Yesterday, I vaccinated my daughter against Meningococcus B.
In the last five years an alarming and increasing number of people didn’t vaccinate their children. People are now questioning vaccines safety for no valid reason whatsoever. Through 400+ internet websites and social media, antivaccine groups use fake new to inject fear into parents that vaccines cause autism.
The World Health Organization (WHO) included vaccine hesitancy to the ten threats to global health in 2019.
Measles was considered eradicated in Europe (with 5000 cases in 2016), but almost 26,000 cases were reported in 2017, more than 41,000 in 2018 and more than 100,000 in 2019.
In 2018, 80,000 people died in the US because of flu. Among them, many children who were not vaccinated against flu in spite of recommendations.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that about 100,000 American children have not been immunized against 14 diseases for which vaccines are recommended.
Recently, Samoa experienced a measles outbreak. The first case was reported in September 2019. In December 81 people were dead and more than 5,000 cases were confirmed. Samoa has a population of about 200,000 people, that means that almost 3% of the people were infected. A state of emergency was declared, schools were closed, children were kept away from public events, vaccination was made mandatory, a curfew was imposed and all unvaccinated families had to display a red flag in front of their houses. On 22 December, 94% of the eligible population was vaccinated.
Most vaccines reach herd immunity when 95% of population is vaccinate. It is particular important because vaccination protect not only the people who get the vaccine, but also all other categories that for different reasons cannot receive it.
A paper published last week from Newman and collaborators suggests that intratumoral injection of the sesonal flu shot generates T cell-mediated antitumor immunity. Flu vaccines can, therefore, be used both for infection prevention and for cancer immunotherapy.
Spread the word: #vaccineswork
World Health Organization website: https://www.who.int/, https://www.who.int/campaigns/immunization-week/2017/infographic/en/
US Center for Disease Control and Prevention website: https://www.cdc.gov/
Hotez, “America and Europe’s new normal: the return of vaccine-preventable diseases”, (2019), https://doi.org/10.1038/s41390-019-0354-3
Newman et al., “Intratumoral injection of the seasonal flu shot converts immunologically cold tumors to hot and serves as an immunotherapy for cancer”, (2019), https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1904022116