History of Vaccines Blog


While Madagascar Records a Historic Measles Epidemic, Anti-Vaccine Bills Are Introduced in the United States

April 14, 2019

New York City Declares a Public Health Emergency

April 9, 2019

The New York City area has been in the middle of a measles outbreak for several months now. Many in the Orthodox Jewish community there do not believe in immunizations, even though most Jewish religious leaders and scholars agree that there is no prohibition against immunizations in the religious mandates. As a result, the outbreak has continued unabated.

Rockland County in New York Imposes a Quarantine

April 1, 2019

A few days ago, Rockland County, New York, declared a state of emergency over the outbreak of measles that has been going on there since late last year.

Quarantines and Their Mixed Results

March 14, 2019

Before the development of vaccines against deadly diseases like smallpox, typhoid fever and measles, public health authorities relied heavily on quarantines in order to stop epidemics from spreading. The concept was simple: keep sick people away from the healthy people. Unfortunately, there were plenty of times where quarantines were broken and the epidemics allowed to continue. Then there were the times when the people suspected of being sick or being carriers of the disease found ways around the quarantines or other orders by public health authorities.

Vitamin A and Measles

March 12, 2019

Back in the 1970s, Alfred Sommer, MD, MHS, began working on community interventions in Indonesia where children who were deficient in vitamin A were given a supplement to help stave off vision problems. At the time, the evidence was clear that vitamin A played an important role in vision, especially night vision.

A Brief History of Measles

February 20, 2019

According to the best evidence we have, measles makes its appearance somewhere between the 11th and 12th Centuries when the measles virus diverged (separated) from the rinderpest virus (a sort of measles of cattle 

Vaccine Epidemiology, Part Four: Yes, Vaccines Work!

February 17, 2019

In this video, we talk about the evidence for vaccine efficacy and effectiveness. We know these values from experimental and observational epidemiological studies. It takes many years for a vaccine to go from idea to a product, and it takes a few more to understand its impact at the population level.

Measles Epidemic Continues and Grows in Washington State, New Cases in Houston Texas

February 6, 2019

The situation in Washington State is getting worse with respect to the measles outbreak that started there last December.

Vaccine News Roundup - February 1, 2019

February 1, 2019

“How Facebook and YouTube help spread anti-vaxxer propaganda” (The Guardian) [https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/feb/01/facebook-youtube-anti-vaccination-misinformation-social-media]