Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'Vaccinations' Category

Prioritizing vaccine development

For which diseases should vaccines be developed?  Although ideally the answer is “all of them”, given that there are limited resources in the world, which diseases should be prioritized?  The Institute of Medicine’s Strategic Multi-Attribute Ranking Tool for Vaccines (SMART Vaccines) tool is one effort to make such prioritization explicit based on fixed attributes.   The attributes are […]

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Parents and Vaccinations

No, this story is not about parents who don’t vaccinate their kids.  It’s about parents who have vaccinated their kids (or plan to), but want to keep their children away from unvaccinated children.  From the LA Times: A Bay Area mother formed a Facebook page where parents could arrange play dates for their children with […]

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Autism vs. Measles

A powerful article from Medium about an autistic person’s view of the measles debate: No matter what other lofty ideas of toxins and vaccine-related injury anti-vaxxers try to float around in their defense, that’s really what all of this is about: we’re facing a massive public health crisis because a disturbing number of people believe […]

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Lifetime protection aganst the flu?

The Atlantic has an interesting article about recent efforts to create a flu vaccine that protects patients against influenza for decades, or even their entire lifetime. Currently, the flu vaccine helps the body produce antibodies that attack influenza surface proteins. The problem is that the flu is quick learner; it readily mutates ts surface proteins […]

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U.S. Measles Outbreak?

According to the CDC, this year is on track to be the worst for measles in more than a decade.  CNN reports that: There were 159 cases of measles in the United States from January 1 through August 24, according to the CDC. If that trend continues, there will be more cases in 2013 than […]

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Whooping Cough Outbreak in Texas

The Houston Chronicle reports confirming six deaths and 1,153 cases as of Aug. 31 in Texas from pertussis, commonly known as the whooping cough. Texas’ death toll accounts for nearly half of the deaths from the disease nationwide so far this year.  Whooping Cough had previously been eradicated from the U.S. Why is this outbreak […]

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Why are there so few vaccine suppliers?

In many cases, only a handful of suppliers produce vaccines for a given disease.  In fact, for several vaccine types the U.S. has fewer suppliers than countries with a smaller market and a higher level of government purchase. One reason for this finding could be strict government regulation.  All vaccines must be approved by the […]

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Vaccines=Big Business?

In 2005, the market for pediatric vaccines was about $5 billion and the market for adult vaccines was about $4 billion.  Yet these figures could be small potatoes.  The Economist predicts that pediatric vaccine market will reach $20 billion by 2014; the adult vaccine market won’t be far behind. What innovations may be on the […]

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Economics of the Timing of Influenza Vaccine

Although the H1N1 influenza virus has garnered most of the media attention, protecting children against standard strains of influenza has generally been shown to be cost effective.  However, the cost effectiveness depends on the timing.  The flu season generally lasts from September to June, but flu generally has the highest incidence in November and December. […]

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Drug Safety: FDA Approval vs. Product Liability

Before a drug can come to market, it must receive FDA approval.  This involves 3 phases of testing with Phase I having 20-80 volunteers and Phase III often testing more than 1,000 people.  Despite the FDA approval, patients can sue drug companies if they are injured by a drug.  Patients can generally sue manufacturers under […]

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