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Anthrax Vaccine Shows Promise in Monkey Trial

Posted 1 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 1, 2016 – A vaccine made with a component of the bacteria that causes anthrax protected monkeys from the deadly infection in a preliminary trial. Previous research showed that this component – the anthrax capsule – played a pivotal role in providing protection, the researchers said. In this study, the same team of scientists at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) tested a higher dose of the anthrax capsule vaccine in monkeys exposed to lethal inhaled levels of anthrax spores. All the monkeys that received the vaccine survived, while the non-vaccinated monkeys died from anthrax, according to the study published online June 27 in the journal Vaccine. The results suggest that anthrax capsule is a highly effective vaccine ingredient and should be considered for use in future anthrax vaccines, the researchers said. Current anthrax ... Read more

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Drones Could Deliver Vaccines in Developing Countries

Posted 25 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 24, 2016 – Right now, people often associate the use of drones with warfare. But in the future they could serve humanitarian purposes, such as delivering aid to people in developing countries. For example, the pilotless flying machines might offer a cheaper and better way to deliver vaccines. And that could potentially boost vaccination rates in areas that can be difficult to reach now, a new study suggests. Using a computer model, researchers concluded that sending drones to deliver vaccines in low- and middle-income countries would be cheaper and quicker than by land-based vehicles. Cars and trucks are limited by road conditions and have high fuel and maintenance costs, the researchers said. "Many low- and middle-income countries are struggling to get lifesaving vaccines to people to keep them from getting sick or dying from preventable diseases," said senior study ... Read more

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Childhood Vaccinations Rarely Spur Seizures, Study Finds

Posted 6 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 6, 2016 – Certain vaccines can trigger fever-related seizures in young children, but the risk is so low that pediatricians might see one case every five to 10 years, a new study estimates. It has long been known that some vaccines carry a small seizure risk. But the researchers said the new report offers some hard numbers. And it suggests that even when babies and toddlers get three vaccines at once, they only develop fever-related seizures at a rate of 30 per 100,000 – at most. The findings should be "reassuring" to parents, said lead researcher Dr. Jonathan Duffy, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Looking at the big picture, the benefits of vaccination are much greater than the risk of febrile [fever-related] seizures," Duffy said. Up to 5 percent of young children will have a fever-related seizure at some point, according to the CDC. It usually ... Read more

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Most First-Time Moms Plan to Follow Vaccine Schedule

Posted 20 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Nov. 20, 2015 – Three-quarters of first-time expectant mothers plan to follow the recommended vaccination schedule for their children, a new study finds. But the survey of 200 American women pregnant with their first child also found that 10.5 percent planned to spread out the recommended vaccination schedule, 4 percent planned to have their child receive some but not all of the recommended vaccines, and 10.5 percent were still undecided in their second trimester of pregnancy. First-time mothers who weren't planning on following the recommended vaccination schedule said they got most of their information about childhood vaccines from online sources or family and friends. This shows the need to find ways to provide these women with information from pediatricians and family doctors, according to study co-author Glen Nowak, director of the Center for Health and Risk Communication ... Read more

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California Vaccine Refusers Cluster in Rich, White Areas

Posted 12 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 12, 2015 – California's anti-vaccine sentiment tends to concentrate in wealthier, largely white areas of the state – a pattern that has left certain communities with childhood vaccination rates as low as 50 percent, a new study finds. The study, published online Nov. 12 in the American Journal of Public Health, is the latest to delve into the issue of personal belief exemptions for vaccines. Right now, 20 U.S. states permit the exemptions, which allow parents to opt out of routine childhood vaccinations based on philosophical objections. California is technically still one of those states, but a law passed earlier this year will end personal belief exemptions in that state in July 2016, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). The new law came largely in response to this year's measles outbreak, which sickened 189 people in 24 U.S. states and ... Read more

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Vaccines Rarely Cause Life-Threatening Allergic Reactions: CDC

Posted 15 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 15, 2015 – A U.S. government study has reassuring news for concerned parents – vaccines rarely trigger serious and potentially fatal allergic reactions. Just 33 people had a serious, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction – also known as anaphylaxis – out of 25 million vaccines given, according to research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's 1.3 people in every million who gets a vaccine. "Vaccination is one of the best ways parents can protect infants, children and teens from 16 potentially harmful diseases. This is a good time to remind parents that vaccines are safe and effective – the odds of having an anaphylaxis-related reaction following the administration of a vaccine are very slim," said study author Dr. Michael McNeil, of the CDC. For the study, the researchers reviewed records from more than 17 million visits and more ... Read more

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Despite Pockets of Resistance, Most U.S. Kids Getting Vaccinated

Posted 27 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 27, 2015 – More than nine out of 10 U.S. children entered kindergarten last school year protected with the proper immunizations, federal health officials reported Thursday. But, vaccination rates continue to lag in a number of states – a worrisome finding, especially in light of the recent measles outbreak, officials said. Average vaccination coverage for new kindergarteners was 94 percent for the measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine. It also was 94 percent for the diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis vaccine in the 49 reporting states and the District of Columbia for the 2014-15 school year, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers found. About 94 percent of kindergarteners also received the two-dose vaccine for chickenpox in the 39 states where it is required, the findings showed. "Overall, the news is gratifying. Though they may not always get the ... Read more

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Start of School Year Calls for Vaccine Check

