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Posts Tagged ‘Vaccine Education Center’

How One Man is Credited With Saving 8 Million Lives a Year  

November 17, 2017 Leave a comment

Saving 8 million lives a year may seem like a stretch, but not for Dr. Maurice Hilleman.

Hilleman_scope2Hailed as one of the world’s greatest scientists, Dr. Hilleman helped develop 9 of the 14 routinely recommended vaccines in the U.S. And in 1957, he was the first person to successfully predict an influenza pandemic when he read of an outbreak occurring in Hong Kong. This led him to develop a vaccine for the U.S. that likely saved hundreds of thousands of lives. His life spanned one of the most productive periods in vaccine innovation, and since Dr. Hilleman was right in the middle of it, his life story is truly inspiring.  Fortunately for science enthusiasts, it is now the focus of a new vaccine-related documentary, HILLEMAN: A Perilous Quest to Save the World’s Children.

Developed as part of the Vaccine Makers Project, produced by Medical History Pictures and sponsored by the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the film includes exclusive interviews with Dr. Hilleman and his peers, rare archival footage, and 3-D animations.

The film is meant to not only introduce Dr. Hilleman and his amazing accomplishments, but to also describe the incredible scientific discovery and effort required to create safe and effective vaccines.

Over the last several months, the film has been shown by institutions such as the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. HILLEMAN has also been featured at immunization coalition conferences and national professional meetings, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, National Association of School Nurses, National Science Teachers Association, and National Association of Biology Teachers.

To complement the film, the Vaccine Makers Project has developed comprehensive educational materials for elementary, middle, high school and college students. 

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Educators are encouraged to utilize this flexible curriculum in whole or part to support learning objectives related to infectious diseases, the immune system, and how humans fight disease through technologies such as vaccines.

The Vaccine Makers Project has also collaborated with Families Fighting Flu (FFF) to present an eight-minute excerpt of HILLEMAN: A Perilous Quest to Save the World’s Children to remind families of the importance of annual influenza vaccines. Families Fighting Flu has made the film a central component of its fall awareness efforts. According to Serese Marotta, Chief Operating Officer of Families Fighting Flu,

“Every year, we remind families of the importance of influenza vaccination, often with members of our organization sharing their own personal experiences. This year, we hope that by sharing the film clip along with our personal stories, even more families will be compelled to prioritize influenza vaccination for themselves.”

Visit the Vaccine Makers Project to view a list of upcoming film screenings, gain access to the free educational materials, or to make an inquiry about the project.

For more information about influenza, visit the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for an in-depth look at the flu vaccine and an influenza fact sheet.  And visit the Families Fighting Flu website to read stories of families who have been adversely affected by flu, view flu facts and download the Community Toolkit and other educational materials

Don’t Just Vaccinate Your Kids, Teach Them the Science Behind Vaccines

In the past week, Marco Arturo has become an internet sensation.

As a young science enthusiast, he posted a video in hopes of spreading a viral message and preventing  viral infections.  He is a proclaimer of truth (that’s right, there is no evidence linking vaccines to autism), and a clever entertainer as well (mic drop!).  He’s young, he’s hip and he’s obviously got some great adult influencers who’ve taught him a thing or two about evidence-based research.

In case you’ve missed the video, you can check it out here or on Marco’s Facebook page.

The truth is that we need more kids like Marco to speak out about the benefit of vaccines.  But first, as adults, we need to help ensure that kids today understand the science behind vaccines.

Do our children realize the dangers of infectious diseases?  Do they know the basics about how our immune systems work?  Do they have a good understanding of how vaccines help to provide immunity, and can they appreciate the impact that immunity can have on global health?  

As the school year wraps up, you may be wondering how you can continue to impart some knowledge on your children this summer. Marco’s video message can serve as a source of inspiration.  This is not about encouraging your child to be a famous scientist.  This is about making sure they understand their own immune system and how vaccines can keep them healthy.   After all, what child wouldn’t want to learn about nasty infectious diseases that invade our bodies and threaten to turn us all into zombies? Oh, sorry, I meant to say turn us into sick people with cooties!

If you’re a parent, grandparent, caregiver or teacher who would like to introduce a young child, preteen or teen to important scientific concepts related to infectious disease, check out the following resources:

Children’s Literaturevaccine-activity-book-thumb-240x320

Activity Booklet:  For the kids who don’t want to catch the cooties, but who are very interested in learning more about them, CHOP’s Vaccine Education Center offers a fantastic 16-page activity booklet that is available in both English and Spanish.  This book teaches younger children about vaccines, how they work, and a little about some of the scientists who helped to develop them. You can download the booklet here.

