immunised

ANAMNESIS

[noun]

1. the recollection or remembrance of the past; reminiscence.

2. Platonism: recollection of the Ideas, which the soul had known in a previous existence, especially by means of reasoning.

3. the medical history of a patient.

4. Immunology: a prompt immune response to a previously encountered antigen, characterised by more rapid onset and greater effectiveness of antibody and T cell reaction than during the first encounter, as after a booster shot in a previously immunised person.

5. a prayer in a Eucharistic service, recalling the Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ.

Etymology: via New Latin from Greek, from anamimnēskein, “to recall”, from mimnēskein, “to call to mind”.

[Jana Heidersdorf - All That Remains]

How vaccines work for a community

Ever wondered why people talk about immunisation as being important for a community, as well as for an individual? The effect in question is called herd immunity, and it means that when a group is mostly immunised, those who can’t get vaccinated are much better protected from harm since the disease isn’t as easily passed on.

Thanks to Dr Nathan Boostra for reminding us of this great graphic on Twitter!  

Victim of Nazi medical experiment immersed in freezing water at Dachau concentration camp. SS doctor Sigmund Rascher oversees the experiment. Germany, 1942

Physicians within the third reich would regularly carry out entirely unethical human experimentation on concentration camp prisoners, These experiments would serve a variety of purposes, one of the most important was to aid their military efforts during the war, they would perform a number of tests on prisoners to determine the likes of safe altitudes using low pressure chambers, the effects - and treatment for - hypothermia and how to make sea water potable.

They also tested in a more general medical sense, looking for immunisations for a number of diseases, such as typhus, malaria, hepatitis, tuberculosis and yellow fever.  They also tested bone grafting on non-consenting patients, and the effects and treatment for exposure to mustard gas and other chemical warfare.

Due to the eugenic ideals behind the mass ethnic cleansing that was occurring, doctors also used medical experimentation to advance their ideals, looking at how different races responded to different contagious diseases, and used these results to reinforce their ideas of racial inferiority. The most notorious physician who was involved in these particular experiments  was Dr. Josef Mengele.

ANAMNESIS

[noun]

1. the recollection or remembrance of the past; reminiscence.

2. Platonism: recollection of the Ideas, which the soul had known in a previous existence, especially by means of reasoning.

3. the medical history of a patient.

4. Immunology: a prompt immune response to a previously encountered antigen, characterised by more rapid onset and greater effectiveness of antibody and T cell reaction than during the first encounter, as after a booster shot in a previously immunised person.

5. a prayer in a Eucharistic service, recalling the Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ.

Etymology: via New Latin from Greek, from anamimnēskein, “to recall”, from mimnēskein, “to call to mind”.

[Caitlin Hackett - Keep the Memories]

PAKISTAN, Rawalpindi : A Pakistani health worker ® administers the polio vaccine to a child during a vaccination campaign in Rawalpindi on December 9, 2014. Gunmen on December 9 killed a member of a polio vaccination team in Pakistan, as Taliban insurgents claimed the killing of two policemen assigned to protect an immunisation team the day before. AFP PHOTO / Farooq NAEEM

If you choose not to immunise your kids you are literally opening up the entire community, especially your own and other children, to deadly and/or debilitating diseases and you should be thrown in fucking jail.

You guys might not remember because you were probably [about 14] but do you remember when they were trying to bring in the cervical cancer shot? And they wanted to immunise all teenage girls?
—  Professor, said in a tone of voice that made it clear that he didn’t expect any of us to know what he was talking about, like gardasil was some brief conversation politicians had this one time
Learning to get HPV vaccines to the world’s poorest girls

Celina Hanson (Gavi), Paul Bloem (WHO) & Emily Loud (Gavi). 

Women in developing countries disproportionately suffer from the burden of cervical cancer, yet often their countries do not have resources to establish screening programs that save women’s lives elsewhere.  In these countries, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination provides an amazing opportunity to prevent cervical cancer and protect women’s health.

Vaccine delivery poses challenges, many of which are the same that we see for other vaccines.  These may include not having enough fridges to keep the vaccines cold, or not enough health workers to vaccinate children, or children living in isolated rural areas where distance and unpaved roads make it harder for parents to reach facilities.

Other challenges are unique to the HPV vaccine.  To start, most countries have experience vaccinating infants and these vaccinations are given when women visit clinics with their babies.  The HPV vaccine, however, is not given to babies but to girls between 9 and 13 years old.

