I usually shy away from getting too personal in my work. But in the spirit of Thanksgiving and as a new mom, I was thinking about things for which I’m particularly grateful. One of the first things that came to mind as a public health reporter? Vaccines. So, in that vein, let’s celebrate some new and promising numbers on the worldwide effort to eliminate measles.
When it comes to immunization rates in the United States, the story is a mixed one. Among children, we’ve absolutely excelled. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the nation’s childhood vaccination rate as one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century. But when it comes to American adults — 50,000 of whom die every year from vaccine-preventable diseases — it’s a very different story.
In a somewhat frightening illustration of anti-vaccine trends, a new report estimates that among groups affected in the recent measles outbreak, the rates of measles-mumps-rubella immunization might have been as low as 50 percent.
When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first vaccine to protect against cancers caused by certain strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV, public health advocates cheered its life-saving potential. Unfortunately, the new vaccine quickly became embroiled in a debate over whether immunizing young girls against HPV, a sexually transmitted disease, would lead to risky sexual behavior.
Vaccine safety is one of those topics that has become so tragically mired in misinformation and myth that there can never be enough supporting evidence. So, here’s some more.
One of our public health heroes, Ciro de Quadros, 74, a public health physician from Brazil died last week. We need his attitude, skills, and persistence more than ever today.
New happenings on public health intersecting with activities of U.S. espionage agencies.
It’s not the first study to examine the enormous health and economic benefits of vaccines. But it’s certainly another impressive reminder about the power — and value — of prevention.
An ER nurse's observations about this year's flu season.
The public health community needs to break its silence about the CIA's sham vaccination program that's being used as a cover for spying operations in Pakistan.