Health and Science News for Parents
Jan
28

Mixing and Matching Rotavirus Vaccines Is No Problem

written by Tara Haelle

Two different rotavirus vaccines have been licensed by the FDA: RotaTeq and Rotarix. Both of these came after Rotashield, an earlier vaccine that lasted barely over a year on the market before it was pulled because it led to a bowel obstruction disorder called intussusception in about 1-2 out of 10,000 infants. (RotaTeq and Rotarix […]

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Jan
11

How the U.S. Vaccine Schedule Compares to Other Countries’ Schedules

written by Tara Haelle

A common question I’m asked and that I see in forums discussing vaccines relates to how the U.S. recommended childhood immunization schedule compares to other nations, particularly those with similar economics and populations to those of the U.S. Now a new interactive tool at BMJ can help you explore exactly that question. The multimedia graphic “Calling […]

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Nov
24

It’s That Time Again: Separating Fact from Fiction about the Flu Vaccine

written by Tara Haelle

This post is co-published with NPR’s health blog Shots. Check out the story for updated information about this year’s flu shot from a CDC medical officer. Once again, flu season is upon us — and so are all the misconceptions, excuses and worries that have kept so many people away from getting their flu vaccines. Plenty […]

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Jun
17

A conversation with Anne Geddes about meningitis, vaccines and her remarkable photo series of meningitis survivors

written by Tara Haelle

Next week, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will decide whether to recommend the MenB vaccine, which protects against the B strain of meningococcal disease. Strains A, C, W and Y are already covered in current vaccines. Over at Forbes today, I wrote about some of the issues – mainly cost and the rarity […]

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May
6

Is your child with ADHD getting the treatment he or she needs?

written by Tara Haelle

The first comprehensive, nationally representative study on what treatments children are receiving for ADHD was published a few weeks ago. The findings are especially important because they are based on data collected in 2009-2010, the year before the AAP published its policy statement on ADHD treatment, so we have an excellent baseline to compare against […]

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Dec
19

Beware the real-life poisoned apples

written by Tara Haelle

One of my son’s favorite treats to grab for the grocery basket are those prepackaged caramel apples, four caramel-covered apples on sticks in mass-produced molded plastic and often stamped with a manager’s special sticker at Kroger. But in light of a recent Listeria outbreak, he won’t be eating any of those caramel apples for a […]

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Nov
25

Safety of the Tdap in pregnancy and exploring the evidence for pertussis cocooning

written by Tara Haelle

I began writing this post almost two months ago when a study I had been waiting for almost a year came out – one looking for clinical, epidemiological (“real world”) evidence for “cocooning,” which I’ll explain in a moment. But now I’m kind of glad I didn’t finish it then because it’s perfect to combine with […]

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Oct
10

It’s Baaaaack! 33 Flu Vaccine Myths You Don’t Need to Fear

written by Tara Haelle

Brace yourselves: Flu season is coming! And with the coughing, fevers and aches come all the alarmist articles and blog posts on unreliable, misinformative websites questioning the flu vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. There are already some good posts out there that address some of these misconceptions about the vaccine so many love to hate (including […]

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Jul
8

Nope, the HPV vaccine doesn’t cause blood clots

written by Tara Haelle

As one of the newest vaccines, the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine is one of those plagued with some of the worst misinformation out there. Horrible anecdotes tell of strange illnesses and death that have struck down girls after they received their first HPV shot, and I’ve even written about Katie Couric’s irresponsible spotlight on these […]

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Jul
1

New systematic review assesses ALL the serious risks of US childhood vaccines

written by Tara Haelle

When parents have questions or concerns about vaccines, they are often seeking certainty, even if they do not consciously recognize that is what they want. They want a guarantee that the vaccines they give their children are completely safe and effective, a completely understandable desire – but one which science can never deliver. Neither can […]

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