Recent News

Vaccines: Not Just for Kids

Jan 14 2019

​If you have children, you know how important it is to keep up with their immunization schedule. But getting vaccines and booster shots is vital throughout adulthood as well. The most common adult shot is the yearly flu vaccine, recommended for just about every adult. Some fight three flu strains, others, four. However, there's more to do. You might not realize that you should have a tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (or Tdap) booster every 10 years. Pertussis, better known as whooping cough, has been making a comeback because not enough people have been getting re-immunized. And if you didn't have chickenpox or the varicella vaccine as a child, you're a candidate for the two-dose immunization. Other recommended vaccines: Women up to age 26 should have the HPV vaccine; it's given to men up to age 21, and under some circumstances, up to 26. The newest version protects against nine types of the human papillomavirus, the ones most heavily associated with cancers, such as cervical cancer. Depending on your age and the type of measles-mumps-rubella vaccine you were given as a child, you might be a candidate for a two-dose MMR vaccination.

Source: USA News & World Report USA News & World Report

How anti-vax pseudoscience seeps into public discourse

Jan 13 2019

J​ust as sure as flu season comes every year, so do the conversations and consternation over the flu vaccine. Even at The Golden Globes did this pervasive, controversial topic come up, with hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh announcing that techs from Rite Aid would be providing flu shots to attendees. This bold move was meant to call out the vocal anti-vaccine celebrities who use their platform to expound views that are not scientifically informed. The flu vaccine brings along its own particular form of controversy, as many who refuse to get the flu shot insist that they are not “anti-vaxxers.” Yet, the arguments spouted by those who refuse to get their shot are grounded in as little scientific basis as those typically given by anti-vaxxers. Every time I get the flu vaccine I get sick is a common one. Yep, it’s true, you can feel ill after getting the flu vaccine. But you didn’t get the flu from the vaccine. The most likely reason for aches and flu-like symptoms is that the flu vaccine worked! It stimulates the immune system to make the appropriate antibodies, causes a bit of inflammation and that can cause uncomfortable symptoms. Another explanation is that you actually got sick, either from the flu virus you picked up prior to getting the vaccine, or from a completely different virus all together.

Source: Salon Salon

Severe Flu Raises Risk Of Birth Problems For Pregnant Women, Babies

Jan 10 2019

Need another reason to get the flu shot if you're pregnant? A study out this week shows that pregnant women with the flu who are hospitalized in an intensive care unit are four times more likely to deliver babies prematurely and four and a half times more likely to have a baby of low birth weight. Researchers compared 490 pregnant women with the flu and 1,451 who did not have the flu. Sixty-four of the women with flu were so ill that they were admitted to a hospital ICU. The results appear in the journal Birth Defects Research. The study also found that babies of the most seriously ill women were eight times more likely to have low Apgar scores, a measure of a baby's health in the minutes after birth. The test assesses the baby's color, heart rate, reflexes, muscle tone and breathing. It's not clear exactly how being in the ICU may have affected the newborns, says Dr. Sonja Rasmussen of the University of Florida College of Medicine, one of the study's authors. She doesn't think the virus itself causes the problems, but concedes there's not enough information to draw firm conclusions.

Source: NPR NPR

Health experts say flu vaccine more effective this year

Jan 10 2019

​Health experts in Colorado say the flu vaccine appears to be more effective this year than it was last year. According to the Colorado Department of Health, nearly 1,000 people have been hospitalized with the flu so far this season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting flu activity is widespread in the state. “The reason for more hospitalizations is really unknown,” said Nikki Price, the director of pharmacy operations for Albertsons Safeway pharmacies. Even though flu season is already in full swing, Price said it’s not too late to get your vaccine. She said she’s seen more people coming in to get flu shots this year compared to last, and she thinks that’s because flu season was so bad last year. “The benefits of getting a flu shot are not only that you protect yourself, but you’re protecting others around you too,” Price said. “Even though you may have never had the flu, you’re a healthy individual, really by getting it, you’re protecting others. So what we like to say, ‘It’s really not all about you.’”

Source: KKTV KKTV

6 Vaccines You Should Definitely Get As An Adult

Jan 09 2019

​We may not like hearing it, but it’s true: Adults aren’t off the hook when it comes to vaccines. Even if you’ve had all your childhood vaccinations, there are plenty of reasons to get vaccinated when you’re older. Some vaccines wear off, new vaccines are available, you may be at higher risk for certain illnesses that shots can protect you from, and vaccinations help protect the people around you. “What makes vaccines unique is that they protect the person who is vaccinated as well as the community in which they live,” said Bruce Gellin, president of global immunization at Sabin Vaccine Institute, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., that promotes vaccine development. “This is as true for adults as it is for infants and children, and we’re encouraged that the research community is developing vaccines that will prevent serious infectious diseases like pneumonia across the lifespan,” Gellin continued. Here are six vaccines you should consider getting as an adult to protect your health.

