Daily Clips

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Is A Vaccine For The Common Cold Necessary? It Could Be Available Soon
September 28, 2016
"In many areas around the United States, temperatures are beginning to cool as we enter the Fall season. Although many people may be celebrating the end of summer heat waves (I for one won't miss the hot New York City subway platforms), some people may fear that cooling temperatures may bring along the sniffles. The common cold is no party, but is a vaccine for the common cold necessary? According to a recent study, a vaccine could possibly be in the works. According to a report by Live Science, a study published in journal Nature Communications last week revealed that experimental vaccines for the common cold, called rhinovirus, were given to mice and monkeys. The results of the study indicated that the mice and monkeys were given two separate versions of a rhinovirus vaccine. Apparently, both the mice and monkeys produced antibodies to all strains of rhinovirus that were present in the vaccine, Live Science reported."
Measles Has Been Eliminated in the Americas, WHO Says
NBC News
September 27, 2016
"Measles has been eliminated in all of the Americas, from Canada to Chile, the World Health Organization declared Tuesday. It's the first time the highly contagious virus has been eliminated in an entire region, although it has been eliminated in individual countries, such as the United States. It was sustained vaccination campaigns that got the job done, WHO said. 'Today we say bye-bye to the indigenous transmission of measles,' Carissa Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Americas arm of WHO, told a meeting of the organization in Washington. Eradication and elimination are two different things. When a disease is eradicated, it doesn't exist anywhere. Elimination means there are no more homegrown cases but the infection can still be imported from elsewhere to cause outbreaks."
WHO: Measles Is Gone from the Americas
U.S. News & World Report
September 27, 2016
"The World Health Organization on Tuesday declared the region of North and South America to be free of measles, a highly infectious virus that used to kill 500,000 children across the world every year. 'It is the result of a commitment made more than two decades ago when the countries of the Americas committed themselves to ending measles at the turn of the century,' Dr. Carissa Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization, said at a press conference, pointing to aggressive vaccination measures. She cautioned officials not to become complacent, as the virus still circulates in other regions. The historic announcement comes nearly two years after the U.S. faced an outbreak of measles linked to a case at Disneyland in California, where someone had become infected while in another country. The virus spread to 667 people in 27 states, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was the greatest number of cases since measles had been declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000."
Mom Changes Her Anti-Vax Stance After Entire Family Gets Sick
Huffington Post
September 27, 2016
"Kristen O'Meara refused to vaccinate her children for more than five years. Then her entire family contracted Rotavirus, a potentially deadly stomach virus that can be prevented with a vaccination. It was a wake-up call she couldn't ignore... After that experience, O'Meara decided to do another round of research - this time taking into account information that showed the benefits of vaccination. Ultimately, she came to the conclusion that vaccinating was the right thing to do. 'I am frustrated with the amount of misinformation I encountered when I set out on this journey,' she wrote on Voices for Vaccines, 'but in the end I am thankful, for the sake of my children, that I was able to reassess my position and accept information that is based on well established, sound scientific evidence...' O'Meara hopes her story will sway other parents to seek out science-backed information and vaccinate their kids as well. 'I'm here because I wanted to share my personal story,' O'Meara told ABC News. 'If it does help someone change their mind, then that's great.'"
What Is Rotavirus? Symptoms And What To Know After Anti-Vaxxer Mom Changes Mind
Medical Daily
September 27, 2016
"Rotavirus is a highly contagious virus that causes diarrhea, accompanied by fever and vomiting. While the condition also affects adults, it is most common in children under five years of age... Vaccination can help prevent rotavirus infection in infants and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that babies get the rotavirus vaccine starting at around two months of age in two or three doses... Some people underplay the importance of vaccination, exposing their children to severe health risks. In an interview with ABC News, Kristen O'Meara - a mom of three - said she decided not to vaccinate her kids after coming across information on the internet that showed that vaccines are harmful. However, all three of her daughters were infected with rotavirus, causing severe diarrhea and stomach cramps. 'It was awful and it didn't have to happen because I could have had them vaccinated,' she told ABC News. 'I felt guilty. I felt really guilty...' O'Meara said she now hopes to change this aversion to the vaccine maintained by a number of parents..."
Anti-Vaxxer Mom Changed Her Mind After Her Three Kids Contracted Rotavirus
Glamour Magazine
September 27, 2016
"One anti-vaxxer mom is changing her stance on the issue of vaccinating her kids-and sharing her story. Kristen O'Meara, teacher from Chicago, elected not to vaccinate her children because she believed vaccines are harmful, despite research that proves they are actually important for childhood health... O'Meara told the New York Post that she purposefully sought out books and websites that called vaccines dangerous and became absorbed in the anti-vax culture. O'Meara is not alone. According to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, 87 percent of doctors had encountered parents who have refused vaccines for their child in 2013-up from 75 percent of doctors in 2006, even though claims that vaccines are unsafe or linked to autism have been refuted... 'If I can make even one anti-vaxxer think twice,' [said O'Meara], 'speaking out will have been worth it.'"
