The endless hunt for the perfect flu vaccine

We ’ve seen off smallpox, polio and measles – so why does a truly reliable flu jab still elude us?By Jeremy BrownVaccines are one of the great success stories of modern medicine. Because of them we are no longer vulnerable to smallpox or polio or measles. The flu vaccine, however, is a different story.Its effectiveness varies from patient to patient, from population to population, and from year to year. It needs to be updated each season, and even in a good year is usually no more than 50% effective. We may rely on it to avoid catching the flu, but its story demonstrates how far we still are from a reliable vaccine.Vaccination, the process of infecting a healthy person with a microbe to prevent disease, dates back at least a thousand years. But the start of vaccination as we think of it today is generally credited to the work of Edward Jenner, a British physician born in 1749. Jenner was a keen observer with a deep interest in the natural world, and found time for both serious study and artistic play. He investigated everything from hydrogen balloons to the life cycle of the cuckoo, wrote poetry and played the violin, but smallpox – or rather, the eradication of it – is his legacy. Because of Jenner, this virus is not on our list of worries today.Continue reading...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - Category: Science Authors: Tags: Flu Vaccines and immunisation Medical research Health Society Science Source Type: news

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(Natural News) The number of vaccinations mandated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has risen sharply in recent decades. These medical interventions are touted as full-proof solutions to many previously common “childhood” illnesses, including measles, mumps and chicken pox, as well as more serious diseases like polio and smallpox. As dependence on...
Source: NaturalNews.com - Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news
This article follows the history of measles to explore immunization successes and challenges in this modern era, because measles was the first of the mild and moderate diseases to become the target of a federally supported eradication-through-vaccination campaign, one that relied heavily on the preemptive, required vaccination of children. Its story thus epitomizes the range of political, epidemiological, cultural, and communications challenges to mass immunization in the modern era of vaccination. PMID: 30763141 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Source: Public Health Reports - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Tags: Public Health Rep Source Type: research
A phenomenon which has always puzzled me is popular resistance to vaccination. It goes back to the very beginning, vaccination against smallpox, which was a terrible scourge that killed 30% of its victims and left the rest disfigured. When Edward Jenner proved in 1796 that inoculation with cowpox, which caused only mild disease, conferred immunity to smallpox, the world was given a priceless gift.Yet popular movements arose almost immediately to oppose vaccination, both in England and the U.S. Eventually smallpox vaccination became widely accepted, and smallpox was eradicated from the earth. Later, the terror of the polio ...
Source: Stayin' Alive - Category: American Health Source Type: blogs
Abstract BACKGROUND: China's immunization program is one of the oldest and largest in the world. Rates of vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD) are comparable to those in high-income countries. The program's evolution has been characterized by ambitious target setting and innovative strategies that have not been widely described. METHODS: We reviewed national and provincial health department archives; analyzed disease surveillance, vaccination coverage, and serosurvey data from 1950 through 2016; and, conducted in-depth interviews with senior Chinese experts involved early VPD control efforts. RESULTS: Wide...
Source: Vaccine - Category: Allergy & Immunology Authors: Tags: Vaccine Source Type: research
Many commentators have recentlywritten andsaid that members of the migrant caravan and Central American immigrants in general are diseased.   Former Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent David Ward claimed that the migrants are “coming in with diseases such as smallpox,” a disease that the World Health Organization (WHO) certified as beingeradicated in 1980.   One hopes Mr. Ward was more careful in enforcing American immigration law than in spreading rumors that migrants are carrying one of the deadliest diseases in human history nearly 40 years after it was eradicated from the human population.&n...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - Category: American Health Authors: Source Type: blogs
[The Conversation Africa] Over the years vaccines have prevented countless cases of disease and saved millions of lives. Infectious diseases like polio, measles, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), rubella (German measles), smallpox, mumps, tetanus and rotavirus used to be common around the world. Today vaccines can prevent them.
Source: AllAfrica News: Health and Medicine - Category: African Health Source Type: news
Discussion Vaccines are a mainstay of infectious disease prevention and health promotion. Infants, children and adults benefit from vaccines the most when they are given on the recommended schedules. However there are times when this is not possible as children come to the physician a little early, or a little late, or had unavailable records and so received addition vaccine, etc. There are many questions that arise because of these timing issues such as the one above. Standard vaccine schedules can be reviewed here. Commonly administered vaccines includes: Live-attenuated vaccines Cholera Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR ...
Source: PediatricEducation.org - Category: Pediatrics Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news
(Natural News) Surely you are paranoid about infectious diseases. You’ve seen horrific pictures of children with poliomyelitis, mumps, and even smallpox. You’ve heard that the science is “settled” as far as vaccines go, and that they are one hundred percent safe and effective. You’ve also never seen any media coverage of vaccine side effects or...
Source: NaturalNews.com - Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news
Authors: D'Amelio E, Salemi S, D'Amelio R Abstract A brief history of vaccination is presented since the Jenner's observation, through the first golden age of vaccinology (from Pasteur's era to 1938), the second golden age (from 1940 to 1970), until the current period. In the first golden age, live, such as Bacille Calmette Guérin (BCG), and yellow fever, inactivated, such as typhoid, cholera, plague, and influenza, and subunit vaccines, such as tetanus and diphtheria toxoids, have been developed. In the second golden age, the cell culture technology enabled polio, measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines be dev...
Source: International Reviews of Immunology - Category: Allergy & Immunology Tags: Int Rev Immunol Source Type: research
Authors: Xie J, He Y Abstract Vaccine is the one of the greatest inventions of modern medicine that has contributed most to the relief of human misery and the exciting increase in life expectancy. In 1796, an English country physician, Edward Jenner, discovered that inoculating mankind with cowpox can protect them from smallpox (Riedel S, Edward Jenner and the history of smallpox and vaccination. Proceedings (Baylor University. Medical Center) 18(1):21, 2005). Based on the vaccination worldwide, we finally succeeded in the eradication of smallpox in 1977 (Henderson, Vaccine 29:D7-D9, 2011). Other disabling and leth...
Source: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology - Category: Research Tags: Adv Exp Med Biol Source Type: research
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