Thursday, December 13, 2007

I've always wondered about the vaccines that we got when we were children and those given today. What are they infecting into us?

Read the following story decide for yourself.

About 1 million doses of two types of childhood vaccines are being voluntarily recalled by Merck & Co. because of possible microbial contamination, and will result in a serious vaccine shortage, health officials said yesterday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the company announced the recall late yesterday involving 11 lots of the PedvaxHIB vaccine and two lots of the COMVAX vaccine. Both provide protection against Hemophilus influenzae type B, a bacterium that can cause a serious form of pneumonia, and a condition called bacterial meningitis. Both vaccines are often popularly referred to as the Hib shot. All affected lots were manufactured after April.

Merck decided to recall the vaccines after tests at its Pennsylvania manufacturing plant revealed a malfunction in the sterilization process.

Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the CDC, described the Hib vaccine as vital to public health. Before development, there were an estimated 20,000 cases of Hib-related infections annually and 1,000 children died each year. "Now, there are fewer than 100 documented cases of Hib annually," Gerberding said.

Even though the bacterium's name sounds as if it is related to the flu, it is an entirely different organism and has no relationship to influenza, which is a respiratory illness triggered by a virus.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said children who already have received vaccinations from the recalled lots should be monitored for a few days for reactions such as "redness, rash or bumps." If there is no reaction, then the child "is out of the woods."

Schuchat added that 14 million doses of Hib vaccine are needed nationwide to meet recommended immunizations for infants and toddlers.

Until the company can return to production, the CDC will try to ease shortages by distributing some of the 750,000 doses of Hib vaccine it has stockpiled. The agency is working with Sanofi-Pasteur, the only other licensed manufacturer of Hib vaccine, to bolster supplies.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

5 Year-old Hunters Kills Huge Bear

Dewitt - An Arkansas County boy killed a black bear Sunday weighing more than 400 pounds.

(Tre Merritt, Five-year-old Hunter) "I was up in the stand and I seen the bear. It came from the thicket and it was beside the road and I shot it."

Tre Merritt's grandfather was in the stand with him at the time. He says Tre did it all by himself.

(Mike Merritt, Tre’s Grandfather) "He came in about 40 to 50 yards, and when he got in the open. I whistled at him and he stopped and I said, ‘Shoot Tre.’"

And that’s just what Tre did--he fired his youth rifle.

(Mike Merritt) "I said, ‘Tre, you missed the bear.’ He said, ‘Paw-paw I squeezed the trigger and I didn’t close my eyes. I killed him."’

The bear turned out to be 445 pounds--twelve-times the size of Tre. Mike Merritt said tears rolled down his cheeks when he found out his grandson killed the enormous bear.

(Mike Merritt) "His 10th great-grandfather was Davie Crockett. And Davie supposedly killed him a bear when he was three. And Tre is five and really killed a bear. I really doubt if Davie killed one when he was three."

Tre’s dad says he started teaching his son to shoot when he was just 2 ½ years old. Last year, Tre killed three deer.

The family plans to get a life-sized mount of the bear, but they’re not sure right now where they’ll put it.


Friday, December 7, 2007

Thoughtful Americans pause today — Pearl Harbor Day — not just to remember a landmark in world history but also to consider its meaning for us, now and in the future.

It was on Dec. 7, 1941, that Japanese naval aviators mounted a surprise attack on U.S. forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It was among the most successful, stunning military victories of all time.

Since then, with the words “never again” in many minds, Americans have used each Dec. 7 as a day of remembrance and as a reminder of the need for us to be prepared for similar assaults on our liberty.

The attack on Pearl Harbor was not the only time in our history that we as a nation have suffered from an unexpected assault. Sept. 11, 2001 still is fresh in many minds.

What stands out about the attack on Pearl Harbor is that, but for the fact that the U.S. aircraft carrier fleet happened to be out of port that day, the Japanese might have gained a far more decisive victory than they did.

Our unpreparedness very nearly cost us even more than the horrible toll paid by this nation in World War II.

We simply must not delude ourselves into believing that, without extreme vigilance, such an attack — or worse — cannot happen again. “Never again” needs to be part of our thinking now and in the future, not just a phrase from the history books.

Wheeing News Register