Science app brings clarity on vaccination and climate

March 13, 2014 by Anke Van Eekelen
The app highlights the prospect of new vaccines being used for treatment of non-infectious conditions, like autoimmune disorders, allergies and cancer. Credit: Gates Foundation

The answers to six pivotal questions on immunisation and vaccines have been addressed by a panel of 12 Australian experts in the field.

The Australian Academy of Science (AAS) recently released a free 'Science Q&A' app for tablets that contains the latest science of immunisation.

It aims to guide the public through the current science of immunisation and to help clarify uncertainties and misconceptions surrounding the issue.

In answering one pivotal question on ; 'what does the future hold for vaccines?' the app highlights the prospect of new vaccines being used for treatment of non-infectious conditions, like autoimmune disorders, allergies and cancer.

Among the expert panel was safety and allergy expert Professor Patrick Holt, deputy director and head of the Division of Cell Biology at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Perth.

"In the basic science area of vaccinology, people like us continuously research the issues that underpin the question of [vaccine] safety versus efficacy," he says.

He says there is great concern right across the science community about the growing number of parents anxious to use vaccines.

He fears the message – that paediatric vaccines represent one of the biggest contributions of medicine to humanity – is getting lost in the background.

Growing pockets of communities where parents choose not to vaccinate their children is seeing the re-occurrence of diseases like diphtheria and whooping cough, due to a loss in herd immunity.

Reduced childhood vaccination coverage not only enhances the vulnerability of children who for health reasons cannot be vaccinated but Prof Holt says, also threatens the elderly via interaction with their grandchildren.

"As we age, the immune system winds down and we approach a level of susceptibility to these diseases as we had in infancy," Prof Holt says.

A freely available online booklet presents the same information as the app to assist as many Australians as possible in making informed decisions.

The latest information about climate science can also be found on the app, this section stemming from a previous publication by the AAS called "Science on Climate Change: Questions & Answers."

The Australian Academy of Science's Q&A app, was officially released in December 2013. Get the free here.

Explore further: Most parents believe vaccines are safe for children, research finds

Related Stories

Most parents believe vaccines are safe for children, research finds

February 27, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—New research from the University of Adelaide shows that 95% of parents believe vaccines are safe for their children despite the spread of misinformation about vaccine safety.

Vaccines prevent millions of infections, save billions in costs: CDC

March 3, 2014
(HealthDay)—Childhood vaccines have the potential to prevent 42,000 early deaths and 20 million cases of disease among Americans born in a given year, according to a new analysis.

MMR vaccination campaign messages can 'backfire', research shows

March 3, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—Messages designed to encourage parents to vaccinate their children against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) can actually have the opposite effect, new research has revealed. Recent outbreaks of measles ...

50 percent of Australians who oppose vaccination get their information from the Internet

May 23, 2013
To coincide with the broadcast of Jabbed: Love, Fear and Vaccines (SBS ONE, Sunday 26 May at 8.30pm) the first ever national survey on Australian attitudes to vaccination reveals surprising statistics including half of Australians ...

New global surveillance tool detectsmonitors public concerns about vaccines in real time

May 12, 2013
Scientists have developed a global media surveillance system that enables them to look for, and systematically monitor, up-to-the-minute public concerns and rumors about vaccines originating from 144 countries.

Australian study: Rotavirus vaccine increases the risk of intussusception, but benefits of vaccine outweigh risks

October 2, 2013
Both of the currently available rotavirus vaccines in Australia are associated with a small increase in the risk of intussusception in young infants, according to new research by the Institute and the National Centre for ...

Recommended for you

Sugar not so sweet for mental health

July 27, 2017
Sugar may be bad not only for your teeth and your waistline, but also your mental health, claimed a study Thursday that was met with scepticism by other experts.

Could insufficient sleep be adding centimeters to your waistline?

July 27, 2017
Adults in the UK who have poor sleep patterns are more likely to be overweight and obese and have poorer metabolic health, according to a new study.

Vitamin E-deficient embryos are cognitively impaired even after diet improves

July 27, 2017
Zebrafish deficient in vitamin E produce offspring beset by behavioral impairment and metabolic problems, new research at Oregon State University shows.

The role of dosage in assessing risk of hormone therapy for menopause

July 27, 2017
When it comes to assessing the risk of estrogen therapy for menopause, how the therapy is delivered—taking a pill versus wearing a patch on one's skin—doesn't affect risk or benefit, researchers at UCLA and elsewhere ...

Blowing smoke? E-cigarettes might help smokers quit

July 26, 2017
People who used e-cigarettes were more likely to kick the habit than those who didn't, a new study found.

Brain disease seen in most football players in large report

July 25, 2017
Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.