Daily Clips

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In Reversal, Gov. Gary Johnson Now Supports Mandatory Vaccination
Vermont Public Radio (VT)
August 24, 2016
"Libertarian presidential candidate and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson is newly in favor of mandatory vaccination, he says, after learning more about the science of immunization. In 2011, Johnson tweeted "No to mandatory vaccines," but asked by VPR Wednesday about his position, Johnson said he now believes that vaccinations should be mandatory. 'You know, since I've said that ... I've come to find out that without mandatory vaccines, the vaccines that would in fact be issued would not be effective,' he said. 'So ... it's dependent that you have mandatory vaccines so that every child is immune. Otherwise, not all children will be immune even though they receive a vaccine.' Johnson said he believes vaccination policy should be handled at the local level. 'In my opinion, this is a local issue. If it ends up to be a federal issue, I would come down on the side of science and I would probably require that vaccine,' he said. Johnson said his position changed recently."
BLOG: Quality over quantity: making the case for vaccines
The Hill Congress Blog
August 25, 2016
"Consider the following numbers: 49,000. 200,000. 10.4 billion. 1. 49,000 is the number of deaths each year in the United States due to flu-related complications. 200,000 is the number of annual flu -related hospitalizations. 10.4 billion dollars is the annual cost to the US healthcare system due to flu. And 1 is the vaccine recommended annually for all individuals age 6 months and older to prevent flu. One vaccine can go a long way toward bringing down these staggering numbers reflecting the burden of flu. Yet less than half of all Americans receive a flu vaccine each year. Even among seniors, for whom the flu vaccine is particularly important, nearly 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries do not receive it... But there's another potential solution we need to pursue that doesn't get nearly enough consideration: quality measures. What do we mean by quality measures? MICHAEL HODIN, PhD, CEO, Global Coalition on Aging; WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, MD, Medical Director, National Foundation for Infectious Disease."
Vt. vaccination rates up as philosophical exemptions ends
WCAX Burlington (VT)
August 24, 2016
"The new school year starts next week for most students in our region and this year marks the first time parents cannot claim a philosophical exemption to opt out of immunizations for their school-age children. The exemption was officially eliminated July 1 this year, but Vermont health officials say they saw changes even beforehand in last year's immunization rates, as parents and the health department prepared to implement the change. Both the philosophical and religious exemptions fall under the nonmedical category, and although the state says it saw a slight increase in religious exemptions last year, the overall number fell from 5.9 percent to 5.5 percent."
Michigan among nation’s worst for vaccination rates
Detroit Free Press (MI)
August 24, 2016
"Michigan is getting low marks for its vaccination rates. In a report from 24/7 Wall St., Michigan ranks fourth worst in the country, despite widespread recommendations to vaccinate. Among several factors, the report examined the percentage of 15- to 35-month-old children in each state who received the 4+DTap vaccination in 2013-2014 from the National Immunization Survey... In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Shannon Stokley, associate director for science at the Immunization Services Division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the fourth dose of the DTaP vaccine is a good indicator of immunization status in a state. Michigan's DTap vaccination rate is 77.7%. Only Idaho, West Virginia and Wyoming had lower rates. By comparison, Maine leads the U.S. with 93.1%... So why is Michigan near the bottom of the list? Several issues factor into a state's vaccination ranking, including state laws, prevention programs, access to medical care and health insurance. But there are several programs in place that can help, Stokely says."
Immunization Records Are Missing for 6,000 Prince George’s County Students
NBC 4 Washington (DC)
August 25, 2016
"Prince George's County Public Schools is asking students to stay home if their parents cannot prove they have been immunized. Immunization records are missing for more than 6,000 students, student services director Dr. Adrian Talley said Wednesday, a day after the start of the school year. Despite the Tuesday deadline for parents to provide immunization records, records are not on file for 6,363 students, Talley said. Some of these children may be vaccinated and their paperwork just may be missing, Talley said. Still, students without the required paperwork on file with the district are asked to stay home. 'If they can't prove they have immunization, then they are excluded until they can prove it,' Talley said... It was not clear whether students without vaccination paperwork were excluded from class Tuesday. There are some exceptions. Students with medical conditions or religious beliefs that prevent them from getting vaccinated can apply for exemptions."
