Sioux Falls Scientists endorse Vaccines for showing us that
vaccines have saved millions are are not a cause of autism.
Calling The Shots
Vaccines (2014) - 60 minutes
Vaccines at Amazon.com
Diseases that were largely eradicated in the United States a generation ago - including whooping cough, measles, mumps - are returning, in part because nervous parents are skipping their children's shots. Vaccines - Calling the Shots, a new NOVA special, takes viewers around the world to track epidemics, explore the science behind vaccinations, and shed light on the risks of opting out.
The vast majority of Americans vaccinate their children, and most do it on the recommended schedule. Yet many people have questions about the safety of vaccines, and in some communities, vaccination rates have fallen below the level needed to maintain "herd immunity" - allowing outbreaks to take hold and spread. This film draws on the latest, best available evidence to help parents find the answers.
Highlighting real cases and placing them in historical context, Vaccines - Calling the Shots traces outbreaks of communicable diseases and demonstrates just how fast they can spread - and how many people can fall sick - when a community's immunity barrier falls.
3-15-17 See how bacterial blood infections in young kids plummeted after vaccines
See how bacterial blood infections in young kids plummeted after vaccines
Newcomer pneumococcal vaccines have led to huge reductions in blood infections among young children. To celebrate birthdays, my 2- and 4-year-old party animals got vaccinated. Measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough for the older one (thankfully combined into just two shots), and hepatitis A for the younger. Funnily enough, there were no tears. Just before the shots, we were talking about the tiny bits of harmless germs that would now be inside their bodies, teaching their immune systems how to fight off the harmful germs and keep their bodies healthy. I suspect my girls got caught up in the excitement and forgot to be scared. As I watched the vaccine needles go in, I was grateful for these medical marvels that clearly save lives. Yet the topic has become fraught for worried parents who want to keep their kids healthy. Celebrities, politicians and even some pediatricians argue that children today get too many vaccines too quickly, with potentially dangerous additives. Those fears have led to reductions in the number of kids who are vaccinated, and along with it, a resurgence of measles and other diseases that were previously kept in check. Doctors and scientists try to reduce those fears with good, hard data that show vaccines are absolutely some of the safest and most important tools we have to keep children healthy. A study published online March 10 in Pediatrics shows a particularly compelling piece of data on the impact of vaccines.
3-15-17 Australia to ban unvaccinated children from preschool
Australia to ban unvaccinated children from preschool
The government wants 95 per cent of Australian children vaccinated – a level that would stop infectious diseases spreading and protect those who can’t be vaccinated. No-jab, no play. So says the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, who has announced that unvaccinated children will be barred from attending preschools and daycare centres. Currently, 93 per cent of Australian children receive the standard childhood vaccinations, including those for measles, mumps and rubella, but the government wants to lift this to 95 per cent. This is the level required to stop the spread of infectious disease and to protect children who are too young to be immunised or cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. Childcare subsidies have been unavailable to the families of unvaccinated children since January 2016, and a version of the new “no jab, no play” policy is already in place in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Other states and territories only exclude unvaccinated children from preschools during infectious disease outbreaks. The proposed policy is based on Victoria’s model, which is the strictest. It requires all children attending childcare to be fully immunised, unless they have a medical exemption, such as a vaccine allergy.
3-13-17 Australia considers childcare ban on unvaccinated children
Australia considers childcare ban on unvaccinated children
Unvaccinated children would be banned from childcare centres and preschools under an Australian government plan. Some Australian states already have "no jab, no play" laws, but PM Malcolm Turnbull is calling for nationwide legislation. Health groups have supported the push, arguing parents and the community have an obligation to protect children. An Australian Child Health Poll survey of nearly 2,000 parents showed 5% of children were not fully vaccinated. Mr Turnbull said more needed to be done, citing the case of a baby who died from whooping cough. "This is not a theoretical exercise - this is life and death," Mr Turnbull said. "If a parent says, 'I'm not going to vaccinate my child,' they are not simply putting their child at risk, they are putting everybody else's children at risk too." Vaccinating children is not a legal requirement in Australia, but failing to do so makes parents ineligible for childcare rebates. (Webmaster's comment: Isolate unvaccinated children and their families away from the rest of us so they only infect themselves!)
