This section contains links to information about vaccines that was recently in the news:
Children 12 months of age and older were recommended to receive one dose of the varicella vaccine when it became available in 1995. In 2006, a second dose recommendation was added for children between 4 and 6 years of age. In May 2013, a study published in the journal, Pediatrics, assessed the long-term effectiveness of the varicella vaccine. Here’s what you should know:
Measles outbreaks still occur regularly in some parts of the world. However, use of the measles vaccine has made this less common in many parts of the world. Unfortunately, in some of these places, unfounded concerns about the safety of the vaccine have led some parents to stop immunizing, leading to outbreaks:
The measles outbreak continues in the UK. To date, more than 1,300 people have been diagnosed with measles, 78 have been hospitalized and one has died. In an effort to control the spread, public health officials have been holding mass immunization campaigns. A particular focus has been adolescents and teens (ages 10 to 18), the age group most affected by the current outbreaks.
A measles outbreak is occurring among Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn, New York. Thirty-four cases of measles have been confirmed and many suspected cases are under investigation. According to health officials, about 700 people have been exposed to the virus. One case of pneumonia, one miscarriage and two hospitalizations have resulted from measles. To date, all confirmed cases were in unvaccinated people: five too young to be vaccinated, six for whom vaccination was delayed and 23 for whom vaccination was refused.
Public health officials in three counties in North Carolina are investigating a measles outbreak that has caused 23 people to become infected with the measles virus ― many of whom were not vaccinated. North Carolina’s state health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) traced all cases to an individual who traveled to India where measles is common. According to the CDC, the traveler refused to receive two doses of MMR vaccine prior to traveling.
Cases of measles have been diagnosed in Boston and Beverly, Massachusetts. Five confirmed cases have been reported in Boston since February; however, no connection has been found between the cases.
In Beverly, MA, a student who took the ACT standardized test at Beverly High School was later diagnosed with measles. Because other test takers and test moderators were potentially exposed, public health officials notified them of the potential exposure. So far, no additional cases have been reported.
A common thread among these outbreaks is that many infected individuals did not receive the MMR vaccine, either because they were too young or refused vaccination. For those who were intentionally left unvaccinated, the reason is often related to concerns about vaccine safety. However, these concerns have been studied and disproven by numerous, well-controlled scientific studies.
Here’s what you should know about the safety of the MMR vaccine:
Human infections with a new type of influenza, H7N9, are occurring in China. Here’s what you should know about the outbreak:
Editor’s note: No travel restrictions have been issued at this time; however, good hand hygiene and food safety practices, as well as avoiding contact with animals is recommended for travelers.
Visit our archive page for additional information on the following topics that were featured in previous issues of the In the News section:
Last updated: June 2013
Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.
You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.