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Only a Third of Pregnant Women Getting Vaccinations They Need

TUESDAY, Oct. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- About two-thirds of pregnant women in the United States don't get vaccinated against both flu and whooping cough, putting them and their newborns at risk, a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

"Influenza and pertussis (or whooping cough) are serious infections that can be deadly for babies, especially thos...

Childhood TB Shot May Offer Long-Term Protection from Lung Cancer

TUESDAY, Oct. 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A tuberculosis vaccine commonly used in other parts of the world might reduce a person's risk of developing lung cancer if given early in childhood, a six-decade-long study reports.

The Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine is the only vaccine approved for preventing tuberculosis (TB) -- a potentially fatal infectious disease that typically a...

Experimental Genital Herpes Vaccine Shows Promise in Mice

THURSDAY, Sept. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental vaccine against genital herpes is extremely effective in mice, offering hope of human protection against an incurable sexually transmitted disease.

The vaccine prevented transmission of the herpes simplex 2 virus to nearly all mice that received the shot, said lead researcher Dr. Harvey Friedman, a professor and immunologist...

Paid Family Leave Helps Keep Babies' Vaccines on Track: Study

MONDAY, Sept. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Children whose parents take paid family leave when they're born are more likely to get vaccinated at the recommended ages, a new study finds.

"Currently, many people do not vaccinate their child within the recommended schedule and are late," said study co-author Solomon Polachek, a professor of economics at the State University of New York at...

Most U.S. Parents Say Vaccination Should Be Requirement for School: Poll

FRIDAY, Sept. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- More than 8 in 10 U.S. adults say kids should be required to get vaccinated in order to attend school, but far fewer trust the safety of vaccines, a new poll finds.

The nationwide poll from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health sampled 1,550 adults (704 parents and 846 others) and found 84% support rules requiring schoolkids to be...

Study Points to Herd Immunity Against HPV in Unvaccinated U.S. Adults

TUESDAY, Sept. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The United States could be approaching a state of herd immunity against human papillomavirus (HPV), a virus linked to several cancers.

Oral HPV infections declined by 37% among unvaccinated 18- to 59-year-old men between 2009 and 2016, according to a Sept. 10 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

That in...

Some People Vaccinated Against Mumps May Not Be Protected: Study

FRIDAY, Sept. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- There are gaps in immunity against mumps among college-aged Americans who were vaccinated in childhood, researchers say.

New findings show the need to learn more about the immune system response to mumps and mumps vaccination.

Mumps is a highly contagious viral disease that can spread rapidly among people in close living quarters, su...

Got High Blood Pressure? Get Your Flu Shot

SUNDAY, Sept. 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you have high blood pressure, getting a flu shot could save your life, researchers say.

A new study found that patients with high blood pressure who got a flu shot had a nearly 18% lower risk of dying during flu season.

Previous research has found that the stress flu puts on the body may trigger he...

Regular Vaccines Advised With Multiple Sclerosis

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you have multiple sclerosis (MS), you can and should receive recommended vaccinations -- including annual flu shots, a new American Academy of Neurology guideline says.

"We reviewed all of the available evidence, and for people with MS, preventing infections through vaccine use is a key part of medical care," said guideline lead author D...

Texas Cities Are Ripe for Measles Outbreaks, Study Finds

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Texas cities are in danger of major measles outbreaks because an alarming number of school kids are unvaccinated, researchers warn.

Vaccination rates in the state have declined since 2003 and a computer simulation by University of Pittsburgh researchers found that an additional 5% decrease could increase the size of a measles outbreak b...

Many Parents Would Switch Doctors Over Vaccination Policy, Poll Finds

MONDAY, Aug. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Forty percent of U.S. parents say they would likely find a new doctor if their child's primary care provider sees families who refuse childhood vaccines, a nationwide poll finds.

And three in 10 say their child's primary care provider should not treat youngsters whose parents refuse all vaccines.

Those are...

Vulnerable Preemie Babies Often Behind On Vaccines

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Preemies often lag behind full-term babies in getting routine vaccinations -- and the difference remains at age 3, a new study finds.

Misguided parental "hesitancy" over the safety of vaccines for preemies might be to blame, researchers said.

The study found that preterm babies were less likely to be up-to-date on seven recommended...

Adults Need Vaccines, Too

TUESDAY, Aug. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Vaccines aren't just for kids, a doctors' group says.

