Adults urged to get vaccinated

UNTV News   •   February 8, 2017   •   3037

A nurse displays a tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis whooping cough vaccine at a free medical and dental health clinic in Los Angeles, California, U.S., April 27, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

(Reuters Health) – Too many U.S. adults are not getting vaccinated, putting themselves and others at risk, immunization experts say.

According to the latest available data, about 44 percent of adults over age 19 had a flu shot; 20 percent had a Tdap vaccine, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis; and 20 percent of 19-to-64-year-olds at risk of pneumonia had that vaccine (compared to 60 percent of those over 65).

Just 27 percent of those over age 60 were vaccinated against herpes zoster, which cuts the risk of shingles in half, according to new guidelines from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

“Vaccinations not only protect you. They also protect those around you,” ACIP liaison Dr. Sandra Fryhofer said by email, yet, “vaccination coverage rates for adults are abysmal.”

Fryhofer, an Atlanta physician and adjunct associate professor at Emory University School of Medicine, also pointed to racial and ethnic disparities in vaccination rates, with whites more likely than all other groups to be vaccinated. And she noted that adults with health insurance are two to five times more likely to be appropriately vaccinated.

“It’s a double whammy for those without insurance. They don’t have insurance coverage if they get sick and they don’t have insurance coverage to pay for vaccinations that can help them stay well,” said Fryhofer, who was also a member of the working group that came up with the new guidelines.

Dr. Walter Orenstein, associate director of the Emory Vaccine Center in Atlanta, called adult vaccine uptake “disappointing” and said it is substantially below the rates achieved for most recommended vaccines for young children.

“All adults should be vaccinated against influenza annually, receive a booster of a tetanus vaccine every 10 years, two different types of pneumococcal vaccine when they turn 65, and a vaccine to prevent shingles when they reach age 60,” Orenstein said by email.

If you weren’t vaccinated as a child, you may need additional vaccines, added Orenstein, who was not involved in the guidelines. “All pregnant women should receive influenza vaccine, which protects them and their newborns, as well as a dose of a vaccine that protects their newborns against whooping cough,” he said.

Some of the important changes made in the 2017 guidelines, according to Fryhofer and Orenstein, include the recommendation that everyone aged 6 months and older should still be vaccinated against flu, even this late in the season, but should not use the nasal vaccine, which has been found not to work very well.

Another new guidance says that young people vaccinated against human papilloma virus (HPV) before age 15 need only two vaccine doses, not three, given at least five months apart. If you’re 15 or older and haven’t been vaccinated before, you still need three doses.

People with liver disease should get the hepatitis B vaccine, which also protects against liver cancer. And those with HIV need two doses of a meningococcal vaccine, and doctors should use the same vaccine for all doses.

How well an individual responds to a vaccine – whether or not it works – depends on the health of their immune system, Fryhofer said. “The very young, the old, or anyone with a weakened immune system – including pregnant women – don’t respond as well,” she noted.

“Healthy people are more likely to make the most protective antibodies, and that’s another reason why it’s important for them to get vaccinated. They need to stay protected so they won’t spread infection to others who are not so healthy and could die if they get sick,” she added.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccinations for Adults web page (bit.ly/2fzDu1A) can help you determine which vaccines you need, Orenstein said.

SOURCE: bit.ly/2kihPJM Annals of Internal Medicine, online February 7, 2017.

Gordon files bill to expand country’s pool of vaccinators

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 21, 2021

Manila, Philippines — Senator Richard Gordon has filed a bill seeking to expand the country’s pool of vaccinators for the immunization program of the government.

Gordon, in a statement, said Senate Bill No. 1987 will allow training for other members in the medical field, as well as, non-medical practitioners.

“Since we have a limited number of doctors, nurses, and midwives that will aid in the COVID-19 vaccination program, we filed a bill that expands the pool of vaccinators of the DOH by training other professionals such as dentists, veterinarians, medical technologists, and even those without a medical background to be vaccinators,” he said.

Section 1 of Senate Bill No. 1987 states that non-medical practitioners that will be part of the training will be allowed provided that they will be given the appropriate training, certification and authority by the Department of Health (DOH), and that they will perform their duties under the supervision of a duly registered physician and for a limited period only contingent upon the existence of the national health emergency for which it is called.

Non-medical practitioners will be given appropriate training, certification, and authority by the Department of Health (DOH).

The filed bill also states that the trained individuals will perform their duties under the supervision of a duly registered physician and for a limited period only, subject to the existence of a national health emergency.

“If we expand the manpower for the vaccination program, the government’s target of inoculating 50 to 70 million Filipinos to be able to achieve herd immunity or population immunity can be attained,” Gordon added.

According to the DOH, only 617,239 health care workers from both public and private health institutions will be able to help in administering the COVID-19 vaccines. -AAC

WHO laments world’s poorest countries might get left behind in COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 20, 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) has lamented that distribution of COVID-19 vaccine to the “world’s poorest countries” could face delays.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said richer countries and several private companies are buying up all the available vaccines. This also causes a spike in prices of COVID-19 vaccines.

“I need to be blunt: the world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure—and the price of this failure will be paid with lives and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries,” he said.

Ghebreyesus reported that 39 million doses of vaccine have now been administered in at least 49 higher-income countries while only 25 have been administered in one lowest-income country.

“The situation is compounded by the fact that most manufacturers have prioritized regulatory approval in rich countries where the profits are highest, rather than submitting full dossiers to WHO,” he noted.

WHO previously promised free COVID-19 vaccines to poor countries enlisted in the COVAX facility, which includes the Philippines.

The WHO Director General also expressed concerns that the pandemic may last longer if there is no coordination in the vaccine distribution across the globe.

“Not only does this ‘me-first’ approach leave the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people at risk, it’s also self-defeating. Ultimately, these actions will only prolong the pandemic, the restrictions needed to contain it, and human and economic suffering,” he said. AAC (with reports from Mirasol Abogadil)

WHO, may emergency meeting kaugnay ng bagong COVID-19 variants

Robie de Guzman   •   January 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Nagsagawa ng emergency meeting ang World Health Organization (WHO) upang talakayin ang banta ng kumakalat ngayong mga bagong variant ng novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Ang mga napaulat na bagong variant ng COVID-19 ay sinasabing mas nakakahawa.

Ang unang nadiskubreng coronavirus mutation sa United Kingdom ay kumalat na sa 50 teritoryo habang ang South African variant naman ay natagpuan na umano sa 20 bansa. Ang ikatlong variant naman na nagmula umano sa Brazilian Amazon at nadisubre sa Japan ay kasalukuyan pang pinag-aaralan ng WHO.

Ang pagkalat ng bagong variant ng COVID-19 ay nagbunsod sa maraming bansa na magpatupad ng mas mahigpit pang quarantine restrictions.

Tuwing tatlong buwan nagpupulong ang Emergency Committee ng WHO upang talakayin ang sitwasyon kaugnay ng COVID-19 pandemic ngunit minabuti ng mga miyembro nito na magkita-kita sa lalong madaling panahon upang pag-usapan ang coronavirus mutations.

Ito na ang ika-anim na pulong ng WHO International Health Regulations Emergency Committee mula noong Enero 2020.

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