From Google Scholar & other sources: Selected Journal Articles, Newsletters, Dissertations, Theses, Commentary

From Google Scholar & other sources: Selected Journal Articles, Newsletters, Dissertations, Theses, Commentary
Open Forum Infectious Diseases
Volume 6, Issue 4, April 2019,
Mandatory Flu Vaccine for Healthcare Workers: Not Worthwhile
MB Edmond
In 2010, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology published a recommendation that annual influenza vaccination of healthcare workers be made a condition of employment despite no high-level evidence to support this recommendation. A better strategy for reducing the transmission of respiratory viruses in the healthcare setting would be to encourage vaccination and reduce presenteeism, which is very common among healthcare workers with influenza-like illness. In a hospital with a baseline vaccination compliance of 70%, reducing presenteeism by 2% has the equivalent impact of mandating vaccination in terms of the number of healthcare workers with influenza-like illness at work. Expectations for compliance with interventions to improve the quality of care should be correlated tightly to the underlying evidence to support the intervention, reserving mandates for interventions with very high quality supporting evidence.


Annual Review of Virology
Review in Advance first posted online on April 15, 2019
The MMR Vaccine and Autism
F DeStefano, TT Shimabukuro
Autism is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. A report published in 1998, but subsequently retracted by the journal, suggested that measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine causes autism. However, autism is a neurodevelopmental condition that has a strong genetic component with genesis before one year of age, when MMR vaccine is typically administered. Several epidemiologic studies have not found an association between MMR vaccination and autism, including a study that found that MMR vaccine was not associated with an increased risk of autism even among high-risk children whose older siblings had autism. Despite strong evidence of its safety, some parents are still hesitant to accept MMR vaccination of their children. Decreasing acceptance of MMR vaccination has led to outbreaks or resurgence of measles. Health-care providers have a vital role in maintaining confidence in vaccination and preventing suffering, disability, and death from measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

Paediatrics & Child Health
Volume 24, Issue 2, May 2019
Vaccine-preventable diseases: Uncommon disease primer for the front-line provider
S Desai, N MacDonald
This practice point provides quick information for front-line health care providers on vaccine-preventable diseases which, given the success of immunization programs in Canada, are now uncommon or rarely seen. These infections can still occur in children and youth from Canada and elsewhere, and their clinical identification has important public health implications. Knowledge of signs and symptoms, immunizing travellers and newcomers to Canada, awareness of outbreaks in-community and elsewhere, and early consultation with an expert in infectious diseases and public health authorities in suspected cases, are key preventive care measures.


Journal of Computational Social Science
First Online: 09 April 2019
Personal stories matter: topic evolution and popularity among pro-and anti-vaccine online articles
Z Xu
People tend to read health articles that have gone viral online. A large portion of online popular vaccine articles are against vaccines, which lead to increased exemption rates and recent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. Since anti-vaccine articles’ themes and persuasive strategies change fast, their effects on viewers’ behaviors may change over time. This study examined how pro- and anti-vaccine topics and public interests have changed from 2007 to 2017. Computational methods (e.g., topic modeling) were used to analyze 923 online vaccine articles and over 4 million shares, reactions, and comments that they have received on social media. Pro-vaccine messages (PVMs) that used personal stories received the most heated discussion online and pure scientific knowledge received the least attention. PVMs that present vaccine disagreements and limitations were not popular. These findings indicate the importance of narratives and directly attacking opposing arguments in health message design. Anti-vaccine messages (AVMs) that discussed flu shots and government conspiracy received the most attention. Since April 2015, even though more PVMs appeared online, AVMs, especially those about vaccine damage, were increasingly more popular than PVMs. Some social events and disease outbreaks might contribute to the popularity of AVMs. Newly emerged anti-vaccine topics (e.g., false rumors of CDC conspiracy) should be noted. This study shows that certain topics can be more popular online and can potentially reach a larger population. It also reveals the evolution of vaccine-related topics and public’s interest. Findings can help to design effective interventions and develop programs to track and combat misinformation

BMJ Global Health
Apr 2019, 4 (2)
Private sector engagement and contributions to immunisation service delivery and coverage in Sudan
Nada Ahmed1, Denise DeRoeck2, Nahad Sadr-Azodi3
For more than two decades, the private sector in the Sudan (henceforth, Sudan), including non-governmental organisations and for-profit providers, has played a key role in delivering immunisation services, especially in the conflict-affected Darfur region and the most populated Khartoum state. The agreements that the providers enter into with state governments necessitate that they are licenced; follow the national immunisation policy and reporting and supervision requirements; use the vaccines supplied by government; and offer vaccinations free-of-charge. These private providers are well integrated into the states’ immunisation programmes as they take part in the Ministry of Health immunisation trainings and district review meetings and they are incorporated into annual district immunisation microplans. The purpose of this article is to describe the private sector contributions to equitable access to immunisation services and coverage, as well as key challenges, lessons learned and future considerations. Fifty-five per cent of private health facilities in Sudan (411 out of 752) provide immunisation services, with 75% (307 out of 411) based in Khartoum state and the Darfur region. In 2017, private providers administered around 16% of all third doses of pentavalent (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b) vaccines to children. Private health providers of immunisation services have especially been critical in filling the gaps in government services in hard-to-reach or conflict-affected areas and among marginalised populations, and thus in reducing inequities in access. Through its experience in engaging the private sector, Sudan has learned the importance of regulating and licencing private facilities and incorporating them into the immunisation programme’s decision-making, planning, regular evaluation and supervision system to ensure their compliance with immunisation guidelines and the overall quality of services. In moving forward, strategic engagement with the private sector will become more prominent as Sudan transitions out of donors’ financial assistance with its projected income growth.

BMJ Global Health
Apr 2019, 4 (2)
Immunisation financing and programme performance in the Middle East and North Africa, 2010 to 2017
Helen Saxenian1, Nahad Sadr-Azodi2, Miloud Kaddar3, Kamel Senouci4
Immunisation is a cornerstone to primary health care and is an exceptionally good value. The 14 low-income and middle-income countries in the Middle East and North Africa region make up 88% of the region’s population and 92% of its births. Many of these countries have maintained high immunisation coverage even during periods of low or negative economic growth. However, coverage has sharply deteriorated in countries directly impacted by conflict and political unrest. Approximately 1.3 million children were not completely vaccinated in 2017, as measured by third dose of diphtheria–pertussis–tetanus vaccine. Most of the countries have been slow to adopt the newer, more expensive life-saving vaccines mainly because of financial constraints and the socioeconomic context. Apart from the three countries that have had long-standing assistance from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, most countries have not benefited appreciably from donor and partner activities in supporting their health sector and in achieving their national and subnational immunisation targets. Looking forward, development partners will have an important role in helping reconstruct health systems in conflict-affected countries. They can also help with generating evidence and strategic advocacy for high-priority and cost-effective services, including immunisation. Governments and ministries of health would ensure important benefits to their populations by investing further in their immunisation programmes. Where possible, the health system can create and expand fiscal space from efficiency gains in harmonising vaccine procurement mechanisms and service integration; broader revenue generation from economic growth; and reallocation of government budgets to health, and from within health, to immunization