11-3-16 50 years later, vaccines have eliminated some diseases
50 years later, vaccines have eliminated some diseases
Vaccines provide a crucial line of defense against some diseases such as measles and rubella, but other illnesses have frustrated development efforts. More vaccines promised — “The decline of poliomyelitis among more than 350 million people of the world … (offers) a promise of vaccines that will soon be used against other diseases considered hopeless or untreatable until recently. Vaccines against some of the many viruses causing the common cold, as well as those causing rubella, mumps and other diseases are on the way.” — Science News, November 19, 1966. In 1971, vaccines against mumps and rubella were combined with the measles vaccine into one MMR shot. All three diseases are now very rare in the United States. But persistent pockets of lower vaccination rates (spurred in part by the repeatedly debunked belief that vaccines cause autism) have allowed sporadic outbreaks of all three illnesses. A vaccine against the common cold has not yet materialized. Creating one vaccine that protects against the hundred or so strains of rhinoviruses that can cause colds is not easy. But some scientists are giving it a shot, along with vaccines against HIV, Ebola and Zika.
10-11-16 There's a big change coming to the flu vaccine
There's a big change coming to the flu vaccine
r the past eight years, flu shots around the world have contained a virus that was retrieved from a sick person in California in the spring of 2009, in the earliest days of the H1N1 — or swine flu — pandemic. No more. Recently, the World Health Organization recommended that flu vaccine manufacturers swap out the component that is based on that virus with an updated version. It is uncommon for a flu virus to remain in the vaccine for such an extended period as the current one. "A/California had a good run," Dr. Danuta Skowronski, an influenza epidemiologist at the British Columbia Center for Disease Control in Vancouver, said of the virus that is being discarded. The change, which will first come into effect in the flu shots for the 2017 Southern Hemisphere winter, is good news. It's an indication that advances in flu science — particularly relating to monitoring small changes in viruses and figuring out how that evolution dictates who and how many people might get sick in a flu season — may be helping scientists fine-tune flu-fighting strategy.
9-27-16 Measles has been eliminated in the Americas, WHO says
Measles has been eliminated in the Americas, WHO says
The highly infectious disease, which is marked by flat red spots that can cover the body, has been eliminated from the Americas after decades of wide-spread VACCINATION. A half-century after scientists first introduced a vaccine to combat measles, the disease has been eliminated from a swath of the globe stretching from Canada to Chile — and all the countries in between. The region is the first in the world to have eliminated the viral disease, the Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization announced September 27. That’s different from eradication, which means an infectious disease has been scrubbed out permanently, worldwide. So far, only smallpox has been eradicated. Though measles outbreaks still crop up occasionally in the Americas (this year 54 people have contracted the disease in the United States), they stem from travelers bringing the virus in from other parts of the world. A home-grown outbreak in the Americas hasn’t occurred since a 2002 outbreak in Venezuela.
9-9-16 Fear of vaccine safety is higher in Europe than in the US
Fear of vaccine safety is higher in Europe than in the US
A survey across 67 countries has found that Europe is the world’s most sceptical region when it comes to vaccines, especially people in France. Europe is the world’s most vaccine-sceptic region. That’s according to a study that has surveyed 66,000 people living in 67 countries about their views on the importance and safety of vaccines. People in France showed the least confidence – 41 per cent of those surveyed said they disagreed that vaccines are safe. The global average was 12 per cent. France was followed by Bosnia and Herzegovina, where 36 per cent doubted the safety of vaccines. Russia and Mongolia came next, with 28 per cent and 27 per cent, respectively. Greece, Japan and the Ukraine all recorded a 25 per cent lack of confidence. In the US, 14 per cent of the 1,000 people surveyed disagreed that vaccines are safe, while 86 per cent agree they are important.