"Many adults are not aware that they need vaccines throughout their lives and so have not received recommended vaccinations," Dr. Robert McLean, president of the American College of Physicians, said in a college news release.

"Adults should get a seasonal flu shot and internists s...

California Took on Anti-Vaxxers, and Won

TUESDAY, July 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- California's crackdown on childhood vaccination exemptions cut in half the percentage of kindergartners who didn't have their required immunizations, a new study shows.

The rate of kindergartners without up-to-date vaccinations decreased from around 10% in 2013 to about 5% in 2017, after California implemented a three-pronged strategy...

Anti-Vaccine Movement a 'Man-Made' Health Crisis, Scientists Warn

TUESDAY, July 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The anti-vaccination movement is now a global crisis, an international panel of scientists say, and everyone must do more to combat it.

"We are alarmed that the WHO [World Health Organization] this year declared vaccine hesitancy a top-10 international public health problem. This is a man-made, dangerous and wholly unnecessary crisis," said Dr...

HPV Vaccine Making Headway Against Cancer-Causing Virus Worldwide

WEDNESDAY, June 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- HPV vaccination programs significantly reduce human papillomavirus infections and precancerous cervical lesions, a new global review finds.

Vaccination protects against the HPV strains that cause the majority of cervical cancers.

Researchers analyzed 65 studies that included data collected over eight years from more than 60 milli...

U.S. Cases of Infant Gut Illness Plummet After Vaccine Introduced

THURSDAY, June 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In the midst of the "anti-vaxxer" movement comes more scientific proof that vaccines help save children's lives.

Researchers report that since the 2006 introduction of a vaccine against rotavirus -- a common and potentially fatal cause of infant diarrhea -- U.S. cases have fallen dramatically.

What's more, the rotavirus "season" is now...

Whooping Cough Vaccine Effectiveness Fades With Time: Study

MONDAY, June 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The waning effectiveness of a flawed whooping cough vaccine is the main culprit in recent outbreaks of the highly contagious bacterial infection, a new study reports.

More than four out of five confirmed whooping cough (pertussis) cases strike children who are fully vaccinated, the study authors said.

That's because the vaccine for w...

Potentially Blinding Shingles of the Eye  on the Rise

THURSDAY, May 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The virus that gave you chickenpox as a kid can rise again after decades of inactivity and inflict a painful, even blinding, eye infection in old age.

New research reveals that cases of eye-based "shingles" have tripled since 2004.

Exactly what is driving the increase remains unclear. What is clear, however, is that either of two vac...

Parents, Protect Your Kids as Measles Outbreaks Spread

MONDAY, April 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- As measles outbreaks spread across the United States, there are a number of things parents need to know, a leading pediatricians' group says.

The most important is to make sure your children are fully protected against the disease, which can be deadly, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advised. Only the measles vaccine can do that.

...

Egg Allergy? Don't Let That Stop You From Getting Vaccinated

WEDNESDAY, April 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Allergies to vaccines are extremely rare and even when they do occur, allergists can safely administer vaccines, Canadian experts report.

Immunoglobulin E (IgE) allergies that cause hives, swelling, wheezing or anaphylaxis occur in only 1 of 760,000 vaccinations.

Such a reaction typically starts within minutes of a shot, is unlik...

How Getting a Flu Shot Could Save Your Life

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- It's not too late to get your flu shot, which can protect you in ways that may surprise you.

The flu vaccine can be a lifesaver for people with heart disease, according to infectious disease specialist Dr. Michael Chang, assistant professor of pediatrics at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

"Previous studies ha...

Vaccines: Not Just for Kids

MONDAY, Jan. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you have children, you know how important it is to keep up with their immunization schedule.

But getting vaccines and booster shots is vital throughout adulthood as well.

The most common adult shot is the yearly flu vaccine, recommended for just about every adult. Some fight three flu strains, others, four.

However, ther...

One Woman's Case Gives New Hope Against Disfiguring Sarcoidosis

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- In very preliminary findings, an existing rheumatoid arthritis drug appeared to cure one woman of a rare but potentially life-threatening condition known as sarcoidosis.

After 10 months of use, tofacitinib (Xeljanz) appeared to eliminate all symptoms for the woman, who'd tried numerous standard treatments to no avail.

Sarcoidosi...

Getting Flu Shot Annually Won't Undermine Its Effectiveness in Kids

FRIDAY, Oct. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Does getting a flu shot every year diminish its power to protect children?

