Becker's Clinical Quality & Infection Control


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3 INFECTION CONTROL Vaccine hesitancy fueling resurgence of diseases, experts say By Nika Schoonover A measles outbreak in Columbus, Ohio, is sparking concern among health officials who believe that increased vaccine hesitancy will intensify a resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases, according to e Washington Post. At least 85 children had been infected in the outbreak at the time of publication. State officials said most were old enough to get shots but their parents chose not to vaccinate them. According to state data, only three of the children had received a single dose of the vaccine, but none were fully vaccinated. "at is what is causing this outbreak to spread like wildfire," Mysheika Roberts, MD, director of the Columbus health department, told e Washington Post. e outbreak, which began in November, saw the three partially vaccinated children contracting the disease in early December, marking the first cases in the region's outbreak that have not been among unvaccinated children. e CDC typically recommends children get their first dose of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine between 12 and 15 months, and the second shot between ages 4 and 6. According to polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than a third of parents with children under 18, and 28 percent of adults, say parents should be able to decide not to vaccinate their kids for MMR to attend public schools even if it may create health risks for others. e poll also found that the growing opposition stems largely from shis among people who identify as or lean Republican, with 44 percent saying parents should be able to opt out of those childhood vaccines in comparison with 20 percent who said so in 2019. On the other hand, support for immunization mandates has remained steady among Democrats, with 88 percent saying that children should be vaccinated to attend public schools. Overall, 71 percent of all adults still support school immunization requirements, compared with 82 percent in 2019. According to infectious disease experts, an overall community vaccination rate of 90 to 94 percent is needed to prevent large measles outbreaks. In the United States, nearly 91 percent of children have received at least one dose of the MMR by age 2. In the Columbus area, according to e Washington Post, the measles vaccination rate is estimated at 80 to 90 percent, but healthcare providers are not required to report data to Ohio's vaccine registry. n Measles is 'imminent' global threat, CDC and WHO say By Mackenzie Bean T he pandemic spurred major setbacks in global efforts to eliminate measles, making the disease an "imminent threat" for every part of the world, the CDC and World Health Organization said Nov. 23. Nearly 40 million children missed a measles vaccine dose in 2021, according to a joint report from the two organizations. About 25 million children missed a first dose and 14.7 million missed a second dose, marking a record high. Globally, the vaccine coverage rate for the first measles shot (81 percent) is at the lowest level since 2008. "This decline is a significant setback in global progress towards achieving and maintaining measles elimination and leaves millions of children susceptible to infection," the CDC and WHO said in a Nov. 23 news release. Although the global number of measles cases has fallen over the past two decades, infections increased last year. The WHO and CDC reported an estimated 9 million cases and 128,000 deaths globally in 2021, up from 7.5 million cases and 60,700 deaths in 2020. "Measles anywhere is a threat everywhere, as the virus can quickly spread to multiple communities and across international borders," the CDC and WHO said, adding that more investment in global immunization programs is needed to help address this threat. n NIH, Sheba Medical Center create pandemic research institute By Mackenzie Bean T he National Institutes of Health is partnering with Sheba Medical Center in Israel to create a pandemic research institute, the organizations said Dec. 22. Researchers at the Sheba Pandemic Research Institute will study infectious diseases and explore innovative ways to rapidly create new vaccines and biologics in the event of future epidemics and pandemics. The team will work closely with researchers at the NIH Vaccine Research Center in Maryland. Daniel Douek, MD, PhD, chief of the human immunology section at NIH's Vaccine Research Center, will serve as senior scientific advisor of the Sheba Pandemic Research Institute, according to a Dec. 22 news release shared with Becker's. n

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