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Health News Results - 75

Promoting any emerging COVID-19 vaccine to a skeptical public could be tough.

But a new survey finds vaccine uptake might rise if the shot is promoted by medical experts, not politicians, and if it's been proven safe and effective through a rigorous approval process.

A vaccine shown to be highly effective in clinical trials with lasting protection and rare major side effects...

An experimental COVID-19 vaccine appeared to be safe and triggered an immune response in healthy people, according to preliminary results of a small, early-stage clinical trial.

The study of the vaccine based on inactivated whole SARS-CoV-2 virus (BBIBP-CorV) included more than 600 volunteers in China, ages 18 to 80. By the 42nd day after vaccination, all had antibody responses to the...

When parents have concerns about the safety of childhood vaccinations, it can be tough to change their minds, as a new study shows.

The study involved "vaccine-hesitant" parents -- a group distinct from the staunch "anti-vaxxer" crowd. They have worries about one or more routine vaccines, and question whether the benefits for their child are worthwhile.

Even though those par...

After a serious case of COVID-19 you may have long-lasting immunity, a new study finds.

The finding is reassuring to patients because the immune system makes antibodies in response to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, the researchers said.

"But there is a big knowledge gap in terms of how long these antibody responses last," said researcher Dr. Richelle Charles o...

One of the big questions around any new COVID-19 vaccine is: Will it safely protect those at highest risk from the illness -- older people?

Now, the results of an early phase 1 trial in 40 adults over the age of 55 suggests that one vaccine, under development by drugmaker Moderna, elicits an immune system response that's equal to that seen in younger recipients.

As well, vac...

The coronavirus pandemic and the upcoming flu season could pose a double threat, but many U.S. parents plan to skip flu shots for their kids, a new survey finds.

Though public health experts stress the need for people of all ages to get the seasonal flu vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic, 1 in 3 U.S. parents said they don't plan on taking their child for a flu shot this fall. Just a...

Low blood levels of vitamin D might heighten people's odds for severe or even fatal COVID-19, new research shows.

Taking in a healthy level of vitamin D may therefore "reduce the complications, including the cytokine storm [release of too many proteins into the blood too quickly] and ultimately death from COVID-19," said study author Dr. Michael Holick. He's a professor of medicine, p...

Parents who choose to forgo or delay their children's vaccinations may quickly find themselves without a pediatrician.

Just over half (51%) of pediatric offices in the United States have a policy to dismiss families that refuse childhood vaccines, a nationwide survey found. Thirty-seven percent of pediatricians themselves said they often dismissed families for refusing vaccines, ...

Key differences in immune system function may help determine why severe, life-threatening COVID-19 tends to target older men, scientists say.

A new study found that among elderly people and in men, especially, certain factors may lead to a weaker immune system response against infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

That could help explain high rates of in...

A new clinical trial will try to determine whether the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine can protect health care workers from being infected with COVID-19.

Hundreds of millions of people have received the MMR vaccine since it was developed nearly 50 years ago. It's usually given to children before age 6. Growing evidence suggests that the vaccine may also prevent COVID-19.

...

Since the pandemic began, it's been clear that men are more vulnerable to getting a severe case of COVID-19 compared to women.

Now, researchers say they've uncovered significant differences in how male and female immune systems respond to the new coronavirus may help explain why men are more likely than women to have severe COVID-19 and to die from the illness.

Worldwide, me...

Despite the wave of criticism that has followed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's emergency approval of convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 patients, infectious disease experts say the therapy remains promising.

Some scientists have questioned both the timing of the approval and the veracity of a key survival statistic cited by FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn. And the clinic...

When elementary school students get their annual flu shot, everyone benefits, a new study shows.

An increased vaccination rate among grade schoolers in California was associated with a decrease in flu hospitalizations for folks in every other age bracket, researchers report.

The results come as no surprise to public health experts, given children's well-earned reputation as ...

Since the pandemic began, it's been known that the severity of coronavirus illness varies widely between people. Could the common cold be the reason why?

It's still just a theory, but researchers in California suspect that if you've recently had a cold -- many of which are also caused by coronaviruses -- your immune system's T-cells might recognize SARS-CoV-2 and help fight it.

...

Hopes for robust, long-term antibody protection after a bout of COVID-19 have been dampened by a new study that finds the protection may only last a few months.

Still, experts noted that the body's immune system has more than one way to defend against viruses it has already encountered, so the findings don't dash hopes for a vaccine.

"Infection with this coronavirus does not...

With several potential COVID-19 vaccines now in clinical trials, U.S. policymakers need to plan for the next hurdle: Ensuring Americans actually get vaccinated.

That's according to a new report from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. It lays out recommendations for winning the public's trust of any future vaccine, and helping them access it as easily as possible.

...

Even the sickest COVID-19 patients make T-cells to fight the infection, a new study finds.

