SCIENCE – IT JUST WORKS!

Submitted by Jeff Ribordy, M.D.

In this edition of “Science, It Just Works – Vaccine Edition” we have some recent studies to report:

  • Rotavirus, previously one of the most common causes of pediatric hospital admissions for acute gastroenteritis (AGE) has become more uncommon due to rotavirus vaccines. Previous studies have shown the vaccine to be highly effective and a study published Aug 2017 in Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society noted a 31-55% decline in hospitalizations from rotavirus associated AGE in the period 2008-13 compared to the pre-vaccine era (2000-6) with an estimated 382,000 hospitalizations prevented saving $1.23 billion in medical costs.
  • From the NIH, an early-stage clinical trial called APPROACH showed that an HIV vaccine not only showed an immune response in healthy adults but resulted in few side effects. Later this year results are expected from another trial (TRAVERSE) which then may expand to larger trials. (One involving 2600 HIV-negative, healthy women in southern Africa is in the planning stages.)
  • A study published July 2017 by 3 psychologists compared 3 pro-vaccine educational strategies and sadly found “existing strategies to correct vaccine misinformation are ineffective and often backfire, resulting in the unintended opposite effect, reinforcing ill-founded beliefs about vaccination and reducing intentions to vaccinate.”
  • Another study from this month’s Pediatrics compared otitis media incidence from 1989 vs. a 10 year post-pneumoncoccal vaccine period. (2006-16) They found at 1 year of age 23% of children had >= 1 episode of AOM and only 3.6% had > 3. By 3 years of age ~60% of children had 1 or more AOM and 24% had 3 or more. Compared to a 1989 study that found at 3 years > 80% had 1 or more AOM and 40% had 3 or more this demonstrates a significant decrease. While some of the decrease was attributed to a stricter criteria for diagnosing AOM the role of PCV7 & PCV13 vaccines were also acknowledged. (Shown by an overall ~20% reduction in pneumococcal AOM)

And from our “Blast From The Past” segment:

For the avid readers of our blog (you know who you are) you must remember the riveting column I wrote on school start times and the effects on our teen patients. Well someone must have been listening! SB 328, introduced by Sen. Portantino in the California Senate (with Sen. Richard Pan, MD, FAAP as co-author) “would require the school day for middle schools and high schools to begin no earlier than 8:30 a.m.” It currently has passed the Senate and is making its way through the Assembly. If it becomes law it would take effect in 2020.

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