Scientific and Policy Considerations in Developing Smallpox Vaccination Options: A Workshop Report

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At the World Health Assembly in May 1980, the World Health Organization declared the world free of smallpox. Smallpox vaccination of civilians is now indicated only for laboratory workers directly involved with smallpox or closely related orthopox viruses. However recent questions raised by the terrorist attacks in fall 2001 have renewed concerns about possible outbreaks of smallpox resulting from its use as a biological weapon. In June 2002, the Institute of Medicine convened a public conference to discuss the scientific, clinical, procedural, and administrative aspects of various immunization strategies. Scientific and Policy Considerations in Developing Smallpox Vaccination Options summarizes the presentations and discussions from this workshop.
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Publisher
National Academies Press
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Published on
Oct 28, 2002
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Pages
58
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ISBN
9780309168984
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Medical / General
Medical / Health Policy
Political Science / Security (National & International)
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This content is DRM free.
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A New York Times bestseller/Washington Post Notable Book of 2017/NPR Best Books of 2017/Wall Street Journal Best Books of 2017 

"This book will serve as the definitive guide to the past and future of health care in America.”—Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies and The Gene  

At a moment of drastic political upheaval, An American Sickness is a shocking investigation into our dysfunctional healthcare system - and offers practical solutions to its myriad problems.

In these troubled times, perhaps no institution has unraveled more quickly and more completely than American medicine. In only a few decades, the medical system has been overrun by organizations seeking to exploit for profit the trust that vulnerable and sick Americans place in their healthcare. Our politicians have proven themselves either unwilling or incapable of reining in the increasingly outrageous costs faced by patients, and market-based solutions only seem to funnel larger and larger sums of our money into the hands of corporations. Impossibly high insurance premiums and inexplicably large bills have become facts of life; fatalism has set in. Very quickly Americans have been made to accept paying more for less. How did things get so bad so fast?

Breaking down this monolithic business into the individual industries—the hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, and drug manufacturers—that together constitute our healthcare system, Rosenthal exposes the recent evolution of American medicine as never before. How did healthcare, the caring endeavor, become healthcare, the highly profitable industry? Hospital systems, which are managed by business executives, behave like predatory lenders, hounding patients and seizing their homes. Research charities are in bed with big pharmaceutical companies, which surreptitiously profit from the donations made by working people. Patients receive bills in code, from entrepreneurial doctors they never even saw. 

The system is in tatters, but we can fight back. Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal doesn't just explain the symptoms, she diagnoses and treats the disease itself. In clear and practical terms, she spells out exactly how to decode medical doublespeak, avoid the pitfalls of the pharmaceuticals racket, and get the care you and your family deserve. She takes you inside the doctor-patient relationship and to hospital C-suites, explaining step-by-step the workings of a system badly lacking transparency. This is about what we can do, as individual patients, both to navigate the maze that is American healthcare and also to demand far-reaching reform. An American Sickness is the frontline defense against a healthcare system that no longer has our well-being at heart.
Bioterrorism, drug--resistant disease, transmission of disease by global travel . . . there’s no shortage of challenges facing America’s public health officials. Men and women preparing to enter the field require state-of-the-art training to meet these increasing threats to the public health. But are the programs they rely on provide the high caliber professional training they require?

Who Will Keep the Public Healthy? provides an overview of the past, present, and future of public health education, assessing its readiness to provide the training and education needed to prepare men and women to face 21st century challenges. Advocating an ecological approach to public health, the Institute of Medicine examines the role of public health schools and degree--granting programs, medical schools, nursing schools, and government agencies, as well as other institutions that foster public health education and leadership. Specific recommendations address the content of public health education, qualifications for faculty, availability of supervised practice, opportunities for cross--disciplinary research and education, cooperation with government agencies, and government funding for education.

Eight areas of critical importance to public health education in the 21st century are examined in depth: informatics, genomics, communication, cultural competence, community-based participatory research, global health, policy and law, and public health ethics. The book also includes a discussion of the policy implications of its ecological framework.
Immunization is widely regarded as one of the most effective and beneficial tools for protecting the public's health. In the United States, immunization programs have resulted in the eradication of smallpox, the elimination of polio, and the control and near elimination of once-common, often debilitating and potentially life-threatening diseases, including measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, and Haemophilus influenza type b.


Along with the benefits of widespread immunization, however, have come concerns about the safety of vaccines. No vaccine is perfectly safe or effective, and vaccines may lead to serious adverse effects in some instances. Furthermore, if a serious illness is observed after vaccination, it is often unclear whether that sequence is coincidental or causal, and it can be difficult to determine the true nature of the relationship, if any, between the vaccination and the illness. Ironically, the successes of vaccine coverage in the United States have made it more difficult for the public to weigh the benefits and complications of vaccines because the now-controlled diseases and their often-serious risks are no longer familiar. However, because vaccines are so widely used-and because state laws require that children be vaccinated before entering daycare and school, in part to protect others-it is essential that safety concerns be fully and carefully studied.


Immunization Safety Review: Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine and Autism, the first of a series from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Immunization Safety Review Committee, presents an assessment of the evidence regarding a hypothesized causal association between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism, an assessment of the broader significance for society of the issues surrounding the MMR-autism hypothesis, and the committee's conclusions and recommendations based on those assessments.

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