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Weekly Round-Up: Infectious Disease News of Interest

Items of interest from the world of vaccine-preventable diseases this week: 1. Health Affairs has published a new study, Exempting Schoolchildren From Immunizations: States With Few Barriers Had Highest Rates Of Nonmedical Exemptions, supporting tightening school vaccine exemptions. 2. Less than one-third of obstetrician-gynecologists vaccinate eligible patients against HPV and only half follow the cervical cancer prevention guidelines published in 2009,…

Clostridium difficile Infection: Is Hope on the Horizon?

Special thanks to Irena L. Kenneley, PhD, APRN-BC, CIC and Carol McLay, RN, MPH, DrPH, CIC, both members of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) Communications Committee, for this guest blog on the promise of a Clostridium difficile vaccine. Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is a potentially life-threatening bacterium that causes diarrhea and more serious intestinal conditions. It is frequently…

Preventing HPV in Teens

A study released last week by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that HPV cases among teen girls fell by more than 50% since the vaccine was first introduced in 2006. In his November 2011 Huffington Post blog, reposted below, NFID Immediate Past-President, Dr. William Schaffner, hit the nail on the head. The recent vote by the CDC’s…

Weekly Round-Up: Infectious Disease News of Interest

Items of interest from the world of vaccine-preventable diseases this week: 1. A new study from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that human papillomavirus (HPV) infections in teenage girls have decreased by more than 50% since the introduction of the HPV vaccine in 2006. 2. Vaccine advocate and 2013 recipient of NFID’s Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement, Dr. Paul…

Polio Eradication Endgame

      Special thanks to NFID Vice President, Walter A. Orenstein, MD and Katherine Seib, MSPH for this blog post on the goal for global eradication of polio. More on this topic can be found at  http://aapnews.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/06/03/aapnews.20130603-1. We are on the verge of permanently ridding the world of polio, a disease synonymous with paralysis and death. Before polio vaccines were available, polio outbreaks caused…

Weekly Round-Up: Infectious Disease News of Interest

Items of interest from the world of vaccine-preventable diseases this week: 1. The recent outbreak of Hepatitis A linked to frozen berries has reached 79 people. However, according to Seattle Mama Doc, Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, few kids are being infected since there is a ‘vaccine for that’! 2. A bold new campaign from the Vermont Department of Health called “It’s…

Michael Douglas Sparks Conversation about HPV Vaccine

Michael Douglas’ recent announcement that his throat cancer was caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease, has raised awareness about an important men’s health issue. The discussion is particularly relevant, as Men’s Health Week begins today. Douglas’ inverview with The Guardian may have caught some by surprise, but it certainly brought to light the importance of both men and women…

Less Than Perfect Vaccine Better Than None At All

As Voltaire once said, “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” Since the 2012-2013 flu season, there has been a lot of focus on the efficacy of the flu vaccine particularly in older adults. However, as this post from Shot of Prevention demonstrates, the goal should be progress versus total perfection.

Celebrating 50 Years of the Mumps Vaccine

 This iconic photo in the history of vaccines is of Robert Weibel, MD, vaccinating Kirsten Hilleman with the mumps vaccine – which was developed by her father, Dr. Maurice R. Hilleman. Fifty years ago this spring, Dr. Hilleman started down the path of creating the vaccine using mumps virus that he isolated from his daughter, Jeryl Lynn (the older girl to the left in…

Something Old, Something New in Vaccines

There is the old adage “Something old, something new, something borrowed…” While this is typically found in the world of weddings, last week also saw it in the world of vaccines. First is the “old”…North Carolina is currently experiencing an outbreak of measles. The count is now up to 19 affected in several different counties. The outbreak has been traced…

Annual Conference on Vaccine Research in the News

Thank you to Karie Youngdahl for blogging for The College of Physicians History of Vaccines on last week’s 16th Annual Conference on Vaccine Research. With National Infant Immunization Week taking place at the same time as the NFID conference, the coverage focused on the “Challenges for Future Disease Eradication by Vaccination” and “Prevention of Infant Infections and Maternal Immunizations” symposia. NFID…

Protecting Infants from Pertussis

In February 2013, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) updated the Tdap vaccine recommendations for pregnant women. NFID had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Mark H. Sawyer from the University of California San Diego about the updated recommendations. He discusses the importance of the vaccine, a strategy to communicate with vaccine-hesitant pregnant women, and the need for those surrounding newborns to also be…