History of Vaccines Blog


June 13, 2019  Rene F. Najera

New research is showing that children are protected form chickenpox and from shingles if they are immunized according to the recommended US schedule. Read more...

Posted in: General, Varicella zoster

June 8, 2019  Rene F. Najera

The number of measles cases in the United States is the highest it has been in a lifetime, and there are no signs that it is slowing down. Read more...

Posted in: General, Measles

June 2, 2019  Rene F. Najera

Political fights over vaccine requirements are not new, but they still make it difficult to fight off epidemics of vaccine-preventable diseases. One such fight seems to be looming in California after Governor Gavin Newsom has expressed concerns over a recent bill aimed at reducing medical exemptions to immunization. Read more...

Posted in: General

May 26, 2019  Rene F. Najera

White-Nose Syndrome may be controlled via new vaccines given to bats through the modification of a racoon poxvirus, hopefully saving thousands of bats. Read more...

Posted in: General, Vaccine Research

May 19, 2019  Rene F. Najera

Despite early success with a vaccine against Ebola, the outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo continues due to violence and civil unrest. Read more...

Posted in: General

May 18, 2019  Rene F. Najera

A report in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report presents evidence that the cases of measles in the United States in 2019 are historic. Not since 1994 has measles infected so many people in the country. Even more concerning is that measles was declared eliminated in 2000 in the United States. Read more...

Posted in: General, Measles

May 13, 2019  Rene F. Najera

We had the pleasure of hosting a table at the Kensington Derby and Arts Festival on May 11, 2019. The festival is held every year in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood, and it includes a “kinetic sculpture” race as well as vendors offering goods and services. Our table was in “Kid’s Science Corner,” and we were approached by a wide variety of people. Read more...

Posted in: General

May 6, 2019  Robert Hicks

In recent years, we have posted a blog about survivals of early smallpox scabs in archival collections today (see “A Scab Story”), and in a follow-up blog, “A Scab Story Bites Back,” we described the discovery of several 19th century smallpox vaccination kits in our museum collection. These kits showed visible residue on glass slides from lymph taken from pustules on infected human bodies and desiccated scab material. Since the last report, we have begun to correspond with other European and American collections with early vaccination tools that could be assayed for residue. Our own kits were examined first by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and then via the World Health Organization to Canada’s McMaster University. At this writing, the analysis of the kits continues: exciting results will be reported in “Revenge of the Scab Story,” forthcoming. Read more...

Posted in: General, Smallpox

May 3, 2019  Rene F. Najera

Buzzfeed News recently made an assessment of the 2020 presidential candidates’ stances on vaccination. They concluded that all of the declared candidates so far are in agreement that parents should vaccinate their children when vaccination is recommended. Some of their statements were nuanced, while others made blanket statements of approval of vaccines. Read more...

Posted in: General, Measles

April 29, 2019  Rene F. Najera

C-SPAN recently posted this video of a Public Health Service and Merck collaboration to inform the people about measles back in 1964. It's about 20 minutes long, and gives us a glimpse of what public health authorities were informing the public about when it came to measles. Read more...

Posted in: General, Measles