Vaccine letter has AISD parents upset about ‘shaming’ wording
KXAN-NBC Austin (TX)
August 25, 2016
"One Austin ISD mother is upset about a vaccination letter sent home with her child. Parents were asked to fill out a Flu Vaccine consent form and return it. However, the wording is what has caused an issue for some parents, including AISD mother Katy O'Brien. ''Opting In, said, yes, I want to help prevent my family from flu, by helping my child receive a flu vaccine- exclamation. No was 'No, I do not wish to protect my child and community by helping my child participate,'' said O'Brein. 'I think that is over the top shaming, and bullying and completely unacceptable.' O'Brien said she has no problem with vaccinations for anyone who wants one. She just objected the wording. We reached out to the district and they told us they were aware of the issue with the wording. The district planned to tell principals to remind parents and students that the vaccination program is 'optional.'"
New PSA pushes HPV vaccine
WCNC-NBC Charlotte (NC)
August 24, 2016
"There is a vaccine out there for your kids that the CDC says can help prevent cancer. It is not required before school but is recommended for preteens and teens. There's a new PSA circulating in Charlotte which is reminding kids and parents about why this is so important. The HPV vaccine is for protection from most of the cancers caused by the HPV infection, which is very common among people who have sexual contact. About 14 million people, including teens, become infected each year. Most sexually-active men and women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives. It's recommended for preteen boys and girls age 11 or 12 so they are protected before ever being exposed to the virus. Crystal Madrid said, 'I'll remind my parents when I'm 11 or 12 and see about getting the shot.'"
Study: ‘Opt-out’ option key to support of mandatory HPV vaccination
Bio Pharma Dive
August 24, 2016
"HPV can increase the risk of a number of cancers, most notably cervical cancer. Market leader Merck & Co's Gardasil vaccine (also known as Gardisil or Silgard) prevents infection with HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18. These strains are behind about 70% of the cases of cervical cancer, most cases of genital warts, and the majority of anal, vulvar, vaginal and penile HPV-induced cancers... So, it would seem like a clear case for a vaccine... Higher [vaccination] levels could be achieved by requiring vaccination for school entry. In a national study carried out by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 21% of parents of children aged 11 to 17 agreed a law requiring HPV vaccination for school attendance would be a good idea. Perhaps counter-intuitively, the number of parents thinking the law would be a good idea almost tripled to 57% if there was an opt-out option included... Given these results, the researchers suggest only considering requirements for vaccines following implementation of other approaches, such as physician training and vaccination reminder programs."
BLOG: HPV vaccine underutilized in U.S.
August 24, 2016
"A vaccine that could prevent certain types of cancer is 'the most underutilized immunization available for children,' according to an Aug. 22 New York Times blog. The vaccine, best given at ages 11 to 12, prevents infections with a cancer-causing virus called human papillomavirus or HPV, author Jane Brody wrote in 'The Underused HPV Vaccine...' In 2015, four out of 10 adolescent girls and 6 out of 10 adolescent boys had not started the recommended HPV vaccine series, leaving them vulnerable to cancers caused by HPV infections, according to a CDC news release. That may be because HPV is transmitted via sexual activity, and the recommended age of vaccination is at about 11, when parents say their children are not sexually active, according to Brody. In addition, some parents believe the vaccination promotes promiscuity, he said... Another issue is expense. A three-dose series is recommended, and each does is about $300, according to the New York Times article."
UNMC receives grant that will allow pharmacies to help track patient vaccinations
Omaha Public Radio (NE)
August 25, 2016
"With more and more people getting immunizations at their local pharmacies, having access to accurate records about who needs what can be challenging. A $300,000 grant received by the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health and College of Pharmacy from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, will be used in conjunction with Hy-Vee pharmacies in Nebraska and Iowa to help with that tracking. Dr. Nizar Wehbi, Acting Deputy Director of the Center for Health Policy and Assistant Professor in the UNMC College of Public Health, says that Hy-Vee pharmacies will receive I-M-M-S-LINK computer software by Scientific Technologies Corporation, which will allow access to state immunization databases. 'And they can see, well, John Smith doesn't have the flu vaccine, and he doesn't have Pneumococcal vaccine, so then the pharmacist can suggest and propose these vaccines to the patient, or the customer in that case.'"
