Jul 02 2017

Why Are You Waiting To Vaccinate Your Children?

We share more than food and culture within our homes and communities. We can also spread disease. Luckily, we live in a time when vaccines can protect us from many of the most serious illnesses. Staying current on your shots helps you—and your neighbors—avoid getting and spreading disease. Vaccines have led to large reductions in illness and death—for both kids and adults—compared with the “pre-vaccine era,” says Dr. David M. Koelle, a vaccine expert at the University of Washington in Seattle. Vaccines will prevent about 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths among U.S. children born over the last 20 years, according to a recent report. Vaccines harness your immune system’s natural ability to detect and destroy disease-causing germs and then “remember” the best way to fight these germs in the future. Vaccination, or immunization, has completely eliminated naturally occurring smallpox worldwide—to the point that we no longer need to get shots against this fast-spreading, once-deadly disease. Polio too has been eliminated in the U.S. and most other nations as well, thanks to immunizations. Poliovirus can affect the brain and spinal cord, leaving people unable to move their arms or legs, or sometimes unable to breathe. “These childhood diseases used to be dreaded problems that would kill or paralyze children,” says Koelle. “In the 1950s, it was a common occurrence for kids to be fine in the spring, get ...

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Apr 21 2017

World Immunization Week 2017

Vaccines Work A report by the World Health Organization (WHO): World Immunization Week – celebrated in the last week of April – aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. Immunization saves millions of lives and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions. Today, there are still 19.4 million unvaccinated and under-vaccinated children in the world. Five years into the Decade of Vaccines 2017 marks the halfway point in the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) – endorsed by 194 Member States of the World Health Assembly in May 2012 – which aims to prevent millions of deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases by 2020 through universal access to immunization. Despite improvements in individual countries and a strong global rate of new vaccine introduction, all of the targets for disease elimination—including measles, rubella, and maternal and neonatal tetanus—are behind schedule. In order for everyone, everywhere to survive and thrive, countries must make more concerted efforts to reach GVAP goals by 2020. Additionally, those countries that have achieved or made forward progress towards achieving the goals must work to sustain those efforts over time.   Why immunization matters now more than ever Expanding access to immunization is crucial to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Routine immunization is a building block of strong primary health care and universal health coverage—it provides a point of contact for health ...

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Jul 04 2016

Where Do You Stand On Immunization?

A Press release from the World Health Organization (WHO) Immunization coverage: Where do we stand?   Key facts Immunization prevents illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases including cervical cancer, diphtheria, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough), pneumonia, polio, rotavirus diarrhoea, rubella and tetanus. Global vaccination coverage is generally holding steady. Uptake of new and underused vaccines is increasing. Immunization currently averts an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year. But an estimated 18.7 million infants worldwide are still missing out on basic vaccines. Overview Immunization averts an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), and measles. Global vaccination coverage—the proportion of the world’s children who receive recommended vaccines—has remained steady for the past few years. During 2014, about 86% (115 million) of infants worldwide received 3 doses of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP3) vaccine, protecting them against infectious diseases that can cause serious illness and disability or be fatal. By 2014, 129 countries had reached at least 90% coverage of DTP3 vaccine.   Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) causes meningitis and pneumonia. Hib vaccine had been introduced in 192 countries by the end of 2014. Global coverage with 3 doses of Hib vaccine is estimated at 56%. There is great variation between regions. In the Americas, coverage is estimated at 90%, while it is only 21% and 30% in the Western Pacific and South-East Asia Regions respectively. Hepatitis B is a viral infection that ...

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Mar 01 2015

Measles Outbreak: Protect Your Child with MMR Vaccine

A Message from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):   In the United States, we are currently experiencing a large, multi-state outbreak of measles linked to an amusement park in California. Measles is a highly contagious disease. It can be serious for your young children. Protect your children by making sure they get MMR vaccine according to CDC's recommended schedule.  The large, ongoing measles outbreak in the United States likely started with a traveler who got measles overseas and then visited the amusement park while he or she was contagious, spreading the disease to others. Measles is highly contagious and spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. In fact, if one person has it, 9 out of 10 of the people around him or her will also become infected if they are not immune (through measles vaccination or having had measles before). Measles Can be Serious Measles starts with a fever. Soon after, it causes a cough, runny nose, and red eyes. Then a rash of tiny, red spots breaks out. It starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body. Measles can be serious for young children. About 1 out of 4 people who get measles will be hospitalized. 1 out of every 1,000 people with measles will develop brain swelling (encephalitis), which may lead to brain damage. 1 or 2 out of 1,000 people with measles will die, even ...

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Apr 19 2014

Is Your Child Up To Date on Their Immunizations?

Immunization Schedules for Infants and Children in Easy-to-read Formats: The recommended immunization schedule is designed to protect infants and children early in life, when they are most vulnerable and before they are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases. Immunizations have had an enormous impact on improving the health of children in the United States. Most parents today have never seen first-hand the devastating consequences that vaccine-preventable diseases have on a family or community. While these diseases are not common in the U.S., they persist around the world. It is important that we continue to protect our children with vaccines because outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases can and do occasionally occur in this country. Vaccination is one of the best ways parents can protect infants, children, and teens from 16 potentially harmful diseases. Vaccine-preventable diseases can be very serious, may require hospitalization, or even be deadly – especially in infants and young children. Check the schedule for the age or age range when each vaccine or series of shots is recommended. Or create a personalized schedule that shows the recommended dates for your child. If your child has missed any shots, use the catch-up scheduler tool to see recommended vaccination dates for the missed or skipped vaccines. See your child’s doctor with any questions. For more information, call toll free Para más información, llame a la línea de atención gratuita 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) or visit http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines

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