Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication
Recent measles outbreak in the California state of the US ( now spread to other states too) tells an interesting story.
Vaccines are not responsible for the woes people face but because of rejection of people to get vaccinated the problems arise!
Although the US is one of the most scientifically developed country in the world, the children there are not getting vaccinated properly. Parents there lacked accurate medical information and held misguided beliefs that the vaccines were not necessary. Vaccinated children are dropping below the safety thresholds. When vaccinations drop below the herd immunity threshold—the proportion of immune individuals needed to prevent widespread transmission—outbreaks rise. According to public health experts, at least 92 percent of a population must be vaccinated in order to maintain the “herd immunity” needed to protect those who cannot be inoculated, including very young children and people with compromised immune systems due to illnesses such as leukemia. But over the past 12 years the percentage of families using the personal belief exemption in California has increased greatly, resulting in the loss of herd immunity in more than a quarter of schools in the state as of 2014 (11).
If enough parents in a community refuse or delay their children's vaccinations, an infectious disease can spread among many individuals. The outbreak can threaten all unvaccinated children, vaccinated children and adults who have weak immune systems, and babies who are too young to get their shots. And too many children in the US are going unvaccinated. Hence the outbreaks.
This is because some parents are opting out of vaccinating programmes because of mainly personal and religious reasons (8). Their concerns have no basis in science.
In at least one instance the courts have ultimately intervened to force children to get vaccinated. Public health officials in Philadelphia were granted a court order in 1991 after multiple children died from measles. The city forcibly vaccinated six children even though their families had refused the shots for religious reasons. Schools are banning cildren who are not vaccinated and courts are even ordering children in certain states of the US not to attend schools and stay at home if they are not immunised . These people are responsible for spreading the diseases by their irresponsible behaviours. They have to be stopped forcefully from doing that. Watch the video posted below to know about it.
Fifteen years ago the U.S. ushered in a new measles-free era. In 2000 it declared that the highly infectious disease had been completely under control in the country with no new reports of the disease, thanks to widespread vaccine use. Americans still got the disease, often from traveling exposures, but it was relatively rare. In the early aughts a median of 60 reported cases occurred each year. But last year (and then again in 2019) the U.S. experienced the highest number of measles cases it had seen in two decades. Why is this so?
Many of the people who got the disease in 2014 were linked to travelers who had encountered the virus in the Philippines, where more than 50,000 cases occurred that year alone. In the U.S. most parents do vaccinate their kids; those who refuse to inoculate their children against preventable diseases, however, elevate the risk for such outbreaks in the U.S. Making matters worse, many of the vaccine-refusers live in clusters, which boosts risks of infection for kids living in such areas. What’s shocking about this outbreak is that it was so preventable. Even one shot of the two-vaccine series has been proved to be more than 95 percent effective in staving off disease. Without it, measles is so contagious that if one person has it, 90 percent of the people close to that individual who aren’t immune will also be infected.
Recently Australian Prime Minister announced "no vaccine, no pay" policy. Australian parents will lose thousands of dollars of childcare and welfare benefits if they refuse to vaccinate their kids. This plan announced by the federal government, has bipartisan support.
Thousands of families could lose payments, with the government estimating about 39,000 children under seven have not received immunisation because their parents are vaccine objectors. The government there thought it's not fair for taxpayers to subsidise parents who choose not to immunise on religious and irrational grounds. 'The overwhelming advice of those in the health profession is it's the smart thing and the right thing to do to immunise your children. The government says the number of parents opting for the 'conscientious objection' vaccination exemption for payments has more than doubled over the past decade. The 'no jab, no pay' policy will remove it as an exemption from January 2016. The Australian Medical Association, representing 27,000 doctors, backed the plan (9,10).
And in what way this is related to Polio vaccination woes in Pakistan? In Pakistan, the Taliban is obstructing the vaccination programmes saying that it is a Western conspiracy to make Pakistani children sterile! It is killing the health care workers who are trying to administer the polio drops to the children with the result that the world is unable to control Polio which should have been eradicated totally from the world now like the Small pox. And in countries where because of internal strife people are getting displaced like in Syria polio vaccine is not reaching all the children.
And why should we all be concerned? Because frequent traveling by people from one part of the world to other parts is spreading the diseases more frequently now than the earlier times. If one region of the world gets effected now, alarm bells should ring in other parts of the world too. Recent Ebola outbreak proved this.
Even in India, the media is not helping much in controlling the diseases. Why? Media is misleading people. For instance I read in the news papers here headlines like these:
"Two children died after being administered Polio Vaccine".
"Seven children fall sick after vaccination".
" Children got swine-flu even after taking flu shots".
Without really investigating why somebody died or fell sick, the media is reporting simply the rumours!
Some celebrities in Western countries are spreading false information about vaccines. And people trust celebrities more rather than scientists or doctors in the West!
