Daily Clips

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A Force More Powerful Than Anti-Vaxxers? Economics!
July 27, 2016
"We have a vaccine crisis in this country. Not just the one caused by anti-vaxxers like Jenny McCarthy, scaring Americans away from life-saving childhood vaccines with pseudo-scientific claims about autism. Instead I'm talking about a bigger crisis, one caused by a dangerously thin supply of vaccines... To protect supplies, we need to be sure we are paying well for the vaccines we receive. That's the conclusion of a study led by my friend and colleague David Ridley. Working with two graduate students, Ridley analyzed whether the likelihood of vaccine shortages was correlated with the price of the vaccine... You won't be surprised at what Ridley, a health economist, offers as a solution to these shortages. He wants us to pay more money for vaccines. In his analyses, in fact, Ridley found that a 10% increase in the price of a vaccine was associated with a 1% reduction in the chance that this vaccine would experience a shortage the following year."
Medscape Vaccine Acceptance Report 2016
July 27, 2016
"Medscape's 2016 Vaccine Acceptance Report summarizes the findings of May 2016 survey of 1,551 physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants in pediatrics, family medicine, and public health. The report compares the 2016 survey results to a similar survey conducted in 2015 and identifies trends in vaccine hesitancy, refusal, and acceptance... Clinicians who report seeing an increase in vaccine refusals blame persistent beliefs on the part of parents about a link between vaccines and autism, and concerns about other ingredients in vaccines. The reasons for vaccine refusal cited by respondents are similar to those in last year's survey and are consistent with other studies on vaccine hesitancy and refusal... Clinicians are clearly frustrated about the media's mixed messages about vaccines. They believe that the lay media could support vaccination efforts by disseminating better information to combat the misinformation found on the Web. More than one half of all respondents (and 74% of pediatricians) also believe that laws should be passed or made stronger that mandate vaccines and remove exemptions for all but medical reasons."
Febrile seizure risk and vaccines
Contemporary Pediatrics
July 26, 2016
"A recent study found that although vaccines are associated with an increased potential risk of febrile seizure in young children, the overall risk is small, suggesting that following the currently recommended immunization schedule may be the optimal approach in managing appropriate vaccination of young children of immunization age... One of the long-standing issues with administering these vaccines is that they can cause fever, which in young children can lead to febrile seizures. The question returns to many wary practitioners and concerned parents as to whether the benefits of a timely administration of recommended vaccines outweigh the risk of developing febrile seizure. 'These vaccines prevent infections that can sometimes be severe or life threatening. The benefits of timely vaccination are likely much greater than the small risk of febrile seizure. Febrile seizures are relatively benign and do not cause lasting harm. Influenza vaccine, when needed, should still be given at the same time as these other vaccines,' says Jonathan Duffy, MD, MPH, Immunization Safety Office, CDC, Atlanta, Georgia, and lead author of the recent vaccination study."
Heartbroken family hopes son’s death from whooping cough will lead to greater awareness
ABC 10 San Diego (CA)
July 26, 2016
"A grieving father is hoping a personal tragedy will bring greater awareness of the preventable disease that killed his infant son. For the first time since 2010, whooping cough turned deadly in San Diego County, claiming the life of one-month-old Jaxon Rodgers. Last month, Jonalyn Lema gave birth to a healthy boy. 'It amazed me every day; I woke up and saw him,' said Rodgers. At 3 weeks old, Jaxon developed a slight cough. A day later, Rodgers said a clinic doctor told them not to worry. The next day, they brought Jaxon to an emergency room. The diagnosis was pertussis -- or whooping cough -- a contagious bacterial infection, with the most serious cases affecting infants. In Jaxon's case, his infection spread quickly... Lema received the whooping cough vaccine, but Dr. Mark Sawyer at Rady Children's hospital said it's most effective when taken a minimum two weeks before birth... Sawyer said the vaccine is typically 90 percent effective. Experts say to make sure anyone who holds your infant is vaccinated, not sick and washes their hands thoroughly."
Amid outbreak, health officials want more gay men vaccinated for meningitis
Los Angeles Times (CA)
July 26, 2016
"Health officials in Los Angeles and Orange counties are recommending that all gay and bisexual men receive meningitis vaccinations, amid an outbreak of the potentially fatal disease disproportionately affecting men who have sex with men. Local health departments were previously recommending vaccinations only for people considered high-risk, such as men who are HIV positive...The L.A. County health department only reported 12 meningococcal disease diagnoses in all of 2015 and only one of those identified as a gay or bisexual man, according to county officials. Health officials are unsure why gay men are being disproportionately affected by this outbreak. Invasive meningococcal disease is caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis, which is spread by saliva through close contact such as kissing, coughing or sharing drinks...Meningitis symptoms begin quickly and include nausea, vomiting and confusion. If not treated, the infection can cause brain damage, seizures or can kill within a few hours."
