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Posts Tagged ‘hepatitis B vaccine’

Stories of Polio, Meningitis, HPV, Hepatitis and Pertussis Top 2016 List

December 28, 2016 Leave a comment

Every Child By Two’s online platforms have reached over 11 million people with evidence based vaccine messaging in 2016.  As we look back at the record number of views and shares there have been on Shot of Prevention blog posts this past year, we’re especially grateful to our blog readers, contributors and subscribers.  

Whether you have shared a post, shared your story, or shared your expertise, know that our growth and success would not have been possible without your support.  Thanks to you, people are referencing our content before making important immunization decisions for themselves and their families.  In these final days of 2016, we hope that you will revisit these top five posts from the past year and share them with others in your social networks.  Together, we can continue to engage more people in these important immunization discussions.

 

1. My Polio Story is an Inconvenient Truth to Those Who Refuse Vaccines


Judy Post Polio with SisterIn 1949, Judith contracted polio along with 42,000 other people in the U.S. Judith survived five months in the hospital and multiple surgeries, but sadly 2,720 people died from polio that year.  As Judith bravely shares her story, she explains that it represents an inconvenient truth to people who are in denial about the risks of polio. She is continually shocked by people who refuse vaccines, who refuse to believe she ever suffered with polio, or who actually believe the polio vaccine is part of a government or “big pharma” conspiracy.  By sharing Judith’s story we hope to encourage continued polio vaccination and support of polio eradication worldwide and applaud people like Judith who are courageous enough to speak out in support of vaccines.  To read Judith’s story, click here.

 

2. How My Vaccinated Daughter Died From Meningitis and What I’m Doing About It  


EmilyStillmanEmily Stillman was pronounced brain-dead just 30 hours from the onset of a severe headache.  What they though was a migraine turned out to be meningococcal disease. In this post Emily’s mother Alicia explains that although Emily received a meningococcal vaccine, the MCV4 vaccine she received only protected her against meningococcal serogroups A, C, W and Y.  It did not protect her against serogroup B, which is what caused Emily’s death.  Since Emily’s death, a MenB vaccine has been approved for use.  However, most parents still don’t know it exists and therefore, most students are still not protected.

As the Director of The Emily Stillman Foundation, Alicia Stillman helps educate people about the importance of “complete and total” protection against all serogroups of meningococcal disease.  This means ensuring that teens and young adults receive both meningococcal vaccines; the MCV4 vaccine that protects against serogroups A,C, W and Y, as well as a MenB vaccine series.  To learn more about fully protecting our youth against meningococcal disease, read Alicia’s guest blog here.

 

3. Questioning Whether to Get Your Child the HPV Vaccine? Read This


hpv-fact-vs-fiction-series-1Although the HPV vaccine is one of the most effective ways we have to prevent numerous types of cancer, it is still being grossly underutilized.  As a result of persistent but inaccurate myths circulating on the internet, some parents are more fearful of the HPV vaccine than the human papillomavirus itself.  This is causing them to refuse or delay HPV vaccination for their children.

In this popular blog post, we highlight ten critical facts that address the most common misconceptions about HPV infection and the vaccine that can help prevent this very common infection. To learn more, be sure to read the post here.

 

4. Understanding Why Your Baby Needs a Hepatitis B Vaccine at Birth  


 

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There are many misconceptions about hepatitis B and how the infection is transmitted.  Because of this, many parents don’t consider their children to be at risk of infection and so they question the need for a hepatitis B vaccine at birth.  In this post, the Prevent Cancer Foundation explains the connection between hepatitis B and liver cancer and discusses ways in which infants and children can unknowingly contract hepatitis B.  Their Think About the Linkeducation campaign suggests that vaccinating infants before they leave the hospital is a critical first step in protecting your newborn from a virus that can lead to cancer later in life.  To learn more about Hepatitis B and the vaccine to prevent it, click here.

 

5. Barbara Loe Fisher is Right.  She’s Also to Blame. 


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Back in the 1980’s, Barbara Loe Fisher claimed that the whole cell pertussis vaccine (DTP)  was dangerous and causing too many adverse events.  Her complaints prompted the development of the more purified (acellular) pertussis vaccines that we use today; DTaP for infants, and Tdap for adolescents and adults. While studies have shown that these newer vaccines are not as effective as the old whole cell pertussis vaccine, they are the best protections we have against the dangers of pertussis.

