History of Vaccines Blog


Influenza Season Strikes Early in Australia

May 31, 2019

While we in the United States are enjoying warm temperatures this summer, Australians are entering their winter season. Just like with us in the northern hemisphere, influenza and other respiratory conditions appear in South America, Australia and New Zealand in May and remain through October, when spring arrives in the southern hemisphere. Additionally, influenza vaccine strains for the northern hemisphere are chosen based on what is seen in the southern hemisphere’s flu season, and vice-versa.

Even Bats Need Vaccines

May 26, 2019

Bats are amazing creatures, when you think about it. They’re mammals, like you (if you’re a human reading this), and they can fly, like birds. They work as pollinators going from tree to tree, spreading pollen that fertilizes tree fruits. They also work as pest controllers by eating small rodents and insects.

Hepatitis A Outbreaks in the United States

May 23, 2019

Measles isn’t the only vaccine-preventable disease making the news in the United States lately. Hepatitis A has been resurging in the last few years partly because of the opioid epidemic.

Despite a Successful Vaccine, Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo Continues

May 19, 2019

The second-largest Ebola outbreak in recorded history continues in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Latest Measles Numbers Are Historic

May 18, 2019

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.

The report indicates that:

History of Vaccines in the News

May 15, 2019

You’ve probably heard about the current measles outbreaks in the United States. They started making news last year when a sizeable outbreak started in Washington State and lasted well into this year. Earlier this year, another outbreak started in Rockland County, New York, and it spread into the Orthodox Jewish community inside the New York City limits. There have been other cases of measles in other parts of the country, like the ones in Maryland or the most recent one in Oklahoma.

History of Vaccines at the Kensington Derby and Arts Festival

May 13, 2019

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.

Pilgrimage to the Temple of Vaccinia

May 6, 2019

Editor's Note: The following blog was written by Robert D. Hicks, PhD, Director, Mütter Museum and Historical Medical Library, William Maul Measey Chair for the History of Medicine, and Anna Dhody, MFS, Curator, Mütter Museum, Director, Mütter Research Institute and Gretchen Worden Chair, College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

All of the Candidates for President of the United States in 2020 Support the Use of Vaccines

May 3, 2019

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.