Vaccine News Roundup - December 1, 2018

December 1, 2018 Rene F. Najera

In South Carolina, human error in administering vaccines to about 1,800 children means that they will have to be immunized again:

"About 1800 letters from the Greenville Health System went out to families this week, saying due to a human error, their child may not have received full doses of some vaccines.

"We are just so apologetic for this inconvenience and we've tried to make things easier for the families to get in," said Dr. Robin Lacroix

GHS is offering free re-vaccinations to those children during regular office hours, as well as during special after hours and weekend clinics at the two practices affected, Pediatric Associates in Easley and Powdersville.

Dr. Robin Lacroix, who's the medical director of the Children's Hospital believes only a few children actually received insufficient dosing.

"We wouldn't want any child to contract a vaccine-preventable disease and so that was the reason that it was out of extreme caution that we really cast this very wide net to re-immunize these children," said Lacroix."

In the United States, a study by Drexel University researchers shows that many vaccine requirements at the state level have been challenged recently, many of them unsuccessfully:

"Despite an uptick in anti-vaccine legislation proposed by state lawmakers in recent years, pro-vaccine bills were more likely to be enacted into law, according to a new study by researchers at Drexel University. The results were published this week in the American Journal of Public Health.

“It is reassuring to know that the legislative process is working in favor of public health. It is concerning that there are so many anti-vaccination bills introduced, but our study shows that those bills are rarely signed into law,” said study principal investigator Neal D. Goldstein, PhD, an assistant research professor in Drexel’s Dornsife School of Public Health.

The use of non-medical exemptions from vaccination requirements increased nationwide by 19 percent from 2009 to 2013, which has led to a disease resurgence in communities across the United States. However, both pro- and anti-vaccination policies vary widely state-by-state. The Drexel study, which analyzed all proposed and enacted vaccine legislation at the state level between 2011 and 2017, offers one of the first in-depth pictures of the country’s vaccination policy climate."

In Pitt County, North Carolina, the local public health department held an emergency vaccination drill:

"The Pitt County Health Department shut down Friday afternoon and held an emergency preparedness drill at the agricultural center. About 150 employees from the health department, Vidant Community Health Programs, Pitt County Schools’ school nurse program, Pitt County Emergency Management, the public information officers for the county, school system, health department and sheriff’s office and the NC Eastern Regional Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response participated.

“Going through this you get to play patient or general citizen and then you get on the other side and actually provide the service,” said Dr. John Morrow, Pitt County Public Health director. “They are learning both what the public would go through in these scenarios, as well as what their responsibility (is) and what other people’s responsibilities are. It just makes you a better team player.”

Morrow said it also helps staff feel more relaxed, because if they ever have to respond to an outbreak they will have gone through the process."

It's National Influenza Vaccination Week, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is reminding everyone that it's not too late to get the flu shot:

"National Influenza Vaccination Week is from December 2nd through the 8th and promotes awareness that the annual flu vaccination is the best way to protect yourself from the flu.

“The flu isn’t on anyone’s holiday wish list,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive.

The CDC recommends routine annual influenza vaccination for all persons 6 months of age and older. Last year only 39.5 percent of Michiganders reported receiving a flu shot, below the national rate of 41.7 percent. Typically, those most severely affected by the flu are children younger than 5 years old, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions, pregnant women and those over 65 years old."

And now, some quick links:

"Why small groups of vaccine refusers can make large groups of people sick" by Professor Saad B. Omer from Emory University (The Washington Post)

"Do you need a shingles vaccine?Tri County Times

"Gap In Vaccine Coverage Caused Surge In Measles, Say Health Officials" WTMJ, Wisconsin

 

That's all for this week. Let us know if there's any vaccine news we missed. Have a great weekend!

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