vaccines | Texas Public Radio

vaccines

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Over 100 years after Louis Pasteur developed vaccines for diseases such as chicken cholera and anthrax, modern science has been able to eliminate or greatly lessen many communicable diseases through the use of vaccines. But even today, some people are unclear on how vaccines work. At our next Think Science event, we’ll learn about the vaccination process, and about the search for a new vaccine to fight COVID-19. 

Because of the need for current physical distancing, this event was held online via GoToMeeting, rather than as a live, in-person event.

Moderator:

Most health experts agree that the need for a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 is clear.

"To return to a semblance of previous normality, the development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines is an absolute necessity" is how a perspective in Science magazine puts it.

The pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has begun testing a new coronavirus vaccine in the United States. The initial trial will involve 360 volunteers, and the first subjects have already received injections.

The vaccine was developed in a partnership between Pfizer and the German biotech company BioNTech. In addition to the U.S. trials, there will be some 200 patients enrolled in trials in Germany.

Pediatricians across the U.S. are seeing a steep drop in the number of children coming in for appointments right now — only about 20% to 30% of the volume they would normally see this time of year, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Though telemedicine can make up part of the difference, doctors say the size of the drop-off in some routine well checks is a big problem — for those children and for the nation — though parents are understandably concerned about exposing their kids to the coronavirus.

When Jennifer Haller heard that researchers were looking for volunteers to be injected with an experimental coronavirus vaccine, the Seattle mother of two rolled up her sleeve.

Well, not literally. Haller, 43, the first person to receive the vaccine, was wearing a tank top when a pharmacist, sheathed in gloves, a mask and protective eye gear, injected her with an experimental vaccine named mRNA-1273. It made her arm a bit sore, "but besides that, no, no side effects," she says.

Here's Why You Really Need A Flu Shot

Dec 20, 2019

Thanksgiving leftovers are a distant memory, and December's extra travel, shopping and family commitments are already straining nerves, budgets and immune systems. It's officially "the holidays" — which also means we're well into a new flu season.

It's never too late to benefit from a flu shot, even into December and January, says Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt School of Medicine in Nashville.

Courtesy Cornell University Press

The controversial debate about the need for and efficacy of vaccinations has resulted in an impasse for people on both sides of the argument. At the core of the discussion is concern for the well being of children. 


Pixabay CC0: http://bit.ly/2TbNPl6

Viral hepatitis causes more than a million deaths every year and this number's on the rise, but still nine of 10 people who are infected don't even know it.


Angelo Esslinger from Pixabay CC0: http://bit.ly/2J9vjVE

Recent outbreaks of curable infectious diseases raise questions about safety and misinformation. These outbreaks are a reminder that health is not just an individual concern but a public health issue.

  

NIH Photo Gallery

The Department of Defense is funding research in San Antonio to see if a new vaccine can prevent birth defects in babies of women exposed to the Zika virus during pregnancy. 

 


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