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Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
May 2019

A Blood Test or a Vaccine?


Vaccine Education Center Parents PACK newsletter May 2019Sometimes, people contact us to ask about whether it would be better to get a blood test to see if a vaccine is necessary. The thought being that by getting one’s blood tested, a person may not need to get as many doses of a vaccine. 

Recently, some people have even proposed creating laws that would require the opportunity for titer testing before receiving a vaccine. For example, such a bill has been proposed in Arizona in 2019. 

Watch a new video and learn about some of the considerations and limitations related to blood tests before vaccination.

News & Notes


Do you have a student in grades 6 to 12?

The Vaccine Makers Project of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (VEC) is holding an essay contest for students in grades 6 to 12 to celebrate the centennial of the birth of Maurice R. Hilleman, one of the world’s most accomplished vaccine scientists. The national contest will award three students with the best 500- to 600-word essays that answer the question, “How would the world be different if Dr. Hilleman had not lived the life he did?” 

In addition to a $1,000 cash award, each student winner will receive a trip to Philadelphia with a parent this fall. Winners and their parents will tour labs at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), have breakfast with a scientist, dinner with the film team that created Hilleman: A Perilous Quest to Save the World’s Children, and attend an event remembering Dr. Hilleman during which winners will present their essays.

Find out more or share the contest flyer today. Entries are due by June 7, 2019.

Did you know . . . ?

. . . that “Every spoonful of seawater is filled with millions of viruses?” 

Scientists recently published their findings of a survey of microbes in the world’s oceans. They identified more than 200,000 different species of viruses! Find out more in this article by Erin Garcia de Jesus, published by Nature News on April 25, 2019.

Solid organ transplants and vaccines

The VEC recently collaborated with experts from teams in the Divisions of Infectious Diseases and Organ Transplantation at CHOP to create a new Q&A sheet that answers common questions about vaccines in people who have received solid organ transplants. 

Check out the sheet or share it with a friend.

Just the Vax Trivia Corner

What vaccine-preventable diseases are spread through tiny droplets that hang in the air?

  1. Hepatitis B and HPV
  2. Chickenpox and shingles
  3. Measles and chickenpox
  4. Smallpox and pertussis
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