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Anti-Vaxxers More Likely To Vent On Twitter

Posted 9 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 9, 2017 – American parents who oppose childhood vaccines often take to Twitter to vent, share and seek reinforcement for the widely disproven notion that these shots can trigger autism, new research shows. But the phenomenon is unevenly spread, the researchers noted, with states such as California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania leading the pack when it comes to the highest prevalence of Twitter-based vaccine-bashing. The findings stem from the sifting of roughly 550,000 tweets posted between 2009 and 2015. All of the tweets contained at least one reference to both autism and vaccines, and about half were found to express anti-vaccine sentiments. "Unfortunately, these results were not terribly unexpected," said study author Theodore Tomeny. Why? Tomeny suggested "that sites primarily based on user-generated information, like Twitter, may be popular ... Read more

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Vaccine Campaign in Poor Countries to Save 20 Million Lives

Posted 10 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 8, 2017 – In poor countries, childhood vaccines will save 20 million lives and $350 billion in health care costs by 2020, a new study says. "Vaccination is generally regarded to be one of the most cost-effective interventions in public health," said study leader Sachiko Ozawa, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Pharmacy. "Decision-makers need to appreciate the full potential economic benefits that are likely to result from the introduction and sustained use of any vaccine or vaccination program," she said in a university news release. Researchers examined the impact of Gavi, a global vaccine alliance launched in 2000 to provide vaccines to children in the world's poorest nations. Gavi has contributed to the immunization of 580 million children and has operated mainly in the 73 countries included in the analysis. The study ... Read more

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Vaccination 101: Make Sure Kids Are Up to Date

Posted 28 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 28, 2017 – As the new school year begins, make sure your child is up to date on all vaccinations. "Schools are a great environment for spreading bacteria and viruses because students are in crowded classrooms, sharing things and in close proximity to one another," said Zachary Klase. He's an assistant professor of biological sciences at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. "A major factor contributing to many viral outbreaks is being in an environment where you are close to others such as attending the same class, playing on the same sports team or living in a residence hall," he added in a university news release. Vaccinations protect against diseases like meningitis, tetanus, measles diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, mumps, rubella and hepatitis B. All 50 states require public school children to be vaccinated unless they have a waiver, and colleges ... Read more

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Anti-Vaccine Family Members, Friends Spur Many Moms to Delay Baby's Shots

Posted 18 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 18, 2017 – If a pregnant woman hears anti-vaccine messages from family or friends about childhood immunizations, she's much more likely to delay her baby's shots, new research shows. And that's true even if she hears positive messages after the discouraging ones, the New Zealand investigators found. "Pregnancy is an important time for educating about infant immunization," said study co-author Dr. Cameron Grant, head of the department of pediatrics, child and youth health at the University of Auckland. "This very important aspect of medical education should not be left until after the child is born. Health professionals caring for pregnant women have a very important role to play in determining the immunization intentions of these future parents, and in promoting infant immunization," he said. The study included information from more than 6,000 pregnant women in New ... Read more

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Time to Catch Up on Reading, Writing and Routine Shots

Posted 26 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 26, 2017 – Of all the items on your child's back-to-school checklist, getting vaccinated is probably your kid's least favorite. But those shots are essential for keeping children healthy, pediatricians say. Vaccination requirements may vary somewhat from state to state. But all 50 states and Washington, D.C., require children to be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough (pertussis), polio, measles and rubella. If your child hasn't already been vaccinated according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommended schedule, it's not too late, said Dr. David Kimberlin. He is vice chair of pediatrics and co-director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham's division of pediatric infectious diseases. "The best way to treat diseases is to prevent them in the first place, and the diseases on the vaccine schedule are all preventable for ... Read more

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Just a Few Vaccine Refusers Could Endanger Many

Posted 24 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 24, 2017 – With a small percentage of U.S. parents not vaccinating their children for "non-medical" reasons, a new study warns that even a few such families can trigger a big jump in local measles cases. Based on data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the analysis projects that just a 5 percent drop in MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine coverage would triple the number of American kids aged 2 to 11 who would catch the highly contagious virus. "The meaning is that even small declines in vaccine coverage in children owing to vaccine hesitancy may have substantial public health and economic consequences that will be larger when considering unvaccinated infants, adolescents and adults," explained study author Nathan Lo. Lo is an M.D./Ph.D. candidate in the division of epidemiology at Stanford University's School of Medicine. He conducted ... Read more

