Dr. Arthur Caplan, Division of Medical Ethics at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City recently appeared in a video on Medscape in which he discussed the importance of making sure vaccinations are up to date at every medical visit. Using the recent measles outbreak in a Texas mega-church, Dr. Caplan outlines the lessons that healthcare providers can take away from this experience. He goes on to conclude that while parents have the right to refuse immunizations, part of the conversation must include parlaying an understanding that they will be to blame if their child gets infected and transmits a vaccine-preventable disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released the following updates:
The 2014 edition of CDC Health Information for International Travel, commonly referred to as the Yellow Book, is now available. In addition to information about infectious diseases that may be encountered during travel, the guide contains information related to all aspects of travel. Some topics include:
The guide can be viewed online or purchased and is an important source of information for anyone preparing to travel. The book is also available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble booksellers and is available for e-readers. A mobile app is also being developed.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released a resource aimed to help practices increase immunization coverage rates among adolescents. Specific information related to the following is described in the four-page PDF:
The AAP and CDC have worked together to create a variety of additional resources. Check out the messages and tools on the dedicated adolescent immunization Web page for pediatricians.
Have you ever had a new patient bring you an immunization record that has an unfamiliar vaccine abbreviation? Or a patient from another country with an immunization record they brought with them?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains a list of acronyms and abbreviations commonly used on immunization records for just these occasions. Recently updated, the list is easily accessible from this page of the CDC’s website. The page also contains links to related information, such as translation of foreign immunization records and the standardized list of abbreviations from the ACIP.
Voices for Vaccines (VFV) is a non-profit group composed of parents who believe in the importance of vaccines. Supported by scientists and public health officials, the group aims to get science-based information about vaccines into the conversations that parents are having.
After a lag in activity, VFV has been re-energized by Ashley Shelby and Karen Ernst, dedicated parents who are volunteering their time to get more people involved and affect change. The group is currently working on adding members, following some state bills related to vaccines, and gathering a collection of personal stories. To see what VFV is doing or to join their efforts, visit their website at www.voicesforvaccines.org.
The journal, Vaccine, recently published an article titled “5 ways statistics can fool you — Tips for practicing clinicians.” Co-authors Colin P. West and Denise M. Dupras discuss five ways that statistical data can impact the interpretation of medical literature. Using examples in vaccine-related literature, the authors focus on the following:
The paper may be a useful review or one to file for discussing vaccinology and the scientific findings of different studies.
Susanna Esposito and colleagues recently published a review of the literature related to vaccinations in premature infants. The article, “Immunogenicity, Safety and Tolerability of Vaccinations in Premature Infants,” was published in Expert Rev Vaccines, 2012 Oct;11(10):1199-209 and can be accessed on Medscape. The authors concluded that while additional data should be sought regarding newer vaccines, existing data shows that premature infants should follow the same schedule as that of full-term babies.
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