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Tips for Avoiding Back-to-School Germs, Illnesses

Posted 23 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 23, 2016 – Kids and germs seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly. But, there are ways that parents can help protect their kids from the usual barrage of back-to-school illnesses, a health expert says. Make sure children get plenty of sleep and eat a well balanced diet, advises Jacqueline Stout-Aguilar. She's a registered nurse and an assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Nursing. Most kids need at least nine hours of sleep each night, Stout-Aguilar said. It's also a good idea to make sure children get enough vitamin C to boost their immune system, she added. Parents should also teach their children how to contain germs and keep their hands clean. Show kids how to cover their coughs and sneezes with the inside of their elbow or a tissue, Stout-Aguilar said. She said kids must also be taught how to wash their hands properly. "It is important to wash your ... Read more

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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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With Flu Shot, Timing May Be Everything

Posted 26 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 26, 2016 – Flu shots may be more effective when people get them in the morning than in the afternoon, a new study suggests. British researchers assessed 276 people 65 and older who received vaccinations against three different flu strains between 2011 and 2013. The patients received the vaccines either between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., or 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. People in the morning group had a much larger increase in antibodies against two of the flu strains one month after vaccination, the researchers found. However, with the third flu strain, there was no significant difference between the morning and afternoon groups. "We know that there are fluctuations in immune responses throughout the day and wanted to examine whether this would extend to the antibody response to vaccination," said lead investigator Anna Phillips. She's with the University of Birmingham's School of Sport, ... 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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Seniors Need 2 Pneumonia Vaccines, CDC Advisory Panel Says

Posted 3 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 3, 2015 – Adults 65 and older need two vaccines to better protect them from bacterial infection in the blood (called sepsis), meningitis and pneumonia, according to a revised vaccination schedule from the 2015 Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The ACIP is the vaccine advisory panel for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Such infections are caused by pneumococcal bacteria, and older people have an increased risk of life-threatening infection from these bacteria. "All adults aged 65 years or older should talk to their health care providers about getting pneumococcal vaccines for protection against pneumococcal diseases," said Dr. David Kim, the CDC's deputy associate director for adult immunizations. The new recommendations were published in the Feb. 3 Annals of Internal Medicine. The committee recommended that seniors get both the ... Read more

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Common Childhood Vaccine Cuts 'Superbug' Infection: Study

Posted 10 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 10, 2014 – The childhood pneumococcal vaccine helps children avoid the suffering and danger of ear infections, meningitis and pneumonia. And a new study suggests it may provide an added bonus: cutting down on infections from antibiotic-resistant "superbugs." First used in children in 2010, the pneumococcal vaccine was linked to a 62 percent reduction between 2009 and 2013 of drug-resistant infections of bacterial pneumonia, meningitis and bloodstream infections for children under 5. "The vaccine is an important tool against antibiotic resistance," said lead researcher Sara Tomczyk, an epidemic intelligence service officer in the Respiratory Diseases Branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Along with appropriate antibiotic use, it is part of the solution to protecting ourselves against the growing threat of antibiotic resistance," she added. The ... Read more

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Temporary Fever May Occur When Kids Under 2 Get 2 Shots at Once

Posted 7 Jan 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 7, 2014 – Young children who receive flu and pneumococcal vaccines at the same time are at increased risk for temporary fever, a new study reports. While parents should be told about this risk, the benefits of the vaccines outweigh the risks of fever, the researchers said. The study included 530 children, aged 6 months to 23 months, who were followed for a week after receiving flu and pneumococcal vaccines either separately or at the same time. The annual flu shot is recommended for healthy people over 6 months of age, and the pneumococcal vaccine is recommended for children younger than 5 years old, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 38 percent of the children who received the vaccines at the same time had a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher on the day of or the day after vaccination, compared with 9.5 percent of those who ... Read more

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Vaccinations Aren't Just for Kids

Posted 16 Sep 2011 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 16 – Public health experts often focus immunization awareness efforts toward protecting children, and with good reason: Facing a potentially bewildering schedule of vaccinations for their young ones, parents usually need all the help they can get. But vaccinations aren't just kid stuff. Medical science is creating an increasing number of immunizations targeted at adults, to help them avoid life-threatening diseases in middle-age and opportunistic infections when they're older. "Immunization is a life-long issue that we need to pay a lot of attention to," said Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association. Some adult vaccinations are very well-known, like the annual shot that aims to prevent the spread of influenza. "You need an influenza shot every year," Benjamin said. "Part of that is because the virus changes every year, ... Read more

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