Liz Ditz

Diseases that the United States protects against by vaccination of children under 7 years old by vaccination, and the potential for those vaccines to cause disease in other vulnerable people:

List of vaccine preventable diseases, as of 2014
  • HepatitisA
  • HepatitisB
  • Rotavirus
  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Pertussis (Whooping Coughs)
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
  • Pneumococcal Disease
  • Poliovirus
  • Influenza (Flu)
  • Measles Mumps Rubella
  • Varicella (Chicken Pox)

Hepatitis A — There are two formulations, both using inactivated (killed) organisms. Secondary transmission of the vaccine virus is impossible as the vaccines do not contain live organisms.


Hepatitis B — Secondary transmission [from a recently vaccinated person to an unvaccinated prtdon] of the vaccine virus is not possible: “HBV infection cannot result from use of the recombinant vaccine, since no potentially infectious viral DNA or complete viral particles are produced in the recombinant system.”


Rotavirus — Yes, vaccine-strain virus has been found in stool of vaccinated infants. “Although rotavirus is shed in the feces of vaccinated infants transmission of vaccine virus has not been documented. Infants living in households with persons who have or are suspected of having an immunodeficiency disorder or impaired immune status can be vaccinated. ACIP believes that the indirect protection of the immunocompromised household member provided by vaccinating the infant in the household, and thereby preventing wild-type rotavirus disease, outweighs the small risk for transmitting vaccine virus to the immunocompromised household member.”


 Diphtheria —Secondary transmission from the vaccine is impossible, as it does not contain the bacillus Corynebacterium diphtheriae, but an inactivated toxin (toxoid) produced by the bacillus.

 Tetanus — Secondary transmission from the vaccine is impossible, as it does not contain the bacillus Clostridium tetani, but an inactivated toxin (toxoid) produced by the bacillus. Note: Persons who survive tetanus are not immune, because so little of the potent toxin is required to cause the disease.

 Pertussis — Secondary transmission of the disease is impossible, because it is an acellular vaccine, containing only fragments of the pertussis organism, and is therefore incapable of replicating.

 Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) — Secondary transmission of the disease is impossible, because the vaccine is made up of the exterior coating of the vaccine (polysaccharide) attached (onjugated) to a protein, to improve immune response.

Pneumococcal disease — Streptococcus pneumoniae (also called pneumococcus) is a bacterium. There are adult and pediatric versions of vaccines that prevent pneumoccocal disease; secondary transmission from all formulations are impossible as the vaccines do not contain the organism but subunits of the organism.


 Polio — Caused by one of three serotypes of poliovirus. In the United States, only inactivated (killed) poliovirus vaccine, covering all 3 serotypes, is available for routine pediatric vaccination. Secondary transmission is impossible as the vaccines do not contain live organisms. Secondary transmission from the oral polio vaccine (again, not used in the US), is possible.

 Influenza — The disease is caused by the influenza virus, which has 3 subtypes (A, B, and C). In the US, two types of vaccine are available, an inactivated (killed) polyvalent vaccine administered by injection, and a live attenuated vaccine administered by nasal spray. Secondary transmission from the injectable formulation is impossible, as the virus is dead. There has been one recorded case of secondary transmission of the live attenuated vaccine.

 Measles —The US vaccine uses the live, further attenuated Edmonston-Enders strain. Secondary transmission of the vaccine virus has never been documented.

 Mumps — The US vaccine uses the live, attenuated Jeryl Lynn strain. Secondary transmission of the vaccine virus has never been documented.

 Rubella — The US vaccine uses the live, attenuated RA 27/3 rubella strain. Secondary transmission by children of the vaccine virus has never been documented; it is possible that a lactating vaccinee could, very rarely, transmit the virus via breastmilk to a newborn infant.

 Varicella – For the pediatric vaccine formulation, the US uses the live attenuated Oka strain. “Available data suggest that transmission of varicella vaccine virus is a rare event. Instances of suspected secondary transmission of vaccine virus have been reported, but in few instances has the secondary clinical illness been shown to be caused by vaccine virus. Several cases of suspected secondary transmission have been determined to have been caused by wild varicella virus. In studies of household contacts, several instances of asymptomatic seroconversion have been observed. It appears that transmission occurs mainly, and perhaps only, when the vaccinee develops a rash. If a vaccinated child develops a rash, it is recommended that close contact with persons who do not have evidence of varicella immunity and who are at high risk of complications of varicella, such as immunocompromised persons, be avoided until the rash has resolved.”

 

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