Unfortunately, those who need protection the most are those who are too young to be vaccinated.  Infants are at high risk of severe complications from pertussis, to include hospitalization and death, but babies don’t begin receiving pertussis vaccine until two months of age.  After newborn Calle Van Tornhout contracted pertussis from a hospital nurse at birth, she died at just 37 days of age.  Callie’s death has had her home state of Indiana considering a bill that would mandate pertussis vaccination among health care workers.  But Barbara Loe Fisher is opposed to that as well.  To read more about the history of pertussis vaccines, click 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 email shotofprevention@gmail.com.  

Don’t miss any of our new posts.   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 our online discussions.   

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

Understanding Why Your Baby Needs a Hepatitis B Vaccine At Birth

June 22, 2016 3 comments

Parents Often Underestimate the Risk of Hepatitis B

You can protect your child at birth with a hepatitis B vaccination 

A guest post by Carolyn Aldigé, President and Founder, Prevent Cancer Foundation

GrandmaBabyiStock_000051076236_Double.jpgWhen you hold your newborn for the first time, it is a life-changing moment. An incredible sense of responsibility takes hold, including ensuring the safety and security of your child. And yet some parents don’t realize that making sure your children receive the hepatitis B vaccine before they leave the hospital is a critical first step in protecting your newborn.

Hepatitis B is a frequently misunderstood virus—you may mistakenly think your child is not at risk for hepatitis B because of misconceptions surrounding the transmission of this infection. Research also shows few people are aware of the connection between hepatitis B and liver cancer.

In an effort to help save lives, the Prevent Cancer Foundation launched Think About the Link™, an education campaign to raise awareness of the link between viruses and cancer, including hepatitis B and liver cancer, and how to prevent them. The hepatitis B virus spreads through blood or other bodily fluids that contain small amounts of blood (even tiny amounts too small to see) from an infected person. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), infants and children can contract hepatitis B in the following ways:

  • At birth from their infected mother; 
  • Being bitten by an infected person; 
  • Touching open cuts or sores of an infected person;
  • Sharing toothbrushes or other personal items used by an infected person; and
  • Food that was chewed (for a baby) by an infected person.

StateoftheImmunion_HepB_TW_v2

Additionally, the hepatitis B virus can survive outside the body for at least seven days. This poses major risks for babies, who frequently place objects in their mouths and could come into contact with an infected object.

The CDC’s recommended schedule for the hepatitis B vaccine will offer your child the greatest protection, including having your newborn vaccinated with the first of three doses before you leave the hospital.i Nearly 90 percent of infants who contract hepatitis B remain chronically infected. You can avoid this risk altogether by vaccinating your child. The hepatitis B vaccine not only offers protection against the virus, but ultimately can prevent cancer.PCF_Logo_2016

Infants are at real risk of becoming infected with hepatitis B, which means they are at real risk of developing cancer. Vaccinating your child at birth is the best way to prevent hepatitis B and liver cancer, and is a critical part of your role as protector.

For more information about Hepatitis B and the vaccine to help prevent it, check out these additional CDC resources:

 

 

 

 

 

You Could be One Vaccination Away from Preventing Cancer

Carolyn R. Aldigé HeadshotThe Hepatitis B vaccine prevents cancer. Take action. 

A guest post by Carolyn Aldigé, President and Founder, Prevent Cancer Foundation

Parents want the best for their children and will do much to ensure that they live happy and healthy lives. However, statistics show that parents are missing the opportunity to protect their children against cancer.  This is why the “State of the ImmUnion” effort led by Every Child by Two is so important. The rates for vaccination against the hepatitis B virus in children need improvement, and the hepatitis B vaccine not only offers protection against the virus, but also, ultimately, prevents cancer.

Unfortunately, not enough people are aware of the connection between hepatitis B and liver cancer. In an effort to help save lives, the Prevent Cancer Foundation launched Think About the Link, an education campaign to raise awareness of the link between certain viruses and cancer, including hepatitis B and liver cancer, and how to prevent them.

TATL_CampaignBreakdown_May2016Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus.

