Recent News

Researchers sift through anti-vaccine Facebook comments to develop communication strategies

Mar 21 2019

Researchers are now analyzing comments posted online by anti-vaccine advocates to help physicians tailor conversations with parents who are hesitant to immunize their children. “If we dismiss anybody who has an opposing view, we’re giving up an opportunity to understand them and come to a common ground,” Brian Primack, MD, PhD, director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health, said in a press release. “That’s what our research is about. We want to understand vaccine-hesitant parents in order to give clinicians the opportunity to optimally and respectfully communicate with them about the importance of immunization.”

Source: Healio Healio

ACIP Updates Hepatitis A Vaccine Recommendations for Persons Experiencing Homelessness

Mar 21 2019

All people experiencing homelessness who are aged ≥1 year should be routinely immunized against hepatitis A virus (HAV), according to a recommendation published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This recommendation was approved at the October 2018 Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meeting. The hepatitis A (HepA) vaccination is recommended for children aged 12 to 23 months, for people at increased risk for HAV infection, and for those who want to become immune. People experiencing homelessness are at a higher risk for HAV infection and severe infection-associated outcomes. To develop a vaccination recommendation for this population, the ACIP Hepatitis Vaccines Work Group conducted a systematic review of evidence for administering vaccines to people experiencing homelessness.

Source: Infectious Disease Advisor Infectious Disease Advisor

Kentucky Governor Says He Exposed His 9 Kids To Chickenpox Instead Of Vaccinating Them

Mar 20 2019

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) intentionally exposed his nine children to chickenpox instead of vaccinating them against the disease, he said in a radio interview on Tuesday. “Every single one of my kids had the chickenpox,” Bevin told WKCT, a Bowling Green talk radio station, according to The Louisville Courier-Journal. “They got the chickenpox on purpose because we found a neighbor that had it and I went and made sure every one of my kids was exposed to it, and they got it. They had it as children. They were miserable for a few days, and they all turned out fine.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly warns against exposing children to chickenpox as a way of immunizing them.

Source: Huffpost Huffpost

Temple University Mumps Outbreak Swells to 74 Cases

Mar 20 2019

Philadelphia health officials say they now believe 74 people have contracted mumps at Temple University. City Department of Health spokesman James Garrow said Wednesday there are 15 confirmed cases and 59 probable cases, all but three of them in Philadelphia. Probable diagnoses indicate a person showing mumps-like symptoms. The city says the numbers reported this year are high compared with those in past years; 54 cases were reported in 2010. Students who may be infected should limit contact with others and seek medical care. Mumps is a viral infection that involves swollen glands. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine is the best protection.


‘We are lost without her’: HPV vaccine campaigner Laura Brennan (26) dies

Mar 20 2019

The death has been announced of Laura Brennan, the HPV vaccine campaigner and patient advocate who was the public face of many Health Service Executive health initiatives. Ms Brennan, who had cervical cancer, died on Wednesday at University Hospital Limerick, her family said. “Laura was a light in the life of everyone who knew her; a wonderful daughter, sister and friend. We are lost without her,” the Brennan family said in a statement released through the HSE. “We are all incredibly proud of the work she did in the last 18 months to help protect other young women like herself from the cancer that has taken her life today. “Laura used her voice, her generosity and her energy to help parents to make informed choices and protect their daughters from cervical cancer.

Source: Irish Times Irish Times

Jenny McCarthy's Autism Charity Has Helped Its Board Members Make Money Off Dangerous, Discredited Ideas

Mar 20 2019

Camel’s milk. B12 lollipops. Hyperbaric oxygen chambers. “Ion-cleansing” foot baths. Chelation therapy. Gluten-free diets. Casein-free diets. Massive doses of nutritional supplements. All of these products and services have two things in common. First, mainstream (and widely trusted) medical bodies don’t recognize them as a reputable or effective treatment for autism. Second, they’re all recommended by—and in some cases sold outright through—Generation Rescue, a charity for autistic kids and their families whose board president and most famous face is actress Jenny McCarthy. A deep dive into the world of Generation Rescue has revealed that the organization doesn’t just promote ineffective or medically unproven or downright debunked treatments for autism (all of which has been demonstrated before): The organization and the people associated with it profit from them, too. In two cases, Generation Rescue has heavily promoted products owned by past board members, at the time they served on the board: hyperbaric oxygen chambers and B12 lollipops, both of which have been presented on GR’s website as near-miraculous treatments for symptoms of autism.

Source: Jezebel Jezebel

Tech's fight against anti-vaccine content prompts free speech debate

Mar 20 2019

​Every major medical body and federal office agrees: vaccines are safe and effective. But that's often not the message you get if you're a parent poking around online. Doctors are now questioning whether big tech companies share the blame for an alarming rise in unvaccinated kids, reports CBS News' Tony Dokoupil. Amazon, Facebook, and Google all seem to be trying to fix that, but where is the line between protecting a community and censoring it? "The Greater Good" is a documentary challenging the scientific consensus that vaccines are safe. While it includes some mainstream scientists, it's one of at least five films Amazon apparently pulled from its popular streaming video service after being contacted by Congressman Adam Schiff. "They did take steps to de-emphasize the misinformation," Schiff said. Essentially, making them harder to find and harder to get. For Schiff, "maybe that's the right balance."

Source: CBS News CBS News

Officials: Temple U. mumps outbreak swells to 67 likely cases

Mar 20 2019

Philadelphia health officials say they now believe 67 people have contracted mumps at Temple University. City Department of Health spokesman James Garrow said the total number of probable cases stands at 67 — up from 54 cases a day before. WCAU-TV reports health officials confirmed 12 cases through laboratory testing while 55 others were listed as probable. Probable diagnoses are used in cases where a person in the community shows mumps-like symptoms. Health officials recommend students who may be infected limit contact with others for at least five days and seek medical care. Mumps is a viral infection that involves swelled glands. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best way for people to protect themselves against it.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Italian politician who opposed making chickenpox vaccinations mandatory gets chickenpox

Mar 19 2019

​An Italian politician known for his vocal opposition to a new law mandating that school-aged children be immunized against several diseases, including chickenpox, has come down with the chickenpox. Massimiliano Fedriga, a member of the far-right League party, was placed under observation for four days last week after contracting the disease, according to local news outlets. Fedriga was a chief detractor of the so-called Lorenzin law, which mandates that school-aged children be immunized against chickenpox, measles, polio and more. Parents who do not comply can be fined up to $560 for sending their unvaccinated children to school, and kindergartens and preschools have the option of turning away children under 6 years old who haven’t received the necessary immunizations. The Italian politician claimed in a Facebook post that he does not oppose vaccinations and has vaccinated his children.

Source: The Hill The Hill

Vaccine forum canceled amid concerns over RFK Jr. appearance

Mar 19 2019

​A Connecticut lawmaker who supports eliminating the religious exemption from vaccinations for public school students says he had no choice but to cancel a planned forum on the science behind vaccines. Democratic Rep. Josh Elliott of Hamden says he called off Tuesday's planned event at the Legislative Office Building after most of the panel's medical experts canceled. Elliott says there was concern among the participants about including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an environmental lawyer and vaccine skeptic, on the panel, saying it would be "legitimizing debunked and bogus claims" about vaccines.