Monthly Archives: February 2014

HPV Vaccine Research vs. HPV Vaccine Reality

From Research to Reality (National Cancer Institute)


L.J replied on Thursday, February 20, 2014 – 4:14pm

And I would like to draw attention to a “Dear Colleague” letter that was just released.

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), American College of Physicians (ACP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) recently released a Dear Colleague” letter that encourages providers to promote HPV vaccination.
Despite more than seven years of vaccine monitoring showing overwhelming evidence of HPV vaccine safety and effectiveness, HPV vaccination rates are not improving while rates for other adolescent vaccines are. Health provider recommendations are the key to increasing HPV vaccination rates. By improving the strength and consistency of HPV vaccination recommendations, more patients will be protected from HPV-associated cancers and disease.
The letter gives providers key facts about HPV-associated disease and HPV vaccine safety and effectiveness to help them discuss HPV vaccination confidently with patients and parents. Please share this important document with all healthcare professionals who provide vaccines to adolescents and young adults. Sample messages for traditional and social media releases are provided below. Related Links

·        “Dear Colleague” Letter: Give a strong recommendation for HPV vaccine to increase uptake!

·        Joint press release: Leading Medical and Public Health Organizations Join Efforts Urging Physicians to Strongly Recommend Human papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination

·        AAP Press Room: Leading Medical and Public Health Organizations Join Efforts Urging Physicians to Strongly Recommend Human papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination

·        AAFP News Now: Strong Recommendation to Vaccinate Against HPV Is Key to Boosting Uptake

·        Accelerating HPV Vaccine Uptake: Urgency for Action to Prevent Cancer. A Report to the President of the United States from the President’s Cancer Panel.

Sample Messages for the Media

1. Sample drop-in text for newsletters and Facebook posts
Joint “Dear Colleague” Letter on HPV Vaccination Issued
Leading medical organizations—the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists—joined the Immunization Action Coalition and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in issuing a call this week that urges physicians across the United States to educate their patients about the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and to strongly recommend HPV vaccination.
The “Dear Colleague” letter [] includes important data about HPV-related cancers and the latest information about the use, safety, and efficacy of HPV vaccines.
2. Sample tweets
Joint “Dear Colleague” letter urges healthcare professionals to give a strong recommendation for #HPV vaccine:
Medical societies join CDC and IAC in urging their members to strongly recommend #HPV vaccination for preteens:
AAP, AAFP, ACOG, ACP, CDC, and IAC issue letter urging #doctors to strongly recommend #HPV vaccine:


Comments on Measles Exposures in New York

What are the serious implications of a “simple” exposure to a case of measles?   An unvaccinated student with measles leaves a long trail of exposure without even realizing the impact on those around him or her.

From Pedatrics – Written by Vincent Iannelli, M.D.
There has been an update on the recent report of a case of measles at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

As in many of these cases, the health department is now warning that the unvaccinated student who had a vaccine exemption may have exposed other people to measles at a number of locations in the area, including:
•Samaritan Hospital Emergency Department, from 8:00 p.m. on Friday, January 31, through 3:45 a.m. on Saturday, February 1
•RPI Campus, from January 26th to January 31st
•Mohonasen High School in Schenectady, NY, on January 26th from 7 a.m. through 2 p.m. at a volleyball tournament

The New York State Heath Department warns that “anyone who was at these locations during these times should contact the local (county) health department where they reside to determine if they are a candidate to receive preventive treatment.”

This is especially important if you are not sure if your child is immune to measles, which might include:
•infants who are less than 12 months of age and haven’t gotten their first MMR vaccine
•children who are less than 4 years of age and haven’t gotten their second MMR vaccine
•children and adults who have not been fully vaccinated against measles because they had a severe allergic reaction to their first dose
•children and adults who have not been vaccinated because they have a known severe immunodeficiency
•children and adults who may have been fully vaccinated in the past, but now have a severe immunodeficiency, including those with cancer, with cancer and getting chemotherapy, a congenital immunodeficiency, on long term immunosuppressive therapy, or with HIV infection, etc.

A busy emergency room in the middle of cold and flu season would almost certainly have had some children who would be at risk for measles, not because their parents signed a waiver or vaccine exemption, but simply because they were too young to be fully vaccinated.

It is to protect all of these people, and to limit the size of the outbreak, that health departments go into containment mode whenever someone triggers one of these measles outbreaks. These immediate control measures cost a lot of money though. To contain just 107 of the 220 measles cases in 2011, “the corresponding total estimated costs for the public response accrued to local and state public health departments ranged from $2.7 million to $5.3 million US dollars.”

Get Educated. Get Vaccinated. Stop the Outbreaks.