Mililani school cafeteria worker tests positive for hepatitis A
Honolulu Star Advertiser (HI)
August 24, 2016
"Lunches for the 590 students at Kipapa Elementary School are being prepared at another school after a kitchen worker was confirmed to have contracted hepatitis A this week. Donalyn Dela Cruz, Department of Education spokeswoman, said the cafeteria worker called Kipapa Elementary School's principal Corrine Yogi Monday and informed her of the positive test result. Dela Cruz said the school immediately closed its cafeteria and began testing all of its cafeteria workers. 'All the tests have come in negative,' Dela Cruz added. In addition, the Department of Education contracted a commercial company to clean the cafeteria and has asked the health department to inspect it... In a letter sent to Kipapa Elementary School parents Tuesday, Yogi said the affected cafeteria employee worked in the kitchen from Aug. 3-16... As of today, there have been 228 cases of hepatitis A in Hawaii, according to the health department."
How Does Hepatitis A Get on Strawberries?
Food Poisoning Bulletin
August 25, 2016
"The hepatitis A outbreak in Virginia that is linked to strawberries imported from Egypt and allegedly used in smoothies sold at Tropical Smoothie Cafe locations in that state is raising more questions about how the virus is transmitted. The hepatitis A virus is very hardy and contagious. But how does it get on fruit? ...You can take comfort in the fact that these outbreaks affect relatively few people. Even with the multiplier for hepatitis A cases (set in 2010) at 10.4, which means that in the Hawaiian outbreak there may be 2660 people sickened, and in the Virginia outbreak there may be 230 people sickened, these numbers are small when compared to the total populations that eat strawberries and scallops... If you are in a high risk group for complications of a hepatitis A infection, talk to your doctor about being vaccinated. The vaccine will protect you against infection."
The flu shot versus flu nasal spray - which is more effective?
Clinical Advisor
August 24, 2016
"Intranasal live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) and inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) provide similar community protection against the influenza virus, according to research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. During the course of 3 flu seasons, Mark Loeb, MD, professor, Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster University, Ontario, and colleagues conducted a cluster randomized, blinded trial to determine the efficacy of intranasal LAIV vs IIV in a cohort of children from 52 Hutterite colonies across Alberta and Saskatchewan... 'Immunizing children with LAIV does not provide better community protection against influenza than IIV,' concluded Dr Loeb. He noted that the main constraint of the study - conducting it in Hutterite communities - may limit the generalizability of the results. Previously, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) advised that LAIV should not be used during the 2016-2017 flu season. Clinicians should continue to vaccinate patients via either the IIV or recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV) in all patients 6 months and older."
Study Finds LAIV, IIV Offer Comparable Community Protection
American Academy of Family Physicians
August 24, 2016
"A study published online in Annals of Internal Medicine on Aug. 16 found that children immunized in Hutterite communities in Canada using the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) were protected equally as well as those given the standard inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV)... Jennifer Frost, M.D., medical director for the AAFP Health of the Public and Science Division, told AAFP News, 'For the 2015-2016 flu season, (the ACIP) reviewed data from more than 2,000 children who received the flu vaccine and were diagnosed with influenza. These data showed a relative ineffectiveness of LAIV.' Frost said there are studies, such as this one, from past flu seasons that indicate LAIV was at least as effective as IIV in reducing the risk of influenza. 'However,' she added, 'until a reason is found for LAIV's ineffectiveness this past season, (the AAFP) agrees that it should not be used.' Furthermore, Frost noted, the study examined a specific population of Hutterite children in Canada, which limits its generalizability to the U.S. population."