Fear of vaccination is one example of difficulties that arise when modern healthcare meets customs, beliefs, experiences and traditions — and it is not limited to the developing world, as the case of the MMR vaccine and fear of autism has shown.
The anti-vaccine movement has been going strong since a prestigious British medical journal, the Lancet, published a study in 1998 linking a common vaccine to autism. This is based on extremely limited, cherry-picked and fraudulent data and therefore is pseudo-science. The journal later retracted the study (6), which was thoroughly discredited.
People get most of the information from the net these days. And most of it comes in the bracket "misinformation". It’s become very difficult, especially because of how sophisticated anti-vaccination Web sites have become, to distinguish between the global scientific consensus of experts and these sites that, for a number of reasons, question that expertise, recast it as a conspiracy with Big Pharma or say this is about freedom versus the state.
Anti-vaccine movement has plenty of "research" that you could dishonestly use to support the position you have to take. It is not hard, quote papers whilst leaving out relevant details, don't look at the benefits of herd immunity and only ever focus on the rare side effects, and abuse statistics. Some good sources of dishonest data manipulation and emotional arguments you could easily use to prop up your side is abundant on the net.
Children receive a bevy of vaccines before age two, roughly overlapping with when children with autism spectrum disorder may noticeably develop symptoms like the inability to gain new skills. That coincidence has helped the autism–vaccine connection myth persist. And what may have once been passed around by neighborhood gossip is now amplified worldwide by Web sites and social media. But the science simply does not bear out such fears (12). Vaccination doesn't cause autism. Here you will find scientific evidence: How do vaccines cause autism? (it doesn't, the title is misleading and used deliberately to invite the anti-vaxxers to get them 'educated'(13)!
Usually what happens is highly irresponsible, extremely biased and unscientific "investigative" reports appear in News papers/sites (4). When scientists and doctors raise objections to them, the editors agree they failed in presentations (5) and didn't 'investigate things scientifically and from scientific point of view'. But by the time this clarification comes, the irreparable damage would have occurred and years of hard work by scientists goes down the drain.
And people get scared after rumors spread because of these 'see me, I am real' headlines and refuse to get vaccinated. Responsible media should investigate and explain the real reasons for these events instead of blindly reporting them blaming the vaccines for the mishaps.
I want to explain things in detail here to remove the misconceptions about the vaccines.
The term vaccination comes from the Latin vacca, cow, and was coined when the first inoculations were given with organisms that caused the mild disease cowpox to produce immunity against smallpox. Edward Jenner discovered in 1796 that cowpox immunity provided protection from smallpox. The vaccination, a triumph of the scientific method finally gave us a targeted weapon against a disease that had laid waste to countless millions over the centuries. It would be nearly ninety years before the next vaccine was developed with Louis Pasteur’s rabies vaccine. The pace of discovery quickened and we began to win more battles against many of the diseases that had plagued humanity throughout history.Today the word has the same meaning as inoculation and immunization.
When a person encounters a pathogen, there is no way to predict whether it will induce a mild or severe form of disease nor how the body will react. But vaccines are selected to contain a weakened or dead form of the disease-causing germ that can spark an immune response. Exposure will thus allow the body to build up immunity in a controlled way. The immune system reaction stops this compromised foreign invader in its tracks at the site of injection. And the key to vaccine success is that, afterward, the immune system starts to create fast-response infection fighters called memory cells that will circulate throughout the body and be able to recognize (and fend off) that pathogen in the future.
These weak or killed stimulants, called antigens, are grown in a lab setting, isolated and then mixed with preservatives, stabilizers and a substance like aluminum that will trigger the immune system to vigorously respond to the vaccine. The process, without any doubt, saves lives.
Immunisation protects people against harmful infections before they come into contact with them in the community. Immunisation uses the body’s natural defence mechanism - the immune response - to build resistance to specific infections. Immunisation helps people stay healthy by preventing serious infections.
What’s the difference between immunisation and vaccination?
Most people use the terms 'vaccination' and 'immunisation' interchangeably but their meanings are not exactly the same.
Vaccination means having a vaccine - that is actually getting the injection.
Immunisation means both receiving a vaccine and becoming immune to a disease, as a result of being vaccinated.
How does immunisation work? All forms of immunisation work in the same way. When a person is vaccinated, his/her body produces an immune response in the same way his/her body would after exposure to a disease, but without the person suffering symptoms of the disease. When a person comes in contact with that disease in the future, his/her immune system will respond fast enough to prevent the person developing the disease.
Vaccines contain either a very small dose of a live, but weakened form of a virus;
a very small dose of killed bacteria or virus or small parts of bacteria; or
a small dose of a modified toxin produced by bacteria.
Vaccines may also contain either a small amount of preservative or a small amount of an antibiotic to preserve the vaccine.
Some vaccines may also contain a small amount of an aluminium salt which helps produce a better immune response.
