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Thursday June 30, 2016

Vaccine Stories to Watch

The presidential election and #Brexit dominate the news, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the world stops turning. There are several important immunization stories that don’t deserve to get lost in the shuffle. Here are four to keep an eye on:

Will Zika Wreak Havoc on the Olympics?
Researchers have been scrambling to develop and implement a Zika vaccine to get the epidemic under control in South America. However, the threat remains real and many people--both audience and athletes--are spooked enough by it to skip the summer Olympics in Rio. Whether it’s absent athletes or sick guests, Zika could make these olympics memorable for the wrong reasons.

How Successful is SB 277?
SB 277 is already a triumph, with vaccination rates in California already up ahead of the law's full implementation this July. How much more success will the Golden State see once the full regulations are implemented? And, will the bill's success prompt other states to enact similar laws?

AMP Trials in San Francisco
Antibody Mediated Prevention--or AMP--is beginning its first human trials in San Francisco. It’s an important step on the long road to an HIV vaccine. it may be able to provide some protection from the disease until an honest to goodness vaccine can be developed. Unlike traditional vaccines that force our bodies to create antibodies, AMP injects patients directly with ready-made (but temporary) antibodies. This could allow researchers to see which antibodies work in fighting HIV, and then work on a more robust vaccine to create them.

Should Doctors Refuse Non-vaccinating Parents?
Doctors around the country have begun refusing to treat parents--and by proxy their children--who choose not to vaccinate. While the medical field is unified on the importance of vaccinations, this response to vaccine-refusing patients is highly controversial. In the coming months and years, the medical community will be working out what an ethical, science -based response to this issue looks like.

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