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Why Some Vaccines May Require A Booster
Date:11/27/2009

cteria, and the new vaccine to prevent cervical cancer. "Booster shots are needed in these cases because the disease progression is too fast for the memory response to occur in time," said Dr. Pichichero.

The study offers several important findings. "Pediatricians and family doctors must begin to anticipate the need to provide booster vaccinations for several of the newer vaccines introduced in recent years," said Dr. Pichichero. "And, public health agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control, must begin to consider the cost of booster shots as they calculate the cost-benefit of vaccines. Up to now, cost calculations for the introduction and public payment of meningitis vaccines and the cervical cancer vaccine have not included the need (and cost) of periodic boosters, nor the consequences of missed boosters with disease development later in life."

While the article has a strong and clear scientific basis, Dr. Pichichero acknowledges that only continued monitoring will determine whether he is correct in his assessment of the need for booster shots for certain diseases. "We do not want to face a diphtheria epidemic in the U.S. as occurred in Russia a decade ago due to lack of boostering of adults," said Dr. Pichichero.

Dr. Pichichero was a member of the discovery team of the first bacterial spinal meningitis vaccine against Haemophilus influenzae type b, commonly called Hib; and participated in the foundational studies of the second spinal meningitis vaccine against pneumococci called Prevnar; and the third spinal meningitis vaccine against meningococcus called Menactra. He was an early champion for the introduction of safer whooping cough vaccines, called acellular vaccines. He has ongoing support from the National Institutes of Health to study the prospects of an ear, sinus and bronchitis vaccine. He has also received financial support for his research from vaccine companies including GlaxoSmithKline, MedImmune, Sanofipa
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