Preventing Ear Infections with Flu Vaccine

In stark contrast to some earlier studies, giving children flu vaccine does not help to prevent ear infections in young children, according to a large study published in the September 24, 2003 Journal of the American Medical Association. Earlier evidence had suggested a protective effect — perhaps a large protective effect — from the vaccine.

Prevent Meningitis

One evening a child has a high fever, a severe headache, and a stiff neck. It might be just the flu — or it might be meningococcal meningitis. This devastating disease, though still uncommon, has been striking more often throughout the last decade.

Pregnancy and H1N1 Flu

If you think you may get pregnant in the next year, this may be the most important year to get a flu shot – and an H1N1 flu shot, when it becomes available. When pregnant, it’s generally best to avoid all medications unless the benefits clearly outweigh the risks. With this year’s flu season, this […]

Possible Causes Of Constant Illness In A 2-year-old

My son is always sick. He either has a cold, sinus infection, ear infection, or stomach flu. It has been on and off for 2 years, but has been really bad for the past 6 months. He does not eat and hardly drinks. He has barely eaten anything in 5 days this time. This happens each time he gets sick. He is now 2 years, 9 months oldand weighs 26 lbs. At one year he was 23 lbs.
I am going to the doctor today to demand they find out what could be doing this to my little guy. This is becoming a cycle. Can you think of anything I should ask for? I am going to request allergy testing, but is there more I need to know? What could cause him to be so sick all of the time? I do have autoimmune conditions, could this have affected him?

Polio Recommendations

No more polio? The World Health Organization was on target to eliminate polio by the end of the year 2000. This wonderful achievement also changes the risks vs. benefits for polio vaccines. For that reason, in 1999 the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended  that no more live, oral polio vaccine (OPV) be given in the […]

Polio – It’s A Small World After All

Hundreds of thousands of health workers and volunteers are mobilizing to reach every child in 5 countries with polio vaccine within just a few days – in countries where polio had previously been eradicated. 15 million children are considered at immediate risk. The World Health Organization called the spreading polio outbreak in Nigeria “a grave […]

Pneumococcal Vaccine

In 1999, I attended the national meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics in Washington, D.C. At the opening of the conference, Sarah Long, M.D. announced that the new pneumococcal vaccine would be available in early 2000. I was thrilled!

Pertussis Vaccination

Dr. Greene, I was wondering if you could be so kind to answer my question regarding whooping cough. I am a mother of 5-year-old twins. The twins were born 2 months premature. At a few months old they had their first DPT shot. They both experienced side effects when administered. Both of them cried & screamed for several hours, had a rash where the shot was given & had high fevers of around 104. I called the Doctor to tell her what was going on. She told me that they were reacting to the “P” part of the DPT shot. Since then they have not been given the “P” part of the DPT immunization. I am very concerned about my kids. Currently there is an epidemic in California where young children have died from this disease. Please tell me whatever you can about pertussis. Being that my children are now 5 years old in your opinion can my children pickup the “P” part of DPT now? What are the actual side effects of this immunization? Your response is greatly appreciated.
Maureen Palumbo

Pertussis Exposure

Do I need to worry about my older kids getting pertussis if they were vaccinated as babies?

Pediarix Combination Vaccine

Fewer needle sticks… the same protection! On Tuesday, December 16, 2002, the FDA approved a new five-vaccine combination for children. Pediarix contains vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, and hepatitis B, all in one syringe. The injection is to be given at the 2, 4, and 6 month well-baby exams. These 3 shots […]

PCV Vaccine Results

It seems like kids these days get so many shots. One of the recent additions to the routine vaccine schedule is the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV or Prevnar). Pneumococcal bacteria are the leading bacterial cause of ear infections in the United States, as well as of several serious infections such as meningitis and pneumonia.

Parents Question Double MMR Vaccinations

I recently heard from an anxious mother in Kuwait,”My son has been vaccinatedtwice with the MMR by mistake, one was at 1.5 year and the second at 3.9 years. Please kindly advise.”

No-Mercury-Added Flu Vaccines

More children than ever before are expected to get the flu vaccine for the 2004-2005 flu season, both because of new recommendations and because last year’s rough flu season still lingers in many people’s memories. Preservative-free flu vaccine is available — for those who ask for it before the supply is already committed.

Monkeypox 3: Spreads From Person to Person?

The state of Wisconsin has reported suspected monkeypox in two healthcare workers who had no known animal exposure but who had been caring for earlier monkeypox patients on May 22. The symptoms are strongly suggestive of monkeypox. If the lab tests confirm this, these would be the first documented cases of person-to-person spread in this […]

MMR/Autism Study Retracted

A controversial 1998 study published in The Lancet implied that the MMR vaccine might be a cause of autism. This sparked deep suspicion of the vaccine and prompted a great deal of new research involving hundreds of thousands of children (that has been unable to find any such connection). The original study included only a […]

MMR & Autism

Some people have speculated that the measles/mumps/rubella vaccine (MMR), which is routinely given to millions of children each year, had caused a huge surge in autism over the last 30 years. The vaccine rate has plummeted since the study, while autism continues to rise.

Mercury, A Look Back

What has been the effect of giving tiny amounts of mercury to millions of children in vaccines? A huge study in the November 2003 Pediatrics used an analysis of the medical records of over 140,000 children to try to find an answer.

Mercury Questions

Two questions came up in chat about news urging us to reduce children’s exposure to mercury. Is there mercury in fish oil capsules? And should we delay or forgo vaccines in children because of the mercury in the vaccines?

Mercury in Vaccines

Dear Dr. Greene, my 16-year-old son has an immune disorder and needs a Hepatitis B shot. I’m concerned about the effects of mercury-containing vaccines on kids’ immune systems and brains. Are there any mercury-free Hep-B shots and mercury-free meningitis shots?

Mercury in Childhood Vaccines

Is it true that there is mercury in the Hepatitis B vaccine? My obstetrician told me that that’s one of the vaccinations they routinely give newborns. Is it harmful?