Posted 21 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 21, 2015 – With the start of a new school year, many parents are searching for vaccination records and hoping they're current, but what does "up-to-date" look like these days? That depends on whether it's what the school requires or what pediatric experts recommend. "Not all vaccines that we recommend on the schedule are required by schools," said Wendy Sue Swanson, a pediatrician at Seattle Children's Hospital. "But schools help us keep up-to-date and have an annual assessment" of vaccine status. Swanson explained that during childhood, three key school transitions coincide with vaccine schedules. The first, she said, is when a child enters kindergarten. Then, "typically, at sixth grade, we refresh again. And there are updates that we provide kids at the end of high school as get they ready to go to college," she added. Each of these turning points usually means exposure ... Read more

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Anti-Vaccine Parents Cluster in Rich, White Areas

Posted 3 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 3, 2015 – Parents who cite "personal beliefs" to get their children exempted from routine vaccinations are typically white and well-to-do – at least in California, a new study finds. The results, published June 1 in Pediatrics, confirm what other studies have suggested: Anti-vaccine sentiment in the United States appears strongest among wealthier white families. But the study also found another pattern that surprised experts: California schools with high rates of personal-belief exemptions often had high rates of exemptions for medical reasons, too. "There's no clear explanation for why that would be," said Dr. Paul Offit, chief of infectious diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, who was not involved in the study. But the concern, he added, is that some children exempted for medical reasons could be put at risk if their classmates are not vaccinated against ... Read more

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Banning Vaccine Preservative Would Hurt Kids in Poor Nations: Experts

Posted 17 Dec 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 17 – A United Nations proposal to ban the vaccine preservative thimerosal – which contains a form of mercury – should not go through, says a leading group of U.S. pediatricians. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) joins the World Health Organization (WHO) in urging the U.N. to drop the proposal from an international treaty seeking to cut down on mercury exposures in a variety of ways. Both the WHO and AAP say a thimerosal ban could keep children in poor nations from getting needed vaccines. The AAP, which announced its stance to members in June, reiterates its position and provides three commentaries on the issue in the January print edition of Pediatrics, published online Dec. 17. Thimerosal contains a form of mercury called ethyl mercury. For years it was used in certain vaccines, but U.S. health officials decided in 1999 that thimerosal should be removed from ... Read more

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Shots Should Be on College Kids' Back-to-School List

Posted 31 Jul 2012 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 31 – Immunizations aren't just for young children – college students need them, too. That's the message an expert has for parents who will be seeing children off to college this month. "Children who are preparing for their freshman year in a dormitory are at increased risk for bacterial meningitis," Dr. Peter Wenger, associate professor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, said in a university news release. Bacterial meningitis causes swelling of the brain and spinal cord. The potentially deadly condition affects up to 2,600 otherwise healthy people in the United States each year, and teenagers and young adults are in the high-risk category. All first-year college students should receive the meningitis vaccine, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends. The vaccine provides three to five years of protection. New Jersey, ... Read more

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Health Tip: Do I Need the Meningococcal Vaccine?

Posted 10 May 2012 by Drugs.com

-- The meningococcal vaccine helps prevent meningitis and sepsis (infection of the blood), which can lead to severe illness and death. People aged 16 through 21 are most likely to acquire meningococcal disease, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says. The agency says you probably should be vaccinated: If you live in a dorm, or plan to live in one soon. If you are a military recruit. If you have a damaged spleen, or the organ has been removed. If you have a terminal complement deficiency. If you are a microbiologist who is frequently exposed to the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis. If you live in or plan to travel to a place where meningococcal infection is common. Read more

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Too Few American Adults Getting Needed Vaccinations: CDC

Posted 2 Feb 2012 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 2 – Each year, some 45,000 Americans die from diseases that could have been prevented by vaccines, health officials said Thursday. Despite this, the number of American adults who get needed vaccines remains low, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "There were some modest increases in coverage, but for very few vaccines," said Dr. Carolyn B. Bridges, associate director of adult immunization at the CDC and co-author of the report. "Coverage is much lower than we would like to see it." The data was published in the Feb. 3 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. According to the report, 2010 (the latest year covered by the report) saw only a small increase in the rate of uptake for just three vaccines. The rate of the tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccination increased 1.6 percent, to 8.2 percent. Tdap ... Read more

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Infant Vaccines May Work Better If Given in Afternoon

Posted 30 Nov 2011 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 30 – As many parents can attest, a rough night may follow when their baby has been to the doctor for their first shots, due to increased fussiness or fever from the immunizations. But a new study suggests that the time of day that the shots are given may make a difference in both sleep and immune response. Research has shown that immunizations "take hold" more strongly when an infant has a long, deep sleep afterward, which is why some parents give acetaminophen (Tylenol) proactively. According to the new study, published online Nov. 28 and in the December print issue of Pediatrics, infants may sleep more soundly when their shots are given after 1:30 p.m., regardless of whether they have been given any medication. In the study of 70 infants who were getting their first series of vaccines at around 2 months of age, mothers either were told to give their infants a ... Read more

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More Teens Getting Vaccines Against HPV, Other Infections: CDC

Posted 14 Nov 2011 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 14 – Although the number of teens getting three new recommended vaccines is growing, there's still room for improvement, government researchers report. The three vaccines were added to the recommended list of vaccines in 2005 through 2007. They include the TdaP vaccine, which shields against tetanus, diptheria and whooping cough (pertussis); the meningitis vaccine (MenACWY) and the human papillomavirus (HPV) shot for girls, which prevents about 70 percent of cervical cancers and vaginal warts. Overall, the proportion of 13- to 17-year-olds who were up-to-date on these three shots rose from 10 percent in 2006 to almost 42 percent by 2009, the team from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. "On the good side, vaccination coverage is increasing," said lead researcher Shannon Stokley, from the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory ... Read more

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