Vaccine News Roundup

October 26, 2018 Rene F. Najera

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ebola has returned. Experts looking at the use of a vaccine do not have enough evidence to recommend using it in pregnant women:

”Ebola vaccine was among the topics that the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunizations discussed this week at its meeting in Geneva. At a media telebriefing today, the group's chair Alejandro Cravioto, MD, with the National Autonomous University of Mexico, said the group examined data on using Ebola vaccine in pregnant women. The VSV-EBOV vaccine contains live virus, which typically isn't recommended for use in pregnant women. He said health officials are following a small number of women who didn't know they were pregnant when they received the VSV-EBOV vaccine and some who were inadvertently vaccinated. Joachim Hombach, PhD, MPH, executive secretary of SAGE and senior advisor at the European Vaccine Initiative, said the risk-benefit analysis suggests that risk of contracting Ebola is very low for nonvaccinated people—including pregnant women—in settings where ring vaccination is under way. In the months ahead, health officials hope to have more information from detailed follow-up on pregnant women who were vaccinated, officials said, adding that there's not enough evidence for SAGE for make a final conclusion. They added that local ethics committees may also be taking up the issue, based on the situation on the ground."

In the United States, a study published in JAMA shows that prior vaccination against influenza does not affect vaccine efficacy (VE) in subsequent vaccination:

”Influenza VE varied by influenza type and subtype and vaccine type, but prior-season vaccination was not associated with reduced VE. These findings support current recommendations for annual influenza vaccination of children."

In the United States, high-dose influenza vaccination may cut the need for hospitalization in patients on dialysis:

"Standard-dose trivalent, standard-dose quadrivalent, and high-dose trivalent influenza vaccines were administered to 31, 61, and 8 percent of patients, respectively, in 2015. The researchers found that by vaccine type, the adjusted rates of first hospitalization were 8.43, 7.88, and 7.99 per 100 patient-months, respectively, and rates for death were 1.00, 0.97, and 1.04, respectively; these differences were not significant. In 2016, 39 and 61 percent of patients received quadrivalent and high-dose trivalent vaccines, respectively. The adjusted rates of first hospitalization were 8.71 and 8.04 per 100 patient-months, respectively, while the adjusted rates for death were 0.98 and 1.02, respectively. There was a significant reduction in hospitalization with receipt of high-dose vaccination (hazard ratio, 0.93) but no significant association with death."

In the United States, a study of why parents refused or delayed vaccination against HPV (Human Papillomavirus) for their children yielded some interesting results:

"Beavis says that their findings demonstrate that parents are less concerned with the HPV vaccine's relation to gender and sexual activity, and that public health campaigns should focus on persistent concerns about safety and necessity of the vaccine for both boys and girls in order to be responsive to parents' true concerns. She suggests that doctors who commonly administer the HPV vaccine, including family practice physicians, obstetricians/gynecologists, and pediatricians, should focus on the fact that the HPV vaccine has enormous potential to prevent cancers and has a strong safety profile from more than a decade of vaccine administration.

These physicians may also be more likely to broach the subject with parents and recommend the vaccine if the doctors themselves better understand that relatively few parents avoid vaccinating due to concerns over sexual activity."

And now, some quick links:

That is all for this week. If you see vaccine-related news that we should share, feel free to leave a comment, or contact us.

Have a great weekend!

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