Instant Childhood Immunization Schedule

Highlands County Immunization Task Force

Get the best protection for your child—make sure your child is immunized on schedule. For a complete list of recommended immunizations, just select your child’s birth date.

Instant Childhood Immunization Scheduler

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Infant Dies at 38 Days But Her Story Tries to Save Lives

-Reblogged from Shot of Prevention

Katie and Craig Van Tornhout with their miracle baby CallieAfter five years and four miscarriages, Katie and Craig Van Tornhout celebrated the birth of their daughter Callie.   Although she arrived a few weeks early, she was truly their miracle baby.  But their joy quickly turned to grief when a disease called pertussis, also known as whooping cough, claimed her life at just 38 days old.

Katie explains,

“To an adult, pertussis can seem like just a stubborn cough, but to Callie and other newborns who are too young to be immunized, it can be deadly because they aren’t able to fight it off.   In an infant, it’s likely that this disease can result in respiratory failure.  IV tubes or ventilators may be needed to help a baby breathe and they are in danger of having their lungs shut down.  As a mother, I can’t tell you how heartbreaking this is to watch.”

Families_callie_van_tornhoutToday marks the four-year “angelversary” of Callie’s passing, and in that time a lot has changed.

In 2012, 48,277 people were diagnosed with pertussis and the Advisory Council of Immunization Practices (ACIP) issued new vaccine recommendations advising all expectant women to receive a Tdap booster with each pregnancy, preferably in their third trimester.  Not only does the vaccine help protect the mother from contracting pertussis and infecting her own newborn, it also provides maternal antibodies that can protect the newborn in those early months before the baby can be fully vaccinated.

ECBT_Pertussis English_Bus Shelter_HIGH RES SmallAnd a lot has changed for the Van Tornhout family as well.  In addition to their 17-year-old son Cole, the Van Tornhout’s have since had two other children, Chesney and Cain, with another on the way.  With each new pregnancy they have taken every precaution to protect their babies from pertussis, and every opportunity to educate others about the importance of their adult Tdap boosters.  Not only have they insisted that friends and family be immunized, but they’ve also ensured that every hospital staff member who has had contact with their babies was also up to date on their Tdap booster.

“We still wonder where Callie contracted pertussis. She was only five weeks old and never went anywhere except to see her doctor.  I wish I had known that Callie was vulnerable to this disease and I wish I had known about the need for adult Tdap boosters.  I would have insisted that I, my husband and our friends and family who came to visit be immunized. I would have asked more questions about the nurses who handled Callie in the NICU, and whether they had been immunized.”

CalliesCrusadeThe Van Tornhout’s know that Callie’s life, as brief as it was, can make a difference in the lives of others.  Each day they continue to turn a terrible situation into one of hope and love, by becoming local advocates for Every Child By Two, sharing their message on ABC’s Good Morning America, and speaking out in their local community to ensure parents understand how to protect their babies until they are fully immunized.  Katie explains,

“We may never have our questions about how Callie contracted this devastating disease answered. The only peace of mind will come from speaking out and preventing other parents from experiencing this heartbreak.  You never know how many people breathe the same air you breathe each day.  Please, get vaccinated and only surround your baby with others who have been immunized.”

Despite the pain and grief that lingers to this day, Callie will always be a part of their every day lives. Driving home the other night Katie recalls her daughter Chesney looking up at the stars outside the car window.  Katie explains,

“Chesney just pointed and said ’Callie’s looking at us!”  Then she began singing ‘I Miss You In My Heart’.  If she only knew how much that touched my heart.”

The Van Tornhout’s continue to honor Callie’s memory through an organization they started called Callie Cares.  After their own personal experience staying at the Ronald McDonald House while Callie was in intensive care, they now gather donations of travel sized toiletries and assemble them into care packages for other guests of the Ronald McDonald House.   The packages include everything from shampoo, conditioner, bath soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, razors, lotion and anything else that may make for a more comfortable stay.

But every year on this date they awake to a somber memory.  This morning, Katie shared this message on her Facebook page:

“Four years ago we lost Callie, FOUR! It seems like just yesterday. I miss her so much every day and I always say I don’t want her “angel date” to bog me down, yet here I sit and cry. I love and miss you sooo much Callie.  Thank you for sending me your spunky siblings but know they will never replace you. Momma loves you Callie Girl, always & forever”

While it may seem like just yesterday, we know that Callie’s story has been shared with countless people over these past four years.  Please help Callie continue to spread her angel wings by sharing her story again today, and honoring the many other infants who have succumbed to pertussis (such as Brady, Carter and Brie and so many more).  If people can understand that getting their own Tdap boosters can protect newborn babies, then we may be able to reduce the threat of this dangerous and deadly disease for every child born from this day forward.  Callie may have only lived for 38 days, but her story can live on in the actions we take.

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