Daily Clips

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How FluMist Slipped From Preferred To Passe
National Public Radio
June 27, 2016
"What led to the abrupt fall of FluMist - the nasal spray version of influenza vaccine - which until recently was considered the first choice for younger children? On Wednesday, an advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that the spray version was so ineffective, it shouldn't be used by anyone during the 2016-2017 flu season. Just two years ago, that same Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended FluMist as the preferred alternative for most kids ages 2-8, after reviewing several studies from 2006-2007 that suggested the spray was more effective in kids than the injectable forms of the vaccine. What changed to make the spray so much less effective than studies had shown it to be in the past? The bottom line is that right now 'we don't understand what it is,' said David Kimberlin, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, who said academic researchers and those at MedImmune, the subsidiary of Astra Zeneca that makes FluMist, are working to get answers."
BLOG: A bummer for kids: Nasal flu vaccine not effective
Harvard Health Publications
June 28, 2016
"Every year, many of my patients have been able to skip the needle - and still get vaccinated against the flu. That was the great thing about the nasal spray version of the flu vaccine, known as the LAIV (live attenuated influenza vaccine): kids scared of needles could get a squirt up each nostril and be all set. This coming flu season, everyone is getting the shot. It turns out that the nasal spray just didn't work that well. Despite studies from the 2002-2003 and 2004-2005 flu seasons that seemed to show that the nasal spray actually worked better than the shot in children ages 2-8 years, over the past couple of years it became clear that it wasn't working very well. Data from the 2015-2016 season showed that the spray only offered protection 3% of the time, as opposed to 63% with the shot. We might as well have been squirting water up those noses, which is so upsetting to me as a pediatrician. I recommended the nasal spray. I told families it worked just as well. But it didn't... CLAIRE MCCARTHY, MD, Faculty Editor."
Family searches for answers after daughter, 8, dies from flu
June 27, 2016
"It was the answer they had been searching for. But for parents Mark and Michelle Coyne, it brought confusion instead of clarity. Their daughter Mackenzie had just celebrated her eighth birthday when she woke up one Sunday morning in February with stomach pains. The Coynes thought she had a mild stomach bug. Then Mackenzie's fingers and toes started turning blue. By 4 p.m. that afternoon, Mackenzie had passed away. The medical examiner determined her cause of death to be the H1N1 influenza virus, the Coynes said. 'Flu never even crossed my mind,' said Michelle Coyne, because Mackenzie had received the FluMist vaccine. 'We were told that it was the most effective treatment because it contained the live virus. There was nothing else that said anything different. Our doctors didn't tell us anything different. Nobody really did.' The Coynes are shocked by the announcement last week that health officials are retracting their endorsement of FluMist due to studies showing the nasal spray has been ineffective for three straight years."
20th measles case confirmed in AZ; new exposure locations in Maricopa County identified
AZ Family (AZ)
June 27, 2016
"The Arizona Department of Health Services has confirmed another case of measles. This one, like the majority of other confirmed cases is in Pinal County. 'The new case is associated with the private detention facility in Eloy,' according to a news release from AZDHS. This brings the total number of cases to 19 in Pinal County and one in Maricopa County. Along with confirming the new case of the measles, AZDHS, also released five more places, including two in Maricopa County, where people might have been exposed."
Founder of RI Alliance for Vaccine Choice to Challenge Mattiello, Will Face Frias in GOP Primary
Go Local Providence (RI)
June 27, 2016
"Republican Shawna Lawton who heads RI Alliance for Vaccine Choice and is a sales and marketing professional, today announces her candidacy for R.I. House Representative in District 15. Presently, the seat is held by Speaker Nick Mattiello. She will face a GOP primary against Boston lawyer and Projo columnist Steve Frias. 'I am running for R.I. House Representative because I believe the decisions being made in our General Assembly are not in the best interest of Rhode Islanders. I believe my opponent is steering our state off course and not working to alleviate the problems that affect our everyday lives,' said Lawton... The anti-vaccine group Lawton helped form says, 'is organized for the purpose of advocating for legislation that supports parental rights and informed consent. All individuals should be given full knowledge of possible risks and benefits relating to medical procedures and vaccines including the HPV vaccine.'"