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Don't Skip Veggies in Winter

Posted 21 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 20, 2017 – Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean you can't eat fresh, healthy foods. There are five types of foods you should try to consume during the winter months, according to health experts at the Cleveland Clinic who offer these suggestions: While it can be hard to find local produce during the winter, root vegetables such as beets, carrots and turnips can withstand the cold and are available. Roast carrots to get a dose of beta-carotene, or boil turnips for vitamins A and C. Oatmeal provides nutrients that are essential during winter. It's high in zinc (important for your immune system) and soluble fiber, which is associated with heart health. Instant oatmeal is more convenient but also more expensive. If you're on a budget, choose old-fashioned oats. Soup is another good food choice in winter, but hold the cream, salt and beef. Try soup recipes that call for ... Read more

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8 Ways to Help Kids Dodge Germs

Posted 9 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8, 2017 – There are a number of ways parents can help give a boost to their child's immune system, a family doctor suggests. "The immune system helps us fight infections," said Dr. Palak Shroff, a family medicine specialist at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. "Immunity develops over time, so the more someone gets exposed, the more the immune system develops," Shroff explained in a center news release. "Kids' whole environment is new, but over time, their immunity will develop and get better," she added. Shroff suggested eight keys to helping children minimize their risk of catching every cold and virus that comes their way: Breast-feeding is the first step. It is an important way to help your child develop a strong immune system. "During breast-feeding, the mother's immunity transfers to the child," Shroff said. Vaccination is another crucial factor. ... Read more

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Most U.S. Adults Support Routine Child Vaccine

Posted 2 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 2, 2017 – More than eight out of 10 Americans support mandatory measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination for children attending public schools, a new survey finds. Despite some well-publicized opposition, this look at vaccination attitudes by the Pew Research Center finds that, overall, 88 percent of Americans believe that the benefits of the MMR vaccine outweigh any risks. Nearly three-quarters of the more than 1,500 adults surveyed said they believe there are health benefits from the MMR vaccine. Two-thirds are also confident there's a low risk of side effects from the vaccine. But the findings, released Thursday, reveal some differences related to age, race and education, said study lead author Cary Funk. "In addition to parents of young children, this analysis finds that adults under age 30, blacks and people with lower knowledge about science topics see a higher ... Read more

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Genital Herpes Vaccine Shows Promise in Animal Trials

Posted 20 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 19, 2017 – A new vaccine for genital herpes could be nearing human clinical trials, researchers say. The vaccine has proven effective in animals against herpes simplex virus 2, the sexually transmitted virus that causes genital herpes, according to a new report. The new "trivalent" vaccine targets three different parts of the virus, shutting down its ability to enter cells and to evade detection by the immune system, said senior researcher Dr. Harvey Friedman. He's a professor with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine's Institute for Immunology. In lab studies, the vaccine proved 98 percent effective in protecting guinea pigs against genital herpes infection, Friedman and his colleagues reported. The vaccine also promoted an immune response in monkeys, increasing the levels of antibodies targeting the virus, the study authors said. The vaccine's developers ... Read more

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Medical Experts Alarmed at Trump's Reported Support of Vaccine Skeptic

Posted 11 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 11, 2017 – The U.S. medical community is responding with reactions ranging from apprehension to dismay at reports that President-elect Donald Trump reportedly asked a renowned vaccine skeptic to head a new commission on vaccine safety. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has written articles and books claiming a link between childhood vaccines and autism, said Tuesday that Trump had offered him the post during a meeting earlier that day. A Trump spokeswoman threw some doubt on Kennedy's assertion, however, stating hours later that while the president-elect is interested in a commission on autism, no final decision has been made. Nonetheless, a host of medical societies, autism advocacy groups and individual physicians immediately denounced the potential development, which they said would shake the public's faith in a practice that regularly protects millions of people from ... Read more

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Health Tip: Getting Your Child Vaccinated

Posted 22 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Vaccinations are a necessary part of keeping your child healthy, but the pain and fear may be difficult to endure. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests: Talk to the pediatrician about ways to manage your child's pain. Distract a young child during the shot by singing a song, blowing bubbles or playing a game. Act the doctor about using a numbing spray or cream. Breast-feed or offer a pacifier to babies during vaccination. Stay calm and reassure your child that everything is OK. Read more

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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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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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