Community helped guard public against meningitis
The Desert Sun (CA)
July 27, 2016
"When the California Department of Public Health Director issued a health advisory on June 24 related to an outbreak of invasive meningococcal disease (meningitis) in Southern California, Desert AIDS Project immediately released the word that it would once again - as it had in 2014 - offer free vaccines to anyone who felt they might be at-risk. Due to the overwhelming response, we enlisted the help of two of our trusted community partners, the LGBT Community Center of the Desert and Equality California, as additional locations where we could offer the vaccines. High demand caused us to run out of the vaccines when administering them at The Center and we submitted an emergency order for more, including the 23 we were not able to immediately serve. We have continued to provide the vaccines, to a total of 225 thus far. Since we continue to have people come to our clinic every day for the vaccine, the Riverside County Immunization Program has agreed to send 100 vaccines."
Health department/schools remind parents of new vaccine
Newark Advocate (OH)
July 27, 2016
"With the new school year rapidly approaching, the Licking County Health Department and both local school districts are reminding parents of a new meningococcal vaccination requirement for incoming 7th- and 12th-graders. Per Senate Bill 121, students entering the seventh grade are required to have at least one dose of the meningococcal vaccination prior to the start of the upcoming school year. Students entering the 12th grade, meanwhile, must have a second dose of the vaccination. The state approved the legislation in 2015... Both local school districts, Licking Heights and Southwest Licking local schools, are well aware of the new vaccination requirements, and they have been doing what they can to get the word out to parents. Licking Heights sent a letter home with students in March informing their parents and guardians of the requirement. It currently is posted on the district's website. Meanwhile, Southwest Licking created a 'compliance plan,' said Ben Richards, the district's director of communications."
New York State now requires meningitis vaccination in grades 7 and 12
The Warwick Advertiser (NY)
July 26, 2016
"Beginning Sept. 1, students entering seventh and twelfth grades must be vaccinated against meningococcal disease in order to attend school in New York State. Does your child need to be vaccinated before the start of the 2016-17 school year to meet this requirement? The answer depends on more than just your child's age and grade level... One dose of meningococcal vaccine before seventh grade. If a student had the first dose as a sixth grader, then another dose is not required until grade 12. A total of two doses are required before grade 12. Most students entering grade 12 received their first dose when they were younger and will be due for their second dose, or booster. This booster is needed because protection from the vaccine decreases over time... In October, Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved a law that requires immunizations against meningococcal disease for children at ages 11 or 12 and again at 16 years of age or older, as recommended by the national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices."
COLUMN: Type B meningitis vaccine
The Post Register (ID)
July 27, 2016
"It is late summer here on The College of Idaho campus and, like many Idaho colleges and universities, our facilities team is readying the residence halls for move-in day... Meningitis and its deadliest strain, Type B, is one of the recent and very deadly health threats facing colleges... While there are immunizations for Type B meningitis, it is NOT covered through basic immunization practices. While local health departments and the CDC have made information on new Type B vaccines available to the public, many states-including Idaho-have not required their colleges to provide this education... At The College of Idaho, we have already started to act in the name of our community's well-being. We recently adopted a policy requiring all incoming freshman to be vaccinated against many diseases before students attend classes. We are also proactively educating our parents about Type B meningitis and the available vaccine, and we are hosting a vaccine day on campus for students who have not yet received the Meningitis B vaccine... CHARLOTTE G. BORST, President, The College of Idaho."
Shots records aren’t free, plus more I learned signing up for Georgia pre-K
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA)
July 27, 2016
"You've got to be kidding me. $14 for two pieces of paper. When, where and how did the pediatrician's office get permission to charge $7 for a freakin' immunization form? It's one flimsy page. The information on it is important, of course. I get that. But you want to charge me for the form? What about the time I took to drive there? Is it free if you email it? No. How about the fact that my daughter has had two appointments in the past month, including one to get her 4-year-old shots? If I'd asked for the form during the appointment would it have been free then? No. These are the things you find out by accident as a parent. Or maybe I'm just the only uninformed mother in Atlanta? ... Suppose I didn't have the money? I'm blessed with a good job, but just suppose I couldn't afford it? These forms are required for preschool registration. I know the pediatrician has to make a living, too, but really, something just ain't right about this."
‘Vaxxed’ coming to Savannah
Connect Savannah (GA)
July 27, 2016
"Sometimes the best way to have your film screened across the country is to have it banned. Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Controversy made headlines last spring after the Tribeca Film Festival pulled the documentary from its 2016 line-up, saying that other filmmakers had threatened to take their work out of the 15 year-old festival if it were included. Directed by Andrew Wakefield, the film centers around the charge that findings from a study by the Center for Disease Control were tampered with, thereby suppressing evidence that linked a certain vaccine with autism... The study was retracted in 2010, and Wakefield was stripped of his medical credentials but has continued to advocate for more research in vaccine safety...Audiences are increasing in spite of-or perhaps because of-the controversy surrounding Vaxxed. After it was taken off the Tribeca schedule, festival co-founder and autism parent Robert DeNiro continued to express support for the film."
