Thursday, December 13, 2007

New vaccine trend: Flu shots no longer optional?

New Jersey has become the first state to require flu vaccines (AP article). The mandate applies only to preschoolers at present. I won't be surprised if this vaccine eventually becomes mandatory not only for preschoolers, but also for all students (primary, secondary, and higher education). Frequently when there's a flu vaccine supply shortage, government officials reserve the vaccines for the very young and elderly. Some doctors believe that these two demographic categories have the most vulnerable immune systems and should be the last candidates for the vaccine.

Most flu vaccines still contain thimerosal (mercury). The vaccines (three rounds) cost parents about $50 per child per year. Free vaccines available to low income households via the federal Vaccines for Children program.

Another vaccine news tidbit: CNN reports that Merck has recalled 1.2 million doses of its meningitis vaccine due to a sterilization problem.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sorry, but I've got to show off...

We had an informal photo shoot with our friends, the Daly family, a few days ago. This was one of our favorite pics of Maddy. I think she's adorable. PBP (Paternal Bias Present) Disclaimer, of course.