Absolutely not, say researchers, who found that last year's shot will not in any way reduce the flu-fighting strength of this year's shot.

The conclusion follows three years spent monitoring flu vaccine effectiveness among nearly 3,400 children aged 2 to 17. T...

What Kids -- and Parents -- Fear Most at the Doctor's Office

MONDAY, Oct. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Fear of doctors is common among American preschoolers, and a trip to the pediatrician's office can cause equal anxiety for Mom and Dad.

Half of 2- to 5-year-olds are afraid of going to the doctor, according to a new survey of 726 parents. And some kids get so upset that 1 in 5 parents say they find it hard to concentrate on what the doctor or ...

Smoking Seems to Weaken the Immune System: Study

TUESDAY, Oct. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The list of health risks linked to smoking continues to grow.

A small study reports that, aside from lung cancer, emphysema and heart disease, cigarette smokers also have weakened immune systems affecting their dental health.

Scientists from Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine found that smoking reduces the ab...

With 80,000 Flu Deaths Last Season, Experts Urge Vaccination

THURSDAY, Sept. 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Influenza killed an estimated 80,000 Americans during last winter's flu season, making it the deadliest season in more than four decades, U.S. health officials reported Thursday.

A particularly virulent flu strain, H3N2, rampaged across the United States during the 2017-2018 season, causing a record number of deaths and hospitalizations, th...

All Children Should Receive Flu Vaccine ASAP, Doctors Advise

MONDAY, Sept. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- All children 6 months of age and older should have a flu shot, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says.

A flu shot significantly reduces a child's risk of severe illness and flu-related death, according to the policy statement published online Sept. 3 in the journal Pediatrics.

"The flu virus is common -- and unpredictab...

HPV Vaccine Doesn't Put Girls' Fertility at Risk: Study

FRIDAY, Aug. 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- HPV vaccination does not hurt teen girls' future fertility, a new study says.

Large studies have called the HPV (human papillomavirus) shot safe, but vaccination rates in the United States are lower than for other shots recommended for teens, such as tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) and meningococcal conjugate.

Parents' ...

No Link Between Tdap Vaccine, Autism: Study

MONDAY, Aug. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Children born to women who got the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy have no greater risk of autism than other kids, a new study finds.

The Tdap vaccine protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, which is better known as whooping cough. U.S. health officials advise pregnant women to get a booster shot in order to protect their newborns fr...

Scans Help Spot Heart Trouble Early in People With Lupus

THURSDAY, Aug. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Heart disease is a leading cause of death in patients with the autoimmune illness lupus. Now, research suggests high-tech scans can spot cardiac issues early.

The scans can detect heart abnormalities even before patients have any symptoms, Chinese researchers say.

"Our findings may affect current lupus diagnostics and treatment -...

Could Psoriasis Patients Eat Their Way to Fewer Symptoms?

THURSDAY, July 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A study of more than 3,500 French psoriasis patients found that the healthier their diet, the less severe their symptoms.

Specifically, the closer an individual adhered to the nutritious "Mediterranean" diet, the less onerous their psoriasis became.

This was true regardless of whether or not the patient was obese, the French resear...

Ebola Antibodies Show Protection Potential in Animal Studies

FRIDAY, July 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Two types of antibodies from the blood of Ebola survivors protected animals against strains of the virus that cause deadly infections in people, researchers report.

It may be possible to use these antibodies to create a treatment for Ebola, the researchers said.

The team, led by Dr. James Crowe of Vanderbilt University Medical Center...

HPV Shot Eliminates Advanced Skin Cancer in 97-Year-Old

FRIDAY, July 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Two years ago, Ian McKenzie thought his mom's remaining days were dwindling.

The 97-year-old woman had developed a severe case of what was thought to be an untreatable form of squamous cell carcinoma, the second leading form of skin cancer.

Lesions had developed over much of her right leg, in such numbers and size that chemotherapy a...

Experimental HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Early Trial

FRIDAY, July 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental HIV vaccine was safe and triggered strong immune responses in healthy adults and in monkeys, researchers report.

They say it also protected two-thirds of monkeys against an HIV-like virus.

Though results of animal studies are not always the same in humans, researchers are encouraged by this early-stage study, which inc...

No Link Between HPV Vaccine, Autoimmune Diseases: Study

TUESDAY, May 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Immunizing girls against human papillomavirus (HPV) doesn't increase their risk for autoimmune diseases, according to new research from Canada.

