Posts for tag: safety
Misinformation About the HPV Vaccine Keeps Vaccination Rates Low
The Overwhelming Safety of the HPV Vaccine
Paul A. Offit, MD
September 07, 2018
No vaccine has suffered more from misinformation and ill-founded concerns than the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. Antivaccine activists have claimed that HPV vaccine causes chronic pain syndromes, chronic fatigue, sudden death, and a variety of autoimmune disorders. In addition, activists have gone so far as to claim that the HPV vaccine increases risky sexual behavior. These claims are often supported by the media as well as by substandard studies published in predatory journals. Indeed, on December 4, 2013, Katie Couric, in a segment titled "HPV Vaccine Controversy," interviewed two mothers: One claimed that the vaccine had caused her daughter to suffer chronic fatigue, the other that the vaccine had caused an otherwise unexplained death.
As a consequence of such fears, immunization rates for the HPV vaccine remain low. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 53% of girls and 44% of boys have received the recommended doses. As currently constructed, the HPV vaccine—which contains the L1 surface protein from nine different strains—will prevent about 29,000 cases of HPV-associated cancers and 5000 deaths a year. Unfortunately, because only about half of US adolescents have received this vaccine, every year about 15,000 people are destined to suffer and 2000 to die from a preventable cancer.
To the credit of the scientific and medical communities, millions of dollars have been spent on studies examining the safety of the HPV vaccine. Pre-licensure, about 30,000 people were studied for 7 years. Post-licensure, more than 1 million people have been formally studied, examining all manner of chronic pain and fatigue syndromes as well as more than a dozen different rheumatologic diseases.[3,4,5,6] Not surprisingly, the HPV vaccine has not been found to cause any chronic or debilitating condition. Indeed, the HPV vaccine is probably the world's best-studied, modern-day vaccine.
Another Unwarranted Concern Debunked: Primary Ovarian Insufficiency
One concern recently raised by antivaccine activists is that the HPV vaccine causes primary ovarian insufficiency. How this concern was born remains a mystery. HPV doesn't infect the ovaries. And the HPV L1 surface protein doesn't mimic proteins on ovarian cells, which would at least make an autoimmune disease biologically plausible. Nonetheless, the fear persists. To address this concern, researchers at Kaiser Permanente Northwest examined a cohort of 199,078 female patients, finding 120 with a diagnosis of primary ovarian insufficiency. The researchers found no statistically significant elevation of risk for ovarian failure following receipt of the HPV vaccine. They also didn't find an increased risk following receipt of the Tdap, MenACWY, or inactivated influenza vaccines.
The Kaiser Permanente study can now be added to the mountain of evidence that should reassure clinicians and parents that the HPV vaccine is safe. HPV, on the other hand, isn't safe. And until we dramatically increase immunization rates against this common, devastating infection, children will continue to suffer our ignorance.
Medscape Infectious Diseases © 2018 WebMD, LLC
Why You Should Always Close The Door Before You Go To Bed; It could save your life.
From Women's Health by Caroline Picard,
Do Not Let Children Play With Fireworks
We urge you to celebrate the holidays safely! Fireworks are involved in thousands of injuries treated in US hospital emergency room visits each year. The best defense against children suffering severe eye injuries and burns is to not let children play with any fireworks. You can further protect yourself and your family by attending only authorized public fireworks displays conducted by licensed operators (but be aware that even professional displays can be dangerous).
If an accident does occur, these six steps can help save your child’s sight:
- Do not let your child rub the eye. Rubbing the eye may increase bleeding or make the injury worse.
- Do not attempt to rinse out the eye. This can be even more damaging than rubbing.
- Do not apply pressure to the eye itself. Hold or tape a foam cup or the bottom of a juice carton over the eye. Protect the eye from further contact with any item, including the child’s hand.
- Do not stop for medicine! Over-the-counter pain relievers will not do much to relieve pain. Aspirin (should never be given to children) and ibuprofen can thin the blood, increasing bleeding. Take the child to the emergency room at once – this is more important than stopping for a pain reliever.
- Do not apply ointment. Ointment, which may not be sterile, makes the area around the eye slippery and harder for the doctor to examine.
- Do not let your child play with fireworks, even if his/her friends are setting them off. Sparklers burn at 1800 degrees Fahrenheit and bottle rockets can stray off course or throw shrapnel when they explode.
Click Here to reach the fireworks information center.