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Smallpox Prophylaxis News

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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Congressional Group Gives Bipartisan Support to Vaccine Safety

Posted 21 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 21, 2017 – A group of six high-ranking U.S. Senators and House members from both sides of the aisle issued a statement Tuesday supporting the safety and effectiveness of FDA-approved vaccines. The statement comes after reports that President Donald Trump has shown some support for the widely discredited "anti-vaxxer" movement. In early January, Robert Kennedy Jr., a vocal opponent of routine childhood vaccinations, said that Trump had asked him to head a new commission on vaccine safety. Various medical organizations expressed alarm at the time. However, the six Congressional leaders who penned the statement Tuesday said the debate over the safety of vaccines has long been over. They include Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Ranking ... Read more

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Mummy of 17th Century Child May Alter the History of Smallpox

Posted 8 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 8, 2016 – A mummy of a child who lived in the 1600s in Lithuania could offer new insight into how smallpox developed over the millennia. Researchers say they've found the oldest known sample of the virus that causes smallpox in the child. The child's remains were discovered in a crypt under a church, the authors report in the Dec. 8 issue of Current Biology. "There have been signs that Egyptian mummies that are 3,000 to 4,000 years old have pockmarked scarring that have been interpreted as cases of smallpox," study first author Ana Duggan, a postdoctoral fellow at the McMaster University Ancient DNA Center in Canada, said in a journal news release. "The new discoveries really throw those findings into question, and they suggest that the timeline of smallpox in human populations might be incorrect," Duggan said. Researchers found the virus, known as variola, in DNA from ... Read more

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Man Who Got Smallpox Vaccine Passes Milder Infection to Sex Partner: CDC

Posted 28 Feb 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 28 – A man recently vaccinated for smallpox under a U.S. Defense Department program passed a milder, related form of the disease on to a man he had sex with, and that man then passed it on to yet another man, federal health officials reported Thursday. The virus, called the vaccinia virus, is the virus used in the smallpox vaccine. It is related to smallpox and helps the body develop immunity to smallpox. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the smallpox vaccine does not contain the actual smallpox virus and cannot cause smallpox. "The smallpox vaccine is a live-virus vaccine, and it's not news that it can infect people, but it cannot convert to smallpox," said Dr. Marc Siegel, a clinical associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. "It's a different virus; it's a kissing cousin of smallpox," he said. "It ... Read more

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More Kids Opting Out of School-Required Vaccinations: Study

Posted 19 Sep 2012 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19 – The number of parents who opted out of school-required vaccines for their children because of non-medical reasons, such as religious or philosophical beliefs, increased between 2005 and 2011, according to U.S. researchers. During this period, the rates of non-medical exemptions were higher in the states with easy opt-out policies, such as California and Maryland, and in those states that allowed philosophical, instead of only religious, exemptions. "The more relaxed these requirements are, as we and others have shown, the easier it is to get an exemption, the higher the rates of exemptions," said Saad Omer, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Emory University in Atlanta, and lead study author. "It is common sense to me that it should not be easier to file for an exemption than it is to get your kid vaccinated," Omer said. Every state requires vaccines for ... 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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Sex With Recent Smallpox Vaccine Recipient Can Lead to Illness

Posted 1 Jul 2010 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 1 – After having sex with a soldier recently vaccinated against smallpox, a young woman in Washington state developed an illness caused by the vaccinia virus used in the shot, U.S. health officials report. This type of viral transmission, while rare, is not unheard of, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "The patient visited an urgent care clinic with painful, ring-shaped vaginal swelling," explained Andrea McCollum, an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the CDC. "A few days before that, she had sexual contact with her boyfriend who was a recent smallpox vaccinee via the military." Although smallpox is now almost eradicated, U.S. military personnel have been vaccinated in recent years as a precaution against the potential use of the virus in a biological attack. The smallpox vaccine comes in the form of a live vaccine, so there is ... Read more

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Japanese Researchers Develop New Smallpox Vaccine

Posted 10 Mar 2009 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 10 – A third-generation tissue-cultured smallpox vaccine shows promise, Japanese researchers report. "The threat of smallpox bioterrorism has prompted reconsideration of the need for smallpox vaccination," the researchers noted. "Serious events associated with first-generation vaccines #133; have raised obstacles to vaccination campaigns in the United States." Second-generation vaccines also cause a high rate of serious side effects, they said. "Developing a vaccine that is safer than first-generation vaccines yet highly immunogenic [producing immunity or an immune response] is crucial to constructing a prevention plan in the event of bioterrorist attack," they added. The researchers studied the clinical and immunological responses to the LC16m8 vaccine in 1,692 adults who had previously been vaccinated against smallpox and 1,529 adults who had not been vaccinated. ... Read more

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smallpox vaccine, Dryvax, ACAM2000