It’s the most basic of all things: buying medicine for the sickest babies.
But baby cold medicine is not always available in stores.
And if it is, it’s only for people with compromised immune systems.
That means some parents, especially those with weakened immune systems, are being forced to rely on expensive and potentially dangerous vaccines for their kids.
“We have an epidemic of babies who can’t take cold medications,” says Dr. Julie Krieger, an immunologist at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, who has studied the issue of immunization.
That’s a serious problem, Kriegers research has found.
“In general, the more babies get immunized, the higher their chance of contracting a cold,” she says.
“But when you look at the incidence, the rates of cold-related deaths, the incidence is increasing.”
But while the number of cold vaccinations is increasing, it is not increasing enough to save the lives of the people most at risk, including babies.
“There are babies born every hour with a cold.
If the CDC says it’s a good idea, we are going to take it.
But the data shows that there’s no evidence of a benefit,” says Krieges husband, Dr. Steven Kriege.
“And we’re talking about an increase of less than 10 percent a year.
It’s not enough.”
The CDC estimates that there are about 1.2 million infants and toddlers in the United States who are underweight and at high risk for a cold, and about 5 million who are at risk of developing a cold because they are at high-risk for certain conditions.
Those numbers don’t take into account the number who have a parent with compromised immunity.
“It’s a lot more complicated than just looking at the numbers, because the data is not yet collected and we’re not sure what that means,” Kriegers research has concluded.
“The vaccine itself, the vaccine is probably not the best option.”
But the CDC has not updated its website for several years, which means there is no clear and easy way to track when and how many babies are being vaccinated.
That makes it hard to see if any of the vaccine options that have been available in the last few years are actually making the most of their time and money.
“If you’re pregnant, you’re in the worst position you could be, and the vaccine seems to have a really good chance of getting you through the worst of it,” says pediatrician Dr. Elizabeth Covington, who co-founded the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Vaccines and Immunization.
“That’s not necessarily true in terms of how the vaccination works.”
So Kriegmans work is focusing on finding out if the vaccine actually does help protect against a cold in its infancy, in the months and years before it’s even given.
And she is working with other researchers, including the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to identify a vaccine that could help prevent a cold and its complications.
In a study released last year, Covingtons group found that a single dose of a vaccine called ROTA was about 98 percent effective against colds in babies and toddlers.
“This is a really compelling evidence-based vaccine, and I think it’s an important one to keep at the forefront,” she tells Shots.
But she adds that, while the research is promising, “I’m really worried about how it’s going to be received.
Because of the nature of the work we’re doing, I really think it will be very hard to get it into general use.”
In fact, she says, it will take several more years for the vaccine to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, which would make it difficult to find.
“I’ve never seen a vaccine come from this type of research in any other area,” says Covingons co-author, Drs.
Susan L. Golliver and Nancy M. McDaniel, both of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
“These vaccines are very powerful, and we need to be careful to get the right ones into the hands of the right people.”
What are the risks of this vaccine?
In a nutshell, the Rota vaccine is designed to block the coronavirus.
This is the virus that causes a variety of illnesses and is linked to a variety in the U.S. and around the world.
It is also a potential vaccine-preventable disease in some people, but it has never been proven to prevent a virus that is not already present in the body.
And unlike many vaccines, Rota is not effective against all coronaviruses, and there is evidence that it could cause serious side effects.
This means some people who have been vaccinated may be more susceptible to getting a cold or catching the virus.
The most common side effects of Rota are a fever and