Category Archives: Vaccination

Going against the herd: The importance of mass immunity in society

Why is it that members of the public health community are worried about falling vaccination rates in the US?

Do our personal health decisions for ourselves and our children have an impact on the health of society as a whole?

The answer to this is that yes, our individual decisions do matter to society when it comes to combating the spread of contagious disease. Continue reading Going against the herd: The importance of mass immunity in society

Advertisements

The importance of cold chains: Getting potent vaccine to those in need

Vaccines: proven life-savers
Vaccines: proven life-savers (Photo credit: Gates Foundation)

Most of us alive today are familiar with vaccines. In the US where I live most of us have been vaccinated for major diseases such as whooping cough, Hepatitis A, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria; the list goes on. However, due to our developed infrastructure and relative ease of access to medical care many of us have never worried about obtaining life-saving vaccines for our children or ourselves. This alone has contributed to some of the most startling gains in public health ever witnessed.

In other parts of the world this is a very different story. Less infrastructure and fewer opportunities for medical care has made vaccinating large segments of the human population extremely difficult with serious consequences for those who are not vaccinated.

One major hurdle in the race to vaccinate the majority of people on this planets is the maintenance of cold-chains for vaccine delivery.

Continue reading The importance of cold chains: Getting potent vaccine to those in need

The Problem with Polio

Child receiving polio vaccine.Polio is a disease that has seemed to fade away in the United States since the introduction of the polio vaccine in 1955. However, this disease is alive and well outside of the US despite a strong push by international agencies such as the WHO to eradicate polio in the last few decades. In fact, in 1988 the WHO pledged to eradicate polio by 2000, but this dream has yet to reach reality.

Why is the eradication of polio less successful than the effort to eradicate Smallpox, a goal achieved in the 1970’s?

These difficulties come from the nature of polio itself and the special challenges that this virus poses to those who would halt its transmission. Continue reading The Problem with Polio