Vaccines are used in several ways. Some, such as the rabies vaccine, are given only when a person is likely to have been exposed to the virus that causes the disease—through a dog bite, for example. Others are given to travelers planning to visit countries where certain diseases are common such as typhoid fever or yellow fever. Vaccines such as the influenza vaccine, or "flu shot," are given mainly to specific groups of people—older adults and others who are at high risk of developing influenza or its complications. Then, there are vaccines that are given to almost everyone, such as the ones that prevent diphtheria, tetanus, polio and measles.
Children routinely have a series of vaccinations that begins at birth. Given according to a specific schedule, these vaccinations protect against hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), measles, mumps, rubella (German measles), varicella (chickenpox), polio, pneumococcus and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib disease, a major cause of spinal meningitis) and hepatitis A. In addition to those above, vaccines are available for preventing anthrax, cholera, hepatitis A, Japanese encephalitis, meningococcal meningitis, plague, pneumococcal infection (meningitis, pneumonia), tuberculosis, typhoid fever, and yellow fever. Most vaccines are given as injections, but a few are given by mouth.
Before vaccines are made available for use they are rigorously tested in thousands of people in progressively larger clinical trials. These trials are strictly monitored for safety. The approval process can take up to 10 years. As a result of such detailed testing, a number of vaccines that failed in these early tests have never been released.
How long do immunisations take to work? In general, the normal immune response takes approximately two weeks to work ( in some cases it might even take three weeks). This means protection from an infection will not occur immediately after vaccination.
Most vaccines need to be given several times to build long lasting protection. For example, a child who has been given only one or two doses of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine (DTPa) is only partially protected against diphtheria, whooping cough (pertussis) and tetanus, and may become sick if exposed to these diseases. However, some vaccines give protection after only one dose.
How long do immunisations last? The protective effect of immunisations is not always for a lifetime. Some can last up to 30 years. Due to frequent changes to the influenza virus, annual influenza vaccination is needed to provide protection against the most recent virus.
Is everyone protected from disease by immunisation? Even when all the doses of a vaccine have been given, not everyone is protected against the disease. Measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, polio and Hib vaccines protect more than 95% of children who have completed the course. One dose of meningococcal C vaccine at 12 months protects over 90% of children. Three doses of whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine protects about 85% of children who have been immunised, and will reduce the severity of the disease in the other 15% if they do catch whooping cough.
The protection levels provided by vaccines differ. For example, if 100 children are vaccinated with MMR, 5-10 of the fully immunised children might still catch measles, mumps or rubella (although the disease will often be milder in immunised children). However, if you do not immunise 100 children with MMR vaccine, and the children are exposed to measles, most of them will catch the disease with a high risk of complications like lung infection (pneumonia) or inflammation of the brain (encephalitis).
Booster doses are needed because immunity decreases over time.
Why do children get so many immunisations? A number of immunisations are required in the first few years of a child’s life to protect the child against the most serious infections of childhood. The immune system in young children does not work as well as the immune system in older children and adults, because it is still immature. Therefore more doses of vaccine are needed.
In the first months of life, a baby is protected from most infectious diseases by antibodies from her or his mother, which are transferred to the baby during pregnancy. When these antibodies wear off, the baby is at risk of serious infections and so the first immunisations are given before these antibodies have gone. Another reason why children get many immunisations is that new vaccines against serious infections continue to be developed. The number of injections is reduced by the use of combination vaccines, where several vaccines are combined into one shot.
Delaying Vaccines Increases Risks—with No Added Benefits: Some parents delay vaccines out of a misinformed belief that it’s safer, but that decision actually increases the risk of a seizure after vaccination and leaves children at risk for disease longer (7).
Immunisation is the safest and most effective way of giving protection against the disease. After immunisation, your child is far less likely to catch the disease if there are cases in the community. The benefit of protection against the disease far outweighs the very small risks of immunisation. If enough people in the community are immunised, the infection can no longer be spread from person to person and the disease dies out altogether. This is how smallpox was eliminated from the world and polio has disappeared from many countries.
Parents and other people (including grandparents, carers, etc) who come into contact with young children are commonly carriers of some childhood infections and should be vaccinated against these diseases. For example, several studies of infant pertussis (whooping cough) cases have indicated that family members, and parents in particular, were identified as the source of infection in more than 50% of cases. For more information on immunisations against childhood diseases, visit your local doctor or immunisation provider.
Are there any reasons to delay immunisation?
There are very few medical reasons to delay immunisation. If a child is sick with a high temperature (over 38ºC) then immunisation should be postponed until the child is recovering. A child who has a runny nose, but is not ill can be immunised, as can a child (for viral diseases) who is on antibiotics and obviously recovering from an illness.
