Monday, July 15, 2013

The Importance of Vaccine Research

According to the WHO, immunization currently averts an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year in all age groups from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), and measles. Vaccines have done more than any other class of drugs to improve global medical health. In developed nations, and now in many underdeveloped parts of the world, the majorities of citizens are aware of, and participate in, childhood immunizations that prevent these diseases. And everyone knows when its flu shot “season” thanks to employer-sponsored programs and public health awareness campaigns. However, fewer people understand the importance of vaccines and vaccine research for other, less common diseases in adolescent, teen, and adult populations.

PMG Research conducts several vaccine studies every year because approval of new vaccines can only happen through clinical trials and the willingness of people to participate. Right now, PMG is seeking volunteers for research studies of a smallpox vaccine and a meningitis Type B vaccine. We invite you to visit our website to learn more about the specifics of each study, but here are a few FAQs for you to consider:

  • I don’t want to risk getting these diseases - You are not at risk of contracting smallpox or meningitis by participating in these trials. In addition, we are not going to “expose” participants to these diseases to see if the vaccine works. Instead, we take blood samples to ensure your body is building the proper immunity.
  • I think my teenager already had a meningitis vaccine - Meningitis is a serious illness that can cause the tissues surrounding the brain & spinal cord to swell and become inflamed. There are many different types of meningitis, and young adults may have already received a vaccine to prevent some types of the disease. However, there is currently there is no vaccine approved to prevent meningitis Type B, which accounts for one-third of meningitis cases in the U.S.
  • A smallpox vaccine? Why? - Despite the fact that the World Health Organization declared successful global eradication of smallpox in 1980, the threat of bioterrorism remains, especially after the events of September 11, 2001 and the ensuing anthrax scare. Because mass vaccinations for smallpox ended over 30 years ago, it is estimated that the majority of the world population has no existing immunity to smallpox. Rest assured: the U.S. government has enough vaccine to vaccinate every person in the United States in the event of a smallpox emergency; however, many nations do not have the necessary stockpiles. Therefore, we must continue to research and develop safe and effective vaccines – and those with fewer side effects - to protect the public against smallpox.
Ensuring immunization all over the world is a cause that is very near to the heart of PMG Research. That is why we participate in the Greater Gift Initiative (GGI). Greater Gift Initiative gifts one vaccine to one child every time one clinical trial volunteer makes the important decision to volunteer for a clinical trial. The GGI raises public awareness of the benefits of participating in clinical research by connecting clinical trial participation to the greater good of helping others in a more immediate way. What a perfect team!

2 comments :

  1. Hopefully, you have shared this as many people as possible! I am always pretty astonished when I read about some people's views on vaccines and vaccine research. Now don't get me wrong, because I do believe that if you don't want to get vaccinated, then you shouldn't have to. However, there is no denying the importance that vaccines play in preventing many deaths and illnesses. One such vaccine that I am very impressed with is the HPV vaccine that was developed not that long ago. Apparently, the incidence of this cancer-causing virus in girls has been reduced by as much as 56 percent since it was introduced. That is really incredible!

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  2. Stephen, thanks so much for your reply, and for reading our blog. We agree, vaccines play an incredibly important role in public health.

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