History of Vaccines Blog


March 14, 2019  Rene F. Najera

Before the development of vaccines against deadly diseases like smallpox, typhoid fever and measles, public health authorities relied heavily on quarantines in order to stop epidemics from spreading. The concept was simple: keep sick people away from the healthy people. Unfortunately, there were plenty of times where quarantines were broken and the epidemics allowed to continue. Read more...

Posted in: General, Measles, Public Health

March 12, 2019  Rene F. Najera

We have known that vitamin A supplementation prevents deaths in children from infectious diseases. We also know that a vaccine with an excellent track record of safety prevents measles. However, recent anti-vaccine misinformation has been falsely stating that vitamin A prevents measles when, in fact, it doesn't. Read more...

Posted in: General, Measles

February 20, 2019  Rene F. Najera

Measles has been plaguing humanity since around the 12th Century AD. It used to be that the lack of medical care and a vaccine were what caused the epidemics of measles. Today, the causes are mostly due to the human condition: to believing myths, spreading misinformation, inequalities in the delivery of healthcare and public health services, and the willingness of some people to make a buck off the fears of those who are not equipped to know better. Read more...

Posted in: General, Measles, Public Health

February 17, 2019  Rene F. Najera

In the fourth of our explainer videos, we take a closer look at the evidence we have for vaccine efficacy and effectiveness. Efficacy and effectiveness are measures of vaccine performance, and they come from different kinds of experimental and observational studies. Read on to know more... Read more...

Posted in: General, Measles

February 8, 2019  Rene F. Najera

Anti-vaccine sentiment as brought back measles in a big way to the United States and Europe. In Madagascar, a measles epidemic rages on with tens of thousands of cases. In Venezuela, the collapse of the public health system has brought back measles and diphtheria, both vaccine-preventable diseases. And the US is facing peak influenza activity this week. All of this, in this week's news update... Read more...

Posted in: Diphtheria, General, Influenza, Measles, Public Health

February 6, 2019  Rene F. Najera

The situation in Washington State is getting worse with respect to the measles outbreak that started there last December. Public health authorities are reporting that over 50 children have now been confirmed as measles cases, with the vast majority of them being unvaccinated. (The rest have either received one vaccination, don’t have a vaccine record, or were too young to be vaccinated.) This is happening as there are now reports of a nascent measles outbreak in Houston, Texas. Read more...

Posted in: General, Measles

February 1, 2019  Rene F. Najera

It's time again for our weekly news roundup, where we bring you some of the most relevant news in the world of vaccines. Read more...

Posted in: General, Influenza, Measles

January 30, 2019  Rene F. Najera

The social and political situation in Venezuela is dire, and it is the result of several things gone wrong. The collapse of public institutions has led to the collapse of public health, and that has triggered the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases into Venezuela's neighbors. Thankfully, Colombia is doing something about it by immunizing refugees at the border, making sure everyone -- especially children -- are up to date on their immunizations. Featured image via Foter.com Read more...

Posted in: General, Measles, Public Health

November 23, 2018  Rene F. Najera

There were a lot of vaccine-related news in the world. Here are some of our top picks for you... Read more...

Posted in: General, Influenza, Measles, Vaccine Research

November 19, 2018  Rene F. Najera

Measles was originally eliminated from the United States back in the year 2000. By eliminated, we mean that the disease is no longer being transmitted from person to person in a regular way. It is no longer one of the different childhood diseases, and it shouldn't. Lately, it seems that measles is trying to make a comeback, especially in populations where there are enough unvaccinated (and, thus, susceptible) individuals to trigger an outbreak. So let's see what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health are reporting about measles... Read more...

Posted in: Measles