Books:  There are lots of books that address the subject of vaccines.  One example is The Shots Book, an illustrated children’s book written by teen author Ethan Posard. In this delightful story, author Ethan and his puppy become community immunity superheroes after getting their vaccines.  Their experiences help explain how vaccines work, how they protect our health, and how they help protect the health of others in our community.    The book is also the basis of several public service announcements being utilized by the Florida Chapter of the AAP as seen below.

Comics:  d902f23dca4f9f166eec59e84b173f70Cimaza comics help educate kids about virology in an entertaining and creative manner. In their featured book The Adventures of the Regatjes, readers discover the fascinating story of an 18-month-old unvaccinated boy who dies as a result of a measles infection.  In this engaging story, readers are introduced to amazing characters and end up learning a great deal about virology and vaccination.

In the weekly comic book series Zanzare, readers follow the global mystery of the Zika virus where we meet the mosquitoes implicated in its spread. The story is told through the lens of world mythology, but the virology presented comes straight from reputable journals such as NEJM and The Lancet. Thrilling and intriguing, Zanzare is a visionary mixture of ancient legend and up-to-the-minute fact.

Games for All Ages

The Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has developed several educational initiatives.

Trivia Game:   While today’s teens may not be familiar with the once popular game Trivial Pursuit, they probably do remember when Trivia Crack was all the rage.  After all, who doesn’t love testing their trivia knowledge?  Kids of all ages, and even adults, can test their knowledge of vaccines and learn more about vaccine history, safety and science by playing The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) “Just the Vax” Trivia game.

Vax Pax Hero:  Vax-Pack-Hero-Twitter-imageThe Vaccine Education Center also offers a web-based video game designed for elementary and early adolescent-aged children called Vax Pack Hero.  In this game children can explore different parts of the body, learn more about different germs and help patients to overcome one of 21 vaccine-preventable diseases.  To defeat the germs and return patients to good health,  players must choose from one of 50 real-life Vaccine Heroes. The heroes come from many backgrounds, to include doctors and scientists who have developed vaccines, as well as engineers, authors, politicians, philanthropists, diplomats, a milkmaid, and even two small children.  As players learn more about the real-life accomplishments of each Vaccine Hero, they learn how each of these individuals can be effective in beating different germs in the game. There’s even a way for kids to win free prizes

Solve the Outbreak App: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a clever app called Solve the Outbreak which is a fun, interactive game that helps kids learn about disease outbreaks and  what it takes to contain them.  Players receive clues and analyze data in order to solve a case and save lives.

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As they work their way up to the title of Disease Detective they must ask themselves, “Do I quarantine the village, talk to people who are sick or ask for more lab results?”  While simulating what it’s like to work on the front lines of public health, kids learn to appreciate what it takes to keep a population safe.  You can download the app for free here.

Teachers’ Resources & Kids’ Websites

BAM! Body and Mind:immune-platoon

This online destination created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is specially designed for kids 9-13 years old. BAM! Body and Mind gives them the educational information they need to make healthy lifestyle choices.  By using kid-friendly lingo, games, quizzes and other interactive features, the site teaches kids all about their body and mind.  Of course, learning how to prevent disease is important to maintaining our health.  In the Disease section, students can learn about CDC “disease detectives” and follow the “Immune Platoon” as they battle against the enemy diseases in the Disease Database.  There’s plenty for kids to explore on this site and lots of activities to engage in.

Share Your Suggestions in the Comments Below

These are just a few of the many education materials and resources that can be found on the subject of immunity and infectious diseases.  We hope you will take a moment to share your own suggestions in the comments below so that we can all do our best to inspire young minds.  

By providing children with a good understanding of the science behind vaccines, we can help prepare them to make critical health decisions throughout their lifetime as patients, parents and public health advocates.  

 

 

 

Kids Team Up With Vaccine Heroes to Destroy Deadly Germs

May 20, 2016 3 comments

The Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is excited to announce the release of Vax Pack Hero – a new web-based video game and educational initiative designed for elementary and early adolescent-aged children.

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At VaxPackHero.org, children can play a video game that allows them to explore different parts of the body, learn more about germs and help patients to overcome one of 21 vaccine-preventable diseases.

Meet the GermsVax-Pack-Hero-gameplay-screenshot3

Players can click on any of the 21 different germs to learn where it causes sickness in the body, where you will find it in the game and which vaccine heroes can help you beat it during game play.

Meet the Vaccine Heroes

To defeat the germs and return patients to good health,  players must choose from one of 50 real-life Vaccine Heroes. The heroes come from many backgrounds, to include doctors and scientists who have developed vaccines, as well as engineers, authors, politicians, philanthropists, diplomats, a milkmaid, and even two small children.  As players learn more about the real-life accomplishments of each Vaccine Hero, they learn how each of these individuals can be effective in beating different germs in the game.

