Vaccinations

The North Carolina Legislative Building in Raleigh, North Carolina
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Jmturner

State legislators have made headlines this week.

The House offered support for Governor McCrory’s economic incentives package while Senate leadership proposed their own plan. 

Legislators also offered measures to eliminate religious exemptions for student vaccinations and proposed legislation that would hinder citizens' abilities to fight large developments across the state. And a three-judge panel unanimously sided with Governor McCrory and two former governors in a lawsuit against the legislature on the appointments of three environmental commissions.

Photo: Flu vaccine
Flickr user Daniel Paquet

A bipartisan group of North Carolina senators are worried about a rise in contagious diseases, and they want to eliminate the state’s exemption of childhood vaccination requirements for parents who object for religious reasons.

The senators, under a bill they filed on Thursday, are proposing to change the vaccination schedule for children who attend public schools.

A picture of a boy receiving a shot.
Kaiser Permanente

A mathematical model from Duke University mathematicians suggests more can be done to protect people from the human papilloma virus.  

In 1962, children's book author Roald Dahl lost his oldest daughter, Olivia, to measles. She was 7 years old.

Twenty-six years later, Dahl wrote a letter to parents about what happened:

The Human papillomavirus (HPV) found in a Pap smear
Ed Uthman / Flickr Creative Commons

A study out of Duke University suggests the HPV vaccine might not be as effective for African-American women. 

The vaccine protects against two subtypes of the Human papillomavirus that cause 70 percent of cases that develop into cervical cancer, but researchers found black women are half as likely as white women to be infected with those strains. 

The findings could help explain racial discrepancies in the rates of cancer.

flu shot
samantha celera, via Flickr, Creative Commons

Workers at state DHHS healthcare facilities are being required to get flu shots.  Secretary Aldona Vos  is implementing the policy to fall in line with what some hospitals have done to protect patients' health. 

More than 10,000 employees and volunteers will have until December first to be vaccinated.  Luckey Welsh is interim director of the DHHS division of state-operated facilities that house mentally and developmentally disabled patients.

HIV microscope image, virus, disease
Duke University

Researchers at Duke University are using a flaw in an HIV vaccine in order to develop new formulas to fight off the virus. 

A vaccination incentive program for students in Orange County's school districts is drawing criticism from some parents. The county Health Department is entering students into a drawing for an iPod or laptop if they get immunized for meningitis this month. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools district says it has received 19 complaints. Alan Phillips says the drawing puts undue pressure on his children to get the vaccination, which is not required to enroll in school.