History of Vaccines Blog


June 1, 2019  Rene F. Najera

In what seems to be an offshoot of the Russian interference with the 2016 Presidential Elections in the United States, Russian “trolls” apparently sowed discord in the American public on the issue of vaccinations. A “troll” is a person who behaves online in a way that creates controversy only for the sake of causing trouble. In a study from George Washington University, it was found that Russian trolls used memes and other social media posts to cast doubt on the United States vaccination recommendations. Read More...

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May 31, 2019  Rene F. Najera

Influenza season has started early and heavy in Australia. Here is a synthesis of the latest epidemiological information and news items from Down Under. Read More...

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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 23, 2019  Rene F. Najera

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. As people share needles or engage in other risky behavior, the hepatitis A virus has been traveling throughout the country. Read More...

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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 15, 2019  Rene F. Najera

Dr. Najera, the editor of History of Vaccines, has been interviewed by news outlets about the current measles epidemic (outbreak) in the United States. Read More...

Posted in: Interviews, 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