Vaccines

News and updates about vaccines, health and medicine.

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A new Illinois statute aims to boost flu shot rates among healthcare workers by making it harder for employees to decline the vaccine.

Lawmakers say this is important in light of last year’s flu season that killed more people than car crashes and drug overdoses. But some on the frontlines of public health worry that a law that’s not enforced will have little effect.

It's always appealing to think that there could be an easy technical fix for a complicated and serious problem.

For example, wouldn't it be great to have a vaccine to prevent addiction?

"One of the things they're actually working on is a vaccine for addiction, which is an incredibly exciting prospect," said Dr. Tom Price, secretary of Health and Human Services.

Understanding The History Behind Communities' Vaccine Fears

May 5, 2017

All four of Anab Gulaid's children have received their vaccinations on the recommended schedule. As Somali-American residents of Minneapolis, that puts them in the minority.

Fewer than half of Minnesota children of Somali descent have received the MMR shot that protects against measles, mumps and rubella, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Health, which is now working to combat a growing measles outbreak in the Twin Cities.

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Caroline Brown, a sophomore at the University of Missouri got a fever over Thanksgiving break. Soon it became painful to bite down, and her cheek began to swell. A trip to her physician confirmed it – Caroline had the mumps.

“Mumps kind of sounds like this archaic thing,” Brown said. “We get vaccinated for it - it just sounds like something that nobody gets.  So I just didn’t think that it was possible that I would get it.”


Worried About The Flu Shot? Let's Separate Fact From Fiction

Nov 25, 2015

Every year before influenza itself arrives to circulate, misinformation and misconceptions about the flu vaccine begin circulating. Some of these contain a grain of truth but end up distorted, like a whispered secret in the Telephone game.

But if you're looking for an excuse not to get the flu vaccine, last year's numbers of its effectiveness would seem a convincing argument on their own. By all measures, last season's flu vaccine flopped, clocking in at about 23 percent effectiveness in preventing lab-confirmed influenza infections.

California’s Tough New Law Overcomes Decades-Old Distrust Of Vaccines

Jul 1, 2015

On Tuesday, Gov. Jerry Brown of California signed into law a requirement that nearly all children be vaccinated in order to attend school.

California's state Senate has passed a bill to eliminate "personal belief exemptions" that currently allow parents to opt out of having their school-age children vaccinated.

SB 277, sponsored by Democratic Sens. Richard Pan of Sacramento and Ben Allen of Santa Monica, passed 25 to 10 and now advances to the Assembly.

Why Your Future Vaccination Might Not Be A Shot

May 4, 2015

Vaccines don't always make it into the people who need them the most. Many require a syringe and a needle to enter the bloodstream and create immunity. And that means a doctor or nurse has to do the job.

With the recent outbreak of measles originating from Disneyland, there's been no shortage of speculation, accusation and recrimination concerning why some people won't vaccinate their children.

The ongoing measles outbreak linked to Disneyland has led to some harsh comments about parents who don't vaccinate their kids. But Juniper Russo, a writer in Chattanooga, Tenn., says she understands those parents because she used to be one of them.

"I know what it's like to be scared and just want to protect your children, and make the wrong decisions," Russo says.

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