History of Vaccines Blog


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

February 28, 2019  Rene F. Najera

Mae C. Jemison, MD, was the first Black woman to go into space, but that was only one of her many achievements. From a very young age, Dr. Jemison showed the aptitude for all things scientific. She entered college at age 16, graduating with a degree in chemical engineering and Afro-American studies. By the age of 25, in 1981, Dr. Jemison graduated from medical school, traveling to West Africa as a medical officer with the Peace Corps and then on to a medical practice in Los Angeles. Read More...

Posted in: General

February 26, 2019  Rene F. Najera

An invitation to join an anti-vaccination group in 1902 is very similar to common invitations to join. The main difference is the medium used, from paper then to social media today. Read More...

Posted in: General, Historical Medical Library

February 24, 2019  Rene F. Najera

Pinterest, Google and Facebook have taken some steps in curtailing anti-vaccine misinformation. This may be only the first steps in a wider campaign to prevent the spread of misinformation that has resulted in the increased rates of vaccine non-compliance and resulting epidemics of vaccine-preventable diseases. Read More...

Posted in: General

February 21, 2019  Rene F. Najera

From the description of the video: "Fewer children in the United States are getting vaccinated. That’s bad news for those kids, and also for public health in general. Often, the response is to argue and debate and get angry at people who are we see as making terrible, irrational decisions. Instead of doing that, let’s use science to understand why this is happening in the first place. Hosted by: Hank Green" Read More...

Posted in: General

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 16, 2019  Rene F. Najera

There is no one factor that influenced a person into becoming an anti-vaccine advocate, or just plain being fearful of vaccines. So it's going to take a multi-pronged approach from many angles and levels of civil society and government to reverse a trend that has brought back measles. Read More...

Posted in: General

February 10, 2019  Rene F. Najera

It's Black History Month, 2019, and we will be presenting to you some blog posts narrating the contributions of African Americans to the history of vaccines in the United States and elsewhere. We continue our series with the story of Lonie Clinton Gordon, a chemist and researcher who joined the researchers at the Western Michigan Laboratories in the 1940s to research and develop a vaccine against whooping cough. Read More...

Posted in: General, Pertussis (whooping cough)

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