Introducing Debunked: Dr. Yasmin separates fact from fiction about science and medicine
The Dallas Morning News (TX)
June 27, 2016
"First Question: Do vaccines cause autism? No. Blame British surgeon Andrew Wakefield for this myth. Make that former surgeon. Wakefied was stripped of his medical license by the UK medical governing board for lying in a study that claimed the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) caused autism and digestive problems. Here's what happened. In the late 90s, Wakefield, a British doctor, experimented on 12 kids with signs of autism. He did spinal taps and colonoscopies on the children and fudged what parents told him about their children's symptoms to fit his hypothesis that the MMR vaccine was dangerous... In 1996, Wakefield was put on payroll by a lawyer who wanted to sue the MMR vaccine maker. The lawyer needed evidence that the vaccine caused harm so he paid Wakefield around half a million pounds (approximately $700,000) and funded his unethical 'study...' Wakefield lost his UK medical license in 2010, moved to Texas and became a hero to those who oppose vaccines, including Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy. Vaccination rates in the UK and U.S. went down and outbreaks of diseases such as measles and whooping cough went up. Public health experts blame Wakefield and his followers."
Doctors travel state to educate about HPV
KRISTV-NBC 6 Corpus Christi (TX)
June 27, 2016
"Cancer experts say that exposure to HPV is more common than most people realize, and the younger the child is vaccinated, the better. Because of this, cancer experts at M.D. Anderson are traveling all over the state to spread awareness and educate doctors about a vaccination that can prevent this disease. This morning they made a stop at Amistad Community Health Center in Corpus Christi. Lori Stevens is one of many M.D. Anderson employees advocating for this vaccine. 'An ounce of prevention is always better than the pound of cure, and that's especially true in cancer,' Stevens said. Stevens and the rest of her team educated the group of doctors and nurses on taking a proactive approach in encouraging their patients to get vaccinated before sexual activity begins... The experts at M.D. Anderson hope their seminars will provide physicians with the tools they need to push this practice, and improve the vaccination rates in the Coastal Bend. Lois Ramondetta is an oncologist at M.D. Anderson and says if a physician is not promoting the vaccine, they are not doing their job."
Parent slams Alamo Colleges vaccine policy
June 27, 2016
"One consequence of a Texas state law requiring college and university students to provide proof they received a meningitis vaccination within the past five years is the cost of storing that proof. Senate Bill 1107, passed in 2013, requires students under the age of 22 to provide a record of the shot before they can register for classes. More and more often, that cost is falling on students in the form of a 'retention' fee paid to a third party. Alamo Colleges and Texas A&M-San Antonio are area institutions of higher education that require students to pay a company called Magnus Health a $10 fee to store and verify the students' meningitis vaccination information... A TAMUSA spokeswoman said Monday the university does not receive any portion of the 'retention' fee. Still, the Magnus official said the fee has caused 'backlash' from time to time. She suggested students or parents unhappy with the fee should contact their college or university directly. In some cases, schools have agreed to cover the fees for students who object to it, according to the official."
Meningitis Vaccine Required For Middle Schools This Fall
SDPB Radio (SD)
June 27, 2016
"This fall kids entering 6th grade are required to get a vaccine to protect against meningitis. The change in vaccine requirements for 6th graders results from a bill passed by the 2016 legislature. A bill signed by Governor Dennis Daugaard during the legislative session adds meningococcal infection to the list of vaccines needed for middle school this fall... Winter says meningococcal infection can spread from close contact with someone who has it. She says this puts teens and young adults at increased risk. In South Dakota slightly over half of young adults ages 13-17 are vaccinated against meningitis. Winter says for 11-12 year olds, that number is much lower. 'We are hopeful that as parents hear about the requirement for 6th graders that they'll be talking to their providers and other teens who may not have been vaccinated and get them vaccinated as well, but we will only be requiring it for 6th grade entry,' says Winter. Winter says many clinics are already providing the vaccine."
