Vaccines

3 ways to help get more children immunized

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

In order to increase the number of children who receive all the recommended vaccinations, greater effort must be made in providing health care access to all children, and doctors must understand the wide range or reasons for parents’ resistance to vaccines.

Celebrities get shingles, too

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, though it can be dormant in a person for decades before flaring up suddenly. Not everyone who has had chickenpox will develop shingles, but it is more common in those who are older or who have a weakened immune system.

Vaccinations: More than just kid stuff

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Some people think that once they reach adulthood they no longer need any vaccinations, but this is not true. Besides an annual flu shot (which everyone should get), adults should get several other vaccinations, and depending on current guidelines, may need an occasional booster shot or a new vaccine.

What’s new with the flu shot?

Dominic Wu, MD

Contributing Editor

If you are planning to get a flu shot but have not yet done so, it may be worth waiting a little longer, as data on patients from four recent flu seasons found that protection against the virus declined over the course of the winter.

Using social media to help parents get vaccine questions answered

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Doctors want their patients to have access to accurate and helpful health information, and today that means online. Researchers found that expectant mothers who used a website that provided information about vaccines were more likely to get their babies vaccinated.

Good news about the HPV vaccine

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The administration of the HPV vaccine has significantly lowered rates of infection among the population it is intended to protect, as well as among those who have not been vaccinated.

Flu shots during pregnancy

A recent small study linked the flu shot during pregnancy with an increased risk for miscarriage. However it did not establish that the flu shot causes miscarriage. Despite these results, pregnant women should be reassured that the benefits of getting a flu shot outweigh any potential risk.

10 things parents should know about flu shots

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Even though it’s only the beginning of September, parents should be thinking about scheduling flu shots for their children (and themselves). Here’s the latest information everyone needs to know about getting vaccinated.

How we can all help protect babies with immunizations

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

In a study of pregnant women, more than half received no information about immunizations for their babies. When they did, it was more likely to be negative if it came from a friend or family member.

Why vaccines are important for our country’s financial health, too

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Vaccinating babies and toddlers prevents many illnesses, but it also helps the avoid high costs associated with treating those illnesses, helps reduce sick time taken by parents, and contributes to greater immunity in a population.