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Focus on the Children: New study finds key to improving vaccine coverage


A new study, published earlier this month in Pediatricshas shown that, when trying to convince parents of young children, that emphasizing the benefits to their infant is more effective than pushing home the societal benefits of the MMR (measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine. With concerns in the US about MMR coverage after a spike in the number of cases in the last year, this research comes at a time when many see the public health authorities as losing the battle against the anti-vaccine movement.

The study found that parents who read text highlighting the benefits to their own children were significantly more likely to say they would have their child vaccinated. The study compared parents in this group against those who received just the basic CDC information about MMR, or those who received messages mentioning societal benefits.

For parents in our study, mentioning the direct positive impact for their own child trumped mention of societal benefits. To me, this indicates that health care providers and public health officials should be explicit in mentioning the benefits of MMR vaccination directly to the child”

--Dr. Hendrix, social psychologist and lead author

The paper was conducted by researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine, lead by social psychologist and pediatric health services researcher Kristin S. Hendrix, Ph.D. The experiment surveyed 802 parents across the US who had children under the age of 12 months. By focussing on the MMR vaccine, the researchers set themselves a tough task in the face of years of (unfounded) speculation about the safety of the vaccine after claims of a link between the vaccine and autism in the late 1990s.

So how does this research sit within the current climate? Well, earlier this year, another paper published in Pediatrics found that presenting people with strong pro-vaccine messages -accompanied by facts, figures, and stories – were actually more likely turn people sitting on the fence away from vaccination. This of course caused concern, for many national health campaigns relied on this sort of approach when attempting to increase vaccine coverage.

This new research no adds a further dimension to be considered when producing pro-vaccine materials: not only must we be subtle and not try to ‘scare’ people into getting vaccinated, we must make it personal, especially where children are concerned.

This chimes with claims that bold pro-vaccine campaigns may be drawing too much attention towards the anti-vaccine movement. As brought to my attention by a reader of this website, people are far more likely to go along with something -from paying taxes, to picking your kids up from school- if they perceive others as doing it. Constant media attention, and pro-vaccine campaigns which seem to imply that lots of people are not getting vaccinated (when they should be) give people the impression that lots of people in fact are not getting vaccinated. So an alternative pro-vaccine campaign is needed, and this new research points the way to words a personal approach that puts a positive angle on vaccination, rather than concentrating on the implications of non-vaccination.



Sergeant Adjuvants to Attend 2015 World Vaccine Congress

Sergeant Adjuvants today announced it will participate in the 2015 World Vaccine Congress, to take place April 7-9, 2015 in Washington, DC.

As in past years, Sergeant Adjuvants intends to gain additional knowledge at the Congress, specifically on the latest trends and technological advances in the adjuvants fields.  The team representing Sergeant Adjuvants will also share their own learnings since the last Congress, with an emphasis on effective strategies for expanding the role of and research around adjuvants in the broader vaccine marketplace.

Key topics highlighted at the Congress will include regulatory and fundings challenges, the big trends and the future of the vaccine sector, and the latest in ground-breaking science.  The Cancer Vaccines Conference will run concurrently to the World Vaccine Congress, with a focus on the latest developments in cancer vaccines and immunotherapy.    

The World Vaccine Congress anticipates attendees from around the world representing all the major pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors, as well as academia and government.



EM Sergeant's Adjuvant Business is Now "Sergeant Adjuvants"

EM Sergeant today announced that its adjuvant business will do business as Sergeant Adjuvants, effective May 1, 2013.  

“Adjuvants are a critical ingredient in human and animal vaccines and thus essential to health and wellbeing around the world,” said Scott Reisch, Vice President of EM Sergeant, the Clifton, NJ-based distributor of raw materials to the healthcare industry.  “This name change signals our determination to build on our position as a leading US provider of the highest quality adjuvants in the world.”   

EM Sergeant has been in business since 1867 and has provided the optimal adjuvant solution for over 50 years.

Sergeant Adjuvants is the commercial distributor for the USA of Brenntag Biosector adjuvants ALHYDROGEL®, ADJU-PHOS®, Calcium Phosphate, and QUIL-A®, widely considered the highest quality adjuvants available for human and animal applications. 

“We are proud to strengthen our long-term relationship with Brenntag Biosector,” said Al Reisch, President of EM Sergeant.  “Brenntag Biosector is the market leader with products that are in demand by the leading vaccine manufacturers and researchers around the world.” 

The name change coincides with the company’s launch of a new and comprehensive online platform for the adjuvant marketplace, including a redesigned website ( and social media platforms ( and  Each platform provides a place for people to learn more about adjuvant products as well as news and trends in the vaccine and adjuvant marketplace generally.


Sergeant Adjuvants Announces April 2013 Conference Schedule

Sergeant Adjuvants today released a list of industry-related conferences in which it will participate in April 2013 as part of its commitment to deepening its knowledge and sharing its insights around the adjuvant and vaccine industries.

Each conference will host a variety of participants including international researchers, healthcare professionals, manufacturers, and public health officials dedicated to a cross-discipline exchange of ideas and continued progress in the vaccine and adjuvant industries.

Topics of discussion will include recent industry advances and challenges, best practices for distribution, and opportunities to improve industry research and safety, among others. Sergeant Adjuvants looks forward to sharing knowledge on the adjuvant and vaccine industries and working together to identify solutions for partners and clients alike. 

The full list of April 2013 conferences in which Sergeant Adjuvants will participate includes:

  • World Vaccine Congress and Expo; April 16-18 in Washington, DC
  • International Alliance for Biological Standardization (IABS) International Workshop on Predictive Markers of Safety and Immunogenicity of Adjuvanted Vaccine; April 18-19 in Rockville, MD



Sergeant Adjuvants Announces Technical Manager

As part of its commitment to the highest quality vaccine components, Sergeant Adjuvants today announced that biochemist Ivaylo “Ivo” Balabanov will join the company as Technical Manager.  In this role, Ivo will help in the oversight of Sergeant Adjuvants' technical, scientific, research and quality management capabilities.  He will provide technical support across Sergeant Adjuvants’ product lines, including adjuvants, and serve as a resource for current and potential clients who seek to better understand these products and their applications.

“Our number one priority is the safety and efficacy of our products,” said Al Reisch, President of Sergeant Adjuvants. “We’re especially glad to have a person of Ivo’s expertise on our team to ensure and convey the quality of our product lines to clients.”

Prior to joining Sergeant Adjuvants, Ivo served in regulatory compliance at Lonza, Inc., the life sciences company.  He also served as a lab technician at Ramapo College where he received his degree in biochemistry.  Specific research interests have included solid phase synthesis of multi-pegulating reagents and the synthesis of aminobenzene derivatives.  He is a member of the American Chemical Society.