"To obtain good, respectable barbecue, you need to feel like you are at risk for tetanus just by walking in the door." - my husband (emergency physician, dad, invenomations expert, all around good guy, and devotee of good barbecue) What is tetanus, exactly? Those of you who enjoy historical literature probably have at least some... Continue Reading →


This is by far my favorite childhood vaccine for the simple reason that it comes in the form of a yummy syrup that babies can swallow and doesn’t involve mean pokey needles. Also one of its formulators is the great Paul Offit and I think he’s pretty rad so yay rota vaccine! What’s rotavirus? In... Continue Reading →

Streptococcus Pneumoniae

As its name would imply, streptococcus pneumoniae causes pneumonia, typically as a secondary complication of a viral infection like influenza or measles. However, this is no one-trick pony. Pnemococcus can also cause meningitis, sepsis, and less serious infections like sinusitis and otitis media (the common childhood ear infection). World-wide, it is responsible for more serious... Continue Reading →

Pertussis (whooping cough)

This disease (and its vaccine) have gotten a lot of press lately and it's an important conversation to have. The fact is it's tough to vaccinate for this one. Contrary to common belief, even having the disease doesn't confer lifelong immunity and the vaccine certainly does not. The older whole cell formulation of the vaccine... Continue Reading →

MMR – Basics

Three diseases, one vaccine, it's 3 posts in one! You guys are gonna get so sick of me. Measles Measles is a virus that attacks your body via the respiratory system. After an incubation period of 10-14 days, the disease begins with fever, cough, nasal congestion, sore throat and pink eye, then comes the rash –... Continue Reading →

Meningococcal meningitis

We’ve already talked a little bit about meningitis, which technically means inflammation of the tissues covering the brain and spinal cord. Not ALL meningitis is caused by infection, but most is. You may know someone who has had viral meningitis, which is miserable but very very rarely dangerous. Bacterial meningitis, on the other hand, is... Continue Reading →

Hepatitis B

This is the first vaccine your baby receives. We give this one in the first 24 hours of life and frankly, a good number of people are confused about this. One popular blogger out there observed rather snarkily, "Hepatitis B is, in fact, primarily a sexually transmitted disease. In most cases, you contract it by... Continue Reading →

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a viral illness that attacks the liver. Unlike hepatitis B and C, it is not transmitted via sex, drugs, and rock and roll. This one is fecal-oral spread. That’s right – you get this from eating someone else’s poop, which is easier than you think. Typically we see outbreaks of HepA from... Continue Reading →

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