New strategies help ensure that vaccines remain effective in preventing disease

University of Michigan Health System

May 4, 2009

ANN ARBOR, Mich – Childhood vaccination represents one of the most successful public health interventions ever, yet it faces multiple challenges that threaten its success, according to Matthew M. Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P. of the University of Michigan and Samir S. Shah, M.D., M.S.C.E. of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in the May issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

“Right now, if the spread of swine flu worsens and persists over the coming months, we could be depending on a new swine flu vaccine to protect the health of hundreds of millions of children and adults around the globe,” says Davis, who co-authored an editorial with Shah in a special issue on vaccines. Davis is associate professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases, internal medicine, and public policy at the University of Michigan.
“Diseases that once killed thousands of children each year have been virtually eliminated,” write Davis and Shah.
Challenges to childhood vaccination today include a skeptical public that questions the safety of vaccines, vaccine shortages that lead to delayed immunization, and low vaccination rates among adults that leave the children they care for vulnerable to preventable diseases.
“These challenges demand innovative responses from the generation of researchers and policymakers now engaged in work regarding vaccines around the globe,” they say. “In this issue of the Archives, authors present many compelling ideas and research findings that set the stage for the next phase of efforts designed to protect children and their families through the use of safe and effective vaccines.”
Articles published in the issue find that:
  • A social marketing strategy may be useful in battling negative public perceptions about vaccines*
  • Pediatricians could play a greater role in immunizing adults who have contact with young children
  • In times of vaccine shortages, pediatric practices with systems to track high-risk children may help ensure they receive needed immunizations first
  • Accelerating the dosing schedules of some vaccines appears to increase immunization rates and also may reduce disease burden**
  • Strategies for introducing new vaccines—especially those with cultural sensitivities, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine—should address community concerns through effective communication, appropriate delivery and targeted advocacy
  • Although progress has been made in addressing disparities in vaccine-preventable diseases among American Indian and Alaskan Native children, sustained routine vaccination will be necessary to maintain that progress
Vaccine-preventable diseases still result in significant morbidity and other societal costs,” Davis and Shah say. As research for new and more effective vaccines continues, medical personnel must optimize the way they use existing vaccines. The articles included in the May issue of the Archives highlight novel strategies for improving the uptake and effectiveness of currently available vaccines.
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2009;163[5]:483-485.

Editor’s Note: Please see the article for additional information, including author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

Comment from Leslie

This this is interesting….”improving the uptake of currently available vaccines.”  Well, if I understand correctly – new strategies will be enacted to make sure the vaccine dissenters will get their shots.  I called it coercion yesterday – in regards to an article that appeared out of Cumbria.  Two articles in two days with the same message.

*Social Marketing strategy to battle negative perceptions about vaccines?  How about just providing safe vaccines that do not cause brain damage.  That is what the people want – you would not have to have a “marketing strategy” to get the people to comply.  Put those dollars into creating vaccines that do not damage the population.

**Accelerating the doses of vaccines?  We have already proved that the administration of more than one vaccine at a time is a serious health risk since the EPA standards for heavy metals are violated.


Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.