Articles on Vaccines

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Could seeing things in black-and-white terms influence people’s views on scientific questions? Lightspring/Shutterstock.com

The thinking error at the root of science denial

Why do some people reject scientifically accepted ideas? A psychotherapist points to black-and-white thinking as part of the explanation.
Naloxone is often used to revive people overdosing from opioids. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Why genetics makes some people more vulnerable to opioid addiction – and protects others

Scientists are just starting to understand how your parents' genes and experiences might shape your own susceptibility to dangerous drugs. Could that help to stop addictions before they start?
What will it take to finish polio off in the last three countries where it persists? AP Photo/B.K. Bangash

Inching closer to a world without polio

Pakistan had only eight new diagnoses of polio in 2017. The virus' days look numbered – but health workers have their work cut out for them to eradicate the devastating disease once and for all.
Could the yearly flu shot become a thing of the past? AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File

Influenza: The search for a universal vaccine

Flu virus mutates so quickly that one year's vaccine won't work on the next year's common strains. But rational design – a new way to create vaccines – might pave the way for more lasting solutions.
Donnie Cardenas, on bed, waits with his roommate Torrey Jewett at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, Calif., Jan. 10, 2018. Cardenas had the flu. AP Photo/Greg Bull

4 things you need to know right now to protect yourself from the flu

The flu is not only making millions of people sick this year. It's causing fear and, along with it, a lot of confusion. Should you get a flu shot? Should you see the doctor? An expert advises.
A recent study of medical students and residents found they were reluctant to engage with parents who have vaccination fears. But listening to parents is important. Olena Yakobchuck/Shutterstock.com

The best shot at overcoming vaccination standoffs? Having doctors listen to – not shun – reluctant parents

A recent study suggests that shunning parents who are reluctant to vaccinate their kids isn't the best strategy. A better strategy might be old-fashioned, but it works.
Parents are concerned combination vaccines, which protect against several diseases at once, can be too much for a young immune system to cope with. from www.shutterstock.com

No, combination vaccines don’t overwhelm kids’ immune systems

Vaccines against multiple diseases in one jab strengthen kids' immune systems, not weaken them. Here's why we shouldn't fear these combination vaccines.
People reject science such as that about climate change and vaccines, but readily believe scientists about solar eclipses, like this one reflected on the sunglasses of a man dangerously watching in Nicosia, Cyprus, in a 2015 file photo. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Eclipse of reason: Why do people disbelieve scientists?

People universally believe scientists' solar eclipse calendars, but vaccine warnings or climate predictions are forms of science that strangely do not enjoy equivalent acceptance.
Edward Jenner, who pioneered vaccination, and two colleagues (right) seeing off three anti-vaccination opponents, with the dead lying at their feet (1808). I Cruikshank/Wellcome Images/Wikimedia Commons

A short history of vaccine objection, vaccine cults and conspiracy theories

Some people have objected to childhood vaccination since it was introduced in the late 1700s. And their reasons sound remarkably familiar to those of anti-vaxxers today.
Computers may play an important role in preparing us for the next viral outbreak – whether flu or Ebola. UW Institute for Protein Design

Designing antiviral proteins via computer could help halt the next pandemic

This antivirus software protects health, not computers. Researchers are beginning to combat deadly infections using computer-generated antiviral proteins – a valuable tool to fight a future pandemic.

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