Many children experience minor side effects following immunisation. Most side effects last a short time and the child recovers without any problems. Common side-effects of immunisation are redness, soreness and swelling at the site of an injection, mild fever and being grizzly or unsettled. Why do vaccines cause any side effects? Like any medicine, immunizations can lead to a negative reaction. That’s not surprising because every individual is different. Genetic variations, immune deficiencies and environmental exposures all contribute to how a person’s body reacts to inoculations against disease. You should give extra fluids to drink, not overdress the baby if hot and may consider using paracetamol to help ease the fever and soreness. Serious reactions to immunisation are very rare, however if they do occur consult your doctor immediately. It is important to remember that vaccines are many times safer than the diseases they prevent.
Fears about a child’s body not being able to handle potent vaccines are misguided. Children’s immune systems respond to several hundred foreign substances that trigger an immune response every day. In contrast, the complete schedule of recommended childhood vaccinations includes under 200 antigens.
What about natural immunity? Natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are both natural responses of the body’s immune system. The body’s immune response in both circumstances is the same. In some cases, vaccine-induced immunity may diminish with time; natural immunity, acquired by catching the disease is usually life-long. The problem is that the wild or natural disease has a high risk of serious illness and occasionally death. Children or adults can be re-immunised (required with some vaccines but not all) if their immunity falls to a low level.
Can immunisation overload the immune system? The answer is specifically 'no'. Children and adults come into contact with many antigens (substances that provoke a reaction from the immune system) each day, and the immune system responds to each antigen in specific ways to protect the body. Without a vaccine, a child can only become immune to a disease by being exposed to infection, with the risk of severe illness. If illness occurs after vaccination, it is usually insignificant.
Why is immunisation still necessary? Many diseases prevented by immunisation are spread directly from person to person, so good food, water and hygiene do not stop infection. Despite excellent hospital care, significant illness, disability and death can still be caused by diseases which can be prevented by immunisation.
How vaccines work: Vaccines contain antigens (weakened or dead viruses, bacteria, and fungi that cause disease and infection). When introduced into the body, A. the antigens stimulate the immune system response by instructing B cells to produce antibodies, with assistance from T-cells. B. The antibodies are produced to fight the weakened or dead viruses in the vaccine. C. The antibodies "practice" on the weakened viruses, preparing the immune system to destroy real and stronger viruses in the future. D. When new antigens enter the body, white blood cells called macrophages engulf them, process the information contained in the antigens, and send it to the T-cells so that an immune system response can be mobilized.
How are vaccines made? If you are exposed to pathogens you develop immunity. If the pathogen is below "threshold immunity", you don't develop the disease but at the same time you develop immunity. This is the idea behind developing vaccines. Dead or severely incapacitated pathogens are used to develop vaccines.
Vaccines are made using the disease-causing virus or bacteria, but in a form that will not harm people. Instead, the weakened, killed, or partial virus or bacteria prompts your immune system to develop antibodies, or defenders, against the disease.
Once it is determined how the virus and bacteria will be modified, vaccines are created through a general three-step process:
1. Antigen is generated. Viruses are grown in primary cells (i.e. chicken eggs for the influenza vaccine), or on continuous cell lines (i.e. human cultured cells for hepatitis b vaccine); bacteria is grown in bioreactors (i.e. Hib vaccine).
2. Antigen is isolated from the cells used to create it.
3. Vaccine is made by adding adjuvant, stabilizers and preservatives. Adjuvants increase immune response of the antigen; stabilizers increase the vaccine’s storage life; and preservatives allow for the use of multi-dose vials.
It is important to remember that vaccines undergo rigorous and extensive testing to determine their safety and effectiveness. Highly trained scientists and medical personnel carefully review all of the information in a marketing application before a vaccine can be approved for use by the public. So there need not be any doubt about their safety.
Vaccines are not always effective, and there is no way to predict whether a vaccine will "take" in any particular person. To be most effective, vaccination programs depend on whole communities participating. The more people who are vaccinated, the lower everyone's risk of being exposed to a disease. Even people who do not develop immunity through vaccination are safer when their friends, neighbours, children, and coworkers are immunized.
Now it is important to learn why vaccinations fail sometimes.
A vaccine failure is when an organism develops a disease in spite of being vaccinated against it. Primary vaccine failure occurs when an organism's immune system does not produce enough antibodies when first vaccinated. Secondary vaccine failure occurs when enough antibodies are produced immediately after the vaccination, but the levels fall over time. While antibody levels always fall over time, this would be a more rapid loss of immunity than expected for that vaccine. A vaccination failure occurs when, following vaccine administration, people do not develop adequate antibody titer levels and/or are susceptible to a disease outbreak. When a vaccination fails, the natural inclination is to blame the vaccine. Although this is certainly an important consideration, there are other factors that must be evaluated to determine the cause of the failure.
Vaccines fail because...
1. The vaccine virus may be a different serotype from the challenged virus.
2. Maternal antibody which protects neonates may interfere with vaccine presentation.
3. Some viruses notably Herpes Viruses are poorly neutralized and once established can spread between cells by fusion.
4. The vaccine virus may become denatured or inactivated during storage or administration.
5. The vaccine virus may be ineffective if it is manufactured incorrectly, for example containing insufficient antigen or live virus.
