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COLUMN: When Parents Force the Government’s Hand on Vaccines
June 18, 2017
"Germany is in the midst of a measles epidemic. By mid-April this year, the country had suffered 504 cases of measles, compared with 33 in the same period a year earlier. It isn't a trivial infection-measles often causes dehydration and pneumonia and occasionally encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). A 37-year-old mother of three living in Essen has died from the disease. 'Continuing deaths from measles cannot leave anyone indifferent,' said Health Minister Herman Gröhe. Germany isn't alone in its suffering. In March, the BBC reported that measles epidemics were also occurring in France, Italy, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, and Ukraine. No country, however, suffered more than Romania: During the first three months of 2017, it had more than 3,400 cases and 17 deaths. In response to the outbreak, German health officials took an unusual step: choosing to fine parents as much as €2,500 ($2,800) for failing to vaccinate their children. To determine which parents could be penalized, Germany now requires kindergartens to report children who aren't vaccinated. Fining people to compel vaccination isn't new...PAUL OFFIT, MD."
Southwest Colorado vaccination rates lower than average
The Journal (CO)
June 16, 2017
"Most students at Montezuma County schools are up-to-date on vaccines, but some area schools have higher vaccination exemption rates than the state averages, according to data released this month by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. In general, smaller schools across the region and the state have higher exemption rates than larger schools. At most schools along Colorado's Front Range and Interstate 70 corridor, 95 percent or more of students are up-to-date. In the state's rural areas, rates vary. In most schools in Montezuma County, fewer than 95 percent of students are up-to-date, which might not be enough to ward off a breakout of disease. In Colorado, parents may exempt their students from receiving vaccinations on medical, religious or personal grounds. Virginia Hernandez, Immunization Coordinator for Southwest Health System in Cortez, said some area schools may face difficulties in reporting immunization data because it is complex. Some parents might struggle to find time to bring their children to the clinic to get updated on shots, Hernandez said."
Hawaii mumps cases tops 100
Outbreak News Today
June 17, 2017
"The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed eight (8) additional cases this week of Oahu residents with the mumps, pushing the total number of cases this year to 104. Three new cases were confirmed on Tuesday, June 13, and involved two (2) adults and one (1) child. None of the cases required hospitalization and all three are recovering. An additional five (5) cases were confirmed today, involving one (1) adult and four (4) children, none of whom required hospitalization. DOH expects the current mumps outbreak to continue and the investigation of new cases is ongoing."
L.A. County health officials say 42 people have been infected with mumps
Los Angeles Times
June 17, 2017
"A mumps outbreak in Los Angeles County this year has infected 42 people, most of whom live on the Westside, health officials said this week. There have been several mumps outbreaks nationwide in recent years, including some that are ongoing in parts of Texas, Arkansas and Washington state. Last year there were 5,833 cases of mumps nationwide, the highest number in a decade, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of May, there had been 3,176 cases nationwide this year, according to the CDC. Most people who contract mumps have no symptoms, or have flu-like symptoms along with swelling of their salivary glands, which is characteristic of the disease. But in rare cases, mumps can cause deafness or brain swelling that can be life-threatening. Dr. Franklin Pratt, medical director of the immunization program at the county's Department of Public Health, said that some of those infected in the outbreak had been vaccinated. Many outbreaks in other parts of the country, which often hit college campuses especially hard, also have included people who'd been inoculated against the virus.
Mumps Epidemic Close to Over
Columbia Basin Herald (WA)
June 16, 2017
"It's been 25 days since a case of mumps has been reported in Grant County - too soon to say the epidemic has abated, but significant progress, according the Grant County Health Officer Alexander Brzezny. 'Twenty-five days, no additional cases. In this outbreak, we can say with great probability that local transmission of the disease has been interrupted,' Brzezny said during a meeting of the Grand County Board of Health on Wednesday... 'We need another 25 days without a new case,' Brzezny said. 'If there are no new cases by the end of June, the outbreak should be over.' The mumps outbreak in Grant County was centered on the Columbia Basin Job Corps site. Brzezny thanked Job Corps officials for all the work they'd done preventing people from sharing drinking bottles and cigarettes and covering water fountains. 'How you stop people from kissing?' he said of another major way mumps is spread. 'I don't know, and that's not what the government wants to do.' Washington state has been hit with over 860 cases of mumps since October, 2016."
