Mar 012012
FDA approves first ever quadrivalent flu vaccine

The FDA has approved the first ever, quadrivalent flu vaccine. All flu vaccines in circulation today are trivalent, they protect against two strains of flu, generally to type A and one type B strain. The new vaccine will protect against four strains, two A and two B therefore increasing protection and the probability of the vaccine matching the actual flu strain in circulation. Here is the text of the full FDA Media Release (links added). FDA NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release: Feb. 29, 2012 Media Inquiries: Rita Chappelle, 301-796-4672, Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA FDA approves first quadrivalent vaccine to prevent seasonal influenza FluMist Quadrivalent, a ———->FULL ARTICLE

Mar 012012
Whooping Cough outbreak sickens over 140 people in Canada

A whooping cough outbreak in British Columbia, Canada has sickened more than 140 people since December, prompting Canadian Health authorities to issue a warning. Hotspots  include the Fraser Valley, Hope, Chilliwack and Agassiz areas. If you are traveling to the area make sure you have received your booster shot, and especially if traveling with children make sure they are up-to-date with their DTaP vaccine. Pertussis can be particularly dangerous if caught by a young child, especially a baby who hasn’t had a chance to be vaccinated yet. Related articles Whooping cough spreading in B.C.’s Fraser Valley ( Spread of whooping cough in Fraser ———->FULL ARTICLE

Oct 272011
How Do We Know That Herd Immunity Exists?

The term “herd immunity” elicits strong responses from some in the anti-vaccine camp. Perhaps some do not like the use of the word “herd” because of its association with sheep, or other such animals that do the bidding of their herders. Or perhaps, and this is my belief, it is because the very idea of herd immunity rests upon the premise that vaccines are effective at stopping disease progression, and vaccine efficacy is one of the major things anti-vaxers deny. Many times they demand proof that herd immunity exists. In and of itself, that request is not unreasonable. After all, scientific proof ———->FULL ARTICLE

Oct 242011
Medical News Today: Flu Vaccine Protects Pregnant Woman's Baby And Does Not Cause Miscarriage

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT MEDICAL NEWS TODAY Apart from protecting a newborn infant from flu for four months, the flu vaccine does not raise the risk of miscarriage, Kathleen Neuzil, MD, member of the Infectious Disease Society of America’s Pandemic Influenza Task Force explained at their 49th Annual Meeting. Various presentations at the meeting are showing that pregnant mothers are getting the message not only about the flu shot’s importance, but also its safety. A newborn whose mother was not vaccinated is particularly vulnerable to flu because he/she is more likely not to be born with protective immunity and cannot be ———->FULL ARTICLE

Sep 272011
American Academy of Pediatrics Updates Pertussis Booster Vaccine Guidelines

Pertussis, a.k.a. whooping cough is a nasty disease. It is particularly merciless with our youngest. Last year in California 10 babies died, of which 9 were under 2 months of age and were thus too young to be vaccinated with the first of the 5 doses of the DTaP vaccine. Thus, it is imperative that we do all we can to protect the youngest in our midst from this deadly disease. In line with this need for extra protection for our children, the American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its guidelines about the use of the pertussis booster (Tdap) vaccine. In light of ———->FULL ARTICLE

Aug 132011
Universal Flu Vaccine Another Step Closer, But Still Far

On the Apr-Jun 2011 issue of  The Vaccine Times we reported on a new flu shot being tested which could do away with our need for yearly flu shots.  The vaccine candidate, called VAX102 is based on an antibody called F16 which can target a common protein shared by all Influenza A viruses which are the most virulent and the most prone to mutation influenza viruses. Recently U.S. scientists are reporting the finding of a new antibody which can tackle 30 of the 36 known strains of H1N1 (a virus of the A type) flu virus. The newly discovered antibody, ———->FULL ARTICLE

Jul 192011
Flu vaccine for 2011-2012 season approved by the FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) met in February to review data to determine the composition of the 2011-2012 season flu vaccine. Based on this review, the FDA recommended that this upcoming season’s vaccine contain the following three strains: an A/California/7/09 (H1N1)-like virus; * an A/Perth /16/2009 (H3N2)-like virus; a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.         *A/California/7/09 (H1N1)-like virus is the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza virus. This composition is identical to last season’s flu vaccine composition. This might mean that some healthy people may not need to take it this year, if they took last year’s shot. However, that needs to be determined ———->FULL ARTICLE

Mar 222011

Vaccine safety is one of the major areas of  concern of the anti-vaccination crowd.  Guillan-Barre syndrome is a subset of said concern; it is feared that some vaccines might increase the incidence rate. It appears the science-based evidence is a bit unclear on the issue. Luckily this is being followed closely by scientists all over the world. One such group of scientists recently published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine which addresses the concern. Safety of Influenza A (H1N1) Vaccine in Postmarketing Surveillance in China Xiao-Feng Liang, M.D., Li Li, M.D., Ph.D., Da-Wei Liu, M.D., Ke-Li Li, ———->FULL ARTICLE