Vaccine Education Center

Vaccine-Related News Archive

December 2013

Polio in Africa and the Middle East


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel alert for Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan because multiple cases of wild polio virus have been reported in these countries as of November 26, 2013:

Although the number of cases is low, it’s been many years since cases of wild-type polio virus were reported in these countries.

Read more about the CDC’s recommendations »

The Middle East

When Syrian health officials found 22 children paralyzed in the city of Deir al-Zour in November 2013, they became concerned, and their fears were realized when test results confirmed that 10 children had been infected with polio. As of February 2014, 24 cases of polio have been reported in Syria. Public health officials continue to work to contain the first outbreak of wild-type polio in this country since 1999.

It is estimated that more than 22 million children must be vaccinated in Syria and surrounding countries in order to keep the current outbreak from spreading. This vaccination campaign will require at least 50 million doses of polio vaccine and could take as long as 8 months to be completed.


July 2013

Pregnancy dose of Tdap vs. “cocooning”

In June 2013, a study published in the journal Pediatrics assessed the best method for preventing infant pertussis by investigating two strategies: 1) immunizing pregnant women with a dose of Tdap vaccine between 27 and 36 weeks’ gestation or 2) immunizing parents and close contacts with Tdap vaccine after the baby is delivered, commonly referred to as “cocooning.” The results showed that immunizing pregnant women with one dose of Tdap vaccine was more successful in preventing pertussis disease and hospitalizations in infants.


Pertussis: What You Should Know (English)
Pertussis: What You Should Know (Spanish)

June 2013

Varicella vaccine effectiveness

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:


April 2013

HPV Vaccine Safety

A recent study in the journal, Pediatrics, found that a growing number of U.S. parents are not vaccinating their daughters against human papillomavirus (HPV). Although the HPV vaccine is safe and hasn’t been linked to serious side effects, more than 16 of 100 parents cited safety concerns as the reason behind their decision. Due to misinformation about the HPV vaccine that can be found on the Internet, it can be difficult to tell what’s scientifically accurate and what’s not. Here’s what you should know about HPV vaccine safety and efficacy:

HPV vaccine safety

The HPV vaccine is safe:

HPV vaccine efficacy

Studies involving about 30,000 girls and young adults ages 9 to 26 determined that the HPV vaccine is effective in preventing:


Here are some resources to learn more about the HPV vaccine:

HPV: What You Should Know (English)»
HPV: What You Should Know (Spanish)»»

Last updated: March 2014

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.


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