Our personal favorite Vaccine Heroes are Betty Bumpers and Rosalynn Carter.  

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 11.14.41 AMBetty Bumpers, the former First Lady of Arkansas, and Rosalynn Carter, the former First Lady of the United States, started the non-profit childhood vaccine advocacy group, Every Child By Two, in 1991. However, they began their childhood immunization advocacy in the 1970s when their husbands were governors of Arkansas and Georgia, respectively.  When you play the game you can find out how this dynamic duo can help defeat certain germs.

Players begin with eight heroes in their digital card library, but earn more during game play by correctly answering multiple-choice trivia questions. The trivia questions appear as a question mark (?) roaming around the patient’s body during game play. Each card also has a unique code, so that it can be added to a player’s digital card library when it is earned and the player can use that hero’s powers during game play.

Return 10 Patients To Good Health & Win a Prize

Once players defeat enough germs, they can challenge the “Boss Germ” and once conquered, their patient can return to health. After helping 10 patients return to health, they can claim a free prize.

Vax Pack Hero Trading CardsVax-Pack-Hero-Trading-Cards

Players can also order physical trading cards of the different Vaccine Heroes. The cards are modeled after sports and Pokémon™ trading cards and feature basic biographical information on each hero, or team of heroes, as well as a brief summary of their achievements and a fun fact.

Want to help a child get excited about battling infectious diseases?  Help them get online and get them interested in playing Vax Pack Hero today.

 

Vaccine Apps for Your Apple or Android

December 27, 2013 1 comment

If you were fortunate enough to get a new smartphone or tablet this holiday season, here are a few vaccine related apps to add to your device.          

vec-app-iphoneVaccines on the Go: What You Should Know

The Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (VEC) has always been an excellent resource for scientifically accurate information about vaccines.  Now, with the creation of Vaccines on the Go: What You Should Knowbusy parents can access important information about the science, safety and importance of vaccines, wherever and whenever they need it.

This free mobile app for Apple or Android devices provides extensive details about vaccines, the diseases they prevent, and common vaccine safety concerns such as autism, thimerosal and the number of vaccines on the schedule.  The app also addresses the various types of vaccines that are available, how they’re made, and includes links to the recommended immunization schedules for children, teens and adults.  Users have the ability to access an extensive library of videos, Q&A sheets and booklets that utilize engaging graphics that help depict disease characteristics, such as levels of contagiousness and typical disease timelines.

There is even a useful function that allows parents to develop a list of questions and save them with other notes they would like to discuss with their doctor.  If they prefer to get their questions answered right away, they can utilize the app to send a direct email to the Vaccine Education Center for follow-up.

And of course, no app would be complete without a few items of entertainment and this app delivers the fun with vaccine related games such as hangman, match and memory.

Download the Vaccines On the Go App for Apple Devices Here

Download the Vaccines On the Go App for Android Devices Here

Solve the Outbreak

solvetheoutbreak_355pxIf you are teacher, student, parent or science lover looking for a fun and interactive game, try downloading a clever iPad app from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called “Solve the Outbreak”.  In this game, players receives clues and analyze data in order to solve infectious disease cases and save lives.  With a total of twelve different outbreaks, this free app let’s you become a member of the Epidemic Intelligence Service where you will have the opportunity to climb the ranks from Trainee to the ultimate title of Disease Detective.  Along the way you’ll have to decide – do you quarantine the village, talk to people who are sick or ask for more lab results? Act fast and you can save a whole town, state, or even a country. Come up with the wrong answers and, well…you can always try again!

cdcappscreenshot1By engaging in this game, players not only learn about diseases, but they gain appreciation for the CDC’s real-life Disease Detectives who work 24/7 on the front lines of public health helping to investigate and isolate new outbreaks that occur day after day.

With the budgetary cuts we’re seeing in both education and public health, this app is a fascinating way to demonstrate epidemiology at work and possibly encourage students to pursue a career in the sciences.  So why not see if you have the creativity and ingenuity it takes to be a Disease DetectiveDownload the app for here and share it with others in your life.  You can even post your scores on Facebook or Twitter and challenge your friends to do better!

Download Solve the Outbreak App Here 

These are just two of the most recently updated vaccine related apps that are available for download.  Check out the Immunization Action Coalition website for a list of other immunization apps that are geared to healthcare providers and their patients.

Vaccines On the Go: What You Should Know

September 6, 2013 38 comments

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Vaccine Education Center is an excellent resource for both parents and healthcare professionals.  The extensive website provides a close-up look at every vaccine as well as specific explanations about the science, safety and important considerations regarding vaccines.  There is even a feature that allows the public to submit specific questions for review and response by immunization experts.

vec-app-iphoneNow, with their new free mobile app for iPhones Vaccines on the Go: What You Should Know, the Vaccine Education Center is extending their accessibility and putting critical vaccine information in the hands of those who need it, when they need it.

The app, available now through the Apple App Store, is cleverly designed to provide extensive information about vaccines, the diseases they prevent, and common vaccine safety concerns such as autism, thimerosal and the number of vaccines on the schedule.  Additionally, the app addresses the various types of vaccines and how they’re made, and includes links to the recommended immunization schedules for children, teens and adults.  It provides users with the ability to access an extensive library of videos, Q&A sheets and booklets while utilizing engaging graphics that help depict disease characteristics, such as levels of contagiousness and typical disease timelines.

There is even a useful function that allows parents to develop a list of questions and save them along with other notes that they would like to discuss with their doctor.  If they prefer to get their questions answered right away, they can utilize the app to send a direct email to the Vaccine Education Center for follow-up.  And of course, no app would be complete without a few items of entertainment and this app delivers the fun with vaccine related games such as hangman, match and memory. Read more…

The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine

June 10, 2013 41 comments

DoYouBelieveInMagicIn his new book, Do You Believe In Magic? The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine, Dr. Paul A. Offit takes a critical look at the field of alternative medicine and separates fact from fiction and science from snake oil.  Since fifty percent of Americans use some form of alternative medicine, and ten percent use it on their children, Dr. Offit examines the questions, does it really work and where is the scientific proof?

As a multiple best-selling author, Every Child By Two Board Member, and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Dr. Offit suggests that while American’s love alternative medicine, they are paying a high price for it.  From regular visits to acupuncturists, chiropractors and naturopaths to the daily ingesting of homeopathic remedies, Chinese herbs and megavitamins, the use of alternative therapies has not only become a $34 billion-a-year industry, but a practice that promotes miracle cures that are often ineffective and very harmful to our health.  Drawing on current research and real-life experiences of patients, this book investigates alternative therapies for such ailments and conditions as chronic pain, Lyme’s disease, cancer, menopause and aging.  Grounded in science, Dr. Offit’s book warns that alternative medicine is an unregulated industry under no legal obligation to prove its claims or admit its risks.

“Making decisions about our health is an awesome responsibility,” writes Dr. Offit.  “If we’re going to do it, we need to take it seriously.  Otherwise we will violate the most basic principle of medicine: first do no harm.”

While the book will be released by Harper Collins next Tuesday, June 18th, we are organizing a “flash mob” pre-sales event tomorrow, Tuesday, June 11th.  To help drive media attention and book sales on this one day, please consider purchasing a copy of the book (or several to gift to family and friends) on June 11th.  Hard copy purchases are best, but eBooks help too.

You can purchase Do You Believe in Magic? The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine online at Amazon here or through Barnes and Noble here.  When you make a purchase you can do so knowing that all proceeds from the sales of the book will be donated to the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, a resource that we regularly reference and refer others to for accurate vaccine information.

Helping Parents Navigate Immunization Information on the Internet

December 13, 2012 300 comments

cdcimage3I have a young friend who had her first child two months ago.  We had been trying to get together for lunch the week she delivered her baby.  Yesterday, as we were texting one another, trying to reschedule, she explained that she was at the doctor with the baby for her well-check and a round of shots.

I didn’t even have to hear her voice to know the angst she might be feeling.  Yes.  Even parents who know the benefit of vaccines are not too keen on watching a needle go into their newborn baby.  And what’s worse is hearing them cry.  

So I quickly sent her some words of encouragement, and I acknowledged that she should be very proud of what she was doing to protect her baby.  The more I thought about it, the more I thought …. parents don’t get applauded for their vaccination decisions often enough.   

Hearing, Seeing and Believing

No matter how convinced a parent is about the importance of immunizations, they are probably somewhat familiar with the arguments of the vaccine critics.  Whether it comes in the form of a news story they read, a parent in their local play group, or even a complete stranger on the internet, they will inevitably hear someone attributing various chronic health problems to vaccines. Or someone who shares a story of an alleged vaccine injury. Or someone who simply believes it’s better to allow our immune system to fight off  diseases “naturally”.

It’s only human nature that these stories come rushing to the forefront at the exact moment the nurse is prepping the needle.  As they hear the cries from their once happy child, it’s understandable that parents experience a bit of uncertainty and doubt.  And let’s be honest.  For a first time parent, dealing with their first round of shots, this is all quite nerve-raking. Read more…