Jacobs, D300 await mumps update before lifting restrictions
The Courier-News (IL)
June 16, 2017
"School District 300 may be ready to lift some of the restrictions put in place after a half dozen students contracted mumps this spring. On Tuesday, Superintendent Fred Heid said the district will allow any unvaccinated person back into Jacobs High School after June 25 if there are no more cases reported by county health departments. 'If we don't receive any other confirmations of suspected cases or fully identified cases at that time, we can lift all the restrictions as far as the exclusionary practices and what we've put in place,' Heid told D300 board members. During a recent school board meeting, Heid repeated that three more students had tested positive for mumps just as the school year ended last month. Six students tested positive for the contagious disease in May at the Algonquin school. The six lived in either McHenry or Kane counties, and all six had been vaccinated against mumps, he said. The outbreak at Jacobs follows a similar mumps outbreak that occurred just south of the D300 boundaries in Barrington earlier in the year."
With high local cancer death rates, Volusia promotes HPV vaccin
The Daytona-Beach News Journal (FL)
June 18, 2017
"Linda Ryan knows the mental and physical toll cancer can take on people and their families. Ryan, 49, a four-time cancer survivor and three-time cervical cancer survivor, now dedicates her life to helping others battle cancer, funding cancer research and sharing her story so others know the consequences HPV-related cancers can have on a life. 'I used to think I had checked cancer off my list, but that's not the case,' said Ryan, sitting in her DeLand home recently as a storm brewed outside. 'There's a very good chance my cancer could come back again.' Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is one of the most common viruses that can lead to cancer, with roughly 14 million people, including teenagers, becoming infected each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states. Most commonly spread through sexual contact, the virus usually goes away on its own and many people don't realize when they are infected."
Why should boys get the HPV vaccine?
The Bend Bulletin (OR)
June 16, 2017
"Q: If the HPV vaccine prevents cervical cancer, why should boys get it? The HPV vaccine protects against the Human Papillomavirus, that is passed from one person to another by skin-to-skin contact, usually during sex. HPV is most common in people in their late teens and early 20s, and almost all sexually active people will get HPV at some point in their lives. Most people will be able to clear the infection on their own, but in some cases, it can lead to cancer. HPV is best known for causing cervical cancer in women, but can cause a number of other cancers in men and women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year about 11,000 men in the U.S. get cancers caused by HPV infections, including cancers of the anus, rectum, penis and mouth or throat. There are no screening tests for these cancers, so they are often caught at later stages when they are more difficult to treat. HPV vaccination of boys can also help prevent the spread of HPV to women."
Group has message for parents: Get your child vaccinated
The Buffalo News (NY)
June 17, 2017
"A nonprofit group made up of public health directors and leaders across the region looks to raise awareness about the importance of childhood vaccines. 'Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death,' according to the Western New York Public Health Alliance. The alliance stresses immunizing children, in particular, against vaccine-preventable diseases. 'Thanks to the development of safe and effective vaccines, immunization has been one of the most successful and safest public health measures available to populations worldwide, with an unparalleled record of disease reduction and prevention,' alliance members said in a recent media release. 'Our nation's scientifically based vaccine safety system - which is managed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and monitored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - carefully studies, evaluates and monitors vaccine safety and efficacy. Yet, despite the success and strong safety record of vaccines, vaccine hesitancy has been increasing.' This has created an environment in which vaccine-preventable diseases including measles, mumps and pertussis (whooping cough) are on the rise"
EDITORIAL: Our view: Vaccines still best for children
Grand Forks Herald (ND)
June 17, 2017
"Here we go again. Just a few years ago, mumps infections had fallen to 229 cases nationwide. That was 2012, and it was just on the cusp of this new trend that has some parents choosing to not vaccinate their children against common childhood diseases. In 2016, the number climbed to 5,311 cases nationwide. Through the first two months of this year, there were 1,077 cases reported in 37 states. Now, mumps infections are popping up in the region. The Herald recently reported that three cases of mumps were reported in the Win-E-Mac School, in northwest Minnesota. Parents are advised to check their children's vaccination records. We aren't saying the Win-E-Mac district has an unusually high number parents who refuse to vaccinate their children against mumps. All school districts probably have a few who choose not to, and it's possibly contributing to this rise in viruses like mumps and measles cases throughout the United States. For example, a measles outbreak hit South Dakota two years ago; it came less than 15 years after the U.S. was declared measles-free, meaning the disease was no longer native to the country. Years of regular and thorough vaccinations helped get us there."