When it comes to the some vaccines, two shots are better than one. So a booster dose is a must in such cases. Most people are initially vaccinated against some viruses like measles shortly after their first birthday and return for a booster shot as a toddler. Less than 1% of people who get both shots will contract the potentially lethal skin and respiratory infection. And even if a fully vaccinated person does become infected—a rare situation known as “vaccine failure”—they weren’t thought to be contagious.
In case of Pertussis vaccine ( for whooping cough) , a triple-vaccine designed to provide immunity against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP) was normal earlier. Overtime, however, a substantial number of adverse events resulting in permanent injury were found to be associated with the DTP vaccine (specifically the pertussis component), leading to the development of DTaP, which became available for use in 1991. The previous (DTP) used “whole-cell pertussis” while the newer vaccine utilized “acellular pertussis” which consists of selected purified pertussis antigens. Because of the lowered number of antigens presented, it is thought to have an increased safety profile and has demonstrated a substantial reduction in adverse events. But, numerous studies suggest that the vaccine is failing and the reason why is due to the inadequate type of immune response generated by the acellular pertussis vaccine versus the previous whole-cell pertussis. Lack of initial vaccine potency was a problem too.
6. A paper published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives suggests that the failure of the pertussis vaccine may be the result of our increasingly toxic environment too (1). The study found that postnatal PCB exposure levels had an immunotoxic effect that limited the response to the DTaP vaccine.
Vaccines that contain 3 or more antigens have better efficacy than 1- or 2-component vaccines (2). There is a hypothesis that evolution is allowing circulating B pertussis strains to escape from vaccine-produced antibodies (3).
To overcome the problem, it needs to be recognized that B pertussis is circulating in all age groups and, therefore, for herd immunity there is a need to universally vaccinate all age groups at frequent intervals.
7. It takes time for the immune system to develop antibodies. So if you are exposed to the microbe before taking the vaccine and are incubating the disease at the time of vaccine administration or exposed to the disease immediately after taking the vaccine, there is a possibility of developing the disease. Despite proper administration, the people become diseased because time is needed for antibody production to begin and reach protective levels. Remember, after first exposure to a live virus-type vaccine, immunoglobulins G, M, and A are first detected approximately 4 to 5 days following exposure. Additional days are required for titers to reach protective levels. This is not a case of vaccination failure.
7. People may be immunosuppressed due to infection with various other infectious viral diseases, or from consumption of food with high levels of mycotoxins. The term immunosuppression refers to circumstances where the non-cellular (antibody) and cellular components of the immune system are not functioning properly. This may result in the development of only limited protection from the vaccination and an excessive vaccine reaction with morbidity and mortality. Therefore, people who are suffering from other ailments should delay vaccination till their immune system gets to normal capabilities.
8. Vaccine may be of poor quality (low vaccine titer, contaminated, etc.). The vaccine manufacturing industry is highly regulated and has extensive internal quality control. Vaccine failure due to problems with the vaccine are rare.
9. A high level of maternal antibodies in the just born children may interfere with the multiplication of live vaccines, reducing the amount of immunity produced. If vaccination is attempted in the presence of these antibodies, some of the vaccine virus will be inactivated. A decreased response to the vaccine results .
A live-type vaccine contains a virus or bacteria that must infect the person and multiply in his body to produce immunity, preferably with minimal reaction. Multiplication of the virus in the person is necessary, as only relatively small amounts of virus are administered . By multiplying in the person, increased amounts of virus are recognized by the person's immune system, thus an enhanced immune response results.
Anyone who has had a severe allergic reaction to baker's yeast should not take the hepatitis B vaccine. Patients who are allergic to antibiotics such as gentamicin sulfate, streptomycin sulfate or other aminoglycosides should check with their physicians before taking influenza vaccine, as some influenza vaccines contain small amounts of these drugs. Also, some vaccines, including those for influenza, measles and mumps, are grown in the fluids of chick embryos and should not be taken by people who are allergic to eggs. In general, anyone who has had an unusual reactions to a vaccine in the past should let his or her physician know before taking the same kind of vaccine again. The physician also should be told about any allergies to foods, medicines, preservatives, or other substances.
People with certain other medical conditions should be cautious about taking vaccines. Influenza vaccine, for example, may reactivate Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) in people who have had it before. This vaccine also may worsen illnesses that involve the lungs, such as bronchitis or pneumonia. Vaccines that cause fever as a side effect may trigger seizures in people who have a history of seizures caused by fever.
Certain vaccines are not recommended for use during pregnancy, but some may be given to women at especially high risk of getting a specific disease such as polio. Vaccines also may be given to pregnant women to prevent medical problems in their babies. For example, vaccinating a pregnant woman with tetanus toxoid can prevent her baby from getting tetanus at birth.