9-2-16 Pediatricians push back against anti-vax parents
Pediatricians push back against anti-vax parents
It is “acceptable” for doctors to drop patients who refuse vaccinations on nonmedical grounds, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced in a new policy statement this week. The advice was issued after a survey revealed that 87 percent of pediatricians have dealt with parents who did not want their children to be vaccinated—up from 75 percent a decade ago. Many parents who refuse to have their kids vaccinated believe immunizations can cause autism, a theory that has been thoroughly debunked. Other parents believe vaccines are an unnecessary discomfort for their children. The academy said that doctors should try to persuade hesitant families of the benefits of vaccines, and only exclude them from a practice as a last resort.
9-1-16 Dog vaccine offers hope in China’s fight against rabies
Dog vaccine offers hope in China’s fight against rabies
Scientists in China have found that a rabies vaccine usually given to dogs can also protect livestock. Rabies in domestic cattle and camels, infected by wild dog and fox bites, has been on the rise in north-west China. Because there is no oral vaccine for wild animals in China, it is impossible to prevent this type of spread. A vaccine for large domestic animals is what is needed, the researchers say, but the canine vaccine could provide a stop-gap measure.
8-13-16 What the deadly 1960s rubella outbreak should teach us about the Zika virus
What the deadly 1960s rubella outbreak should teach us about the Zika virus
As the Zika virus continues to sweep through Latin America and begins what appears to be a steady march into the United States, the hunt is on for a vaccine against it. In addition to posing scientific and medical challenges, the development of a Zika vaccine raises social and ethical issues with a twist because of what this vaccine will do and who it is aimed at. In some ways it will be like a vaccine developed almost 50 years ago to fight rubella, a virus that also attacked developing babies. Infection with the Zika virus generally isn't a big deal. Most people don't develop any symptoms. Those who do may have a low-grade fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle or joint pain, or fatigue that disappears within a week. A small number of people infected with the Zika virus develop Guillain-Barré syndrome, in which the immune system attacks nerves, causing pain or partial paralysis. Among women who are pregnant, though, infection with the Zika virus can have devastating consequences for their developing babies. These range from microcephaly, a condition characterized by a small head and impaired brain development, to seizures, vision and hearing loss, and intellectual disability. There are strong parallels between Zika and rubella, also known as German measles. An outbreak of rubella rocked the United States in the winter of 1964 and spring of 1965. More than 12 million people were infected with rubella. Like Zika, rubella is generally a minor illness. It causes a distinctive red rash, low fever, and symptoms resembling a bad cold that usually last a few days. For developing babies, however, infection can be a major catastrophe, causing a variety of birth defects, including blindness, deafness, heart damage, cataracts, internal organ damage, and intellectual disability. During that rubella outbreak, more than 20,000 babies were born with congenital rubella syndrome. Without a vaccine, there was nothing their mothers could have done to prevent it. A vaccine against rubella became available in 1969. Since then, this disease has been eradicated in the United States. (Webmaster's comment: We need a vaccine NOW!)
8-12-16 Polio back in Nigeria two years after being wiped out in Africa
Polio back in Nigeria two years after being wiped out in Africa
Just as Africa was due to celebrate the anniversary of its last polio infections, two new cases have set back global efforts to eradicate the virus by 2019. Just as Africa was due to celebrate two polio-free years, it has been announced that the virus has paralysed two children in Nigeria’s Borno state. The decline of polio in Africa is thanks to a huge public health effort. When these two new cases came to light, the continent had been on track to be declared officially polio free in just one year’s time. “The overriding priority now is to rapidly immunise all children around the affected area and ensure no other children succumb,” said Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization’s regional director for Africa. Nigeria previously had a particularly large incidence of polio. As recently as 2012, the country accounted for more than half of all cases globally. But a concerted campaign of immunisation meant that the country was able last month to celebrate two years without a new case. (Webmaster's comment: I wonder what all those anti-vaccination Twits have to say about the polio vaccine. Maybe they'd like to go back to crippled children by the many thousands every year in the United States.)
