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Shift on vaccines: First very slowly, then all at once

It's been a very eventful few weeks when it comes to the conversation on vaccines. California enacted one of the nation's toughest vaccination laws, and a new national survey out this week suggests the past year's measles and pertussis outbreaks have changed many parents' attitudes towards vaccines.

Parents who refuse vaccines do so from a position of privilege

The privilege that has allowed parents to refuse immunizations for their kids stems not from economic or educational status — it springs from the privilege of not having seen the horrific diseases that ravaged U.S. children just two generations ago, and continue to do so worldwide.

How I reported a page-one story on a notoriously discredited anti-vaxxer

SF Chronicle health reporter Erin Allday really didn't want to cover an appearance by the discredited scientist Andrew Wakefield, but her editors sent her anyway. Here she shares how she approached the assignment, dodged the topic's potential pitfalls, and ended up with a well-received A1 story.

Can we nudge our way to higher vaccination rates?

A leading researcher on the ways in which doctors talk to parents about vaccines has a new suggestion for how we might boost immunization rates. Drawing on the theory of nudges, Dr. Douglas Opel suggests parents should have to "opt-out" of vaccinating their kids rather than "opt-in."

Measles mania puts spotlight on vaccine exemptions. And Mississippi?

One of the silver linings of the ongoing measles outbreak has been the attention it's placed on the controversial practice of vaccine exemptions. Smart, surprising coverage of Mississippi's tough policy on these exemptions shows why they matter, and how states differ.

Review finds little evidence for childhood vaccine fears

A new review published this week marshals further evidence that childhood vaccines are not associated with autism or leukemia. Meanwhile, pertussis and measles outbreaks have been on the rise, partly owing to parents choosing to not have their kids vaccinated.

Once ‘Eliminated’ in U.S., Measles Makes a Comeback

While the CDC declared measles 'eliminated' in 2000, California is seeing an unusually high number of measles infections so far this year. And of the state’s 56 reported cases to date, one county has more than a third of them.

Avoidance of Vaccination leads to life long Disability

Raj Kumari lost vision in her right eye due to measles. She was never vaccinated for the disease.

Global Measles Cases Down But Not Out

A safe shingles vaccine, irrational hospital charges, insurance attempts to circumvent court ruling, a rapidly dwindingling Medicare fund and more from our Daily Briefing.

Report: Kids' Medication Poisonings Rise Sharply

Preventable child poisonings on the rise, a Republican bid to revamp Medicare and Medicaid, new hope for easing altitude sickness and more from our Daily Briefing.



We've opened recruitment for our all-expenses-paid 2016 California Health Journalism Fellowship, to be held in Los Angeles March 6-10, 2016. Apply now for a $1,000 reporting grant and five days of information-packed seminars, workshops and field trips on California's health care challenges. Click here for details.

We’ve grown considerably since we began in 2004 at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism, and we’re thrilled to announce we now have a new name and new look for our website, formerly known as Reporting on Health.


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