Everyday Ethics: Dilemmas We Face When Parents Refuse Vaccines

November 14, 2019

You are seeing a 6-month old boy in your primary care practice. He is completely unimmunized, and parents are staunchly against DTaP. There is currently a pertussis epidemic with 150 cases in your state and more than 2,000 cases nationally. After explaining the risk and consequences of getting pertussis and encouraging immunization, the parents still refuse. What would you do?

Read More


Only 35 percent of Pregnant Women Receive Both Influenza and Tdap Vaccines

November 14, 2019

New data released from the CDC show not enough pregnant women are being vaccinated against influenza and pertussis during pregnancy. A survey of nearly 2,100 pregnant women ages 18 to 49 years taken during the 2018-19 influenza season found only 54 percent of pregnant women reported vaccination with influenza and only 55 percent reported vaccination with Tdap during pregnancy. Only 35 percent of women received both vaccines.

Read More

Increase in Pertussis Cases Observed in 2019

November 14, 2019

A total of 70 confirmed and probable pertussis infections have been investigated by Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) staff so far this year. Most have been unrelated cases. While only slightly fewer cases were reported during 2018 (65), almost two thirds of last year’s total were related to a large outbreak at a residential boarding school. In 2017, only 32 cases were reported. This year, one adult and two infants have been hospitalized. Vaccination status has varied, though as expected, many cases have occurred in children and adults who have been unimmunized, partially immunized or whose immunization status was unknown.

Read More

Hepatitis A Outbreak Continues Into Fall

November 14, 2019

Spokane County’s hepatitis A outbreak, which began in June 2019, continues to advance with new cases diagnosed every week. Primarily affecting people experiencing homelessness and/or substance abuse, 59 cases were reported as of November 17, 2019 with a 69 percent hospitalization rate and a median length of hospital stay of four days. Potentially  contributing to the high hospitalization rate, at least 35 percent of cases had  evidence of chronic viral hepatitis co-infection with hepatitis B and/or hepatitis C. At least 86 percent had known risk factors of homelessness and/or substance abuse.

Read More