Articles on Vaccines

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The dose makes the poison so fear is stoked by a lack of basic understanding of chemistry and toxicology. Ellen Fitzsimons

‘Toxins’ in vaccines: a potentially deadly misunderstanding

Vaccination is one of the most important preventative measures against serious illness, but its very success may be working against it. With parents no longer having the experience of the devastating diseases…
The ABC’s popular Q And A show revolves around opinion. But not all opinions are of equal value. ABC TV

No, you’re not entitled to your opinion

Every year, I try to do at least two things with my students at least once. First, I make a point of addressing them as “philosophers” – a bit cheesy, but hopefully it encourages active learning. Secondly…
Up to one million Africa children die of malaria every year. US Army Africa

Genetically modifying parasites to find the best malaria vaccine

The great burden of death and disease caused by the malaria parasite often goes unnoticed in the developed world. But it’s the leading cause of death in children under five years old in many sub-Sahara…
Researchers aren’t sure whether a relatively common environmental chemical compromises our immune response to vaccines. Chris RubberDragon

Is your health at risk from fish and frying pans?

Will our desire for seafood and non-stick frying pans compromise the effectiveness of vaccines intended to protect us from nasty diseases? Research published today in the Journal of the American Medical…
Sometimes it only takes one or two powerfully conveyed stories of disease affliction to spur people into getting their vaccinations. AAP

Vaccinations in the news in 2011

Whenever stories about vaccination hit the headlines, just how deeply we value vaccines becomes strikingly clear. Whether it’s the celebration of new vaccines, the outrage at disease outbreaks, or the…
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Boys to receive Gardasil HPV vaccine

Boys are likely be offered subsidised vaccinations against the sexually transmitted, wart and cancer-causing human papillomavirus…
All vaccines rely on generating an immune response that persists but our understanding of immune memory has some way to go. James Gathany/CDC

Search for the elusive universal flu vaccine

Influenza is never off the news agenda for long. If it’s not the flu season (and it always is in one hemisphere) and the attendant calls for vaccinations, it’s news about vaccines causing problems or new…
Case closed: the MMR vaccine has no relationship with autism.

Monday’s medical myth: the MMR vaccine causes autism

Few medical myths have spread as feverishly and contributed to so much preventable illness than the theory that the triple measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine might be linked to autism. The tale…
There’s a temporal link between autism being diagnosed and children getting several vaccinations. nealeanddalissa/Flickr

Muddied waters: setting the record straight about MMR vaccinations and autism

The lack of scientific literacy in the media causes much harm to public understanding of the role and importance of vaccines. The latest instance revives the same old fears using the same formula that…

Treatment hope for hepatitis C

Hopes for an effective vaccine and treatment against the potentially fatal hepatitis C infection have received a major boost…
In the developed world, people who regularly inject drugs are most at risk of being infected with hepatitis C. AAP

Repeat offender: the strange comings and goings of hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that infects about 3% of the world’s population. It’s a significant cause of both illness and death due to cirrhosis (advanced liver scarring) and liver cancer. By the…
Preventing infection with the Hendra virus remains the most effective measure against the virus. AAP

Hold your horses: Hendra treatment is no panacea

Queensland authorities came under attack yesterday for being unprepared for a Hendra virus outbreak after it was found that they’d only stocked 15 doses of virus antibodies. But the case for stocking up…
Vaccines are history’s best public health tools but developing countries give low priority to health in their budgets. AAP

Gus Nossal: we can win the war against infectious disease, and here’s how

The Lancet, one of most prestigious medical journals in the world recently published a series of five papers on “the new decade of vaccines”. These were followed by a sixth paper – A call to action for…
With a bacterial base, liquid vaccines could be produced quickly and at low cost. Flickr/hdptcar

Edible vaccines could help eradicate disease in the developing world

Twenty years after his discovery that peptic ulcers were caused by a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori, Nobel Prize winner Barry Marshall is using the same bacteria as the base of an edible vaccine that…

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