4-17-16 Vaccine switched in 'milestone' towards ending polio
Vaccine switched in 'milestone' towards ending polio
More than 150 countries have begun switching to a different polio vaccine - an important milestone towards polio eradication, health campaigners say. The new vaccine will target the two remaining strains of the virus under a switchover 18 months in the planning. There were just 74 cases of the paralysing disease in 2015 and there have been 10 so far this year. (Webmaster's comment: Thanks to polio vaccine this disease has almost been eradicated. No thanks to vaccine deniers other diseases have not.)
4-1-16 Pulling ‘Vaxxed’ still doesn’t retract vaccine misconceptions
Pulling ‘Vaxxed’ still doesn’t retract vaccine misconceptions
The Tribeca Film Festival and its cofounder Robert De Niro came under intense fire last week for their decision to screen Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe, a film directed by disgraced gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield. If Wakefield’s name doesn’t ring a bell, his legacy is surely familiar: his fraudulent 1998 study claiming to find a link between autism and the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine kicked off a major public health scare that’s had lasting, devastating consequences. While the purported link between autism and vaccines has been repeatedly debunked, the link lives on within the antivaccination movement. As a result of the backlash against vaccines, cases of the virtually eliminated measles are on the rise, as are outbreaks of other vaccine-preventable diseases.
4-1-16 Robert De Niro pulled the anti-vaccination documentary Vaxxed
Robert De Niro pulled the anti-vaccination documentary Vaxxed
Amid a storm of controversy, Robert De Niro pulled the anti-vaccination documentary Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe from his Tribeca Film Festival. The film accuses the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of covering up an alleged—and repeatedly debunked—link between child vaccinations and rising autism rates. De Niro, who has an autistic child, had defended screening the film “to provide an opportunity for conversation around an issue that is deeply personal to me and my family.” But he said, after reviewing the film, “We do not believe it contributes to or furthers the discussion I had hoped for.” The film was harshly criticized by doctors and scientists for promoting the myth that autism is caused by vaccination, which has driven down vaccination rates to the point where diseases like measles and whooping cough are making a comeback.
3-27-16 Vaxxed: Tribeca festival withdraws MMR film
Vaxxed: Tribeca festival withdraws MMR film
New York's Tribeca Film Festival will not show Vaxxed, a controversial film about the MMR vaccine, its founder Robert De Niro says. As recently as Friday, Mr De Niro stood by his decision to include the film by anti-vaccination activist Andrew Wakefield in next month's festival. The link the film makes between the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and autism has been widely discredited. "We have concerns with certain things in this film," said Mr De Niro. Mr De Niro, who has a child with autism, said he had hoped the film would provide the opportunity for discussion of the issue. But after reviewing the film with festival organisers and scientists, he said: "We do not believe it contributes to or furthers the discussion I had hoped for." (Webmaster's comment: People have every right to reject promoting the blatant lies of the anti-vaccination advocates. There has only been a single published scientific article in support of the vaccine-autism link and that article was retracted by the publisher many years ago. And the author of the article was found guilty of fraud 15 years ago!)
2-22-16 Vaccine halves cancer-causing HPV infections in US teen girls
Vaccine halves cancer-causing HPV infections in US teen girls
The number of people infected with the virus, which causes most cases of cervical cancer, has fallen dramatically since the vaccine's introduction. Vaccination against human papilloma virus has more than halved the number of HPV infections in the US – the leading cause of cervical cancer – despite its relatively low uptake in the country. The growing body of evidence that HPV vaccination works may convince more countries to give the vaccine to teenage boys, as HPV also causes cancers of the mouth, throat and anus, as well as genital warts. “It supports the case to strive for as much coverage as possible,” says Johannes Bogaards of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment at Bilthoven in the Netherlands, who wasn’t involved in the latest study. The vaccine, called Gardasil, was designed to prevent cervical cancer. It works against four strains of HPV, which cause almost all cases of this type of cancer. (Webmaster's comment: So much for vaccine denials.)
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Calling The Shots
Sioux Falls Scientists endorse Vaccines for showing us that
vaccines have saved millions are are not a cause of autism.