This means that a COVID-19 vaccine will have to cause the body to make T-cells along with antibodies, researchers say.

The immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, was the same in American and Dutch patients in the study.

"You want vaccine approaches...

Kids who have a fever-related seizure after getting a vaccine won't have developmental and behavioral problems as a result, according to a new study.

These so-called febrile seizures do not affect children's development whether they occur after a vaccination or not, the researchers said.

"A febrile seizure can occur following vaccination and understandably can be quite dis...

One-quarter of U.S. parents are hesitant about seasonal flu shots for their kids, and roughly 1 in 15 feel the same way about routine childhood vaccinations, a nationwide study finds.

The issue has gained added urgency this year, as fears around coronavirus keep many parents from bringing their kids to the doctor -- including routine vaccinations.

Twelve percent of the nearl...

Two new studies offer hope for an effective coronavirus vaccine -- and for the notion that prior infection also confers immunity.

Both studies were conducted in rhesus macaque monkeys, so testing in humans is required for more definitive proof. But in one study, monkeysdeveloped immunity against the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirusafter receivingexperimental vaccines.

"Our finding...

As the drive towards a vaccine against the new coronavirus accelerates, there's some good news: People with COVID-19 have robust immune responses against the virus, scientists say.

The researchers based their conclusions after testing immune T-cell counts in 20 patients who recovered from the infection.

"If we had seen only marginal immune responses, we would have been conce...

Groups that spread vaccine misinformation on social media have more impact than government health agencies and other expert organizations on undecided people, a new study finds.

The spread of false information could have significant public health consequences if an effective COVID-19 vaccine is developed, the researchers noted.

For the study, investigators developed an innov...

Fear of exposure to COVID-19 appears to be exacting an unexpected toll on public health: Childhood vaccination rates have plummeted, leaving millions at risk for other life-threatening illnesses.

"We're seeing a general drop in pediatrician visits of 70% to 80% -- and that's very concerning," said Dr. Sara Goza, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). She added ...

A new oral polio vaccine promises to help make polio a disease of the past, according to the results of a phase 1 clinical trial.

Polio was almost eliminated worldwide -- except in vaccine-induced cases. In those cases, the weakened virus used in vaccines developed the ability to escape from immunized individuals and spread in places with low vaccination rates.

The new des...

COVID-19 is likely to be around for years to come, haunting humans as either a yearly flu-like illness or as a virus that occasionally resurfaces following years of dormancy, a new Harvard modeling study argues.

It's unlikely that COVID-19 will go the way of its closest cousin, SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), which was eradicated by an intense public health effort following ...

Once you've had COVID-19 and recovered, are you now immune from the virus?

That's the critical question that will help shape how the United States re-opens for business in the coming months.

Unfortunately, there's still no clear answer.

It's still too soon to tell if the first wave of COVID-19 survivors will remain immune to the virus for any appreciable length of ...

Vaccines protect you and your family against a number of diseases, so it's crucial to keep them updated, health experts say.

"It's important to review your vaccination records with your health care provider," said Libby Richards, associate professor of nursing at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. "Vaccinations aren't just for kids. Adults need them, too."

Which shots...

Countering a U.S. government advisory, a new study suggests that adults may not need regular booster shots for tetanus and diphtheria if they received a complete vaccination series as children.

Researchers compared data gathered from millions of people in 31 countries in North America and Europe between 2001 and 2016. They found no significant differences in rates of the two diseases...

Nearly 1 in 5 American adults has mistaken beliefs about vaccines, and misinformation is more common among those who rely on social media than on traditional media, a new study finds.

Researchers surveyed nearly 2,500 adults nationwide in the spring and fall of 2019, when the United States was dealing with its largest measles outbreak in decades, and found that up to 20% of respon...

Hepatitis, appendicitis and viral meningitis are among the serious complications that can occur when you get the measles, doctors warn in a new report.

The study -- which outlines cases involving three adults who developed major complications -- is also a reminder of the importance of vaccination against the illness.

Measles is highly contagious, but it's also easily prevent...

A single dose of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine works as well as multiple doses to protect older teen girls against preinvasive cervical disease, which can develop into cervical cancer, researchers say.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data on more than 133,000 females aged 9 to 26. Half weren't vaccinated and half received one or more HPV vaccine doses between January...

Vaccination and screening could nearly wipe out cervical cancer in North America in the next 20 years and rid the world of the disease within the next century, researchers say.

In a new study, the researchers assessed the potential impacts of the World Health Organization's (WHO) draft strategy for cervical cancer elimination, which calls for 90% of girls to be vaccinated against ...

Don't get tackled by the flu if you go to a Super Bowl party this weekend.

Some simple precautions can protect you and others, said Libby Richards, an associate professor who specializes in public health at Purdue University School of Nursing in West Lafayette, Ind.

"If you are sick or a family member or friend you are planning on visiting for a Super Bowl gathering is sick ...

