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Michael Simpson

Lifetime lover of science, especially biomedical research. Spent years in academics, business development, research, and traveling the world shilling for Big Pharma. I love sports, mostly college basketball and football, hockey, and baseball. I enjoy great food and intelligent conversation. And a delicious morning coffee!

photo of toddler smiling

California study shows COVID vaccine effectiveness for children

A study in the JAMA Network Open by University of California researchers analyzing over 3.9 million pediatric COVID-19 cases shows significant benefits of vaccination. The California COVID vaccine program reduced infections by 26.3% among children aged 6 months to 15 years and lowered hospitalizations by 24.4% in younger age groups. Vaccinations averted around 376,085 cases and 273 hospitalizations, demonstrating a clear reduction in disease transmission and severity following immunization in children.

smiling baby lying on bed in room

Mothers protect their newborns with 3 doses of COVID vaccine

A study involving 220 pregnant women found that administering three doses of the mRNA COVID vaccine significantly enhanced protective antibodies in both mothers and newborns, compared to just two doses. The CDC supports COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy due to its efficacy and safety, underscoring the vaccine’s role in safeguarding maternal and fetal health without safety concerns, even in the third trimester.

person holding thermometer

H5N1 flu virus (bird flu) vaccine development and availability

The USA faces a growing bird flu outbreak caused by the H5N1 virus, with potential human infection risks but no confirmed human-to-human transmission yet. While the CDC monitors the situation, they’ve prepared by stockpiling H5N1 vaccines from manufacturers like Sanofi and GSK. However, the current vaccine reserves are limited and primarily for healthcare workers, with mass production waiting until a specific pandemic strain is identified. Furthermore, vaccine production could be challenged by reduced chicken egg availability due to the outbreak, prompting research into egg-less vaccine production methods.

cancer cures

Cancer cures and alternative medicine — not much here

The content discusses the ineffectiveness and dangers of alternative medicine in treating cancer, emphasizing that such “cures” are not backed by scientific evidence and often provide false hope. A significant study highlighted in JAMA Oncology demonstrated that patients opting for alternative treatments had poorer survival rates compared to those undergoing evidence-based cancer therapies. The post iterates that genuine cancer treatments are based on robust scientific research and are continually improving, contributing to the ongoing decline in cancer mortality rates. Alternative medicine is critiqued for exploiting patient fears and showing no real efficacy in curing cancer, emphasizing the importance of adhering to scientifically validated treatments.

mediterranean diet alzheimers

Mediterranean diet and risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease?

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are global concerns as the population ages. The Mediterranean diet, characterized by whole grains, olive oil, fish, and moderate wine, has potential protective effects. Observational studies suggest that adherence to this diet reduces the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Mechanisms include antioxidants, improved vascular health, neuroprotection, and blood sugar regulation.

covid vaccination hospitalization

COVID vaccination reduces the risk of hospitalization

A robust study published in Lancet Infectious Diseases dispels myths that COVID-19 isn’t dangerous and vaccines aren’t effective. It shows vaccinated individuals are 76.1% less likely to be hospitalized and demonstrates vaccines’ vital role in reducing hospitalization and death, particularly for at-risk populations.

hepatitis b virus

Hepatitis B virus causes cancer – yes, the vaccine can prevent it

A recent study has shown that the hepatitis B virus (HBV) is linked to various cancers, not just liver cancer. Despite evidence of its danger, anti-vaccine groups oppose the HBV vaccine, which is effective in preventing these cancers. The vaccine, particularly crucial for infants, offers over 20 years of protection and can prevent transmission from asymptomatic carriers. The study also stresses the importance of the vaccine as a cost-effective measure against high-risk, expensive treatments for HBV and associated cancers.

anti-vaccine claims

Refuting a list of anti-vaccine claims and tropes once again

Anti-vaccine claims continue to circulate despite clear refutation with evidence and legal facts. Vaccination programs offer a clear route to compensation for rare adverse events, and vaccines, including the hepatitis B vaccine, remain critical for preventing serious diseases. Ingredients in vaccines are present in safe, low doses, and the rigorous testing standards, such as double-blind placebo studies, ensure vaccine safety and effectiveness. Herd immunity protects against disease spread, which is wrongly attributed to the presence of unvaccinated individuals. Mandatory vaccinations in many countries confirm the global acceptance of vaccines’ health benefits, contrasting with unfounded anti-vaccine allegations.