HPV is the world's most common sexually transmitted disease, affecting up to 75 percent of sexually active people and is the main cause of cervical cancer. Gardisil, the quadrivalent HPV4 vaccine, prot...

Skin's 'Good' Bacteria May Be Promising Weapon Against Eczema

THURSDAY, May 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A treatment that harnesses the power of helpful bacteria living naturally on the skin might be a breakthrough treatment for eczema, early research suggests.

The therapy capitalizes on recent insights into the importance of the "microbiome" -- the trillions of helpful bacteria that live in people's digestive tracts and on their skin.

...

Peanut Allergy Vaccine Works -- in Mice

WEDNESDAY, April 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental peanut-allergy vaccine proved effective in mice, researchers say.

The vaccine protected allergic mice from reactions such as itchy skin and breathing problems when they were exposed to peanuts two weeks after their final vaccine dose, according to the University of Michigan researchers. The vaccine is administered by nose i...

Why More Teens Aren't Getting Protection Against Common STD

MONDAY, April 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Less than half of American teens are vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV), and parents' reluctance is a big reason why, a child health expert says.

Guidelines recommend that all children get a two-shot vaccine against HPV at their 11-year-old checkup. HPV can cause genital warts and cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, head or...

Why Whooping Cough Has Made a Comeback

THURSDAY, March 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Flaws in current whooping cough vaccines aren't to blame for rising rates of the disease in the United States, a new study contends.

Researchers attribute a resurgence of the disease since the 1970s to factors that arose long before the latest vaccines were introduced in the late 1990s. Whooping cough, a respiratory disease also called pert...

Why the Flu Makes You Feel So Miserable

TUESDAY, Feb. 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If you're unlucky enough to come down with the flu, you can blame your own body for your fever, cough, muscle aches and head-to-toe distress, experts say.

Most of influenza's misery is caused by the human body itself, or more precisely the immune system's response to the virus.

"Many of the things that feel bad are the body's attemp...

Severe Flu Season Slams All But One State: CDC

FRIDAY, Jan. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The worst flu season in years is only getting worse, with 49 states now seeing widespread misery, U.S. health officials report.

"Flu is everywhere in the U.S. right now," Dr. Daniel Jernigan, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's influenza division, said during a media briefing Friday. On a map of the United States...

Severe Flu Season Tightens Its Grip on U.S.

TUESDAY, Jan. 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Americans are being hit with one of the worst flu seasons in years, with misery now widespread across 46 states, health officials say.

In the West, emergency rooms in California and Arizona are packed with people struck by the flu, and drugs that ease the illness are in short supply as doctors struggle with a sharp spike in cases.

...

Ebola Survivors May Develop Immunity to the Disease

TUESDAY, Dec. 26, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The immune systems of people who survived the first Ebola outbreak 40 years ago appear to be protecting them against future infection with the deadly virus, a new study finds.

The discovery could help in efforts to develop vaccines and drugs to treat Ebola, according to the researchers.

"With the number and frequency of Ebola outbre...

'Tis the Season to Fight Infection

FRIDAY, Dec. 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A hectic holiday pace not only tires you out, it makes it easier to pick up an infection.

Reducing stress, getting enough sleep and healthy eating are among the things you can do to stay healthy if you're traveling over the holidays, one expert suggests.

Stress levels can rise at this time of year, so it's important to acknowledge an...

Getting Annual Flu Shot Won't Weaken Your Immune System

TUESDAY, Nov. 21, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- There's no evidence to support the notion that people who get the flu vaccine every year somehow "weaken" their immune system over time, researchers say.

In fact, annual vaccination seemed tied to stronger immune cell activity, according to the Norwegian research team.

That's even true for years where the flu shot is a poor match fo...

Will This Year's Flu Shot Be as Weak as Last Season's?

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Lots of people came down with influenza last year despite getting a flu shot -- and researchers can't promise this season's vaccine will be any more effective.

Last year's shot was only 20 percent to 30 percent effective because it was grown in eggs, according to the authors of a new report.

The egg process is not unusual. But a mu...

With Severe Flu Season Lurking, Shots a Must

FRIDAY, Oct. 27, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Early signs suggest that the United States will see a severe flu season, so it's especially important for Americans to get their shots, health experts say.

Australia had its worst flu season on record, and what happens in the southern hemisphere typically predicts what happens in the northern hemisphere, said Kevin Harrod. He is a professor in...