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expert-perspectives

Childhood immunizations: What parents need to know

August is National Immunization Awareness Month and throughout the month Health Talk will focus on several key life stages and immunizations to keep you informed and help you cut through the clutter of misinformation available online about this critical public health issue.

Health Talk spoke with Mark Schleiss, M.D., professor of pediatrics in the University of Minnesota Medical School, and he provided some useful, reliable and scientifically proven information for parents regarding childhood immunizations.

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uncategorized

Vaccinations before travel: What you need to know

Receiving proper vaccinations before traveling to certain regions of the world is highly recommended, and oftentimes required. However, it’s not always clear when and where vaccinations are necessary.

To help clarify, Health Talk spoke with Mark R. Schleiss, M.D., co-director of the Center for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Translational Research (CIDMTR) at the University of Minnesota.

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expert-perspectives

Expert Perspective: CDC decides on permissive recommendation for strain B meningococcal vaccination

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) chose not to mandate a newly-developed vaccine for a meningitis substrain Neisseria meningitidis, but to leave the decision to vaccinate up to parents and children with physician recommendations. Meningococcal meningitis is a serious condition which can be incredibly dangerous if not treated quickly. Vaccines for the strains A, C, Y and W-135 have been a part of vaccination requirements for over 10 years, while the vaccine for the serogroup B strain, Neisseria meningitidis, was developed last year. Questions about the vaccination requirements were raised amidst growing concerns linked to recent B-strain outbreaks.

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in-the-news

In the news: No link between MMR vaccine and autism, even for children at risk for autism

In a new study published in JAMA, researchers yet again found no link between the MMR vaccine and autism, even for kids who are at risk for developing autism.

According to Forbes, “the likelihood of developing autism was actually lower for those at-risk children if they received the vaccine, though that finding was not statistically significant and no one would suggest that vaccination reduces autism risk. What vaccination reduces is disease, the kinds that can disable and kill children and the kind that is even more likely to cause serious complications in children with neurological conditions.”

The study’s findings were not surprising to infectious disease experts, including Mark Schleiss, M.D., a pediatric infectious disease physician at the University of Minnesota.

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in-the-news

California measles outbreak reiterates importance of vaccines

As of this morning, there are 59 confirmed cases of measles tied to the Disneyland outbreak according to NPR.

The issue does not reside in the park itself, or any other public place for that matter. Measles is one of the deadliest of all childhood rash/fever illnesses, and the disease spreads very easily. However, measles is extremely preventable with vaccination. The CDC even declared that measles was eradicated in the United States back in 2000, attributed to a “highly effective vaccination program and a strong public health system for detecting and responding to measles cases and outbreaks.”

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expert-perspectives

U of M expert: Vaccination rates are good but we can do better

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released the latest vaccination numbers for more than 4.2 million kindergarteners across 49 states and the District of Columbia. The vaccination rate remains relatively high, but there are still pockets across the U.S. where vaccination rates are lower than they should be, leaving young unvaccinated children vulnerable to preventable, dangerous and potentially deadly diseases.

In a statement, the CDC said vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks can still occur where unvaccinated persons cluster in schools and communities.

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