It’s National Infant Immunization Week (#Ivax2Protect). What?! Why is an adolescent medicine physician blogging about infant immunizations?! With all the measles going on (seriously, I cannot even deal with the current measles outbreak – 704 cases this year alone!), we need to talk about immunizations and the current laws.Read more
Most parents of school-age kids are way too young to recall how prevalent measles was in its heyday. A very serious, highly contagious respiratory disease that affects the lungs and respiratory tract, measles affected 3 to 4 million people in the United States each year before vaccination began in 1963. Back then, measles — which can be passed on through a cough or sneeze — put 48,000 people in the hospital and killed 500 people annually.
With vaccinations routinely given to children for the past 55 years, it’s easy to assume that measles has been totally wiped out. Unfortunately, as more children in school show up without being vaccinated, measles outbreaks have popped up more frequently. Just this year, more than 100 cases have been confirmed in 21 states — especially in Washington and Oregon – with most cases diagnosed in children who have not had the routine MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine.Read more
In my obstetrics and gynecology practice, I see women with conditions related to the human papillomavirus (HPV) on a weekly basis. Some of these conditions are pre-cancers, and require follow-up procedures that are expensive, painful, and nerve wracking for my patients. Some of these procedures can have lasting side effects.
Over the past couple of weeks, the internet has been abuzz about the HPV vaccine. A story published by the Toronto Star claimed to investigate the “dark side” of the HPV vaccine with individual accounts of symptoms that people had after receiving the vaccine, but did not discuss the larger studies that had been conducted that debunked these claims. After the Star received a slew of responses (like this one) that pointed out the poor scientific reporting, the article was taken down from the site and an article pointing out these faulty methods was posted.