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Health Affairs. 2007 Mar-Apr; 26(2):345-354.A number of important health policy issues, such as the allocation of flu vaccines during a pandemic, require society to determine priorities across different age groups. Cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) and related methods of economic evaluation are often useful for determining optimal resource allocations. Using the examples of recently evaluated vaccine interventions, we show that current methods of CEA are likely to undervalue health interventions for young people, relative to societal preferences inferred from research on age preferences and the value of health over time. These findings demonstrate important considerations regarding how society distributes health resources across age groups. (author's)
Nursing for Women's Health. 2007; 11(1):83-87.In June 2006, the approval and recommendation of a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that can prevent most cervical cancers piqued interest, generated much media attention and raised questions. As a result, many young women, parents and others want to know more about this vaccine. This article will help nurses understand and communicate about issues surrounding the vaccine. HPVs are a family of more than 100 virus types that cause such problems as common warts, plantar warts, skin cancers, anal and genital warts, recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (a rare benign infection of type HPV 6 or 11 that passes from mothers to infants during childbirth), head and neck cancers, genital cancers (vagina, vulva, penile) and cervical cancer. Approximately 40 types of HPV infect the mucosal epithelium, whereas 60 types are cutaneous. More than half of sexually active women and men will be infected with one or more types of HPV in their lifetime, and some reports indicate that 80 percent of women will have anHPV infection by 50 years of age. Young women and men between 15 and 24 years of age account for half of the infections. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States. It's estimated that 20 million people are currently infected and 6.2 million will be newly infected each year. (excerpt)
EPI NEWSLETTER. 1998 Dec; 20(6):5.Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, President of the Morehouse School of Medicine in Georgia and former Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, currently co-chairs the newly-created Vaccine Initiative sponsored by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society to foster a positive and informed public dialogue on immunization. Considerable progress has been made through vaccination in preventing and controlling infectious diseases, rendering vaccine-preventable diseases to an all-time low level in the US and in many other areas of the world. There remains, however, a long way to go before all vaccine-preventable diseases will be eliminated. Efforts are needed to break down the barriers which prevent access to immunization, including maintaining and strengthening the public's trust in vaccines and immunization programs. Reports in the lay press which question the safety of routine immunization simply scare parents with unsupported accounts of the dangers of vaccines and impede the overall immunization effort. Efforts need to be improved to communicate what is known about the value of vaccines to both individuals and communities.