Tag: #VaccinesWork

We Know Vaccines Work

We know vaccines work.

How well do they work?

In addition to eradicating smallpox, did you know that vaccines have helped eliminate four other now vaccine-preventable diseases?

  1. diphtheria
  2. neonatal tetanus
  3. polio
  4. congenital rubella syndrome

And unlike measles, which was declared eliminated in 2000, we really don’t see these diseases anymore.

We Know Vaccines Work

How well do vaccines work?

Let’s look at the disease counts (morbidity data), how many kids got sick, just before we developed a vaccine and where we are now:

DiseasePre-Vax EraNow% Decrease
Smallpox110,672last case 1977 100%
Diphtheria30,508199.9%
Pertussis265,26913,43994.9%
Tetanus6012096.7%
Neonatal Tetanus1,000+0100%
Polio21,269last case 1993100%
Measles763,094372 99.9%
Mumps212,9342,25198.9%
Rubella488,796599.9%
Congenital Rubella Syndrome20,0000100%
Hib invasive18,0002799.9%
HepB300,0002,79999.1%
Perinatal HepB16,20095294.1%
Pneumococcal invasive64,40098698.5%
HepA254,51811,16695.6%
Varicella5,358,5956,89299.9%

Sandra Roush and Trudy Murphy provided us with pre-vaccine baselines for 13 vaccine-preventable diseases in their article, Historical Comparisons of Morbidity and Mortality for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in the United States.

“A greater than 92% decline in cases and a 99% or greater decline in deaths due to diseases prevented by vaccines recommended before 1980 were shown for diphtheria, mumps, pertussis, and tetanus. Endemic transmission of poliovirus and measles and rubella viruses has been eliminated in the United States; smallpox has been eradicated worldwide. Declines were 80% or greater for cases and deaths of most vaccine-preventable diseases targeted since 1980 including hepatitis A, acute hepatitis B, Hib, and varicella. Declines in cases and deaths of invasive S pneumoniae were 34% and 25%, respectively.”

Roush et al on Historical Comparisons of Morbidity and Mortality for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in the United States.

Their study, which came out in 2007, used morbidity (2006) and mortality (2004) data that was recent at the time. The data has held up very well since then, looking at 2018 statistics in the National Notifiable Infectious Diseases Weekly Tables (see below), even with talk of waning immunity for some vaccines.

But can’t you explain all of this decline away by talking about better hygiene, sanitation, and nutrition?

Of course not!

“…for those trained in pediatrics in the 1970s, Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b) was a horror.”

Walter Orenstein, MD

The pre-vaccine era for Hib was just before 1988, when the first Hib vaccine came out. We had good hygiene, sanitation, and nutrition in the 1980s and yet, a lot of kids died from Hib meningitis and epiglottitis. At least they did until he got a vaccine to prevent it.

And if it was better hygiene and sanitation, etc., why did it affect every disease at a different time? And why hasn’t better hygiene and sanitation stopped RSV, HIV, norovirus, Zika, and all of the other non-vaccine-preventable diseases?

Although there was a decline in mortality rates at the beginning of the 20th Century for all diseases thanks to better hygiene, sanitation, and nutrition, that effect plateaued by the mid-1930s. And since a lot of people were still getting sick, remember everyone used to get measles, even if a small percentage would die, it would add up to a lot of deaths!

Vaccines aren’t perfect, but they are safe, with few risks, and work well. Get vaccinated and protected if you want to keep from getting and bringing back these now vaccine-preventable diseases.

More on We Know Vaccines Work

Did Better Hygiene and Sanitation Get Rid of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases?

Anti-vaccine folks, in addition to trying to argue that vaccines are full of poison, typically try to make a case that vaccines aren’t even necessary.

Why not?

They had good hygiene and sanitation in Brooklyn when my uncle got polio in 1950. What they didn't yet have was a polio vaccine.
They had good hygiene and sanitation in Brooklyn when my uncle got polio in 1950. What they didn’t yet have was a polio vaccine. If the wide use of indoor plumbing got rid of the plague in the early 1900s, why didn’t it get rid of all other infectious diseases at the same time?

Because, they claim, vaccines don’t even work. They claim that it was better hygiene and sanitation, not vaccines that helped get rid of smallpox, polio, and measles.

Did Better Hygiene and Sanitation Get Rid of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases?

On the surface, the idea that better hygiene and sanitation helped get rid disease makes a lot of sense.

“The 19th century shift in population from country to city that accompanied industrialization and immigration led to overcrowding in poor housing served by inadequate or nonexistent public water supplies and waste-disposal systems. These conditions resulted in repeated outbreaks of cholera, dysentery, TB, typhoid fever, influenza, yellow fever, and malaria.

By 1900, however, the incidence of many of these diseases had begun to decline because of public health improvements, implementation of which continued into the 20th century. Local, state, and federal efforts to improve sanitation and hygiene reinforced the concept of collective “public health” action (e.g., to prevent infection by providing clean drinking water).”

Achievements in Public Health, 1900-1999: Control of Infectious Diseases

It makes a lot of sense because better hygiene and sanitation did actually help control and eliminate many infectious diseases, including cholera, dysentery, and typhoid fever.

Others, like yellow fever and malaria, decreased because the mosquitoes that spread them were brought under control.

