The Booster Bulletin: Your Weekly Dose of Immunization News
We’re committed to sharing news and information from local and national media about COVID-19, available vaccines, and immunization-related topics. Each week we’ll continue to review clips from across the U.S., from various news outlets and platforms, and bring you ten timely and relevant links.
We’d like to begin this week with a continuation of spotlighting women and their contributions to public health, science, or technology. We begin with a piece from CBS News in April, 2021 that invites us to “Meet the women at the forefront of COVID-19 vaccine development”.
The National Museum of Natural History and their “IfThenSheCan-The Exhibit” has taken over Smithsonian through March 27 with “120 3D-Printed Statues of Women that Redefine What Scientists Look Like” - Smithsonian Magazine takes a closer look.
And now, back to our regularly scheduled program…
“Pandemic Babies May Need to Catch Up on Immunizations” The Hill (March 9, 2022) – “While parents await the outcome of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for kids under 5-years-old, others may be struggling to catch up with standard vaccinations for their young children. Especially for children born during the pandemic, lockdowns and missed doctor’s appointments may have delayed immunizations for diseases like measles, whooping cough and polio. Pre-pandemic, these vaccination rates were high, with most in the 80 percent range. However, at the beginning of the pandemic, the rates for the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine dropped from 72 percent in March 2017 to March 2020 to as low as 62 percent by June to August 2020, according to a study published in Pediatrics.”
“Polio Makes a Comeback in Ukraine as War Halts Vaccination Campaign” Time (March 9, 2022) – “In the fog of the war in Ukraine, it’s easy to forget about a smaller, but still very poignant tragedy that occurred months before the fighting began, back on Oct. 6, 2021. That day, a 17-month-old girl in the Rivne region in the west portion of the country was stricken with paralytic polio—19 years after the European region as a whole was declared polio-free. A second case of the disease appeared in the Zakarpattya region to the south on Dec. 24. And over those same months, 20 other children have tested positive for the poliovirus, though with sub-clinical, non-paralytic cases of the disease.”
“COVID-19 Vaccine Access Is a Right, Not a Privilege” Human Rights Watch (March 9, 2022) – “As we enter another year of this wretched pandemic that has killed more than 6 million the divide between the vaccine haves and have-nots is not only huge, it’s growing. Across the US and Europe, where governments outbid others to procure sufficient supplies of vaccines for their populations, people are starting to gather with friends and family and travel more freely, planning long-awaited vacations to break out of “pandemic fatigue.” But there are billions of people around the world, including health workers, still waiting to be fully vaccinated and trapped in the cycle of outbreaks, lockdowns, disease, and death. The vaccine have-nots continue to wait, anxious, tired, only dreaming about traveling to reunite with loved ones or unable to attend funerals of those they lost.”
“Is There a Vaccine for Ovarian Cancer?” Healthline (March 9, 2022) – “For the past 30 years, researchers have been looking into the potential of vaccines to treat ovarian cancer. Vaccines are a promising future treatment for ovarian cancer. Although they are still at the clinical trial phase, they may someday be used to prevent the progression of ovarian cancer.”
“Bubbles, Breathwork or Bribery? If Your Kid Has Needle Phobia, Try These Tips” NPR (March 8, 2022) – “When comic artist and physician Grace Farris discovered that her young son had developed needle phobia, she knew she needed help––especially with yearly flu shots and two COVID vaccines in his near future. So Farris turned to medical literature and experts to learn how breathing techniques, distraction devices and even bribery can help kids who fear the dreaded jab.”
Opinion: “Vaccines Work for Children. Ignore the Nonsense Spoken in Florida.” Washington Post (March 8, 2022) – “The final decision about whether youths should get vaccinated against the coronavirus is up to them and their parents. We think they should receive the shots; scientific evidence shows that vaccines protect young people from serious illness and death. Unfortunately, though, the message about the efficacy and safety of the vaccines has failed to reach many families. That is why the Florida surgeon general, Joseph Ladapo, was irresponsible to announce on Monday that the state health department plans to formally recommend against vaccination for healthy children.”
“The U.S. Is About to Approve a Fourth COVID Vaccine That Could Be a Silver Bullet Solution to the Anti-vax Crisis” Fortune (March 7, 2022) – “Novavax Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine is on its way towards authorization from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration after formally submitting a request in late January. The company says it has resolved the manufacturing issues that had delayed their application, and now expects approval from the FDA in the coming weeks, according to Wall Street Journal. In clinical trials first published in January 2021, Novavax’s vaccine was up to 90% effective in preventing severe COVID-19 infections, on par with the already-approved vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.”
“Experts Say Vaccine Effectiveness for Young Children Isn’t Waning, Despite Some Reports” Salon (March 6, 2022) – “Experts tell Salon the main takeaway is that vaccines work for children in preventing hospitalization and severe illness, but they're not necessarily as effective against preventing an infection despite vaccination—which is the same case for adults…‘So the main point here, from both studies, is that two doses of the vaccine does really well at preventing severe illness and hospitalizations," said Litjen Tan, chief strategy officer of the Immunization Action Coalition. ‘However, as we have seen in adults, with omicron, effectiveness against infection itself is reduced and the duration of that protection is shorter that what we saw with the original strain.’”
“Here’s What’s Finally Convincing Local People to Get the COVID Vaccine” Dayton Daily News (March 6, 2022) – “While a family doctor has access to a patient’s medical history and can be stern, that’s not the best way for the average person to approach a loved one about getting vaccinated, according to Arianna Galligher, a licensed independent social worker. 'If the sole purpose of the conversation is to try to change someone’s mind, you’re probably going about it the wrong way,’ she said. ‘Lead with compassion…Rather than approaching the conversation with all of your facts and figures and your very strongly held beliefs, approach someone who’s unvaccinated with a stance of benign curiosity. Say, “Help me understand what’s getting in the way” or "what are you nervous about?”’”
“St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Kicks off Campaign to Increase HPV Vaccinations in Kids” ABC (Memphis, Tenn.) (March 4, 2022) – “St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital launched a new campaign Friday to bring awareness to the need for HPV vaccinations for children ages 9 to 12. The campaign, called ‘Path to a Bright Future,’ is kicking off in the southeastern U.S., where experts said HPV vaccinations are well below the national average.”
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