The Cost-Effectiveness of Vaccines

Bill Gates is a busy man. Possessing one of the greatest fortunes in world history while simultaneously operating a foundation intent on giving it all away, certainly comes with its share of demands. But as if they weren’t enough, recently, thanks to growing domestic and international concerns, Gates has been lucky enough to add one more item to his general itinerary: defending vaccines. As co-founder and chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the developing world’s greatest sourc

California to Challenge Vaccine Exemptions

As the amount of measles cases in California continues to rise (up to 107 to be exact), so has the backlash against the growing movement of parents preferring not to vaccinate their children, choosing instead to utilize state-sanctioned personal and religious vaccine exemptions with relative ease. The recent outbreak has ignited fierce debates over a variety of points, though most have revolved around these clustered anti-vaccine communities fueling the spread of this very preventable disease.

California's Measles Outbreak

In addition to placing in jeopardy Disneyland’s once-untouchable “Happiest Place on Earth” title, California’s recent measles outbreak is now responsible for a current total of 78 cases present in seven states and Mexico – 68 of them in California. Due to this outbreak, the United States this year is already poised to surpass 2014’s 20 year high for measles infections, forcing drastic measures to minimize the spread of the disease. Orange County, for example, “have said that unvaccinated childr

Preventable Disease and the Developing World: The Road Ahead for 2015

With ever new year comes optimism, resolutions, and a renewed sense of purpose, looking at the twelve months ahead as an opportunity to improve, and make a difference. For MedAwareness, this means continuing the crusade to end the still present, worldwide threat of preventable disease, and give every child the right to life. According to UNICEF “more than 30 million children are unimmunized either because vaccines are unavailable, because health services are poorly provided or inaccessible, or

Flu Epidemic, Getting Through This Year's - MedAwareness

Another year, another flu season: Yes, by now we are all extremely familiar with the annual threat of influenza and the subsequent warnings flooding all areas of life, from television to grocery stores. Even flu epidemics, such as the present one declared by the CDC last week, feel common, hardly worth panicking over, compared to say, some other outbreaks. Indeed the expected arrival of flu season seems to inspire a wave of complacency as much as it does concern. But while most of us will be luc

Ebola Fighters Named Time Magazine's "Person of the Year"

It’s not a Nobel Prize, nor is it any type of grant, nor is it of course the greatest reward of all – the end of the Ebola outbreak – but it is a significant and decisive title: the Ebola workers have been collectively named Time magazine’s oft-discussed “Person of the Year.” In addition to many other conversations, the end of the year always introduces the debate of who will receive the magazine’s sometimes dubious honor. Controversial, even despicable figures have never been exempt from recei

End of 2014 and Future of Immunization

As we have mentioned before, and as the news has made abundantly clear, 2014 has been a busy year for doctors and health officials, many of them likely looking forward to putting these twelve months of crisis behind them. Stories of deadly epidemics and mysterious, resurgent viruses have dominated headlines, while our greatest defense against these very real diseases, vaccines, has become more challenged than ever (the awful effects of which may be yet to come). There’s no debate that the year

Tis the Season: Need For Philanthropy in Health Crises

From many non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the international response to the Ebola outbreak has faced a volley of criticism aimed at attacking everything from the slowness of the response to the seeming indifference shown towards the plight of the West Africans, accusing countries of only taking serious action once the situation threatened to spiral out of control and move beyond the African continent. A September statement from the international president of Doctors Without Borders voiced

The Numbers Are In: Where We Stand With Vaccinations

Throughout our lives we’ve been taught that ‘90%’ is an ‘A’ – well, ‘A minus‘ if you want to get technical. In so many of our academic challenges, nine out of ten is perfectly acceptable. Accidents happen right? We all make mistakes. But what if the test consisted of just one question, with the answer being fed to you by countless experts? Would there then be any excuse for not reaching that coveted ‘A+’? The question being referred to of course is whether or not parents should vaccinate thei

Ebola: The Great Quarantine Debate

“Fear is a powerful thing, and it’s often not rational. That’s when reliance on science and fact really has to be our North Star.” – Dr. Mary Travis Bassett, New York City Health Commissioner On Friday October 24th, against the persistent stance of health officials battling the spread of Ebola, Governors Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo of New Jersey and New York, respectively, announced a mandatory 21-day quarantine of all health-care workers returning from the areas of West Africa hit hardest

Meningitis at SDSU

Once again, meningitis has grabbed the attention of concerned San Diego residents following the sudden death of 18 year-old San Diego State freshmen Sara Stelzer over the weekend (Stelzer had been placed on life support Friday morning and was removed Saturday). Though no new cases have been reported, tensions have remained high with over 1,000 students fearful of exposure coming forward to request antibiotics and medical evaluations as part of the school’s aggressive effort to halt the spread of

Enterovirus D68 and Our Role in Public Health - MedAwaren..

Surely by now, it must be official: for the world of public health, 2014 has been the most exceptional and remarkable year in recent memory, but for all the wrong reasons. As the threat of Ebola shifts to this continent, commanding the attention of most Americans, the curious saga of Enterovirus D68 continues to spread as well, progressing from troubling to potentially tragic. Enterovirus D68 was first identified in the United States in the 1960s and has appeared in a small number of patients e