Vaccine Safety

Delivering vaccines in Chittagong, Bangladesh.(UNICEF/BANA2006-00055/SHEHZAD)

Global Treaty to Curb Mercury–Except When It Comes to Children’s Vaccines

Mercury is considered such a dire health threat that delegates from more than 140 nations have drafted a global treaty to minimize mercury emissions. But there’s one form of mercury the treaty won’t touch.

China’s Plans for Vaccine Exports Raise Hopes and Fears

Chinese vaccine makers are gearing up to boost their exports over the next few years. The move is raising hopes that lower-cost immunizations will become available for the world’s poor — as well as fears that vaccine quality standards will be threatened. As USA Today reports, China captured world attention in 2009 when one of […]

Government Pushes Smallpox Drug Deal Despite Doubts About Need

Smallpox was eradicated worldwide by 1978. If a rogue regime ever acquired the virus and tried using it in a bioterrorism attack, Americans would be protected by the nation’s $1 billion stockpile of smallpox vaccine. Even so, according to an investigative report in the Los Angeles Times, the Obama administration over the last year has […]

U.S. Advisory Panel Urges Controversial HPV Vaccine for Boys, Young Men

An influential U.S. advisory panel is urging that boys and young men be vaccinated against HPV, a controversial recommendation that would  expand the use of an immunization intended to prevent cancers related to sexual activity. The recommendation by the panel  follows five years of efforts by health authorities to encourage girls ages 11 to 26 […]

Prodded by Pandemics, Scientists Push to Develop Universal Flu Vaccine

To fend off the flu, many people every autumn head off to the doctor or pharmacy for a vaccination. The trouble is, as the Los Angeles Times reports, influenza is a wily opponent — the strain posing the biggest threat can change every year, foiling the medical profession’s best efforts to design an effective shot. […]

Early Results Show Promise for Malaria Vaccine

In a potential breakthrough in fighting malaria, an experimental vaccine has been shown to safely protect large numbers of children against the disease, one of the world’s most devastating scourges. Early results show, The New York Times reports, that three doses of the vaccine protected 47 percent of 6,000 inoculated children, ages 5 months to […]

Pediatricians Group Urges Removing Bumpers to Prevent Crib Deaths

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome still takes an estimated 2,300 lives a year, but these tragedies have fallen dramatically since 1992, when the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that all babies be placed on their backs to sleep. To cut SIDS fatalities further — as well as to combat the rise in sleep-related deaths from other […]

13% of Parents Veer From Vaccine Schedule

Many parents are veering off the recommended vaccine schedule for their children, often because they are skeptical about the value of the immunizations. An online survey by University of Michigan researchers, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that 13 percent of parents reported taking an alternative path. That included 2 percent who refused all vaccines. More […]

Polio Outbreak Spreads From Pakistan to China Amid Worries of Wider Threat

The World Health Organization has issued an alert that a dangerous strain of polio has spread from Pakistan to China and that the risk is high that it will emerge in other countries. It is the first time that polio has been confirmed in China since 1999. CNN reports that the outbreak there has left […]

Whooping Cough Vaccine Wears Off Quickly, Researchers Say

New research suggests that the effectiveness of the vaccine for whooping cough wears off after three years, a finding that provides a possible explanation for a troubling outbreak of the respiratory infection in California last year. As The Associated Press reports, the preliminary results of the research show that children who recently received the recommended […]