1. Brown Signs California Bill Letting 12-Year-Olds Get HPV Vaccine Without Parents’ Consent
Governor Jerry Brown has recently signed a bill that would allow 12-year-olds to receive a controversial vaccine believed to prevent sexual transmission of HPV without parental consent.
Critics of Governor Brown’s decision are worried girls will opt to receive the vaccine under a false impression it protects against risks associated with sexual activity.
Some are also concerned the new bill will limit a parent’s ability to make crucial health decisions for their children.
2. Survey: Younger Doctors More Skeptical of Vaccines
It has recently been discovered young doctors are more likely to question the safety and effectiveness of childhood vaccines.
According to a new study, 15% of younger Doctors are less likely to believe vaccines are effective. They were also more likely to believe that childhood vaccines do more harm than good and feel children are now receiving too many.
3. Measles cases among vaccinated Que. kids raises questions about vaccine schedule
A recent outbreak of measles in a fully vaccinated population in Quebec has caused many to question whether or not the measles vaccine is providing adequate protection.
So far, results of an investigation on the matter have showed that half of the measles cases were in teens who had previously received the recommended two shot dose in early childhood.
In the past, it was assumed that the measles vaccine offers a high percentage of protection. The discovery that 52 of the 98 teens suffering from measles had been fully vaccinated came as quite a shock to investigators.
4. Madagascar: UN denies polio outbreak
There has been some confusion over a recent polio outbreak in Madagascar, Africa. Initial reports had led some to believe that wild strain poliovirus was circulating in the area once again.
According to the UN this is not the case, however. In a recent statement issued by the UN, it was acknowledged that the confusion may have stemmed from three cases of vaccine derived poliovirus in previously healthy children.
Live polio vaccines carry the potential risk of mutating and infecting a host,often with equally debilitating health effects as seen in the wild strains of polio. Low immunity is suspected to play a role in the three cases.
5. Flu vaccine less effective than once thought: report
According to a report issued in The Lancet, flu vaccines may not be as effective as previously assumed.
It was found that TIV, the most widely used flu vaccine in the US, is only 59% effective. The analysis includes the 2009 H1N1 vaccine. Despite the discouraging findings, experts are still promoting flu vaccines and insisting that the public get vaccinated.
Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver