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Our response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Vaccine Project

 

 
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Program Description

The development and acceptance of vaccines are key to combating existing and emerging infectious diseases. As the world becomes more interconnected, the future could bring the spread of more novel viruses, causing outbreaks and — potentially — pandemics. As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, preventing human loss from future novel viruses will require that nations have processes in place to expedite the development and dissemination of new vaccines. The Vaccine Project at the Baker Institute’s Center for Health and Biosciences examines how policies impact vaccine development, distribution and uptake. The project addresses areas including vaccine hesitancy and misinformation, state and national policies impacting immunization rates, and policies that drive vaccine development innovation.

 

Books

 

Research

     

    Related Papers

       

      Events 

        • Read: Comparing the 3 available COVID-19 vaccines
          Comparing the 3 available COVID-19 vaccines

          Kirstin R.W. Matthews and Rekha Lakshmanan

          March 01, 2021

          Health policy experts Kirstin Matthews and Rekha Lakshmanan compare the three COVID-19 vaccines now available from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson and, in a separate infographic, provide an overview of Operation Warp Speed.

        • Read: Vaccine Legislation in Texas
          Vaccine Legislation in Texas

          Kirstin R.W. Matthews and Rekha Lakshmanan

          November 30, 2020

          Over the past decade, anti-vaccine rhetoric and activity have increased in the United States, resulting in decreased vaccination rates and more frequent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. In this study, researchers use Texas as a case study to determine if vaccine-related legislation became a partisan issue between 2009 and 2019.

        • Read: Vaccine myths and challenges
          Vaccine myths and challenges

          Kirstin R.W. Matthews

          October 23, 2018

          By Kirstin R.W. Matthews and Melody T. Tan Vaccines and vaccine exemptions are increasingly contentious issues in Texas. In this issue brief, the authors dispel five common misconceptions about vaccines that were presented during public hearings at the Texas House of Representatives in 2017.

        • Read: Medical Freedom, Privacy, and Fear of Discrimination: The 2017 Texas Legislative Session Anti-vaccine Arguments
          Medical Freedom, Privacy, and Fear of Discrimination: The 2017 Texas Legislative Session Anti-vaccine Arguments

          Kirstin R.W. Matthews

          October 22, 2018

          In this brief, the authors analyze transcripts from public hearrings at the Texas legislature to identify key arguments against school-mandated vaccinations. To ensure public health, policymakers and other stakeholders should be well informed about vaccines, the impact of vaccine-preventable disease, and the risks associated with putting absolute individual rights above public health concerns, they conclude.

        • Read: Neglected Diseases: policy priorities
          Neglected Diseases: policy priorities

          Ana S. Iltis and Kirstin R.W. Matthews

          May 18, 2017

          The authors explore the different scientific values and priorities that should be considered in setting the policy agenda for effectively combating neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and argue that researchers and physicians should participate in this process.

        • Read: The HPV vaccine saves lives
          The HPV vaccine saves lives

          Kirstin R.W. Matthews and Monica M. Matsumoto

          November 17, 2016

          The human papillomavirus (HPV) affects over 80 million Americans, causing more than 40,000 cases of HPV-associated cancers in the U.S. In 2006, the FDA licensed the first HPV vaccine, which could help save thousands of lives; no cure for HPV currently exists. However, the political controversy raised by the vaccine has limited its acceptance and use. Such resistance potentially jeopardizes an opportunity to reduce cancer rates in Texas and the broader United States.

        • Read: The Effect of Nonmedical Exemptions from School-Entry Vaccinations in Texas
          The Effect of Nonmedical Exemptions from School-Entry Vaccinations in Texas

          Kirstin R.W. Matthews

          October 13, 2016

          This policy brief analyzes the impact of the increasing number of parents who opt their children out of school-entry vaccinations for nonmedical reasons in Texas and argues that the state should make obtaining nonmedical exemptions more rigorous in order to reduce the public health risks and costs associated with vaccine-preventable diseases.

        • Read: Zika virus in the U.S. and Mexico
          Zika virus in the U.S. and Mexico

          Jennifer R. Herricks and Kirstin R.W. Matthews

          March 20, 2016

          This issue brief argues that continued investments in global health and the study of emerging pathogens could yield better tools to fight infectious diseases like the Zika virus long before they become a problem in the developed world.

        • Read: Ethical considerations for the creation of a national NTD Policy
          Ethical considerations for the creation of a national NTD Policy

          Kirstin R.W. Matthews and Ana S. Iltis

          February 29, 2016

          Baker Institute Policy Report #64 highlights some of the central ethical issues pertaining to NTD policy development and argues that ethical considerations should be included in the policy development process.

        • Read: Addressing NTDs in the U.S. & Mexico
          Addressing NTDs in the U.S. & Mexico

          Jennifer R. Herricks, Kirstin R.W. Matthews and Peter J. Hotez

          February 15, 2016

          Baker Institute Policy Report #65 summarizes the key findings of the Baker Institute conference "The United States and Mexico: Addressing a Shared Legacy of Neglected Tropical Diseases and Poverty."

        • Read: Mosquito-Transmitted Epidemics in the United States and Mexico
          Mosquito-Transmitted Epidemics in the United States and Mexico

          Kirstin R.W. Matthews and Jennifer R. Herricks

          December 16, 2015

          This policy brief urges collaboration between the United States and Mexico to address widespread epidemics of mosquito-transmitted diseases like West Nile, dengue and chikungunya in both countries. Such policy development should focus on vector control programs, public awareness and the development of vaccines to curb the spread of these diseases.

        • Read: Fighting Chagas in the U.S. and Mexico
          Fighting Chagas in the U.S. and Mexico

          Kirstin R.W. Matthews and Jennifer R. Herricks

          October 30, 2015

          Officials in the U.S. and Mexico should coordinate a response to the spread of Chagas disease in their countries. Chagas is the third most common parasitic infection in the world.

        • Read: Anti-science kills: From Soviet embrace of pseudoscience to accelerated attacks on U.S. biomedicine
          Anti-science kills: From Soviet embrace of pseudoscience to accelerated attacks on U.S. biomedicine

          Peter J. Hotez

          February 03, 2021

          Vaccines and other biomedical advances will not be sufficient to halt COVID-19, unless we simultaneously counter anti-science aggression, writes Peter Hotez, fellow in disease and poverty, in a new article for PLOS Biology.

        • Read: COVID Mutations Spell Catastrophe for Black America
          COVID Mutations Spell Catastrophe for Black America

          Peter J. Hotez

          February 03, 2021

          The new COVID-19 variants may hit Black communities the hardest — unless we devise a new plan to prevent a potentially catastrophic surge in deaths and protracted illnesses, writes Peter Hotez, fellow in disease and poverty, in an op-ed for the Daily Beast (subscription required).

        • Read: Biden’s new vaccine goal is more ambitious. It still isn’t enough.
          Biden’s new vaccine goal is more ambitious. It still isn’t enough.

          Peter J. Hotez

          January 29, 2021

          We are in a race against the rise of new COVID-19 variants and must grow our national vaccination capacity by increasing immunization sites and our vaccine supply, writes Peter Hotez, fellow in disease and poverty, in an op-ed for the Washington Post.

        • Read: It’s not too late to fix the vaccine rollout
          It’s not too late to fix the vaccine rollout

          Peter J. Hotez

          January 11, 2021

          The United States must vaccinate an estimated three-fourths of Americans to stop the spread of COVID-19, writes Peter Hotez, fellow in disease and poverty. Although the vaccine rollout is currently behind schedule in the U.S., it isn’t too late to get it back on track, Hotez says, as long as vaccine delivery becomes the nation's top priority. The Washington Post: http://wapo.st/3q9d3zv

        • Read: A Reset on U.S. Covid–19 Policy
          A Reset on U.S. Covid–19 Policy

          Peter J. Hotez

          October 08, 2020

          It is never too late to contain Covid-19, and with resolve and commitment, it is possible for the president to charge his task force with halting its transmission, writes Peter Hotez, fellow in disease and poverty, in an op-ed for Scientific American.

        • Read: TX Lawmakers must reinvest in vaccinations
          TX Lawmakers must reinvest in vaccinations

          Rekha Lakshmanan

          May 15, 2020

          During and after the Covid-19 pandemic, Texas lawmakers should implement specific policies to reduce death, mitigate catastrophic economic collapse, and protect hospitals’ capacity to care for and treat patients, write the authors in a Houston Chronicle op-ed: https://bit.ly/3fQGYrR

        • Read: Coronavirus: Insights from the Baker Institute
          Coronavirus: Insights from the Baker Institute

          Since the first reports of the coronavirus surfaced in China two months ago, Baker Institute experts have provided a range of perspectives on the impact of a growing viral outbreak. Follow the links below for their most recent commentaries, and check back for regular updates as the situation develops in the U.S. and abroad.

        • Read: Here are your odds without a vaccine
          Here are your odds without a vaccine

          Peter J. Hotez

          January 09, 2020

          Fellow Peter Hotez compares the dangerous effects of three diseases with the minimal side effects of their corresponding vaccines.

        • Read: Improving the Flu Vaccine
          Improving the Flu Vaccine

          Kirstin R.W. Matthews

          October 29, 2018

          By Michael W. Deem, Melia E. Bonomo and Kirstin R.W. Matthews Due to the rapidly mutating influenza virus, a new vaccine is usually developed for each flu season. In this policy brief, the authors discuss the current method used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop the flu vaccine and propose the use of mathematical modeling to improve the vaccine's effectiveness.

        • Read: Texas Should Require HPV Vaccine
          Texas Should Require HPV Vaccine

          Hagop M. Kantarjian, M.D. and Kirstin R.W. Matthews

          August 12, 2014

          "More than 79 million Americans are infected by the human papillomavirus, or HPV, a sexually transmitted virus known to cause cancer. Since 2011, the state of Texas has had no HPV vaccination policy. Texas does not have school mandates or education policies to encourage vaccination of adolescents to protect them from the virus. These deficits put children at risk for becoming infected with the disease as well as potentially developing cancer later in life. Now is the time for Texas to be responsible and to require the HPV vaccine for all children in early adolescence, and physicians in the state should lead this charge."

        • Read: Why the MERS virus matters
          Why the MERS virus matters

          Kirstin R.W. Matthews and Monica M. Matsumoto

          July 25, 2014

          A deadly virus named MERS has spread from Saudi Arabia to over a dozen countries since 2012. While the chances for widespread infection are remote due to the virus's low human-to-human transmission rate, all governments should nevertheless support academic freedom and scientific collaboration to keep local outbreaks of viruses like MERS from becoming serious pandemics.