Women should avoid becoming pregnant for three months after taking rubella vaccine, measles vaccine, mumps vaccine or the combined measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) as these vaccines could cause problems in the unborn baby.
Women who are breastfeeding should check with their physicians before taking any vaccine.
Most side effects from vaccines are minor and easily treated. The most common are pain, redness, and swelling at the site of the injection. Some people may also develop a fever or a rash. In rare cases, vaccines may cause severe allergic reactions, swelling of the brain, or seizures. Anyone who has an unusual reaction after receiving a vaccine should get in touch with a physician right away.
10. Vaccines may interact with other medicines and medical treatments. When this happens, the effects of the vaccine or the other medicine may change or the risk of side effects may be greater. For example, radiation therapy and cancer drugs may reduce the effectiveness of many vaccines or may increase the chance of side effects. Anyone who takes a vaccine should let the physician know all other medicines he or she is taking and should ask whether the possible interactions could interfere with the effects of the vaccine or the other medicines.
Advantages of live-type vaccines are ease of administration, low price, rapid onset of immunity, and a broader scope of protection because people are exposed to all stages of the replicating virus. Disadvantages include problems with uniform vaccine application, excessive vaccine reactions, unwanted spread of the vaccine virus to others, and extreme handling requirements needed to maintain viability of the vaccine organism.
A killed-type vaccine is prepared from bacteria or viruses that have been inactivated and processed, thus will not spread from person -to-person, and requires individual injection. Killed vaccines are usually combined with an adjuvant such as aluminum hydroxide or an oil. Adjuvants enhance the immune response by increasing the stability of the vaccine in the body, which then stimulates the immune system for a longer period of time.
Advantages of killed-type vaccines are assurance of administration of a uniform dose , safety (the organism has been inactivated), development of uniform levels of immunity (each person receives the same dose), no chance for spread of vaccine organism to other people, and a choice of a wider variety of virus strains. Disadvantages are increased costs (labor and product), slower onset of immunity, narrower spectrum of protection, and presence of localized tissue damage at site of injection due to reaction with the adjuvant.
Stress may reduce the person's ability to mount an immune response. Stress could include environmental extremes (temperature, relative humidity), inadequate nutrition, parasitism, and other diseases. People should not be vaccinated during periods of stress. That is, delay vaccination until the person is healthy. The ones like nasal spray flu vaccine can be given to people with minor illnesses (e.g., diarrhea or mild upper respiratory tract infection with or without fever). However, if nasal congestion is present that might limit delivery of the vaccine to the nasal lining. Delaying vaccination with that vaccine until the nasal congestion is reduced should be considered.
Who shouldn't get the flu shot:
Anyone who developed Guillain-Barré syndrome (when your body’s immune system attacks your nerves) within 6 weeks of getting a flu vaccine
Babies less than 6 months old
People with life-threatening allergies to any ingredient in the vaccine
If you aren't feeling well, you should talk to your doctor about delaying your shot until you're feeling better.
The Nasal Flu Vaccine (FluMist). This flu vaccine is sprayed into the nose. While it is a live vaccine, the virus is weak and can't cause the flu. Still, you may have flu-like symptoms.
Side effects: Usually minor, although they can be more severe than the side effects of the flu shot. In adults, side effects include runny nose, headache, sore throat, and cough. In children, side effects also include wheezing, vomiting, fever, and muscle aches.
It must be remembered that there will be several strains of the microbes. If the vaccine does not contain the proper strains or serotypes of organism required to stimulate protective immunity, it may fail. Although the vaccine is administered properly and uniform and adequate antibody titers are present, people still break with the disease.
Now that you know adequate information about vaccines, there is no need to panic. If the medical fraternity says go for a vaccine, just go for it. It is better than suffering a full blown disease. It is good for not only you but for the whole bunch of people around you.
And Yes, I have been vaccinated for several of the diseases and that is why, I don't develop any of these. Nor did I get any side effects. Need I say I am a living proof of vaccine safety?
Still if you have any questions or need clarifications, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Heilmann C, Jorgensen E, Nielsen F, Heinzow B, Weihe P, Grandjean P. Serum Concentration of antibodies against vaccine toxoids in children exposed perinatally to immunotoxicants. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2010.
2. Mattoo S, Cherry JD . Molecular pathogenesis, epidemiology, and clinical manifestations of respiratory infections due to Bordetella pertussis and other Bordetella subspecies. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2005;18(2):326–382
3. Guiso N . Bordetella pertussis and pertussis vaccines. Clin Infect Dis. 2009;49(10):1565–1569 Abstract/FREE Full Text
Scientists from the UK and US are using technology that helped in the design of a new synthetic vaccine to combat the foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV) to now target the virus that causes polio. The synthetic vaccine that is currently being engineered in collaboration with Prof. Dave Rowlands at the University of Leeds would provide a powerful weapon in the fight to rid the world of polio. This project is being funded by a £438,000 grant from the World Health Organisation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The team's hope is to create a vaccine that does not contain the viral genome but instead 'mimics' the structure of the live virus. Such a vaccine would be quicker, easier and safer to produce. Even after the apparent global elimination of poliomyelitis it will be necessary to continue vaccination as a precaution against reintroduction of the virus from hidden sources, such as rare chronically infected carriers. A synthetic vaccine would fulfil this role without the inherent danger of accidental release of virus associated with the production of current vaccines. Eventually such vaccines could pave the way to completely eliminating the necessity to vaccinate.
