New York Times The New York Times

Doctors say flu season in Colorado has been 'especially brutal'

Jan 08 2020

DENVER — If your workplace is looking a little empty and you're wondering where your colleagues are, they might be home sick. Hospitals have been packed with people battling the flu. Doctors say they're working extra long days to take care of everyone, but it's still not enough. A map from the Centers for Disease Control shows there are 45 states where the flu is considered widespread. Colorado is one of them.

Source: 9 News 9 News

Facebook Is Running Anti-Vax Ads, Despite Its Ban On Vaccine Misinformation

Jan 08 2020

The vaccine for whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is currently among the best ways to prevent an illness that kills more than 160,000 people each year, many of them babies. The vaccine is safe and does not cause autism or other neurological disorders. Despite its own rules prohibiting vaccine misinformation in ads, Facebook is hosting ads for an online pamphlet that falsely claims that the life-saving vaccine is unsafe. One ad reads, “Is the vaccine the best option? And if not, what is?” Another says, “Click below for a FREE guide for Pertussis which will include: Vaccine Controversy.” A Facebook spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that the ads represented “no violation” of its policies. As of today, these ads were still running on both Facebook and Instagram. After publication of this article, Facebook provided the following comment.

Source: BuzzFeed News BuzzFeed News

After a Measles Scare, Seattle Cracks Down on Vaccine Compliance

Jan 08 2020

SEATTLE — After a measles outbreak sickened dozens of unvaccinated children in southwestern Washington State last year, school health administrators around the state went into crisis mode, intent on confronting the relatively low vaccination rates in the region. First, they got an assist from the State Legislature, which passed a law in May tightening exemption rules for the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. Then school districts — including Seattle’s — sent letters asking thousands of families who did not have compliant vaccine records to get them in order. This week, Seattle Public Schools ramped up its effort even further, telling families that schools would turn away any remaining students who were not compliant.

Source: The New York Times The New York Times

More Americans now see ‘very high’ preventive health benefits from measles vaccine

Jan 07 2020

Public attitudes about the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine remain broadly positive in the United States, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Most Americans see ‘very high’ preventive health benefits from measles, mumps and rubella vaccine An overwhelming majority of U.S. adults (88%) say the benefits of the MMR vaccine outweigh the risks – the same share as in 2016, when the Center last asked this question – while the share who consider its preventive health benefits to be “very high” has grown by 11 percentage points during that time (from 45% to 56%). A 69% majority of Americans consider the risk of side effects from the vaccine to be either low or very low, about the same as in 2016. The findings come amid rising public health concerns about measles outbreaks in the U.S. and around the world. In 2019, the U.S. reported the highest annual number of measles cases in more than 25 years. And a recent study found that vaccination rates in more than half of U.S. states have been declining over the past several years.

Source: Pew Research Center Pew Research Center

Even a Single Dose of HPV Vaccine May Provide Protection

Jan 06 2020

The HPV vaccine is highly effective against the cancer-causing types of human papillomavirus, but only half of teenagers and young adults have gotten all three of the doses recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now a new study in women ages 18 to 26 suggests that one shot might be enough. The analysis, in JAMA Open Network, included 1,620 women whose average age was 22. The prevalence of HPV infection was much higher among the 62 percent who were unvaccinated, but there was no significant difference between rates in those with a single dose versus those who had more. For example, the rate of infection with types 6, 11, 16 or 18 (6 and 11 cause genital warts; 16 and 18 cause most cervical cancers) was 12.5 percent among the unvaccinated. It was 3.1 percent for those who had gotten all three shots, 5.1 percent for two shots, and 2.4 percent for one vaccination — a statistically insignificant difference.

Source: The New York Times The New York Times

Century-Old Lungs May Push Origin of Measles Back 1,500 Years

Jan 06 2020

Nowadays, it’s hard not to have measles on the mind. Spurred in part by successful anti-vaccination campaigns, global cases of this viral infection reached their highest point in more than a decade during the first six months of 2019. In 2018, outbreaks killed more than 140,000 people worldwide. But the scourge of measles isn’t just a problem of the present. This deadly disease has been plaguing human populations for centuries—perhaps even millennia. In a paper published last week on the preprint server bioRxiv, a team of researchers suggests the measles virus may have first tangoed with human immune systems as early as 345 B.C., or 1,500 years earlier than previously estimated. Though the findings have yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, they could push the origins of measles further back than ever before, reports Kai Kupferschmidt for Science magazine.

Source: Smithsonian Magazine Smithsonian Magazine