Vaccine – Calling the Shots (PBS Video)

Diseases that were largely eradicated in the United States a generation ago—whooping cough, measles, mumps—are returning, in part because nervous parents are skipping their children’s shots. NOVA (the highest rated science series on television and the most watched documentary series on public television) has posted a video on PBS called “Vaccines—Calling the Shots” which takes viewers around the world to track epidemics, explore the science behind vaccinations, hear from parents wrestling with vaccine-related questions, and shed light on the risks of opting out.

Video Details: The program examines the science behind vaccinations, the return of preventable diseases, and the risks of opting out.





Program Description

Congratulations to Dr. Simon Dobson for receiving a PHSA+ Award

new imageThe PHSA+ Awards program was created to recognize and celebrate the passion, dedication and invaluable contributions PHSA staff make every day to PHSA’s vision: Province-wide solutions. Better health.

This was the second cycle of the PHSA+ Awards – the recognition program was launched in the fall of 2012. Over the two month nomination period, PHSA received over 70 nominations from across PHSA – of which only two individuals and two teams were awarded the PHSA+ Award.

The VEC’s Dr. Simon Dobson received a PHSA+ award on June 4, 2014 at the  Leadership Town Hall, held at Child and Family Research Centre.

Dr. Dobson leads the B.C. site for the national QUEST HPV study which is a multi-year study reducing the number of doses of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines from three to two doses. The study is ensuring that two doses work as well as three doses of the HPV vaccine. Dr. Dobson also heads an immunization clinic for children that have had a previous reaction to a vaccine or have allergies that may require special immunization procedures.

Image credit: David Weir


Congratulations to Gordean Bjornson, Recipient of the Applegarth Staff Service Award!

G bjornson May 2014The Applegarth Staff Recognition Award was conceptualized by Dr. Derek Applegarth, a popular member of the Departments of Pediatrics and Pathology at BCCH, and currently Professor Emeritus. He proposed that deserving staff be recognized for excellence in personal achievements and outstanding contributions to the Faculty of Medicine and thus, the inception of the Applegarth Staff Recognition Awards. Three awards are granted annually: two in the Administrative category, and one in the Technical/Research category.

Gordean Bjornson, Research Administrator at the Vaccine Evaluation Center (VEC), is the 2014 recipient of the U.B.C Faculty of Medicine, Applegarth Staff Service Award in the Administration category. Gordean come to work for Dr. David Scheifele (now, Director of the VEC) in 1983. In 1988, she worked with Drs. Scheifele and Tingle on the establishment of the VEC, the first such academic entity in Canada. The VEC is recognized as a leading vaccine research center in the country and its model of operation has been replicated both in Canada and internationally.   Since 2000, Gordean has also been the Administrator for the Canadian Association for Immunization Research and Evaluation (CAIRE) whose office is located at the VEC.   Working with other vaccinologists in Canada,  CAIRE facilitates research collaboration and networking among Canada’s vaccinologists.   In her role with CAIRE she has helped to conceptualize and organize numerous research-oriented workshops, consultations with vaccine manufacturers and educational initiatives.

Gordean has represented both the VEC and CAIRE on the planning committees for the past three Canadian Immunization Conferences and two workshops to identify research priorities for new vaccines in Canada.

Gordean has co-authored 29 peer-reviewed publications and as first author in five.

Congratulations, Gordean!

VEC Newsletter & Study Alerts

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Free APP to Keep Track of Immunization Records

Visit Immunize Canada about the ImmunizeCA app
This free APP developed by Immunize Canada is designed for all Canadians to help keep track of personal and family vaccine records. The APP has the ability to:

  • Easily record and store vaccine information
  • Access vaccination schedules
  • Manage vaccination appointments for the entire family
  • Access information about recommended and routine vaccinations
  • Receive alerts about disease outbreaks


Click on the image (to the left) to learn how to download the APP


VEC goes to South Africa!

2014.03.25 Gareth and Arlene (2)VEC’s Phd/MD student, Gareth Mercer, and clinical trial unit manager, Arlene Kallos, have landed in Cape Town, South Africa this week to visit the research centre at Tygerberg Hospital. They will be assisting the Cape Town team in finalizing the database entries (first set of study analyses) of the Mother Infant Health Study (MIHS).

The MIHS is following the health of a group of HIV-uninfected children born to HIV-infected mothers and a comparison group of children born to HIV-uninfected mothers in Cape Town, South Africa. The primary goal is to determine whether, during infancy, HIV-exposed, uninfected children are more likely to be hospitalized for infection than HIV-unexposed children. The MIHS is a collaboration between researchers at CFRI (lead by Dr. David Speert) and at Tygerberg Hospital and Stellenbosch University in Cape Town (led by Drs. Monika Esser and Mark Cotton). It is primarily funded by a Major Thematic Grant from The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies.



Dr. Scheifele answers your questions about vaccines (Videos)

scheifele 5CTV News interviewed Dr. David Scheifele, who runs the Vaccine Evaluation Center here at B.C. Children’s Hospital, about current hot topics regarding vaccines. “It’s challenging. It’s frustrating. We have to continually work at educating the public as to the risks that these diseases continue to pose, and the benefits of getting the vaccine,” said Dr. David Scheifele, The video series are posted below. Read the full CTV News article here.

Dr. Scheifele answers your questions about vaccines in these short video clips:

Can I rely on “natural immunity” to protect my child?  | CTV Vancouver News

Do vaccines cause autism?  | CTV Vancouver News

How do we know vaccines are safe?  | CTV Vancouver News

What are the odds of getting sick from the measles vaccine?  | CTV Vancouver News

Are vaccine industry profits driving widespread vaccination?  | CTV Vancouver News

B.C. vaccination rates drop amid ‘misinformation’ campaign | CTV Vancouver News