A synthetic vaccine to fight polio:
British and American scientists have now joined hands to develop a wholly artificial vaccine to combat polio. The WHO and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are providing a $674,000 grant with the hope that the new approach can address shortcomings in an existing vaccine and help eliminate polio once and for all.Last year, a few hundred cases were reported worldwide. The participating British scientists will come from the universities of Leeds, Oxford and Reading.
Explaining the objective behind developing an artificial vaccine Professor Dave Stuart from Oxford University says, "The idea of the synthetic vaccine is that it contains no genome — it is virus free. So it's made like a superchemical that assembles itself to look like the virus but has no way of ever replicating." Such a vaccine will be better than the existing one as it will create a more exact replica of the virus as its stimulus to provoke a stronger immune response from the body.
And it will be quicker, easier and safer to produce. Even after the apparent global elimination of poliomyelitis it will be necessary to continue vaccination as a precaution against reintroduction of the virus from hidden sources, such as rare chronically infected carriers.
The main challenge in developing a synthetic vaccine was how to keep the mock virus, without a real genome, stable long enough to generate immune response. Explaining how the challenge is being met, Stuart explains, "Using a combination of techniques, including X-ray crystallography and electron cryo-microscopy, we've begun the task of gathering crystal structures and electron microscopy images that will tell us what we need to know to stabilise the shell of the virus and engineer a strong vaccine that has the ability to bring about the desired immune response in humans." Interestingly, this technology is similar to the one used in developing a synthetic vaccine to combat the foot and mouth disease (FAMD) in cattle. Encouraged by the success of the FAMD vaccine the scientists are now excited to take the same approach to combat other viruses, including the polio virus. Early results with polio are very promising, with synthetic particles being produced and evidence of successful stabilisation.
Stuart adds, "Using the latest technology , we can engineer vaccines that are billions of times smaller than a pinhead, we can track viruses as they interact with living cells, and we can glean the detailed information required to look at pathogens and then design better therapies against them."
Avery powerful quote addressing people who refuse to get their children vaccinated:
"If you choose not to immunize your own child and your own child dies because they get measles, OK, that's your responsibility, that's your choice. But if your child gets sick and gets my child sick and my child dies, then ... your action has harmed my child."
How to Get More Parents to Vaccinate Their Kids
A look at the financial and behavioral nudges that can provide incentives for change
How does the Rotavac vaccine work?
It works like any other vaccine . Read this article I wrote to know all about vaccines.
Rotarix is an oral vaccine against rotavirus infection. It contains a live, weakened form of human rotavirus.
Rotarix vaccine stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies against rotavirus. It can be given to young children to prevent gastroenteritis caused by infection with this virus.
Monoclonal antibodies (mAb or moAb) are monospecific antibodies that are made by identical immune cells that are all clones of a unique parent cell, in contrast to polyclonal antibodies which are made from several different immune cells. Monoclonal antibodies have monovalent affinity, in that they bind to the same epitope.
A British man has been excreting live poliovirus for an estimated 28 years.
An immune deficiency allowed weakened virus from oral polio vaccines to replicate and change within the man’s body. This case is not unique, but it’s the longest-lasting example of vaccine-derived poliovirus on record, researchers report August 27 in PLOS Pathogens.
The study reveals that there is no limit to how long polio can circulate in the system of a person who doesn’t produce enough of specific antibodies, says virologist Olen Kew of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. “This is the world record holder — everyone agrees,” he says.
The virus has changed within the man’s body, evolving into slightly different versions from the original vaccine strain, the researchers show. Several virus strains contained changes to surface regions that human immune proteins attack. The study found that existing vaccines still protect against the most altered virus isolated, though it’s important to monitor such changes, says study coauthor Javier Martin, a virologist at the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control in Potters Bar, England.
In countries where most people are vaccinated against polio, a person excreting live viruses poses little danger, Kew and Martin say. “We have not seen any evidence of a breakout of these viruses into an immunized population,” Kew says. In developing countries with lower vaccine coverage, such immune-deficient patients are unlikely to survive long enough to spread polio, says CDC virologist Cara Burns.
Cases of chronic poliovirus excretion are rare. But similarly altered viruses have turned up in sewage from Israel, Finland, Slovakia and Estonia, indicating that additional, unidentified people might be excreting polio in these countries, the researchers say.