Vaccines and febrile seizure risk
Contemporary Pediatrics
June 28, 2016
"Influenza and pneumococcal vaccines may cause febrile seizures when administered together, according to a new report, but the benefits of vaccination still outweigh the possible risks... The research team found that there was increased risk of febrile seizure on the day of vaccination and the day after when inactivated influenza vaccines were administered at the same time as the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine or a Diphtheria, Tetanus, and acellular Pertussis (DTaP) vaccine. The risk is small, says Jonathan Duffy, MD, MPH, a medical officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia and lead author of the study, with no more than 30 febrile seizures per 100,000 children vaccinated, so the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has decided that the findings don't warrant any changes in the current recommended use of these vaccines... 'Previous studies have examined the risk of febrile seizure follow the live attenuated vaccines MMR and MMRV, and the greatest risk of febrile seizure with measles-containing vaccines occurs 7 to 10 days after vaccination,' Duffy says."
Low vaccination rates in adults a growing statewide concern
June 27, 2016
"Local health experts say they are concerned about the number of adults in Tippecanoe County who are not getting vaccinated, and it is a growing problem across the state. In a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 21.5 percent of adults have had the Tdap vaccination which protects against tetanus and whooping cough. It's even lower for the Hepatitis A vaccination, with only 12.1 percent of adults between the ages of 19-49 receiving a vaccination. Vaccinations are not just for childhood, they are also important to keep adults healthy. But vaccination rates among adults are low even for the most routine shots, and the Tippecanoe County Health Department is doing what they can to help... The Indiana Department of Health made it a goal this year to help boost immunizations for adults in Tippecanoe County. A grant helped many get schooled on the importance of adult vaccines."
Here are some simple tips for keeping older adults safe
San Antonio Business Journal (TX)
June 28, 2016
"At all times of the year, older adults should take simple steps to be safe, recommit to eating healthy and exercise at whatever level they can, said Dr. Neela K. Patel, who cares for patients of UT Medicine Senior Health, part of the clinical practice of the School of Medicine at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. UT Medicine Senior Health, in collaboration with partners including CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital - Medical Center, is a 'patient-centered medical home,' Patel said. Medicines and immunizations... Ask your doctor to review your immunizations to see if you require protection against pneumonia, shingles or other infection"
Scientists take big step closer to creating not one but two vaccines against Zika
Los Angeles Times
June 28, 2016
"Just five months after the Zika virus was declared a global public health emergency, a scientific team's feverish efforts to create a vaccine against the viral threat have borne promising fruit: With a single shot of two different types of vaccine, experimental mice gained near-total immunity to Zika for at least two months. Writing in the journal Nature on Tuesday, a U.S.-Brazilian team of scientists reported that two distinct vaccine candidates conferred powerful protection from Zika infection when they were delivered by intra-muscular injection to mice. 'We were very surprised--and quite impressed--that a single shot of either of these vaccines provided complete protection,' said study co-author Dr. Dan H. Barouch, who after years of work on vaccines against the HIV virus pivoted in late January to work on Zika. 'Of course, we need to be cautious about extrapolating' from a study that has so far only shown success in mice, said Barouch, who directs vaccine research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston."
A pandemic influenza outbreak in the US could have widespread economic costs, nearly double previous
Outbreak News Today
June 28, 2016
"A pandemic influenza outbreak in the United States could have widespread economic costs nearly double the total amounts experts have previously calculated, depending on how the public, government, and businesses responded to an epidemic, according to policy and risk experts in a new study. Using an advanced methodology also applicable to the Zika virus and other biothreats to calculate the total cost of an influenza outbreak, the experts conclude that if the public used influenza vaccines during a pandemic outbreak the U.S. GDP loss would be $34. 4 billion. It would be a lot higher, however, if the public didn't use vaccines: $45.3 billion... The study results highlight a number of actionable items that government policy makers and public health officials can use to help reduce potential economic losses from the outbreaks. 'Attempting to influence avoidance behavior through public messaging and information campaigns, so-called 'nudges,' and other incentives may hold the potential for greatly reducing the economic costs of an influenza outbreak at a relatively low cost,' the authors write."
