Last week I attended the Drug Information Association (DIA) conference in Chicago.
I've discovered DIA is unknown to a lot of people. They appear to focus more on professionals in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device fields. However, you can earn continuing education (CE) credits if you're a nurse or possibly in another medical profession.
Considering I'll be graduating from nursing school in December, I was very excited and curious to find out as much information as I could. I was only able to attend one day, but the conference took place all week long. There were countless amounts of informational sessions you could attend, each having several additional subtopics.
I can see how this would be beneficial for large corporations covering multiple areas at once, but for me, several of the ones I was interested in were taking place at the same time so I had to pick and choose.
The two speakers for the event were Dr. Sanjeev Miglani, MD and Dr. Walter Straus.
Both of them have an extensive background in the medical field.
Dr. Straus highlighted key points that the benefits of vaccines are more visible to medical professionals than the general public. For instance, children get vaccinated because their parents are told it's beneficial for them. However, the moment there is one incident of an adverse effect from the vaccination, is the moment all parents think that particular vaccination is no longer beneficial. Instead it becomes viewed as harmful.
The better and more widely used the vaccine is, the more the disease it's preventing fades from public view. This is turn helps decrease the anxiety of potential problems that could arise from vaccines.
There is a tremendous amount of post market safety that is constantly being researched. Vaccine trials are large and development takes place in high income countries. Certain vaccines are made for particular areas of the world, depending on different populations, genetics, etc.
The etiology behind vaccination failure can be broken into categories of:
- vaccine related with the host. Example - the host may have an immunodeficiency.
- vaccine related. Example - incomplete coverage of all strains of a particular disease
- failure to vaccinate. Example - shortage of vaccine or improper administration
If a product fails, a vaccination failure algorithm must be implemented.
In closing, both Doctors separately stated in their presentations a key point that I feel is quite true: vaccines are one of the greatest achievements in modern civilization.
These products are meant to be preventative, not therapeutic.
If you're interested in attending next year's event, tickets are now available for purchase.
I know I'm hoping to make it there again!
Some pictures and text were taken directly from DIA's website. Disclaimer: All views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the authors and/or contributors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any medical professional or agency in the U.S.