Polio can cause fever, pain, vomiting and, in rare cases, permanent paralysis. The man in the study takes immune proteins that help combat the virus he’s carrying, Martin says. But such individuals are still at risk of developing paralyzing polio, Burns adds. Researchers are working to find drugs to eliminate the polio from these people’s systems, she says. “Having an antiviral to offer these individuals once they’re identified would be very helpful.”
Polio has nearly been eliminated in the wild, with reported cases remaining only in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Kew and Martin say that researchers hope the virus will be completely eradicated within a couple of years.
Could some vaccines drive the evolution of more virulent pathogens? Conventional wisdom is that natural selection will remove highly lethal pathogens if host death greatly reduces transmission. Vaccines that keep hosts alive but still allow transmission could thus allow very virulent strains to circulate in a population. Here we show experimentally that immunization of chickens against Marek's disease virus enhances the fitness of more virulent strains, making it possible for hyperpathogenic strains to transmit. Immunity elicited by direct vaccination or by maternal vaccination prolongs host survival but does not prevent infection, viral replication or transmission, thus extending the infectious periods of strains otherwise too lethal to persist. Our data show that anti-disease vaccines that do not prevent transmission can create conditions that promote the emergence of pathogen strains that cause more severe disease in unvaccinated hosts.
"Imperfect" Vaccines May Aid Survival of Ultrahot Viruses
Certain vaccines prevent sickness and death, but don't block transmission—meaning they may actually give some viral strains an extra shot at survival.
16 years ago, a doctor published a study. It was completely made up, and it made us all sicker.
Once upon a time, a scientist named Dr. Andrew Wakefield published in the medical journal The Lancet that he had discovered a link between autism and vaccines.
Vaccines are necessary because..
The only disease that has been eradicated is small pox. Everything else is still out there. Some like whooping cough and measles continue to cause disease in the developed world. Others, such as polio, mainly occur in developing nations, but could be reintroduced anywhere, via international travel.
Vaccines are a trivial challenge to what children typically encounter and manage every day, said Paul Offit, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Their bodies constantly face things in their environment that challenge their immune systems to work hard, such as bacteria that line our skin, nose, throat and intestines, as well as bacteria in food, water and the air.
Immunologists at the University of California, San Diego looked into the number of immunological challenges a person can respond to at one time. After considering the variety of compounds in vaccines, including bacterial proteins, bacterial polysaccharides and viral proteins, Offit explained, they calculated that young children could safely respond to as many as 100,000 vaccines at once. The CDC recommends children get vaccinated against 14 diseases over a two-year period.
Vaccines don't cause autism..
This myth started in 1998, when a study authored by Dr. Andrew Wakefield and colleagues was published in the journal The Lancet. The study followed 12 children, eight of whom had parents who believed their child's behavioral problems were caused by the MMR vaccine. The study set off a panic, causing vaccination results to drop and rates of measles to skyrocket. Earlier this year, the editors of the Lancet officially retracted the paper, citing evidence that it held false information.
Many other studies, including ones published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the British Medical Journal, have shown the increase in autism rates is not linked to the MMR vaccine. One of the largest long-term studies was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002. Following 537,000 children, it found the rates of autism were the same among kids who had been vaccinated and those that had not.
After extensive reviews, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization and other major medical authorities have all concluded the same thing: The MMR vaccine is not causing the rise in autism .
Vaccines are not 100% safe. This one is true, but walking down the street is not 100-percent safe either, and that doesn't stop pedestrian traffic. Almost all vaccines are given via shots, which can cause pain, redness and tenderness at the injection site. Other rare side effects include fever, persistent crying and allergic reactions .
Even more rarely, serious complications can occur. For example, the old, now-discontinued rotavirus vaccine was tied to a slight increase in intussusception, a bowel blockage problem. Out of the one million children given this vaccine between 1998 and 1999, roughly one hundred suffered this complication and one died. (Today's rotavirus vaccines have not been linked to this problem.)
Going without a vaccine is not safe either. The most prevalent cause of severe diarrhea, rotavirus kills 20 to 100 children every year in the United States and hospitalizes 55,000 to 100,000, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. Worldwide, 3 million children are estimated to die from rotavirus each year.
Vaccines do work..
Because some vaccines have been around for over 50 years, most young parents aren't familiar with the diseases they are preventing. But vaccines are often thanklessly still hard at work.
For example, before the vaccine became available in 1963, almost everyone contracted measles before the age of 15. In the United States, it killed 450 people, mostly children, on average every year. After the vaccine was introduced, cases of measles reached a low of 37 in 2004. But just two years ago, that number climbed more than 130, according to the CDC; many of the patients were unvaccinated by choice.
In England and Wales, according to the Health Protection Agency, a similar trend of vaccination avoidance caused cases of measles to climb from 56 in 1998 to 1348 cases in 2008. Measles is now considered to have officially returned to the area as an endemic disease.