Articles on Vaccination

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The emotional appeals of the opposing views on vaccination are both driven by concern for children. World Bank Photo Collection/Flickr

‘No jab, no pay’ policy has a serious ethical sting

The plan to withhold payments of child-care and family tax benefits for unvaccinated children could cost non-compliant parents up to A$15,000 a year. But is it ethical to punish parents?
Removing the childcare rebate for parents who do not fully immunise their children is unnecessarily punitive and could have repercussions. Oksana Shufrych/Shutterstock

Forget ‘no jab, no pay’ schemes, there are better ways to boost vaccination

Immunisation in Australia isn't compulsory – and doesn't need to be controversial. Most Australians recognise the incredible benefits that vaccination provides to prevent serious disease.
Not irrational, but serious trust issues. Listening by Shutterstock

Throwing science at anti-vaxxers just makes them more hardline

Since the uptick in outbreaks of measles in the US, those arguing for the right not to vaccinate their children have come under increasing scrutiny. There is no journal of “anti-vax psychology” reporting…
Bats can harbour viruses such as Ebola and don’t display clinical signs of disease. Janelle Lugge

Bat’s immunity may hold key to preventing future Ebola outbreaks

Bats are the natural host species for Ebola and a variety of viruses, many of which can be fatal when transmitted to humans. More than 100 viruses have been identified in bats and this number is rising…
The innate immune response causes the common signs of inflammation including swelling, pain, heat, redness and loss of function. Brandon Daniel/Flickr

Explainer: how does the immune system work?

The immune system is critical for protecting against illness-causing organisms, such as viruses, bacteria and fungi, which are collectively known as pathogens. Without it, we would quickly become infected…
Polio is still not adequately controlled in Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan. Wen-Yan King/Flickr

Explainer: ridding the world of polio

Polio (poliomyelitis) is a viral disease that can lead to incurable paralysis. The World Health Organisation is coordinating a programme to eradicate this disease from the face of the earth, and we are…
Bottled and ready to go. NIAID/SGK Handout

Why we need volunteers for the first human Ebola trials

The current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has emerged rapidly and evolved with alarming ease. An unprecedented number of lives have been lost and WHO predictions are that the virus will infect in excess…
A very simple answer to suffering. Ascom

Race against time to prevent deadly spread of polio

Poliomyelitis is a devastating, highly infectious viral disease. It is spread from person to person or through poor sanitary conditions. It can kill those infected or result in permanent paralysis to the…
A child is vaccinated against polio during a three-day nationwide campaign to eradicate polio, in Karachi, Pakistan, May 2014. EPA/SHAHZAIB AKBER

CIA stops fake vaccination programs, but will it matter?

The US government has told a group of local health educators that it will no longer use immunisation programs as a cover for espionage. But the damage from previous such programs is difficult to undo…
A new oral drug could help reduce the spread of measles. Destinys Agent/Flickr

Scientists hold hope for new measles drug

A new oral antiviral drug may be a future tool in the global fight against measles, according to a new international study…

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