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- Teenagers' understandings of and attitudes towards vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases: A qualitative study. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Vaccine 2013 Apr 18.
BACKGROUND:To examine immunisation information needs of teenagers we explored understandings of vaccination and vaccine-preventable diseases, attitudes towards immunisation and experiences of immunisation. Diseases discussed included nine for which vaccines are currently offered in the UK (human papillomavirus, meningitis, tetanus, diphtheria, polio, whooping cough, measles, mumps and rubella), and two not currently included in the routine UK schedule (hepatitis B and chickenpox).
METHODS:Twelve focus groups conducted between November 2010 and March 2011 with 59 teenagers (29 girls and 30 boys) living in various parts of Scotland.
RESULTS:Teenagers exhibited limited knowledge and experience of the diseases, excluding chickenpox. Measles, mumps and rubella were perceived as severe forms of chickenpox-like illness, and rubella was not associated with foetal damage. Boys commonly believed that human papillomavirus only affects girls, and both genders exhibited confusion about its relationship with cancer. Participants considered two key factors when assessing the threat of diseases: their prevalence in the UK, and their potential to cause fatal or long-term harm. Meningitis was seen as a threat, but primarily to babies. Participants explained their limited knowledge as a result of mass immunisation making once-common diseases rare in the UK, and acknowledged immunisation's role in reducing disease prevalence.
CONCLUSIONS:While it is welcome that fewer teenagers have experienced vaccine-preventable diseases, this presents public health advocates with the challenge of communicating benefits of immunisation when advantages are less visible. The findings are timely in view of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation's recommendation that a booster of meningitis C vaccine should be offered to teenagers; that teenagers did not perceive meningitis C as a significant threat should be a key concern of promotional information. While teenagers' experiences of immunisation in school were not always positive, they seemed enthusiastic at the prospect of introducing more vaccines for their age group.
- Vaccinal status of healthcare students in Lille. [Journal Article]
- Med Mal Infect 2013 Mar; 43(3):114-7.
Vaccine recommendations are the same for healthcare students than for other health care workers. The aim of this study was to describe mandatory and recommended vaccinal coverage and evaluate the benefit of systematic monitoring by a medical team in the Lille Medical School.A survey was performed from June 2011 to August 2011 on all students in the first year of Health Care Studies. The personal immunization record was considered as evidence of vaccination. The reference vaccinal schedule was the one recommended by the French High Council for Public Health in 2011.We analyzed the personal immunization records of 553 students. The vaccination coverage was 96.7% (535) for DTP, 74.7% (413) for hepatitis B, and 92.2% (510) of the students had a tuberculin test result. Concerning the recommended vaccinations, 78% (431) were covered for measles, and 78.9% (436) had a history of either chickenpox or its immunization. About 72.7% (402) of students were vaccinated for Haemophilus influenzae and Bordetella pertussis. Respectively, 24.2% (134) and 81% (448) had previously been vaccinated for Neisseria meningitis and tuberculosis. The monitoring of students allowed improving hepatitis B vaccination coverage by 22.28% (123). The student's vaccinal coverage was still inadequate for hepatitis B and measles. The systematic monitoring allowed significantly improving vaccinal coverage for hepatitis B.
- Should all adults with varicella be prescribed antiviral treatment? [Letter]
- Med J Aust 2013 Mar 18; 198(5):259.
- Prevention of herpes zoster: we need to do better. [Editorial]
- JAMA Ophthalmol 2013 Mar; 131(3):396-8.
- Varicella vaccination in Japan: necessity of implementing a routine vaccination program. [Journal Article]
- J Infect Chemother 2013 Apr; 19(2):188-95.
Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is the causative agent of varicella (chickenpox). It shows extremely high infectivity and is spread by airborne, droplet, and contact transmission. After a person is infected with VZV, the virus remains dormant in the dorsal root ganglia, but can be reactivated under circumstances where specific immunity declines, leading to the development of herpes zoster (shingles). Although varicella is a disease that usually resolves after about 1 week, it can cause various complications such as secondary bacterial skin infection, pneumonia, and encephalitis. In addition, varicella can become severe in immunocompromised persons, whereas VZV infection transmitted from an infected mother can cause the congenital varicella syndrome or serious neonatal varicella. In 1974, a live varicella vaccine (Oka strain) was developed in Japan for the prevention of varicella, and clinical trials performed during the development were mainly focused on high-risk children. In 1985, the Oka strain was recognized as the best varicella vaccine strain by the World Health Organization (WHO). Today, all the varicella vaccines used worldwide to immunize approximately 32 million people annually contain the Oka strain. In Japan, it has been commercially available since 1987 for the voluntary vaccination program, in which children over the age of 1 year with no history of previous varicella infection receive a single dose. In addition to healthy children, this vaccine can be used for immunocompromised children, and vaccination of elderly persons can also be done to enhance their immunity against VZV. Varicella vaccine is a highly safe vaccine with sufficient immunogenicity. The preventive effect of single-dose vaccination is believed to be approximately 80 % for all types of varicella, including mild cases; it is 95 % or greater for moderate to severe disease. Implementation of a two-dose vaccination schedule has proved to be effective against breakthrough varicella, which is observed in approximately 20-30 % of children vaccinated with a single dose. Because it is administered as part of the voluntary vaccination program, the varicella vaccination coverage rate in Japan has remained low until recently at around 20-30 %, with no sign of a decrease in the number of varicella patients. It is necessary to maintain a vaccination rate of 90 % or higher to prevent varicella epidemics. To achieve this goal, implementation of a routine vaccination program for varicella and introduction of a two-dose vaccination schedule, which is more effective than a single-dose schedule, would be highly desirable.
- Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety, December 2012. [Journal Article]
- Wkly Epidemiol Rec 2013 Feb 8; 88(6):65-72.
- Secular trends of chickenpox among military population in Israel in relation to introduction of varicella zoster vaccine 1979-2010. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Hum Vaccin Immunother 2013 Feb 14; 9(6)
Chickenpox is a contagious disease caused by the varicella zoster virus. There is scarce data on long-term trends of chickenpox and its relation to vaccinations practices. We aimed to evaluate trends of chickenpox in a military population during the period 1979-2010 and to assess temporal associations in relation with the introduction of varicella zoster vaccine to the civilian population in Israel in 2000. The archives of the Epidemiology Section of the Israel Defense Forces, where chickenpox is a notifiable disease, were reviewed for all cases of chickenpox from January 1, 1979-December 31, 2010. Annual and monthly incidence rates were calculated and analyzed in relation to vaccine introduction. Between 1979-2000, incidence rates fluctuated around 10 cases per 10,000 soldiers without a clear trend. Since 2000 there has been a dramatic 10-fold decline in incidence, especially notable since 2008, from eight per 10,000 soldiers in 2000 to the lowest rate ever recorded, in 2009, of 0.57 cases per 10,000 soldiers. A seasonal sinusoidal pattern was clearly demonstrated, with rising incidence from November to May followed by a gradual decline to October. The results of this long-term study suggest that the rates of chickenpox in the military population have significantly declined since the introduction of the vaccine to the civilian population in Israel and almost disappeared completely since 2008 as the vaccine was included in the state-funded routine childhood immunization schedule. These findings underscore the need for a strong surveillance system and will aid in determing vaccination policies.
- [Measles, mumps, rubella and varicella: antibody titration and vaccinations in a large hospital]. [English Abstract, Journal Article]
- G Ital Med Lav Ergon 2012 Jul-Sep; 34(3 Suppl):272-4.
The occurrence contagious diseases such as measles, varicella, mumps and rubella in the hospital open creates situations of alarm, due to the potential involvement of workers, but most importantly for the oftentimes harmful consequences for critical patients, such as pregnant women or immunocompromised individuals. In 2007 antibody titration was initiated in our hospital for four infectious diseases, also pursuant to the Lombardy Region Resolution N. VIII/1587 of 22-12-2005 "Decisions regarding vaccinations in children and adults in the Lombardy Region" which indicate the departments in which a priority exists: maternity-neonatal and infectious illnesses. In 2011 a vaccination campaign was launched for unprotected operators in the Health and Medical Management departments: after an interview with the competent physician of reference, the subjects voluntary submitted themselves to vaccination. The protective antibody data encountered over the years are similar to that reported in the literature, with coverage percentages greater than 93% for varicella and rubella, over 89% for measles and over 85% for mumps. Approximately 80% of the operators are protected against all four diseases. However, the dramatic consequences of potential contagion lead us to strongly recommend vaccinations for non-protected subjects. At present 37 operators have been vaccinated with the trivalent MMR vaccine (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) and 14 for Varicella. The antibody response was verified in all cases.
- Vibrio vulnificus necrotizing fasciitis preceding herpes zoster. [Journal Article]
- Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent) 2013 Jan; 26(1):55-7.
A 74-year-old white man presented with unilateral radicular pain extending across the left side of his chest and back. A diagnosis of postherpetic neuralgia, a sequela of herpes zoster, was made. Herpes zoster represents a reactivation of the varicella zoster virus that lies dormant in patients with past chickenpox. Risk factors for the disease include advanced age, stress, immunodeficiency, and immunosuppression. Treatment of herpes zoster entails traditional antiviral medications, while prevention may be achieved with a new prophylactic vaccine.
- Herpes zoster vaccine. Poorly effective in those who need it most. [Journal Article]
- Prescrire Int 2012 Dec; 21(133):291.
The results of a clinical trial suggest that zoster vaccination (Zostavax, Sanofi Pasteur MSD) of 1000 healthy persons aged 60 years or over prevents approximately one case of postherpetic neuralgia each year over the next 3 years. Vaccination is less effective in persons over 70 years of age. The results of another clinical trial suggest that vaccination of 1000 healthy persons aged 50 to 59 years prevents about 5 cases of herpes zoster over the following year. The impact on the frequency of postherpetic neuralgia is not known. The vaccine might not be protective in persons who subsequently become immunocompromised. In the trial in persons aged 50 years or older, 50% of vaccinees had mild local adverse effects. It should be noted that the protocol excluded immunocompromised patients, in whom the live vaccine virus could potentially cause clinically significant infection. In one study, the immune response to the vaccine was lower after simultaneous immunisation with a 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. This live zoster vaccine is contraindicated in immunocompromised individuals, yet they are at highest risk of severe zoster. In practice, zoster vaccination is not sufficiently effective in the elderly to justify its widespread use.