Nearly 1,200 Waukegan students do not meet state vaccine requirements
Chicago Tribune (IL)
September 26, 2016
"Nearly 1,200 of Waukegan's 17,000 students - more than half of them at the high school - may not get to attend school Monday, a district official said. That's because those students haven't gotten their state-mandated vaccines or haven't submitted the paperwork showing that they have a religious or medical exemption, Anthony Orrico, the district's new director of special education, told the school board last week. Students are also required to have a physical examination completed by a doctor. A new vaccine required for 12th graders that kicked in last school year may be one of the reasons the numbers are so high, he said. The 2014 state law requires students entering sixth grade to get their first shot of the meningococcal conjugate vaccine and students entering 12th grade to get the second dose... Waukegan School District 60 requires all students to have their vaccines complete and their paperwork in by 10th day of the school year, but the board extended the deadline to Sept. 30 to prevent high number of students from being excluded from school, Orrico said."
Vaccines Should Be Embraced, Trump’s Skepticism is Dangerous
The Daily Utah Chronicle (UT)
September 26, 2016
"Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of Donald Trump's candidacy for president is his penchant for normalizing wrong behaviors. His constant stream of inflammatory sound bites has unearthed anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and anti-women sentiments across the country and empowered people to be openly discriminatory. His endorsement of anti-vaccine conspiracy theories is equally dangerous. By recirculating assertions of a link between childhood vaccinations and autism, Trump is validating a misguided anti-vaccination movement and encouraging behaviors that could have serious health consequences... The recent surge of anti-vaccine sentiment, fueled at least in part by Trump's imprudent comments, has caused new outbreaks of diseases such as measles, mumps, whooping cough and chicken pox. This threatens the nation's herd immunity - the critical threshold of people who need to be vaccinated to protect the community at large, including those who are unable to receive vaccinations such as pregnant women, infants and immunocompromised individuals."
Anti-vaxxers could cause global calamity
The Round Table (Beloit College Student Newspaper, WI)
September 26, 2016
"There are many problems with Trump. His racist remarks, lousy policies, and abrasive twitter have spurred great controversy, but one of his most dangerous ideas thus far has not received proper attention. Trump is of the belief that there is a connection between vaccines and autism, a subject he has been vocal about in the past... The scientific inaccuracies of this movement are not the real danger. Vaccines have effectively eliminated diseases such as polio and smallpox from the Western world... By sending their children to school without having been vaccinated, many parents are increasing the likelihood these dangerous diseases will spread. Vaccines are a vital facet of public health. If Donald Trump is elected president he will be an influential voice for the anti-vaxxer movement. His position has the potential to start a national epidemic."
Cancer-Preventing Vaccines Given To Less Than Half Of US Kids
Houston Public Media (TX)
September 27, 2016
"Eighty percent of Americans are exposed to the human papilloma virus in their lifetimes. Some strains of HPV can cause genital warts, but most people experience no symptoms and clear the virus from their systems within a year or two. But for an unlucky minority, the virus causes damage that, years later, leads to cervical cancer, throat cancer, and other types... In 2007, then-Texas governor Rick Perry proposed making the HPV vaccine mandatory for all preteen girls. At the time, the vaccine was only approved and marketed for girls. Dr. Lois Ramondetta, a cervical cancer specialist at MD Anderson, remembers the outcry... Eventually, the legislature rejected Perry's plan, even though it included an opt-out provision. Ramondetta said too many politicians focused on the fact that HPV is sexually transmitted. That had the unfortunate effect of skewing the conversation away from health care and into debates about morality and sexuality. She said the best and most accurate way to discuss the vaccine is to describe it as something that can prevent illness and death."
EDITORIAL: Why are many Minnesota kids still at risk of HPV?
Star Tribune (MN)
September 26, 2016
"Too many Minnesota parents and their health care providers are missing a critical opportunity to protect children against cancers that can be spread by a virus... But far fewer Minnesota adolescents have received all three shots in the HPV series. Slightly less than 45 percent of females are fully protected. For males, that percentage is a dismal 22.4 percent. That the HPV rate is much lower than the older vaccines suggest there is more going on than the usual internet-fueled vaccine-safety conspiracies. Experts theorize that parents may mistakenly believe that teens may become promiscuous if vaccinated against this sexually transmitted virus. But that conclusion is faulty. Wearing seat belts doesn't cause teens to drive recklessly; the equipment just protects them if errors are made. The same holds true with the HPV vaccine. It's irresponsible to leave so many unprotected."
