Vaccine News & Notes — October 2021

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Parents PACK

New animation shows how COVID-19 viral vector vaccines work!

What happens in the body after a person gets the COVID-19 adenovirus vaccine, like the ones from J&J/Janssen or AstraZeneca? In this new animation, “How COVID-19 Viral Vector Vaccines Work,” viewers can see how the coronavirus viral vector vaccine is processed and the immune system is trained to protect us during future encounters with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The Vaccine Education Center previously released an animation showing “How COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines Work.” Check out both animations today on the Vaccine Makers Project YouTube channel!

You Bet Your Life … or would you?

Would you risk a novel medical procedure, a treatment, a drug or a vaccine? What if your life depended on it?

In his latest book, You Bet Your Life: From Blood Transfusions to Mass Vaccination, the Long and Risky History of Medical Innovation, Dr. Paul Offit, Director of the Vaccine Education Center (VEC), addresses the COVID-19 pandemic while using lessons learned from routine procedures or treatments that were once considered medical breakthroughs. Dr. Offit explains that medical interventions, whether novel or routine, are not without risks or consequences. To make his point, he shares stories about the development and discovery of heart transplants, blood transfusions, X-rays, anesthesia, antibiotics, vaccines, chemotherapy and gene therapy. With a focus on risk, the book invites readers to consider the different situations early patients of these treatments faced.

The book is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online retailers.

Read reviews published in The New York Times and Nature.

Don’t forget your flu vaccine! 

With influenza season right around the corner, and the COVID-19 pandemic still causing illness and hospitalizations, getting your annual influenza vaccine should be high on your “to do” list. If you or others you know are wondering whether they need the influenza vaccine, when they should get it, what types of influenza vaccines are available this year and whether they are safe, check out the VEC’s recently updated Q&A, "Influenza: What You Should Know." The sheet is also available in Spanish.

Don’t see your question about influenza or the vaccine? Submit it directly to the VEC through our online contact form.

Teens need vaccines, too!

School, sports, work, social life, family obligations … all of these can keep teens busy. And, while they may be too busy to think about vaccines, it is important to make sure they don’t fall behind. In fact, adolescents and teens are more susceptible to certain infections, such as meningococcus and HPV, and they may need boosters for some vaccines they received at a younger age.

Our recently updated “Vaccines and Teens: The Busy Social Life” booklet is a one-stop shop for teens and their families looking for easy access to vaccine information. Download the booklet in English or  Spanish today.

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.