Approximately 700,000 to 1.4 million people in this country have a chronic hepatitis B virus infection.  A transfer of the virus can occur from mother to child during birth. Transmission also can occur through bodily fluids from a person who has the virus; sexual contact; or through sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment. Over time, the virus can lead to serious liver conditions, including cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) or liver cancer. Liver cancer kills approximately 16,000 men and 7,000 women in the U.S. each year. Unfortunately, the numbers continue to rise each year. However, through vaccination against the hepatitis B virus, the disease can be prevented.

Follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended schedule for the hepatitis B vaccine to offer your child the greatest protection, since nearly 90 percent of infants who contract hepatitis B remain chronically infected, while only two to six percent of adults do.

The CDC recommends all children receive their first dose of the hepatitis B vaccine at birth and complete the three-to-four dose series between six and 18 months of age. Currently, only 72 percent of babies receive their first dose at birth.  We believe this percentage is not higher because parents are unaware the vaccine also prevents liver cancer.

According to a survey conducted by the Prevent Cancer Foundation, 67 percent of adults are unaware the hepatitis B vaccine can reduce the risk of liver cancer. Additionally, we found that only 27 percent of physicians and other health care providers use cancer prevention as a compliance strategy for this vaccine.

We can help more people think about the link between viruses and cancer.

If you are a health care provider, be sure to discuss the hepatitis B vaccine as a cancer prevention strategy with parents and other adults. If you are a parent whose child has not been vaccinated against the hepatitis B virus, make an appointment to talk with your doctor today.

Also, if you are an adult who has not received the hepatitis B vaccine, which became available in 1982, make an appointment with your health care provider to be screened and/or vaccinated. It is not too late. There are cancers that science has not yet discovered how to prevent; however, there are several types of the disease that we can avoid. Vaccinating against the hepatitis B virus is a proven method to prevent liver cancer.

For more information about Think About the Link and helpful resources on hepatitis B, visit the Prevent Cancer Foundation website.

Help spread the word about the link so we can Stop Cancer Before It Starts!

Hepatitis B: Why Worry, Why Vaccinate?

HepBmayHepatitis B is a liver infection that is caused by the hepatitis B virus which is spread when blood or other body fluid infected with the hepatitis B virus enters the body of a person who is not infected.

Prevalence of hepatitis B infection

Data from 2009 indicates that an estimated 800,000 to 1.4 million people are living with chronic hepatitis B in the United States alone. With so many people living with this chronic infection, it’s not surprising that approximately 3,000 deaths from chronic liver disease occur each year that are also directly associated with viral hepatitis. While you may believe that you or your family members are at low risk of contracting hepatitis B, the fact is that many people in the U.S. are infected and many people don’t even know they’re infected since they often don’t feel or look sick.  In fact, nearly 2 out of 3 people infected with hepatitis B are not aware that they have the virus.  Therefore, they don’t take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of infection to others, including their own children.

Fortunately, 90% of persons who become infected with hepatitis B as adults will clear the infection from the body within 6 months, while the remaining 10% who are unable to clear it will go on to suffer with chronic infection that often leads to inflammation and scarring of the liver.  Then, about 15%-25% of those people with chronic infections will go on to develop serious liver conditions such as liver damage, liver failure, or even liver cancer.

Unfortunately, when a baby is infected at birth or during infancy the percentages are reversed.  Only 10% clear the infection on their own and the remaining 90% will go on to develop chronic hepatitis B infection. This is why the hepatitis B vaccine is so important for newborns.

HepBVaxInfographicImportance of hepatitis B vaccine at birth

Read more…

Vaccines Help In the Fight Against Cancer

February 4, 2014 5 comments

Vaccines do more than just boost our immune system against dangerous bacteria, viruses or parasites.  They can also help prevent and treat various types of cancer.

WCD_Logo_4c_2In acknowledgement of World Cancer Day, we would like to highlight the two broad types of cancer vaccines.

  • Preventive (or prophylactic) vaccines, which are intended to prevent cancer from developing in healthy people; and
  • Treatment (or therapeutic) vaccines, which are intended to treat an existing cancer by strengthening the body’s natural defenses against the cancer.

According to the National Cancer Institute, these medicines belong to a class of substances known as biological response modifiers. Biological response modifiers work by stimulating or restoring the immune system’s ability to fight infections and disease. Currently in the United States there are two types of cancer preventive vaccines that are available (HepB and HPV vaccines) and one cancer treatment vaccine that has recently become available.

Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Vaccine

Although a safe and effective hepatitis B vaccine has been available since 1982, the hepatitis B virus (HBV) remains a leading cause of liver cancer.  Unfortunately, about 1 in 20 people are living with a chronic HBV infection (that’s about 350 million individuals), and the virus is also killing 600,000 people every year worldwideThat means every 50 seconds someone dies from this vaccine-preventable disease. Read more…

Premature Infants and Vaccines

March 5, 2013 12 comments
DrZibnersFor the past few months, Dr. Lara Zibners has been addressing questions that we receive from on our Vaccinate Your Baby Facebook page.  Today’s question addresses premature infants and vaccines.  If you have a vaccine related question that you would like us to address, please email shotofprevention@gmail.com or send us a message on our Facebook page.

“Should vaccines be postponed for premature infants? I’ve been trying to do research, but I’m too sleep deprived to make any sense of it. I vaccinated my son who was full term, and I’m all for vaccines. I just didn’t know if there were exceptions for preemies.”

Having a baby prematurely means more than just rearranging your plans this weekend, doesn’t it?  Whether expected or not, seeing your baby born pre-term (meaning less than 37 weeks) is a stressful and often frightening experience for parents. One of my daughters was born slightly early and was very underweight. I was terrified. Although she was perfectly healthy, it took her an hour to drink a few teaspoons. You couldn’t hear her pathetic little cry from more than a few feet away. And I was consumed with this inexplicable urge to throw myself over her warming bed to protect her from the other “giant” (as in actually normal-sized) infants in the nursery.

So you can imagine my horror when the nurse brought out the hepatitis B vaccine and the needle looked surprisingly large, especially next to my tiny little girl.  But like you, I’m passionate about vaccination. And the truth is that medically stable pre-term and low-birth weight babies should be vaccinated on the same schedule as all other infants. With the same vaccines. At the same dosage. Even if it looks like the syringe weighs more than the child. (Which it doesn’t. I’m exaggerating. Really, I am. Anyway.)

preemieYou might be looking at your tiny little preemie and thinking, “Gosh, he’s so vulnerable. It is really safe to give him the same dose as a full-term baby? Is his tiny little body really up to the challenge?” But the answer is exactly that: he’s vulnerable. As in even more vulnerable to the sometimes devastating effects of vaccine-preventable illness than other infants. And there is plenty of evidence that vaccines are safe and effective in all babies, regardless of how early or late they decide to enter the world. Read more…

Universal HepB Vaccination Provides Long-Term Protection

June 21, 2012 13 comments

In the past, there has been quite a lot of discussion on this blog regarding the Hepatitis B vaccine that is recommended for infants here in the U.S.  Because of this, I wanted to point out an interesting Reuters Health article I read today regarding a new study that was conducted in Taiwan, a country that has historically battled high rates of Hepatitis B infection.

Unfortunately, Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver and spreads by contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of an infected person.  According to the Hepatitis B Foundation, an estimated 350 million people worldwide have the hepatitis B virus and approximately 100,000 new people are infected each year in the United States alone.  In fact, one in twenty people in the U.S. have been exposed to Hepatitis B. 

Since Hepatitis B infection is a prime cause of liver cancer, and the second most common cancer type in Taiwan, the country began mandating immunization for all infants as of 1984.  Interestingly enough, the current research findings reinforce five previous surveys since 1984, that all found lower infections among those born after the mandate.  In 2009, study participants younger than age 25 were far less likely to be infected than those between the ages of 26 and 30 — who were born before universal vaccination.

As detailed in a recent Reuters Health article, the new study funded by the National Taiwan University Hospital, enrolled more than 3,300 participants under 30. Of these subjects, more than 2,900 — born after the mandate — received at least three doses of vaccine in their first year. Approximately 370 subjects, born before 1984, were not universally vaccinated.  After collecting blood samples throughout 2009, the research team found that less than one percent of the universally vaccinated group carried the virus and were infectious to others, compared with 10 percent of those who weren’t universally vaccinated.  The research also suggests that booster doses were unnecessary, since the infection rate did not increase significantly from 1989 to 2009. Read more…