Sanofi gets $43 million U.S. funding to spur Zika vaccine development
September 27, 2016
"Sanofi SA said on Monday the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approved $43.18 million in funding to accelerate the development of a Zika vaccine, as efforts to prevent the infection gather momentum. The funding from the HHS' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) will be used for mid-stage trials, expected to begin in the first half of 2018, and for manufacturing, the French drugmaker said. The contract runs through June 2022, but if the data is positive, the contract includes an option for up to additional $130.45 million for late-stage trials necessary for eventual approval. Work on the vaccine began in March as a collaborative effort between the U.S. Department Of Defense's Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), BARDA and the National Institutes of Health. Sanofi in July teamed up with WRAIR to co-develop the vaccine."
Zika Cue Update: What New Progress Has Been Made?
Medical Daily
September 26, 2016
"Zika, a mosquito-borne virus linked to serious birth defects in children, spread further and faster this year than it ever had before, and prompted the World Health Organization to declare the disease an international health emergency in February. However, there is good news - recent research suggests we may be close to finding a way to prevent future Zika infections. In August, a study published in Science reported that three separate drug prototypes proved successful in protecting 16 animals from Zika infection for up to one month by helping their bodies create enough antibodies to overwhelm the virus. However it's still unclear exactly how long this protection will last. Still, according to the researchers, the results suggest that the development of a Zika vaccine for humans may be on the horizon. Another recent study published in Nature Medicine suggested that an already FDA-approved drug could actually be helping to halt Zika virus reproduction, which could in turn prevent the virus from reaching the fetus and causing serious birth defects."
Trivializing the Flu - It’s What Healthy Adults Tend To Do
Shot of Prevention
September 27, 2016
"It's not uncommon for healthy adults to skip their annual flu vaccine. In fact, it's estimated that only about 40% of adults receive an influenza vaccine each year - a preventive measure that the CDC recommends for everyone age 6 months of age and older, with rare exception. While adults tend to understand that the flu can be dangerous and sometimes even deadly, they often don't get vaccinated because they just don't consider themselves at risk. Why? I imagine it's because we're living in a time when modern medicine is so advanced. The average American just doesn't consider it likely that a healthy adult could die from something so common as the flu? One would imagine that those at greatest risk of death from flu would be young children, the elderly or people who have underlying health conditions, right? ...As Michael Pulgini explains, the flu is 'aggressive, sneaky, and potentially deadly' and 'no one is invincible' just because you are young, strong, or healthy."
Defending Dr. Bob Sears: On the affinity between ‘integrative medicine’ and antivaccine views
Respectful Insolence
September 27, 2016
"It's been nearly three weeks since we learned that the Medical Board of California had initiated disciplinary proceedings against the most famous antivaccine physician not named Andrew Wakefield. I'm referring, of course, to 'Dr. Bob' Sears, author of The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child and creator of an 'alternate' vaccine schedule that 'spreads out the vaccines...' Since then, antivaccine activists have rallied around Sears and portrayed the impending disciplinary hearings against him as 'persecution...' So it amuses me to see the latest volley fired to defend Dr. Bob from the nefarious depredations of the evil Medical Board of California. It comes from Jennifer Margulis, PhD, who claims that long history of antivaccine posturing... So, not surprisingly, her defense of Dr. Bob invokes the views of some rather dubious physicians."
Anti-vaxxer mom isn’t an anti-vaxxer anymore after her kids all got rotavirus
September 26, 2016
"The secret about vaccines is that they work - and people who skip them are putting themselves and others at risk for easily preventable illnesses. Kristen O'Meara, a mom of three, learned that the hard way. The Chicago-area teacher was 'pretty convinced' by things she saw on the internet about vaccines being bad, so she decided not to vaccinate her three young kids, O'Meara said in an interview with ABC News that aired on Good Morning America Monday. O'Meara's attitude changed, however, when all three of her daughters came down with rotavirus, a virus that can cause stomach pain and severe diarrhea... O'Meara said that she 'purposely' sought out anti-vaccine information - which isn't hard to find. But much of the fear surrounding vaccines dates back to a since-retracted and widely discredited paper that claimed a link between the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine and autism in children."
Forget About Dr. Google: You Can Trust Your Pediatrician
Scary Mommy
September 27, 2016
"Once upon a time, there was a land where parents were anxious, information was pervasive, and trust was hard to come by. Misinformed celebrities with impressive influence (despite minimal education) were spouting ideas that provided concrete solutions to poorly understood situations, and parents were clinging to them as if their - and their child's - life depended upon it. Pediatricians everywhere were scratching their heads, wondering, what has happened? Why are our patients doubting us? We are not the enemy. The enemy is Dr. Google, social media, the ability for ill-informed people to spread their misplaced agendas by feeding on parents' fears, incentivized by the number of Facebook likes and shares. We found ourselves exacerbated and powerless against this Dr. Google, who had access to all information, but no reputable filter to weed out what was useful scientific data versus that which was was inflammatory and unproven."