Hawaii Hep A outbreak nears 100; source a mystery
Food Safety News
July 27, 2016
"Extra staff is working overtime in Hawaii to find the cause of a Hepatitis A outbreak that has grown six-fold since July 1, but state officials admit they are stumped. Despite not having any hard leads on the source of the outbreak, State Epidemiologist Sarah Park said Tuesday that federal officials assisting with the investigation have praised the Hawaii public health efforts... Without a case control study, Park said it is virtually impossible to determine the cause of the outbreak. The only common denominator so far is that the outbreak appears to be limited to the island of Oahu. Three employees of restaurants on the island have been identified as outbreak victims, which raises the possibility they could have exposed customers. However, Park said, the employee illnesses should not be interpreted by the general public as a sign that any of the three restaurants is the root source of the outbreak. As of Tuesday, 93 people have been confirmed with the outbreak strain."
Flu shot rates among California adults vary by race and ethnicity
Health Canal
July 27, 2016
"Disparity of flu shot rates across ethnicities is partly consequence of how some groups and ethnic media are better at communicating the importance of getting the shot. More than 60 percent of all adults in California fail to get an annual flu shot, according to a new journal article by UCLA researchers that also found wide disparity in flu immunization rates among Asian subgroups... immunization rates for two adult Asian ethnicities in the state - Koreans and Vietnamese - were the highest at 48.9 percent and 46.7 percent, respectively, compared to a 40.2 percent rate for whites. Rates for other ethnic groups studied - Latino, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, South Asian, Asian other, and other - were not significantly different from whites. African-Americans had the lowest rate of the groups studied, 28.5 percent... According to previous studies, low household income and concern that getting a flu shot could result in a severe case of flu are factors in low immunization rates among African-Americans and other racial and ethnic groups."
Infectious disease specialists recommend the flu shot over the flu mist
Your State 4 (WV)
July 26, 2016
"Flu vaccines are never pleasant, whether it's a shot or nasal mist you're receiving. Getting vaccinated is about to get worse. Officials with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention advisory recommend not using the nasal spray this flu season. Since the mist made its debut in 2003, studies show that it's more effective in children than the shot. While other studies show it's not nearly as effective for any age group...According to medical statistics, many adults still prefer the shot due to its history of effectiveness and administration. In the end, Dr. Simmons says it's just important to get vaccinated. Dr. Simmons also says it's important to get your shot at the correct time."
Cervical cancer vaccine suit filed over side effects
The Japan Times (Japan)
July 27, 2016
"Sixty-three women and girls who reported side effects from cervical cancer vaccines sued the government and drugmakers on Wednesday as a sharp divide remained over the risks the medicine poses. The plaintiffs, ranging in age from 15 to 22, filed suits in district courts in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka, demanding compensation of at least ¥15 million each. The plaintiffs say they experienced a wide range of health problems including headaches, fatigue and mobility impairment after receiving the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines between 2010 and 2013. The plaintiffs also are demanding the state set up a nationwide network of specialists to help them with their symptoms. They want it to subsidize research for finding a cure and to support victims as they seek to continue their educations and search for jobs. The drugmakers involved are GlaxoSmithKline PLC and Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., who make the HPV vaccines Cervarix and Gardasil, respectively... More plaintiffs are expected to join the suit and the amount of claims could rise, the lawyers' group said. It said 180 families so far have asked for consultations."
We’re Fighting Zika ‘With One Hand Tied Behind Our Backs,’ CDC Director Says
July 26, 2016
"It's been a little over a week since the Senate failed to pass emergency funding for the Zika epidemic, right in the midst of mosquito season...So far, more than 1,000 people in the continental United States have Zika infections from travel, and more than 700 pregnant women in the U.S. and territories have the disease. Utah is investigating the first possible case of person-to-person transmission in the U.S. and Florida is investigating a possible case of local transmission. Without the additional Zika emergency funding, Frieden says the agency is moving money meant for other emergencies to the response.... As TIME has previously reported, scientists say the lack of emergency Zika funding is also hurting their research. 'Without a clear commitment from the federal government, private sector partners working on diagnostics and vaccines will choose not to proceed,' said Marissa Padilla, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, to TIME."
Anti-Vax Film Distributors Threaten Critic And Autistic Rights Advocate With Defamation
Tech Dirt
July 26, 2016
"Any time we discuss the segment of our population that is still, despite all evidence to the contrary, pushing anti-vaccination conspiracy theories out into the ether, the comments section is inevitably invaded by these proponents... It is instead a post about how the distributors of the upcoming sure-to-be smash hit film about the horror of vaccinations, creatively entitled Vaxxed, are also going around threatening people arguing against its message with defamation for pointing back at the filmmakers' own words... Fiona is an advocate for autistic children, helping to run a group called ART (Autistic Rights Together) as well as a Tumblr page dedicated to dispelling the myths of autism and vaccines. On that Tumblr page and on social media, O'Leary has often set her sights on the makers and distributors of Vaxxed, including producers Polly Tommey and Del Bigtree... And now that the threat letter has been sent and then shared by O'Leary with her followers, and now that the press is picking it up, all of those comments are being shared even more widely than they would have been otherwise. It seems the Streisand Effect is taking the deplorable comments of these anti-vaxxers viral, because the universe does not lack a sense of irony."