Source: Huffpost Huffpost

Medical Experts: Odds Are You’ll Get The Flu If You Haven’t Yet

Jan 08 2019

​By now, you or someone you know has likely come down with a case of the flu. Sadly, the virus has already landed hundreds of Coloradans in the hospital. “Almost 600 cases in Colorado this year, so we know it’s serious, and it’s still very important for people to be getting their flu shots,” Anne Hart, a nurse and Wellness Supervisor at the Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, said. Flu season typically peaks between December and February, but can last well into the spring. It’s a big reason why health officials and nurses like Hart say it is not too late to get the flu shot. “If somebody hasn’t already contracted the flu, they still can and might,” she told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann. “The odds are, in fact, that they will.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared Colorado among the highest at risk for the virus this flu season. A bit of good news, however, Hart says the flu shot this year is highly effective.

Source: CBS Denver CBS Denver

Why New York’s Measles Outbreak Is the Worst in Decades

Jan 08 2019

New York State is in the middle of its worst measles epidemic in decades. Since September, the Empire State has recorded 167 cases of the measles, a highly infectious disease for which there is a widely available vaccine. That makes this the worst year for measles in the state since the 1990s, according to NBC News. The reason for the current measles outbreak? Health officials believe the cause is a fairly straightforward combination of anti-vaccine propaganda (also known as anti-vax) combined with a lack of enforcement of school requirements that parents must vaccinate their children for contagious, spreadable diseases. Experts also suggest this outbreak, which threatens to become a major epidemic if not contained, may be due to a growing trend among some families to skip out on standard medical care, especially for children. When parents sidestep major vaccinations for their children, it can lower the herd immunity among kids and their peers. Herd immunity—that is, when enough people are vaccinated in a larger group—can prevent the wider spread of a contagious illness, even if some individuals do contract the disease.

Source: Fortune Fortune

New York is fighting its worst outbreak of measles in decades

Jan 08 2019

At Clarkstown Pediatrics in Nanuet, New York, babies are on an accelerated measles vaccination schedule, getting their first shots six months early and their second dose right away. It’s part of a statewide effort to stop several outbreaks of measles from turning into an epidemic. The state has had 167 cases of the highly infectious virus since September, making it the worst year for measles since the 1990s. Pockets of unvaccinated children have provided fertile ground for the measles virus to take hold. Although measles was eliminated in the U.S. the virus has been brought back by travelers to Israel, which has been battling an epidemic of measles for months. The victims: mostly members of close-knit Orthodox Jewish communities across the state. “It’s a clear and present danger right here in our community,” said Dr. Douglas Puder, a pediatrician at Clarkstown Pediatrics. His practice is right in the middle of the biggest outbreak, in New York’s Rockland County. Last week, the county reported 105 cases of measles since the fall. More than 80 percent on average had not been vaccinated and just three cases had received both recommended doses of measles vaccine.

Source: NBC News NBC News

Review shows flu shot bests FluMist against H1N1 in kids

Jan 07 2019

An analysis today of pooled data from five US surveillance studies across three flu seasons in children found that the inhaled quadrivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) wasn't as effective as the injectable version of the vaccine against the 2009 H1N1 strain. The nasal spray flu vaccine, first licensed in 2003, is back on the market this flu season with a new 2009 H1N1 vaccine component, following a 2-year hiatus, during which federal vaccine advisors grappled with studies showing a drop in protection. Interpretation of the earlier studies, all conducted in outpatient settings, was hampered by small sample sizes. For example, the individual studies weren't able to tease out possible differences by age or previous-season vaccination. Today's study, led by researchers at the US Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), appears in Pediatrics.

Source: CIDRAP CIDRAP

Everything Parents Need To Know About The New FDA Approved Vaccine, Vaxelis

Jan 07 2019

​Well, this is some good news to start off the new year! When it comes to vaccines and vaccinating your kids, we are FIRMLY in the GET YOUR SHOTS camp. Decades and decades of medical research have proven vaccines to be safe and effective in protecting kids (and adults) from potentially life-threatening illnesses. The vast majority of babies, kids, and people can and should be vaccinated. Those who cannot get vaccinated rely on herd immunity. Which is threatened every single time someone opts out of getting their vaccines. Sure, no one likes to get a shot. But we imagine they’d like the measles or flu even less! Soon, parents will be able to knock out six shots in one. The FDA has approved a new vaccinecalled Vaxelis, and here’s what you need to know. The new pediatric vaccine is manufactured by French pharmaceutical company Sanofi, in partnership with Merck. Vaxelis offers protection from six different diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, and invasive disease due to haemophilus influenzae type B. Currently, there are vaccines for all six of the diseases, but there is no combo shot that covers them all. So Vaxelis means fewer shots and visits to the pediatrician, which is always a good thing. One shot for six vaccines? Yes, please.

Source: Mommyish Mommyish