Vaccine News & Notes — March 2020

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Parents PACK

2020 State of the ImmUnion

Did you know that outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases still occur in the United States? Or that in some cases, the United States falls behind other countries in the success realized by vaccines? For example, Australia is closer to eliminating cervical cancer than any other country in the world because of their robust HPV vaccination program.   

In their 2020 State of the ImmUnion report, Vaccinate Your Family (VYF) examines the successes of vaccines, as well as the barriers that contribute to a lack of access to vaccines, in the United States. The report also outlines steps which Congress can take to ensure that everyone has access to life-saving vaccines.

Download your copy today.

Cases of mumps in the U.S.

In the first month of 2020, cases of mumps were reported in at least 16 states across the U.S. While a vaccine is available to protect against mumps (the second “M” in MMR), some people may not have been vaccinated and for others, immunity may have waned. To learn more about mumps and the vaccine, check out “Mumps: What You Should Know,” a Q&A sheet produced by the Vaccine Education Center, available in English, Spanish and Japanese.

Only one shingles vaccine now available

Shingles has been preventable by vaccination since 2006. The first shingles vaccine was a live, weakened viral vaccine, called Zostavax®, made in a similar manner to the chickenpox vaccine. More recently, a second shingles vaccine, called Shingrix®, was licensed. Because the newer vaccine produces better immunity in older adults, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended a preference for this one. Even adults who had Zostavax are recommended to get Shingrix. As a result, use of Zostavax declined, and it has been removed from the market. If you, or someone you know, is 50 years of age or older, check to make sure that you have had two doses of Shingrix, separated by two to six months.

Learn more about shingles and the shingles vaccine in this recently updated Q&A sheet offered by the Vaccine Education Center, available in English and Spanish.

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.