ID Admin: March 2007 Archives

Italy to Offer Cervical Cancer Vaccine


A vaccine against the sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer went on sale Wednesday in Italy, the first European Union nation to offer the vaccine free for 12-year-old girls, the Italian Health Ministry said.

The ministry said a campaign will be launched soon to encourage the free vaccination of 12-year-olds but that the vaccine for the human papillomavirus, of HPV, will not be mandatory. Older girls and women who want the vaccination will have to pay for it.

Proponents of the vaccine say it will be most effective when given before girls become sexually active. Ministry officials said the vaccine is being supplied by Sanofi-Pasteur, the vaccine division of Sanofi-Aventis.

merckBy Maggie Mahar, The Health Care Blog

February 22, 2007 - Yesterday, Merck announced that it is no longer going to try to persuade states to make its new $360 cervical cancer vaccine mandatory for all pre-teens. (At least, not publicly). The company wouldn’t divulge how much it has spent, to date, on its lobbying campaign.

Virtually everyone has heard about “Gardasil.” Planned Parenthood backs it. Women in Government extols its virtues. (Both organizations receive significant contributions from Merck). Not long ago, a glowing New York Times editorial congratulated Texas governor Rick Perry for mandating “A Vaccine To  Save Women’s Lives.”( So far as I know, Merck makes no contributions to The New York Times, but Perry’s former chief of staff is a Merck lobbyist.) At this point, twenty states have drafted plans to follow Perry’s example.

Deaf girl sues over MMR vaccine


MMR vaccineA TEENAGER is fighting to prove that the MMR vaccine made her deaf.

Katie Stephen, 16, fell ill with a fever 10 days after being injected with an early form of the immunisation as a toddler in 1991.

Parents Wendy and Alistair believe the vaccine, which included a strain of mumps, was responsible for their daughter losing the hearing in her left ear.

Nasal flu vaccine works better for kids


Children given a flu vaccine by nasal spray were better protected against the disease than those given the old shot in the arm, according to new research in the most recent New England Journal of Medicine.

The study, which followed nearly 8,500 children in 16 countries, found the vaccine sniffed up the nose reduced the influenza "attack rate" in children by 55 percent compared to the traditional injections.

The attack rate is the number of people who get sick compared to the total number of people in a study group.

"Children get the flu twice as often as adults," said Dr. Robert Belshe of St. Louis University, the study's lead author. "It's important to vaccinate kids against influenza -- and to identify new and more effective flu vaccine options -- because kids have a higher attack rate for influenza infection than adults."

Powdered Tuberculosis VaccineEarly tests set the stage for health workers to administer the vaccine as an aerosol instead of an injection.

A new powdered form of BCG, the tuberculosis vaccine, mixes a mycobacterium [green] with leucine [gray] and may pave the way for more powerful, needle-free forms of the vaccine.

A new powdered form of tuberculosis (TB) vaccine may help save some of the nearly two million lives lost to the disease annually. In preliminary tests, the powdered form contained more active bacterial cells than a freeze-dried version similar to the existing vaccine. The result may pave the way for health workers to administer the vaccine as an aerosol to the lungs instead of as an injection, possibly leading to a more effective treatment.

Cervical cancer vaccine users see side effects


gardasilGenital warts. Cervical cancer. Vaginal disease. All these afflictions are caused by the human papillomavirus. Recently, women have had an opportunity to decrease their chances of contracting the virus as a result of the new three-dose vaccine from Merck & Co. Inc. called Gardasil.

In recent news, however, the adequacy of the warning label provided by the Center for Disease Control has been tested by the public, as numerous complaints of side effects have surfaced after patients received their HPV vaccinations.

As of now, a report has stated that over 500 people have complained of post-vaccination side effects such as fainting and dizziness, and there have been three recorded cases of the Guillain-Barré syndrome. According to health professionals, the syndrome is a rare disorder within the nervous system that sometimes causes complete paralysis.

Hepatitis E Vaccine Shows Promise


clinical trialsFeb. 28, 2007 -- An experimental hepatitis E vaccine shows promise but needs further study, experts report in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Hepatitis E is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis E virus, which spreads through contaminated food or water.

Hepatitis E is rare in the U.S., but it's a major public health problem in developing countries. The disease is most dangerous for pregnant women, who can die or have miscarriages or stillbirths due to hepatitis E.