History of Vaccines Blog


June 30, 2019  Rene F. Najera

New vaccines against diseases that affect farm animals like swine and cows are always being developed. Those animals, along with pets and other domesticated animals, benefit from vaccines for protection against diseases. Read more...

Posted in: General, Vaccine Research

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

April 21, 2019  Rene F. Najera

Some of the misinformation regarding vaccines includes an argument that vaccines have not been tested against a saline placebo in a double-blinded randomized clinical trial. This misinformation is aimed at confusing the wealth of evidence regarding the safety and effectiveness of immunizations. In this blog post, we will explain what a blinded randomized clinical trial is, when this study design has been used in the development of immunizations, and why it is not used as often anymore. Read more...

Posted in: Ethics, General, Measles, Vaccine Research

April 13, 2019  Rene F. Najera

New human trials on a universal influenza vaccine are underway, but that's not the only new technology coming down the pike... Read more...

Posted in: General, Influenza, Vaccine Research

March 2, 2019  Rene F. Najera

A group of friends and colleagues of Adel Mahmoud, MD, PhD, (1941-1918) gathered at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia on February 27, 2019, to remember Dr. Mahmoud's legacy. He was remembered as a colleague who would have great discussions and debates with his peers on issues related to science in general and immunizations in particular. Some remembered him as the kind and wise professor who mentored public health students at Princeton and medical students at Case Western Reserve University. He was described as the consummate professional at Merck and in his collaboration with different government institutions like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. Read more...

Posted in: General, Vaccine Research

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

May 25, 2018  Karie Youngdahl

An experimental Ebola virus disease (EVD) vaccine developed in Canada is being used to try to control an outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). As of May 21, the World Health Organization (WHO) counts 57 confirmed, probable, and suspected EVD cases in the country, with 23 deaths. DRC officials reported the first cases on 8 May 2018. The Ebola vaccine concept emerged from basic research about the pathogenicity of the virus -- scientists in Canada were trying to replicate American experiments that showed that one of the surface glycoproteins of the virus was responsible for its virulence. They deleted the gene for a glycoprotein from vesicular stomatitis virus, an animal virus commonly used such experiments, and inserted the EVD glycoprotein gene. They injected mice with the engineered virus, and rather than becoming sick with EVD when challenged, they were protected from disease. Read more...

Posted in: General, Public Health, Vaccine Research

September 12, 2017  Karie Youngdahl

The prestigious Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for 2017 goes to two scientists who did groundbreaking work conceptualizing and developing a vaccine for human papillomavirus, the pathogen responsible for almost all cases of cervical cancer and for many other cancers as well. Prize recipients Douglas R. Lowy, MD, and John T. Schiller, PhD, of the National Cancer Institute (U.S. National Institutes of Health) devised a unique solution to a vaccine for an oncogenic (cancer-causing) virus. Read more...

Posted in: HPV, Vaccine Research

April 24, 2017  Karie Youngdahl

By 2017, will polio be eradicated? Will we have a new Lyme disease vaccine? Can we make influenza vaccines more effective? Vaccinologist Stanley A. Plotkin, MD, made a series of predictions for the field for the next ten years that included some hopeful answers to these questions, along with a more pessimistic take on the effect of the current political climate on vaccine acceptance and support for scientific research. Plotkin made his predictions at the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases Annual Conference on Vaccine Research in Bethesda, Maryland. But first, he reviewed his predictions from the 2007 conference when he completed a similar exercise.   Some of his 2007 predictions have come to pass: a new monovalent rotavirus vaccine was licensed, the rotavirus disease burden in developed countries that use the vaccine has been greatly reduced, and the HIV vaccine tested in the Thai trial showed partial efficacy. However, his prediction did not come to pass that by 2017 a prophylactic Type 1 diabetes vaccine for those at high genetic risk of the disease would be licensed. Read more...

Posted in: General, HIV, Influenza, Pertussis (whooping cough), Pneumococcal disease, Polio, Public Health, Rotavirus, Vaccine Research

March 30, 2017  Karie Youngdahl

With Women’s History Month coming to an end, intern Carley Roche recognizes two influential female researchers whose work has saved countless lives. Margaret Pittman was born January 20, 1901, in Prairie Grove, Arkansas. After graduating magna cum laude with a BA in mathematics and biology she went on to attend the University of Chicago. By 1929, Pittman had received both her master’s and her PhD in bacteriology. Read more...

Posted in: General, Pertussis (whooping cough), Vaccine Research