OPINION: End shot hysteria
Kokomo Tribune (IN)
August 24, 2016
"In spite of an overwhelming endorsement from medical experts, some folks continue to be skeptical about the flu vaccine... In any case, medical experts argue that not taking the vaccine is a lot more dangerous than taking it. Some point out that for the vast majority of patients, the flu is no big deal. Its victims will feel lousy for a few days, and then they'll be back at work or in school, good as new. Why, then, should people take the risk of getting the shots? The answer, the experts say, is that in a very few cases, the flu can be a very big deal. It can be deadly. Influenza kills between 3,000 and 49,000 Americans every year. And the only way to protect yourself from becoming one of those victims is to take the vaccine. Thus, the advice from the experts is straightforward: Get a vaccination."
Building on Momentum
Voice for Vaccines
August 25, 2016
"August is National Immunization Awareness Month, and we hope your social media feeds have been inundated with vaccine talk. But we need to remember that people need vaccines all year long. It's just about time for you to take your family for a flu shot, and babies receive the bulk of their protection against 14 diseases by the time they turn two years old. And of course, you want to live in a community where everyone is abiding by this social contract-getting vaccines to protect themselves and their neighbors, especially those too young to be vaccinated and those who cannot be vaccinated. Because germs seek to sicken year long, we need you to keep talking about vaccines. Post on social media! Share photos of your kids getting their post-vaccine treats. Talk about vaccine news on the playground and at the water cooler. Start conversations with friends who have concerns about vaccines. Just keep talking!"
Calling the Shots: Why Parents Reject Vaccines
Times Higher Education
August 25, 2016
"Internet shopping anyone? In 2011, one enterprising mother from Nashville, Tennessee, used her Facebook page to advertise lollipops sucked by her child who was suffering from chickenpox... Risk is one of the operative words central to sociologist Jennifer Reich's remarkably calm book on current vaccination practices in North America. Risk is what parents, pediatricians and policymakers must evaluate in their roles as caregivers, primary-care doctors and advisers... The group of parents Reich interviewed over a 10-year period that has informed this book are the university-educated ubermoms who favour organic food and have a tendency to avoid gluten and dairy products. They are also concerned about what they see as a conspiracy by the pharmaceutical companies who produce vaccines, the doctors who prescribe them and the official bodies that create and endorse the vaccine schedule. They see themselves as sensibly exercising their responsibility to the unique body of each child they bear."
‘Vaccine exceptionalism’: With friends like these, who needs enemies?
Respectful Insolence
August 25, 2016
"There's an old saying that basically asks the question, "With friends like these, who needs enemies? or, as Voltaire (or Marshal Villars, depending on the account) said, 'May God defend me from my friends: I can defend myself from my enemies.' The point, of course, is that friends or allies can sometimes be as infuriating as enemies, if not more so. Such is the case with Alice Dreger, author of Galileo's Middle Finger, a book dedicated to describing how activists can undermine science in favor of ideology... Unfortunately, Dreger is at it again in a post from yesterday on her personal blog entitled Beyond Vaccine Exceptionalism, in which she basically used a debate between physicist Robert David Grimes and antivaccine quack Andrew Wakefield on Irish radio as a starting point for a discussion about what to do when faced with the situation Grimes faced: To debate (or not) an antivaccine quack."
Honestly, I Was Terrified Of Vaccinating My Baby
August 24, 2016
"Let's clear something up from the start: I did not vaccinate my kids after birth and I don't really fit neatly into a pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine box. As toddlers, my kids are 'caught up,' but only because I slowly started forcing myself to chill out about vaccines. Honestly, I was so terrified of vaccinating my babies that I said no for several months after they were born... No matter what your opinion of vaccines, I think most parents can agree that the dialogue on both sides of the matter can be really extreme. I've seen name-calling, shaming, and fear mongering aplenty from both the anti-vaxx and pro-vaxx communities. This climate makes it really hard for parents who simply have questions to get the information they need... Looking back, I don't regret my choice to vaccinate my kids. I feel I made the right choice for my family. I do, however, regret that I felt like fear was so much a part of my decision making."