A universal flu vaccine that protects against all strains may be within reach in the next five years, replacing annual shots developed for specifics flu viruses, the chief of the National Institutes of Health predicts. Francis Collins told USA TODAY's Editorial Board on Tuesday that he is "guardedly optimistic" about development of a long-term shot to replace the one "you'd have to renew every year." About 200,000 people are hospitalized with the flu every year, and an estimated 3,000 to 49,000 die...
Tag Archives | Vaccines
A case of good humanitarians. Via Reuters:
International donors led by Britain and Bill Gates pledged $4.3 billion on Monday to buy vaccines to protect children in poor countries against potential killers such as diarrheal diseases and pneumonia.
“But every 20 seconds, a child still dies of a vaccine-preventable disease. There’s more work to be done.”
The funding should allow more than 250 million of the world’s poorest children to be vaccinated by 2015, helping to prevent more than four million premature deaths, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) said.
“Today is an important moment in our collective commitment to protecting children in developing countries from disease,” said Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who attended the pledging conference in London.
[Continues at Reuters]
The Seattle Times reports upon a recent measles outbreak in Minneapolis traced local Somalis fearful of a purported link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Andrew Wakefield himself has arrived on the scene. His 1998 study linking the MMR to a new syndrome dubbed “autistic enterocolitis” has since been retracted by the Lancet amid allegations of fraud, and his medical license has been revoked.
As CNN reports, Wakefield expected to earn as much as $43 million/year in revenue from “litigation driven testing” for autistic enterocolitis, a test for which he holds a potentially lucrative patent, and received more than $674,000 “from lawyers trying to build a case against vaccine manufacturers.”
From the Seattle Times article:
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Health officials struggling to contain a measles outbreak that’s hit hard in Minneapolis’ large Somali community are running into resistance from parents who fear the vaccine could give their children autism.
Fourteen confirmed measles cases have been reported in Minnesota since February.
Neil Z. Miller writing for Natural News:
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Earlier this month (March 2011), Japanese authorities ordered doctors to stop using pneumococcal and Hib vaccines because four children died after receiving the shots. However, the real news was never reported: more than 2,000 babies died in the United States after receiving vaccines for these very same diseases, yet authorities refuse to warn parents and halt production. A safety review is vital to determine whether a recall of the dangerous shots may be necessary to protect additional American babies from disability and death.
According to Paul Offit, media spokesperson for the vaccine industry, “the Japanese Ministry of Health was foolish to suspend the Hib and pneumococcal programs.” Offit thinks the deaths were probably caused by SIDS, or underlying conditions, or another cause – anything except the vaccines. Often, children get sick and die by chance.
William Schaffner, chairman of the department of medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, believes, like Offit, that the deaths are “most likely…a coincidence.” In a twist of irony, it may also be a coincidence that Schaffner receives money from vaccine manufacturers – whose stock prices traded lower after the announcement by Japan – for consulting and speaking about vaccines.
Jenny McCarthy take note: Britain’s leading medical journal has declared that Andrew Wakefield’s discredited 1998 autism study was not merely riddled with errors, but was a case of deliberate, “elaborate fraud.” CNN reports:
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A now-retracted British study that linked autism to childhood vaccines was an “elaborate fraud” that has done long-lasting damage to public health, a leading medical publication reported Wednesday.
An investigation published by the British medical journal BMJ concludes the study’s author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all 12 of the patients whose cases formed the basis of the 1998 study — and that there was “no doubt” Wakefield was responsible.
“It’s one thing to have a bad study, a study full of error, and for the authors then to admit that they made errors,” Fiona Godlee, BMJ’s editor-in-chief, told CNN. “But in this case, we have a very different picture of what seems to be a deliberate attempt to create an impression that there was a link by falsifying the data.”
Britain stripped Wakefield of his medical license in May.
The first ever vaccine for drug addiction has just been created. By combining a cocaine-like molecule with part of the common cold virus, you get a vaccine that turns the immune system against cocaine, keeping it away from the brain. So far, the vaccine has only been tested on mice, but the results are extraordinary. Mice given the vaccine no longer exhibited any of the hyperactive signs of a cocaine high when they were next given the drug. The vaccine was created by taking just the part of the cold virus that alerts the body's immune system to its presence, and then researchers connected the signalling mechanism to a more stable version of the cocaine molecule.
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The verdict is out on flu shots. Many medical experts now agree it is more important to protect yourself and your family from the flu vaccine than the flu itself. Let’s take a look at the reasons behind this verdict:
1.) There is a total lack of real evidence that young children even benefit from flu shots. A systematic review of 51 studies involving 260,000 children age 6 to 23 months found no evidence that the flu vaccine is any more effective than a placebo. Also the shots are only able to protect against certain strains of the virus, which means that if you come into contact with a different strain of virus you will still get the flu.
2.) Medical journals have published thousands of articles revealing that injecting vaccines can actually lead to serious health problems including harmful immunological responses and a host of other infections.
Is this a step on the path to a Brave New World? The head of a research team at Stanford says he is on the verge of producing a vaccine that would deactivate the brain’s stress-causing chemicals. For the first time, people could shut off the fight-or-flight mechanism that has determined our behavior (and helped ensure our survival) since the caveman era. Via CBS News:
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Dr Robert Sapolsky, a neuroscience professor at Stanford, says after 30 years of studying stress, his team might be on the verge of a novel cure.
Sapolsky has long theorized that, unlike some animals, humans are unable to turn off stress chemicals used for the fight-or-flight mechanism. A class of hormone called glucocorticoids are one of the chief offenders, according to Sapolsky.
So his team has pioneered a way to bootstrap a “herpes virus to carry engineered ‘neuroprotective’ genes deep into the brain to neutralize the rogue hormones before they can cause damage.”
So far, rat studies have gone well, according to the British paper.
Too good to be true? From Murdoch-owned Fox/Sky News:
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U.S. scientists developed a vaccine that could prevent breast cancer and save the lives of millions of women, Sky News reported Monday.
The treatment was tested on mice and showed “overwhelmingly favorable results.”
Dr. Vincent Tuohy, who led the research at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, said there was evidence in the initial tests that the vaccine could prevent cancers from forming and stop the growth of existing tumors.
“If it works in humans the way it works in mice, this will be monumental,” he said.
“We could eliminate breast cancer. We believe that this vaccine will someday be used to prevent breast cancer in adult women in the same way that vaccines have prevented many childhood diseases.”
Researchers injected the test vaccine into six mice that were specifically bred to be prone to breast cancer. None developed any signs of tumors.
Via LiveJournal, comic strip artist Darryl Cunningham presents a brief illustrated history of the controversy over MMR vaccines and how large numbers of people came to passionately believe that they cause autism.