vaccines | Texas Public Radio

vaccines

Vaccines don't always make it into the people who need them the most. Many require a syringe and a needle to enter the bloodstream and create immunity. And that means a doctor or nurse has to do the job.

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

Australia has announced plans to halt welfare payments and child care rebates to families that refuse to have their children vaccinated — an aggressive move aimed at clamping down on a rising number of parents who opt out of immunizations.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Sunday that the government was closing a loophole and would stop payments of up to $11,500 per child (15,000 Australian dollars) for parents who don't get their kids immunized by claiming to be "conscientious objectors."

A California bill that would allow students to opt out of mandatory school vaccinations only if they have a medical condition that justifies an exemption is one step closer to becoming law, though it still has a long way to go. The bill was introduced in the California Senate in response to a measles outbreak at Disneyland in late December that's now linked to almost 150 infections.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Since the measles outbreak began in December, 121 people have been affected by the virus. The illness has continued to spread, reaching three new states--11 in all--not including Washington, D.C., as of this week.   

By CDC/NIP/Barbara Rice (http://phil.cdc.gov/phil/ (ID#: 132)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

San Antonio health officials say the outbreak of measles in California traced to Disneyland hasn't made its way to South Texas. At least not yet. 

Texas Public Radio’s Shelley Kofler talked with Dr. Thomas Schlenker, Director of Health for the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, about concerns. Who is most at risk? Why aren't some children vaccinated? Read excerpts from the interview below.

As expected, this year's flu vaccine looks like it's pretty much of a dud.

The vaccine only appears to cut the chances that someone will end up sick with the flu by 23 percent, according to the first estimate of the vaccine's effectiveness by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  

Measles, whooping cough, and other long since forgotten diseases are making a come back. A new PBS Nova special "Vaccines: Calling The Shots" wants to take us back to school on the subject of vaccines.
It explores the thought and history behind vaccinations. 

The vaccine for human papillomavirus has been controversial from the get-go, partly because it protects against a virus that causes cervical cancer and is spread by sexual activity.

The vaccine's safety has also been contested, with media celebrities like Katie Couric publicizing rare reports of people who became ill or died after receiving the vaccine, even though there was no evidence that the vaccine caused the problems.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

The increase in immigrants, especially unaccompanied children, on the border has the feds calling for increased aid to violent countries and increased enforcement. The state of Texas has authorized up to $1.3 million per week to stem the tide.

Is enough attention being paid to humanitarian efforts rather than simply stopping the flow of immigrants?

As more and more foreign born make it through, is their a looming public health problem as the unvaccinated are held in detention facilities on the border and those that weren’t caught make it into communities?

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