Posts Tagged ‘ Vaccines ’

Thanks to Vaccines, Chickenpox Cases Are Dropping: Study

Friday, August 14th, 2015

boy getting vaccineThe chickenpox vaccine, also known as the varicella vaccine, was first made available in 1995, and since its introduction there have been significantly fewer cases in the United States. In 2006, the recommendation for a second dose of the vaccine was added, and both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that kids get this second dose between ages 4 and 6.

Related: Is the Chickenpox Vaccine Safe?

Now, a new study confirms that the added dose has continued to decrease the number of outpatient visits and hospitalizations due to chickenpox. The study, published in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, examined national health data from 1994 to 2012.

CDC researchers found that between 2006 and 2012, after the two-dose vaccination recommendation was introduced, outpatient visits decreased by 60 percent and hospitalizations declined by 38 percent.

While the most significant declines were among the vaccine’s targeted population (1-19 year olds), they also found a reduction in cases among babies younger than 12 months (who haven’t yet had the vaccine) and adults (who are often unvaccinated), which suggests the potential of herd immunity.

Related: How Much Do You Really Know About Vaccines?

“We saw significant declines in rates of varicella after the one-dose vaccine was recommended in 1995 in the U.S., and we’re continuing to see additional declines in varicella after two doses were recommended in 2006,” said Jessica Leung, the study’s co-author.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

The Vaccine Schedule
The Vaccine Schedule
The Vaccine Schedule

Image: Boy getting vaccine via Shutterstock

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Is This the Key to Countering Anti-Vaccination Attitudes?

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

VaccinationWhile more American parents view childhood vaccines as safe and beneficial now than in previous years, some still aren’t on board. But experts from UCLA and University of Illinois think they have finally found the most effective way to convince vaccination skeptics of the value of vaccines.

The research, published in the journal of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, determined that the way the vaccination argument is presented is what is most essential to changing negative attitudes.

Not surprisingly, most parents don’t respond well when told their fear of vaccinations is wrong or uninformed. What does work? A simple reminder that the diseases, like measles, their kids can contract are “terrible“—and explaining that their children will be protected by receiving vaccinations.

In order to draw their conclusions, researchers split 315 adults (both parents and non-parents) into three groups—and those with very positive or negative attitudes about vaccinations were evenly distributed between the different groups. Before the experiment began approximately one-third of individuals had very favorable attitudes toward vaccines and the other two-thirds were skeptical of them.

Each group was then given different reading material. The control group read information unrelated to vaccines. The second group read information from the CDC that stated vaccines are safe, all children should be vaccinated, and that much scientific evidence has proven no link between vaccines and autism. The third group read information about how vaccines can prevent certain diseases, as well as showing photos and explaining the dangers of contracting the diseases. This group also read an anecdote from a mother whose son had suffered from measles.

Researchers found that it was this third group whose previously negative attitudes about vaccines changed most favorably.

“It’s more effective to accentuate the positive reasons to vaccinate and take a non-confrontational approach —’Here are reasons to get vaccinated’—than directly trying to counter the negative arguments against vaccines,” stated Keith Holyoak, senior author of the study and UCLA Distinguished Professor of Psychology, in a press release. “There was a reason we all got vaccinated: Measles makes you very sick. That gets forgotten in the polarizing debate on whether the vaccine has side effects.”

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Vaccines for Babies and Older Kids
Vaccines for Babies and Older Kids
Vaccines for Babies and Older Kids

Image: Being vaccination via Shutterstock

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A New Poll Shows How Parents Feel About Vaccines Now

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Girl getting vaccineIf there’s anything positive to come from the recent outbreaks of measles and whooping cough, it may be this: More American parents now view childhood vaccinations as being safe and beneficial, according to the findings of a new poll.

According to a recent C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital poll, conducted in May, 25 percent of participants responded that their “confidence in vaccine safety has increased” in the last year, and 34 percent believe being vaccinated is more beneficial than they previously thought. (Just 7 percent and 5 percent, respectively, now believe vaccines are less safe and less beneficial than they did a year ago.)

The poll also found that 40 percent of parents believe their children are at a higher risk of contracting these diseases than a year ago. And 35 percent of parents are now more supportive of vaccination requirements at daycares and schools.

Related: Should Schools Ban Unvaccinated Kids?

Experts believe the shift in opinions is due to the numerous measles and whooping cough outbreaks that have made news across the country over the past year, as well as efforts by health professionals to increase knowledge about the benefits of vaccines.

Related: California Outlaws Personal and Religious Beliefs as Valid Vaccination Exemption

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn.

The Vaccine Schedule
The Vaccine Schedule
The Vaccine Schedule

Image: Mom with daughter receiving vaccine via Shutterstock

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California May Outlaw Personal and Religious Beliefs as Valid Vaccination Exemption

Friday, June 26th, 2015

Vaccine in vial

UPDATE: On June 30th, Gov. Jerry Brown signed this bill into law. California is now the largest state to require all schoolchildren to be vaccinated (unless they are exempt for medical reasons).

Although the California measles outbreak is no longer making daily headlines, the government has still been working diligently to prevent an outbreak like this from ever happening again.

Yesterday, the California House successfully approved a proposal—46 to 30—that would deem a family’s personal and religious beliefs as an illegal reason to exempt children from mandatory school vaccinations. If the Senate approves the proposal’s amendments it will advance to Gov. Jerry Brown in order to gain final approval.

If made into law, California would be the 33rd state to outlaw families from opting out of mandatory vaccines due to their belief system. The only exception to the law would happen when the State Department of Public Health deemed a medical exemption appropriate.

“California parents will be forced to give their children more than 40 doses of 10 federally recommended vaccines or homeschool unless they can find a doctor to write a medical exemption that doctors deny to 99.99 percent of children under federal guidelines,” said one oppositional group, Californians for Vaccine Choice.

Aside from traditional homeschooling, parents who decide against vaccination could also participate in multifamily homeschool programs or use public school’s independent study option.

“Children, pregnant women, seniors and people with cancer, organ transplants and other conditions are counting on us to make sure science prevails,” said California Senator Richard Pan, a pediatrician who co-introduced the proposal.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn.

The Vaccine Schedule
The Vaccine Schedule
The Vaccine Schedule

Image: Vaccine vial via Shutterstock

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Another Study Confirms: The MMR Vaccine Does NOT Cause Autism

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Boy vaccineA significant amount of research has already revealed that vaccines are not the cause of autism.

This week, another new study was released that found no link between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, focused on the younger siblings of children who were already diagnosed with autism. These children are at an increased risk for autism, but researchers found that the likelihood of this group developing autism was not heightened by vaccination.

The study examined more than 95,000 children born between 2001 and 2007. Vaccination rates were slightly lower (10 percent) in this group, and many of the children who were vaccinated were on a delayed vaccination schedule—likely due to parents’ worries. Approximately 7 percent of the individuals were diagnosed with autism; however, researchers found no link between receiving the MMR vaccine and autism in this group.

“We found that there was no harmful association between receipt of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine and development of autism spectrum disorder,” confirmed Dr. Anjali Jain of The Lewin Group, a health consulting group in Virginia, who led the study.

Related: 7 Vaccine Myths, Debunked!

Although the number of individuals diagnosed with autism has increased, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention attributes this to the growth of knowledge and awareness over the years.

As more and more evidence is found to prove that autism and vaccination are not linked, experts are hoping to settle the minds of parents—and begin using their resources elsewhere to explore potential causes of this disorder.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Children with Autism: The Parents Perspective
Children with Autism: The Parents Perspective
Children with Autism: The Parents Perspective

Image: Boy receiving vaccine via Shutterstock

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