Millennials are less likely to have had a flu shot this season and are more likely than other American adults to agree with some false anti-vaccination information, according to a new nationwide survey.

The results also showed that nearly one-third of adults polled don't plan to get a flu shot and many underestimate how deadly flu can be.

The American Academy of Family Phys...

An experimental flu vaccine gave mice long-lasting protection against six different flu virus strains, researchers report.

The nanoparticle vaccine contains two major influenza proteins -- matrix protein 2 ectodomain (M2e), and neuraminidase (NA) -- and protected the mice for up to four months.

The results suggest that this combination has potential as a universal flu vaccin...

HIV infection causes a loss of immunity to smallpox, even in people who were vaccinated as kids and are taking antiretroviral drugs to restore their immune system, a new study finds.

Such "HIV-associated immune amnesia" could explain why people with HIV who are on antiretroviral therapy still have shorter lives on average than people without HIV, according to the researchers.

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The tuberculosis (TB) vaccine is far from infallible, but new animal research suggests the problem is not the vaccine but how it is delivered.

When given to monkeys intravenously rather than as an injection, the vaccine was much more effective, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases found.

"The effect...

Flu continues to spread throughout the United States and has reached elevated levels in nearly every state.

"We're still seeing an increase in activity, which is what we've been experiencing over the last few weeks," said Dr. Scott Epperson, an epidemiologist in the influenza division of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

So far the CDC estimates th...

A surprising new study upends the notion that antibodies passed from mother to fetus protect infants from measles for as much as a year.

In fact, infants' immunity wanes much more rapidly than once thought, researchers report in the December issue of Pediatrics. The finding drives home the importance of community-wide immunizations.

"Measles is a serious disease, p...

It seems like a no brainer: The flu shot protects heart patients from illness and death, so getting one should be the first thing they do every year before the season starts.

But new research shows that a third of these vulnerable patients don't get vaccinated.

"Patients need to be educated about the benefits of the flu vaccination," said study lead author Dr. Gowtham Grand...

When parents can no longer get "personal-belief" exemptions from childhood vaccinations, they may get around it by asking for religious exemptions for their kids, a new study finds.

Researchers found that after Vermont banned personal-belief exemptions, the number of kindergartners with religious exemptions from vaccination suddenly shot up -- from 0.5% to nearly 4%.

People who contract measles aren't out of the woods after their rash fades and their fever subsides.

They're then more vulnerable to other bacterial and viral infections -- even those they've already been vaccinated against or have had before.

That's because measles virus attacks the cells that serve as the immune system's memory, wiping out established resistance to diseas...

About two-thirds of pregnant women in the United States don't get vaccinated against both flu and whooping cough, putting them and their newborns at risk, a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

"Influenza and pertussis (or whooping cough) are serious infections that can be deadly for babies, especially those who are too young to be vaccinated direc...

A tuberculosis vaccine commonly used in other parts of the world might reduce a person's risk of developing lung cancer if given early in childhood, a six-decade-long study reports.

The Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine is the only vaccine approved for preventing tuberculosis (TB) -- a potentially fatal infectious disease that typically attacks the lungs. Because TB risk is low i...

An experimental vaccine against genital herpes is extremely effective in mice, offering hope of human protection against an incurable sexually transmitted disease.

The vaccine prevented transmission of the herpes simplex 2 virus to nearly all mice that received the shot, said lead researcher Dr. Harvey Friedman, a professor and immunologist at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman...

Children whose parents take paid family leave when they're born are more likely to get vaccinated at the recommended ages, a new study finds.

"Currently, many people do not vaccinate their child within the recommended schedule and are late," said study co-author Solomon Polachek, a professor of economics at the State University of New York at Binghamton.

"Often this might be...

More than 8 in 10 U.S. adults say kids should be required to get vaccinated in order to attend school, but far fewer trust the safety of vaccines, a new poll finds.

The nationwide poll from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health sampled 1,550 adults (704 parents and 846 others) and found 84% support rules requiring schoolkids to be vaccinated against diseases such as measle...

The United States could be approaching a state of herd immunity against human papillomavirus (HPV), a virus linked to several cancers.

Oral HPV infections declined by 37% among unvaccinated 18- to 59-year-old men between 2009 and 2016, according to a Sept. 10 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

That included a decline in infections of HPV16, the...

There are gaps in immunity against mumps among college-aged Americans who were vaccinated in childhood, researchers say.

New findings show the need to learn more about the immune system response to mumps and mumps vaccination.

Mumps is a highly contagious viral disease that can spread rapidly among people in close living quarters, such as college students and sports teams. I...

If you have high blood pressure, getting a flu shot could save your life, researchers say.

A new study found that patients with high blood pressure who got a flu shot had a nearly 18% lower risk of dying during flu season.

Previous research has found that the stress flu puts on the body may trigger heart attacks and strokes. Patients with hig...