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Shot of Prevention’s Year in Review: Top Posts from 2015

As we prepare for the challenges of 2016, we want to thank everyone for a successful 2015.  Once again, the past year has been one of tremendous growth.  We’ve seen a record number of views and shares on a variety of Shot of Prevention blog posts, and we’re especially grateful to our blog contributors and many new subscribers.

In looking back over our efforts from this past year,  we would like to share a list of some of our most popular blog posts from 2015.  We hope that you will revisit these posts and share them with others so that we can continue to engage more people in these important immunization discussions.

1. Giving MMR Vaccine Early To Protect Children Against Measles

mary_beth_koslap_petracobAs the number of measles cases tied to the Disneyland outbreak continued to rise this year, parents grew concerned about possible measles exposure in children who are not yet old enough to receive their first dose of MMR (measles, mumps rubella) vaccine. The CDC recommendation is to administer the first dose of MMR between the ages of 12-15 months.  However, this recommendation leaves children under one year of age at risk. We had many parents with young children raising their concerns on our Vaccinate Your Family Facebook page and asking if they could give the vaccine earlier than recommended. In this post, Every Child By Two Scientific Advisory Board Member, Mary Beth Koslap-Petraco, DNP, PNP-BC, CPNP, FAANP provides some insight as to the vaccine recommendations and how parents can help to protect their young children from measles.  To learn more, read the article  here.

2. 147 Kids Died From Flu Last Year. My Scarlet Was One of Them

12336412_1734258090136116_829364839_nRebecca’s five-year old daughter Scarlet was one of the 147 children who would die from flu in the 2014-2015 season.  Prior to Scarlet’s death, Rebecca thought the flu was no big deal.  She didn’t realize that the flu could be dangerous to people of all ages; even those who are otherwise healthy.   In this post, Rebecca shares the struggles she has had in facing life without her daughter.  She also explains that while Scarlet will always be one of the many faces of the flu, her goal now is to prevent others from suffering the same tragedy that her family has.  To hear more about Rebecca’s mission to fight flu, read Scarlet’s story here

3. I’m a Pediatrician and I Gave My Daughter Pertussis

IMG_3039As a pediatrician, Rebecca Bakke MD, FAAP is often asked what she thinks about delaying vaccines, trying an alternate vaccine schedule or forgoing them all together.  In this post she shares a very personal experience in which she unknowingly infected her own daughter Claire with pertussis. The coughing started when Claire was just five weeks old and after is was confirmed that Claire had pertussis, Rebecca grew terrified.  As a pediatrician, she knew that infants with pertussis are at great risk for complications.  She also knew that antibiotic treatment for pertussis only prevents the spread of the disease, but that no medication can alter the disease course after the coughing starts.  To read Dr. Bakke’s personal account of pertussis, read the complete story here.

4. Disneyland Measles Outbreak: Should You Be Concerned?

8QgmhZV.jpgDespite the fact that measles was declared eliminated from the U.S. in 2000, we saw a significant outbreak in the United States in 2015.  As the outbreak spread, 2015 saw 189 people suffer with measles in 24 states.  People began wondering, Is measles something I should be worried about?”   In order to determine whether we should be concerned, this post addressed the facts about the disease, the vaccines we use to help prevent it, and the way in which measles is spread among various communities and across the nation.  The truth is that measles presents a risk to everyone, even the vaccinated.  To learn why, read the post here.

 

5. Family’s Exposure to Measles Reveals Importance of Herd Immunity

DrJacksAndFamilyDr. Tim Jacks has a three-year-old daughter Maggie who is fighting acute lymphoblastic leukemia (blood cancer) and as a result has a compromised immune system.  At the time this article was published, he also had 10 month old son Eli who had received all his recommended vaccines, but was too young for his first dose of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. Unfortunately, Dr. Jacks’ family was exposed to measles at a Phoenix Children’s Hospital clinic.  Frustrated and concerned, he responded by writing an open letter “To the parent of the unvaccinated child who exposed my family to measles.”   As the measles outbreak continued to spread throughout the nation, he presented testimony in front of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on The Reemergence of Vaccine-Preventable Disease: Exploring the Public Health Successes and Challenges .  To read more about his efforts to educate Congress about the plight of those who depend on herd immunity and the importance of protecting those who are most vulnerable to vaccine preventable diseases, check out his guest post here.

If you have suggestions for topics you would like us to address in 2016, or you would like to contribute a guest post for publication, please feel free to let us know by commenting below or emailing us at shotofprevention@gmail.com.  

If you want to ensure you don’t miss any of our new posts in 2016, simply subscribe to Shot of Prevention by clicking the link at the top right of this page.  You can also “Like” our Vaccinate Your Family Facebook page to receive updates on important immunization news and join in on group discussions.   

Thanks again for your continued support and best wishes for a happy and healthy new year!

 

  1. Kevin Ault
    December 31, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Enjoyed reading over these, thanks for posting. On the “I’m a Pediatrician and I Gave My Daughter Pertussis” article I saw that the author mentioned the new recommendation for pertussis booster in pregnancy. However, there was no mention of the effectiveness of this intervention. A pertussis booster during late pregnancy was 90 % effective in preventing newborn pertussis in a British study published in the Lancet. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673614606863)

    Like

  2. Chemmomo
    January 1, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    I’d like to take an opportunity to express thanks and put in a plug for the chicken pox vaccine: It works!

    My younger child was exposed (according to school, due to vaccine failure) in December, and today is Day 21. No pox.

    My siblings and I had it back in the late 1970s. It does not rank among my fondest memories of growing up, but I’ve already forgotten many more better memories.

    To those of you who are anti-vax, or those who think that specifically the chicken pox vaccine is a waste of resources, think about this:
    Would you want your kid to spend Christmas (if you celebrate it) and the entire winter break fevered and itchy? Would you really want to spend your holidays nursing a miserably sick child?

    Because that’s exactly what your wishes would have done for my younger child.

    In pre-vaccine days, the older kid would likely be getting it just in time for the return to school in January. And spread it through those classrooms–they’re not at the same school (same as my own siblings – our age differences meant the infection then spread into two more schools). My older child is in middle school, when prolonged absence can have a long term negative impact on learning and grades.

    Thank you, modern medicine and vaccine developers, for transforming what used to be inevitable misery into something that didn’t happen.

    We were protected.

    Like

  3. Steven
    January 5, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    @chemmomo
    The vaccine failed for all of the kids at school, but it worked for your child, so your take is that… “It works!”??

    Like

  4. Lawrence
    January 5, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Steven – reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit, is it?

    Like

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