“Strategic vaccination campaigns have virtually eliminated diseases that previously were common in the United States, including diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis, smallpox, measles, mumps, rubella, and Haemophilus influenzae type b meningitis.”

Achievements in Public Health, 1900-1999: Control of Infectious Diseases

That still left a lot of work for vaccines.

After all, we had good hygiene and sanitation in the United States when kids were routinely dying of polio, measles, Hib meningitis, pneumococcal meningitis, and rotavirus, etc.

Any way, if better hygiene and sanitation can get rid of so many diseases, why has each vaccine-preventable disease been controlled at a different time – yellow fever (1905), polio (1979), smallpox (1980), measles (2000), neonatal tetanus (2000), congenital rubella syndrome (2004), respiratory diphtheria (2009)?

What about the infectious diseases which don’t have vaccines? Why hasn’t better hygiene and sanitation helped control those diseases yet, like RSV, norovirus, Ebola, and Zika, etc.?

“Perhaps the best evidence that vaccines, and not hygiene and nutrition, are responsible for the sharp drop in disease and death rates is chickenpox. If hygiene and nutrition alone were enough to prevent infectious diseases, chickenpox rates would have dropped long before the introduction of the varicella vaccine, which was not available until the mid-1990s. Instead, the number of chickenpox cases in the United States in the early 1990s, before the vaccine was introduced in 1995, was about four million a year. By 2004, the disease incidence had dropped by about 85%.”

Misconceptions about Vaccines

And why does better hygiene and sanitation only work for chicken pox in countries that routinely use the chicken pox vaccine?

Do you want to believe that vaccines don’t work to justify skipping or delaying your child’s vaccines and leaving them unvaccinated and unprotected?

Be more skeptical, learn more about vaccines, and make the right choice to get your kids vaccinated.

More on the Hygiene and Sanitation Anti-Vaccine Theory

Vaccine Tweets to Remember

Are you on Twitter?

Have you seen these tweets about vaccines?

Vaccines work to keep us from getting polio.
Vaccines work to keep us from getting polio.

If you aren’t hip to the latest lingo – lit is good.

A clear message - vaccinate and protect your kids.
A clear message – vaccinate and protect your kids.

There is no debate.

Vaccines work.

They are also safe and necessary.

Let’s all protect our kids.

Who's to blame for low immunization rates and continuing outbreaks?
Who’s to blame for low immunization rates and continuing outbreaks?

We all know who to blame for the outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases we are seeing.

Did Jake Tapper know that RFK, Jr and Trump were planning a vaccine safety commission?
Did Jake Tapper already know that RFK, Jr and Trump were planning a vaccine safety commission?

What did Bill Gates really say about Trump? Wasn’t this the meeting when Trump confused HIV with HPV?

Why do celebrities get so much more attention when they say that they aren't going to vaccinate and protect their kids?
Why do celebrities get so much more attention when they say that they aren’t going to vaccinate and protect their kids?

This is a nice reminder that many celebrities advocate for vaccines.

What do vaccines cause? Adults. They cause adults.
What do vaccines cause? Adults. They cause adults.

Again, vaccines work.

Don't make a bad decision about vaccines.
Not vaccinating?

Still on the fence and need some help making a decision about vaccinating your kids? Do your research, but just keep in mind that every anti-vaccine argument has been refuted a thousand times already.

senior-paper-tweet
Need some facts about vaccines?

Don’t make a bad decision about vaccines.

Having a smallpox vaccine scar makes you a part of history.
Having a smallpox vaccine scar makes you a part of history.

More on Vaccines Tweets to Remember

National Infant Immunization Week 2018

This year, from April 21 – April 28, 2018, we celebrate the 24th annual National Infant Immunization Week.

History of National Infant Immunization Week

The last week in April was first designated as National Infant Immunization Week in 1994, by President Bill Clinton.

“Under our plan, every one of the things we could ever think of to do to get kids immunized will be done.”

President Bill Clinton on Remarks on Signing the National Infant Immunization Week Proclamation

The theme of the first NIIW?

Immunize on Time, Your Baby’s Counting on You

Other themes have included:

  • You Gave Them Life…Protect It. (2000)
  • Vaccination: an Act of Love. Love Them. Protect Them. Immunize Them. (2004)

In addition to NIIW, during the last week of April, we also observe World Immunization Week and Vaccination Week in the Americas.

National Infant Immunization Week 2018

What’s the theme of this year’s National Infant Immunization Week?

Power to Protect.

We have the power to protect our kids from more than 16 vaccine preventable diseases.

National Infant Immunization Week 2018

Thinking of skipping or delaying your child’s vaccines? Know that immunization is a responsibility we all share. We all must work together to help protect everyone in our community, including those who are too young to be vaccinated and those who can’t be vaccinated.

WIW-2018-poster-en-tn

“We must not tolerate a world in which a child dies from a disease that can be easily prevented with a low-cost vaccine.”

Dr Tedros, WHO Director-General on World Immunization Week 2018

Vaccination Week in the Americas 2018

Vaccines are safe and necessary. Vaccines work.

Get vaccinated and protected.

What to Know About National Infant Immunization Week

National Infant Immunization Week is a great time to learn more about the importance of vaccinating and protecting your kids.

More on National Infant Immunization Week