OPINION: Roberts: Keep our kids safe from disease
Lansing State Journal (MI)
June 18, 2017
"More than 60 years ago at the University of Michigan, Dr. Jonas Salk unveiled the first effective vaccine to combat polio. Three years prior to the announcement, polio had afflicted 58,000 individuals. Infections plummeted with the availability and administration of Salk's vaccine, falling to only 8 by 1975. In 1999, the United States celebrated its first year without a single reported case of polio. Vaccines are safe, effective and save lives. Unfortunately, Michigan has one of the highest childhood immunization waiver rates in the United States, with outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases happening far more often than they should. That's why, in 2014, a new rule was proposed, received a legislative hearing, and was approved to combat these diseases. Since then, there have been 18,000 fewer philosophical waiver requests statewide. In other words, nearly 20,000 children are safer, healthier and better protected against deadly diseases...Rep. Brett Roberts, Michigan's 65th House District."
OPINION: A guide to childhood immunizations
June 18, 2017
"Rarely is there a parent who sees his or her sick child and doesn't wish to take all the pain and agony away. As a pediatric nurse practitioner at ThedaCare Physicians-Pediatrics, I believe parents remove the threat of many dangerous, potentially deadly childhood diseases when they opt to get their children immunized. Talk to your pediatrician about the proper immunization schedule for your infant, child or teen. If you have to catch up on missed vaccines, there's a schedule for that, too. It's not always easy. Your child may be terrified of needles, or even spike a fever for a day or two after a shot, but these are minor discomforts compared to the tragedy of contracting a serious childhood illness. Have you ever thought of immunizations as a civic duty? When your family gets immunized, you are stopping a potential virus outbreak in its tracks, and your entire community is healthier because of your decision. That's pretty awesome...Kristin Hilgemann, pediatric nurse practitioner, ThedaCare Physicians-Pediatrics-Appleton."
Anti-vaxx march to be held in Port Neches
Port Arthur News (TX
June 16, 2017
"The vaccination debate will be coming to Port Neches today. Children's March for Humanity is a movement that urges individual choice for vaccinations. The group is opposed to vaccines. This puts the organization at odds with most of the medical community and with conventional wisdom. CMFH will hold a march and rally at 10 a.m. Saturday at 2025 Merriman St. in Port Neches. It is part of a nationwide initiative that is set to run in 25 other cities. The event will feature guest speakers, bounce houses, face painting, sack races and other activities. Children are encouraged to dress as whatever profession they may want to be when they grow up. 'The march is getting everybody together and giving information about the toxicity in our air, our water and our food,' Peggy Hartman, speaker and March organizer, said. 'We want everybody to take a look at what's happening around us.' Hartman contended that one in six kids have a neurological disability. 'If it's not coming from air pollution, where is it coming from? There's evidence of vaccination causing the problems,' she said."
Contact Your Senator to Prevent Devastating Cuts to Immunization Programs
Shot of Prevention
June 15, 2017
"Every Child By Two has a long history of advocating for immunization funding and strong immunization policies. As the Senate is now considering two crucial pieces of legislation - the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget - we are calling upon the public to speak out in support of #PreventionProtection. Both of these pieces of legislation could impact vaccine programs in a way that limits access for millions of Americans. It is critical that we help Senators understand the impact of their legislation on public and individual health before they finalize the bill language. Time is of the essence, so we are encouraging everyone to take action this week. Please call AND email your Senators TODAY with this critical message: 'I am a constituent and am calling to urge Senator X to ensure CDC's immunization programs continue to be fully funded, both through direct appropriations and through preservation of the Prevention and Public Health Fund.'"