Indonesia Will Revaccinate ‘Millions’ of Children After Fake Vaccines Come to Light
June 28, 2016
"The Indonesian government will reinoculate children aged 10 and under after it uncovered fake-vaccine manufacturing and distribution rackets. It is not clear how many children will receive their jabs again, but the number could reach millions. Local media reports that Indonesian police have arrested 15 suspects in four provinces on Java in the past few days and seized hundreds of bogus vaccines, including substances being passed off as vaccines for polio and hepatitis B. 'Based on the culprits' confessions, the fake vaccines have been distributed across Indonesia since 2003,' Agung Setya of the Indonesian police told local media. Two of the suspects reportedly said they distributed fake vaccines to hospitals and community health centers... 'That is why the Health Ministry has to give immunization again to the children affected by the fake vaccines,' she stated to media, adding the shots would be given free of charge. Indonesia's vaccine scandal comes months after a similar public-health outcry hit China. Improperly stored vaccines were distributed in 24 provinces since 2010, leading to arrests and protests."
FluMist Doesn’t Make The Cut
PKIDs Blog
June 27, 2016
"Bad news for people 2 through 49 years of age: it's back to the needle for your annual flu vaccine. CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) advises the CDC on immunization matters. At their last meeting, they advised against using the nasal spray flu vaccine during the 2016-2017 flu season. The live, attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) is one we all love because it's a simple spray up the nose. But, the data from the last three years say the spray vaccine's effectiveness isn't great. It just doesn't seem to work that well. When the nasal spray vaccine was first licensed, data showed it to be as effective as the vaccine given in a shot. Researchers have yet to figure out why the nasal spray isn't currently protecting people from flu. The ACIP made its recommendation, but the CDC's director has to review and approve it before it becomes an official policy. The final recommendation should be published in August or September 2016."
Why the Anti-Vaxxers Threaten Us All
ZME Science
June 28, 2016
"In recent years, anti-vaccine proponents have been successful in persuading an increasing number of parents that their children don't need to be vaccinated... The sad fact is that neither science nor sense are on their side. Wakefield's research is thoroughly discredited. Scientists at both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health, leading centers of U.S. medicine, are unequivocal that Wakefield's data is not supported by the science behind either autism and vaccines... A number of diseases that used to threaten illness or death have been eradicated by vaccines. Anti-vaxxers are bringing them back. Anti-vaxxers frequently emphasize the role of personal choice in the vaccination decision. The backdrop is the increasing emphasis on personal choice in contemporary life. However, the anti-vaxxer choice is not solely a personal choice. Because diseases are spread among social units - many of them are carried through bodily fluids or through the air - the choice to exert a precaution against diseases is a social one as well."
The next Hannah Poling. Not vaccine injured. No mitochondrial disease.
Left Brain Right Brain
June 27, 2016
"One of the main talking points for the idea that autism is a 'vaccine induced epidemic' is the case of Hannah Poling. Hannah Poling was chosen as one of the test cases for the Omnibus Autism Proceeding (OAP). But before the case went to hearing, the Department of Health and Human Services conceded her case on the grounds that she met the criteria for a table injury...This is a case of one of the most vocal proponents of the idea that vaccines cause autism misleading the public. Mr. Krakow probably believes the story he tells of his child's development... But the facts tell a very different story. I am often asked why I cannot support the idea that vaccines cause autism. Thousands of parents tell the same story, I'm told. The problem is that the parents' stories don't match the facts. We saw this with Jenny McCarthy. We saw this with the Omnibus Autism Proceeding test cases. We've seen this with more vaccine court cases. We've seen this with parent stories shifting in online discussions. And now we've seen this with 'the next Hannah Poling.'"