Here are some lessons from the experiences of introducing countries so far:

Learning by doing

Before introducing the HPV vaccine at a national level, many countries have started to learn by vaccinating girls in a small area to determine the best delivery strategy.  Doing this in a Gavi supported pilot or demonstration also allows countries to secure the technical assistance they need, to develop training and monitoring materials, and to consider the integration of vaccination with other health services.  This learning allows countries to develop solutions to challenges that were not anticipated.

Map: from original article

Health and education – achieving more together

Schools have been a popular place around which to centre much of the delivery of HPV vaccines in these countries.  In order for this strategy to work well, strong co-ordination between health and education sectors is essential.  From planning the vaccination dates, engaging schools in mobilization of parents and girls, to supporting implementation of vaccination sessions – schools and teachers make important contributions, which have translated in high acceptance levels of this new vaccine.

A venue for HPV vaccination in Ghana. Photo: Gavi/Evelyn Hockstein 

How to reach all girls affordably?

In order to reach all girls with the vaccine, countries are testing other strategies to reach different populations as well, such as outreach and using alternative facilities. Delivering HPV vaccine with other health interventions like deworming, menstrual hygiene education or tetanus shots is also being explored. 

A girl living in a rural Ethiopian community. Photo: Gavi/Niligun Aydogan. 

HPV vaccination as a catalyst

HPV vaccination is a highly effective intervention – but it must be linked to effective screening and treatment programs to prevent cervical cancer.  The demonstration programs assist countries to strengthen comprehensive cervical cancer prevention and control plans.  Over time, it can also act as a catalyst for even wider health interventions that benefit all adolescents.  

Kids pose together in the Pokhara region of Nepal. Photo: Gavi/Oscar Seykens.


This blog was based on a review of progress that was recently published in the journal Vaccines. Read it in full here.

Vaccination crackdown: Australia announces end to religious exemptions

Remaining religious group, Christian Scientists, removed from exemption list and doctors incentive payments lifted under fresh push to lift vaccination rates

Doctors will be given incentive payments so that parents stick to their children’s vaccination schedule, and the one religious exemption to vaccinations will end, as part of a push by the federal government to boost the immunisation rate.

Social services minister Scott Morrison on Sunday announced that the only religious group currently able to claim religious exemptions for vaccinations, Christian Scientists, will no longer be able to do so.

Morrison said the exemption, in place since 1998, “is no longer current or necessary and will therefore be removed”.

“Having resolved this outstanding matter, the government will not be receiving nor authorising any further vaccination exemption applications from religious organisations,” he said.

Families will still be able to claim exemptions to vaccinations on medical grounds. “This will remain the sole ground for exemption under the Coalition government,” Morrison said.

Calls to representatives of Christian Science were not returned.

The tightening of the rules around exemptions is part of the government’s $26m package on boosting immunisation rates, which was due to be announced in detail on Sunday.

The package will include a public awareness campaign to sell the benefits of vaccinations to parents, the incentive payments for medical providers, and improved public vaccination records.

(More from The Guardian)

The parents refusing to vaccinate their children against polio

By Shaimaa KhalilBBC News, Karachi

There have been more than 200 cases of polio in Pakistan since January - the first time infections have reached this level in nearly 15 years. Despite this, not everyone wants their children to be vaccinated.

Abrar Khan, who is 26, makes his way into a poor neighbourhood of Karachi called Baldia.

On his crutches, he carefully avoids potholes and dirty cesspools in the narrow alleyways lined, on both sides, with small houses.

He contracted polio when he was three. Now he’s part of a team trying to change the minds of families who refuse to have their children vaccinated.

Many people here think the polio vaccination campaign is a western conspiracy to sterilise their children - it’s an idea the Taliban have been putting about for 10 years now.

In 2012 the militants ordered a complete ban on vaccinations in the tribal areas in western Pakistan as a response to US drone attacks.

Since then there’s been no immunisation in that area.

As a result, says the children’s charity Unicef, nearly 300,000 children have missed out on vaccination in that area in the last two years.

Most of the residents of Baldia came originally from Pakistan’s tribal areas and most are reluctant to immunise their children.

Yet this is considered a high risk area for polio and I can see why. There’s no sanitation to speak of.

(More from BBC News)

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Vaccines: A masterpiece in the making

The Art of Saving a Life is a collection of vaccine success and celebration stories, as told by more than 30 world-renowned photographers, painters, sculptors, writers, filmmakers, and musicians. This one is by Zim & Zou 

The project is commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.