Tag Archives: vaccine

Why dont we just leave it to antimicrobials?

This post was chosen as an Editor's Selection for ResearchBlogging.orgIn the last of my vaccine sub-series (the others can be found here, here, here and here) I wanted to talk about why vaccines trump therapeutics every time or at least just a few reasons why.

Something I hear occasionally when talking about vaccines is that they are not required as we have drugs to deal with sickness. It’s true we have developed everything from cold and flu meds to antibiotics and chemotherapy but vaccines are still, in my opinion, the greatest advancement in public health after improved sanitation. Continue reading

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What’s in a vaccine?

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Waaaaaay back in the first post of my sub series on vaccines I said I would cover vaccine styles, how they work (and Pt. 2) and why we can’t rely on therapeutics alone. I promise I’ll get to the last one at some point but after a couple of weeks writing about vaccines something occurred to me that I hadn’t really thought about before, what is actually in a vaccine? Continue reading

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Australia pledges $58 million US to help fund GAVI Alliance!!!

Big News!!!

Australia seems to have pulled its finger out in a big way and contributed $60 million ($58 million US) to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation! Thus doubles Australia’s previous commitment and puts us up amongst the highest level contributors worldwide.

The pledge comes as Alliance members meet in New York to discuss the GAVI Alliance’s funding plans regarding its 2010-2015 programs. During that time GAVI hope to vaccinate 240 million children and in the process prevent 4.2 million deaths, primarily in the developing world.

The Australian pledge tops up the previous pledge agreement to help the GAVI Alliance reach its funding goal of $6.5 billion. At this stage the fundrasing effort leaves GAVI $4.3 billion short but more pledges are expected to come in over the next few years.

GAVI’s aims of childhood vaccination are targeted at the worlds 2 largest killers of children under 5 years of age; pneumonia and diarrhoea which together account for nearly 40% of all deaths in children under 5.

For more info check out the GAVI Alliance website here.

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Vaccine styles for specific diseases

ResearchBlogging.orgThomas has started a series on vaccines and disease and I thought it was such a great idea that I would hijack it, kind of.

While Thomas talks about specific vaccines and their impact on certain diseases I thought I would cover some more general topics under the umbrella of vaccines. So let me present my own vaccine mini-series to supplement Thomas’ – Vaccines: how they are made?, how do they work?, and why we can’t rely on therapeutics alone in the fight against disease?

This week we will look at how some of the common ways vaccines are made. This has been a topic of interest to me for a while, ever since I heard someone from the (miss-information spreading, anti-vaccination supporting) Australian Vaccination Network giving a talk at a Vegan festival about the dangers of vaccines. In front of a room full of people this woman proudly proclaimed that the polio vaccine is made in monkey brains and if you let your child take the oral polio vaccine they will be eating monkey brain. I was dragged away before I could ‘politely question’ the woman by my wife, who had declared a science free weekend :).

Anyway, the point is that this woman was talking crap. There would be no logic to making the vaccine in monkey brains, how many monkey brains does she think evil scientists can get their hands on? All the monkey heads I get my hands on are used in the construction of two headed monkey slaves. I wouldn’t waste them on vaccine production.

I can only assume a two-headed monkey would complete my typing faster than a lazy, stupid one-headed monkey <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Monkey-typing.jpg&gt;

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