Posts Tagged ‘Vaccines’

Vaccines and obesity

February 21, 2010

The folks over at Effect Measure posted their take on a recent research article about vaccinating obese adolescents. The researchers were trying to see if needle length had an effect on the amount of antibody titer found in the subject’s blood after vaccination. The researchers found that those vaccinated with a 1.5″ needle  had higher antibody titers than subjects vaccinated with a 1.0″ needle.

I wish I could see the entire article, but unfortunately I don’t have access to Pediatrics and the abstract will have to suffice. The study itself was small, with only 22 young women and 2 young men receiving the Hepatitis B vaccine over 3 years. It raises an interesting point and possibly names another negative consequence of the obesity crisis in this country.

Of course, one study doesn’t tell us if using shorter needles constitutes under-vaccinating in obese individuals. In fact, it raises so many questions. Is it the needle size or the person that is the bigger factor in antibody levels? Will nurses have to start taking skin fold measurements before administering vaccines? Would vaccine needles have to start coming in many different sizes, to accommodate different levels of girth? And how will the anti-vaccine folks respond to this?

Another Argument for Vaccination

October 29, 2009

Check it!

This blog entry from Slate is really interesting. What a great perspective on unvaccinated kids. Plus the author, Stephanie Tatel, talks about the vaccine debate generally as well.

H1N1 Flu Vaccination

October 26, 2009

So the outpouring of people wanting the H1N1 flu vaccination has been wonderful in my opinion. I was a little worried because in the news you kept hearing about all the anti-vaccinators or the people who were hesitant to get the vaccine, but that doesn’t seem to be the voice of the majority (thank goodness). The only thing that would make this whole situation more awesome is if there was actually enough vaccine to go around.

Officials seemed to have severely overestimated the amount of vaccine that would be available and when. Granted, producing vaccine is a tricky, but officials know this and should be able to provide more accurate estimates (they were off by 30% and when you are talking about millions of doses, you end up being off by quite a lot). NPR and NY Times both had articles about why there is a shortage currently. Pretty enlightening on the situation.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. While there is H1N1 going around, flu season is not in full swing yet (although some states are worse than others currently). It seems that there will be enough vaccine to go around eventually. Will people still be wanting to get vaccinated in one or two months or will the momentum die? Despite my expressed patience I must admit that I made sure my pregnant sister-in-law knew about a county flu clinic this weekend. She waited in line for three hours and she was luckily able to get one before they ran out. Extolling patience is one thing, but it is different when it is your own family at risk.