vaccine

The Pulse
1:18 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Should Unvaccinated Kids Stay Home?

Flu vaccine-filled syringes ready for administering at a workplace vaccine clinic.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

That depends on your priorities. But first, here's what's at issue:

Read more
Health Care
11:38 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Flu Spreads In Rhode Island, Hospitalizations Increase

Flu vaccine-filled syringes
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

While the flu is now widespread in Massachusetts, it’s still sporadic in Rhode Island. But 16 Rhode Islanders have already been hospitalized, and officials expect the number of cases to spike.

Health department officials say so far there have been no flu deaths, but in past years flu has killed well over a hundred people in Rhode Island. They say one of this year’s dominant strains in Rhode Island and nationally is H1N1, but that’s also one of the strains this year’s vaccine protects against. 

Read more
Health Care
6:00 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Miriam Hospital Trials C.Diff Vaccine

C. Difficile is a highly contagious infection people can catch in hospitals or after taking antibiotics. It sickens many and kills about 14,000 people every year. But there’s hope for preventing these infections as a new vaccine moves into the clinical trial phase. The Miriam Hospital is participating in the trial.

Read more
The Pulse
12:51 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Vaccines: Are You Hiding In The Herd?

RI child immunization rates, 2011. Click to enlarge.
Credit RI Dept. of Health / CDC, National Immunization Survey

Herd, as in "herd immunity," the concept being that the majority of vaccinated people protect the minority who aren't vaccinated, a kind of safety-in-numbers for your immune system. But what if the number in the minority starts to creep up?

Read more
Health Care
3:23 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Flu Vaccine Less Effective but Still Urged for Seniors

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates this year’s flu vaccine was effective about fifty percent of the time. But the vaccine was much less protective for older adults.

The CDC found that vaccinations against influenza types A and B were about 56 percent effective overall. But in people aged 65 and older, the vaccines only worked 27 percent of the time. But Rhode Island Department of Health director Doctor Michael Fine says that’s no reason NOT to get vaccinated.

Read more
Health Care
1:29 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Flu in Rhode Island: How bad is it?

If you've got the flu, it's bad. Awfully bad. But is this season any worse than unusual? Are hospitals really being overwhelmed by "skyrocketing" cases in an unprecedented outbreak?

Read more
The Pulse
12:00 am
Fri August 17, 2012

What’s the Plan for Whooping Cough?

I blogged earlier this summer about a pertussis (whooping cough) outbreak in Rhode Island and a growing number of cases throughout the country (see the latest from the RI Dept. of Health). There were some indications then that the vaccine was losing its efficacy. But that may not be the full picture.

Read more