Cost-Effectiveness of the Shingles Vaccine Uncertain. One of the more outlandish conspiracy theories of the anti-vaccination movement is that vaccines are put on the routine vaccination schedule just to help the drug companies make money. However, even a cursory look at the medical literature shows otherwise. Here is a case in point. Even though the shingles vaccine has been shown in clinical studies to be both safe and effective, this study cannot determine that it is a COST-EFFECTIVE vaccine. As a result, it has not been added to the routine vaccination schedule. Even if it is added to the routine schedule some point in the future, this study says that it should be targeted to people 60-70 years old. If the anti-vaccination conspiracy theorists were correct, it would be added to the routine vaccination schedule for all ages, regardless of the results of this study.
The largest measles outbreak in the U.S. since 1996 was due to people not being vaccinated. In 2005, an unvaccinated teen came back to the U.S. from Romania, carrying measles with her. She spread it at a church gathering that had a high percentage of unvaccinated people. 71% of the people infected were homeschoolers.
The official voice of the Vatican on pro-life matters says that using vaccines tangentially related to abortion is morally acceptable. Some pro-life groups have called on Christians to not use vaccines that have a tangential relationship to abortion. The Pontifical Academy for Life disagrees, however, saying that protecting your children and the community by vaccinating is of a higher moral priority than the tangential relationship the vaccines have to abortion. The statement says that Christian should pressure companies to make alternative vaccines (of course), but until those alternatives are available, it is morally lawful to use the vaccines that exist now.
The FDA has approved a new vaccine against meningococcal disease. This is especially important for college students!
Measles outbreak in a population with a low vaccination rate. Another sad tale of what happens when a group of people do not vaccinate. The youngest children were (of course) the most vulnerable, and the few children who were vaccinated did not get the disease.
Dr. Wile is not a medical doctor. He is a nuclear chemist. As a result, he does not dispense medical advice. He simply educates the public about scientific issues. Please consult a board-certified medical doctor before making any medical decisions for yourself or your family.