Natasha Sarah Crowcroft is Chief of Applied Immunization Research at Public Health Ontario and a Professor at the University of Toronto in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Her work aims to maximize the public health benefits of immunization.
It is good to celebrate anniversaries of major achievements in public health. The bicentenary anniversary of the publication of Dr. Edward Jenner’s paper on vaccination against smallpox, published in 1796, was celebrated on the cover of the 1996 edition of the United Kingdom’s (UK)’s immunization guide, marking one of the greatest achievements of humankind. Recently however we reached the anniversary of a publication that we might all rather forget. Twenty years ago in February 1998, two years after the celebration of Jenner’s legacy, The Lancet medical journal published a paper describing a small case series of “ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis and pervasive developmental disorder in children”. The story has been described ...continue reading →
Interview with Dr. Noni MacDonald, Professor of Pediatrics at Dalhousie University with a clinical appointment in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Recent evidence from Ontario suggests that vaccine hesitancy and refusal may be on the rise. In a commentary published in CMAJ (subscription required), Dr. MacDonald and colleague Ève Dubé discuss the importance of immunization surveillance and tailored interventions to address vaccine hesitancy. ...continue reading →
Lawrence Loh is an adjunct professor in the Division of Clinical Public Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
Author's note: The views expressed in the following post are the author's own.
My first job as a public health physician after my residency training was in vaccine safety at the Public Health Agency of Canada. I learned all about the systems that are used to conduct post-marketing surveillance to continuously monitor vaccine safety and protect the health of Canadians. While reviewing different reports of adverse events, I personally observed the rigorous attention that each serious report received to determine whether, based on seemingly interminable criteria and safeguards, the vaccine given could have even remotely caused the outcome of concern. ...continue reading →
Jacki Hollywood Brown has been a military spouse for almost 25 years. In that time, she has lived in four Canadian provinces and two different countries. She maintains a regular blog at Canadian Army Wife.
I’m pretty diligent about keeping our family’s vaccination records, but I bet there are not a lot of people that are so diligent.
In most provinces, you get a small folded bit of paper at birth (actual size 10 x 15 cm) on which to record all the vaccinations for your entire life. You must keep this little paper safe at all times and take it with you to every immunization appointment.
What if the vaccination card is:
stored in a pocket and goes through the wash and gets destroyed?
Michael Hamilton is a Consultant Physician and Medication Safety Specialist for ISMP Canada
The deaths of 15 children who received measles vaccination in Syria were initially suspected to have been caused by tainted vaccine or sabotage, but now appear to have been the result of a tragic error. In a statement on the interim findings of an investigation released on September 28, 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that medical personnel most likely mixed the vaccine with the neuromuscular blocking agent atracurium, instead of the intended diluent. The atracurium had apparently been incorrectly added to vaccination packs in a district distribution centre. Like other neuromuscular blocking agents, atracurium paralyzes the muscles that are necessary for breathing and can only be used safely when mechanical ventilation is available to support breathing.
The fact that the potential for this type of tragedy had already been well-recognized makes the deaths of these innocent children all the more heartbreaking. Hundreds of errors with neuromuscular blocking agents have been reported around the world ...continue reading →