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Paul A. Offit, MD, is a pediatrician specializing in infectious disease medicine, an internationally known expert on vaccines, immunology, and virology, the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Offit has been a member of the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Dr. Offit has published more than 120 papers in medical and scientific journals in the areas of rotavirus-specific immune responses and vaccine safety and is the co-inventor of a rotavirus vaccine recently recommended for universal use in infants by the CDC. Offit is the co-author of three books, entitled Vaccines: What You Should Know (2003), Breaking the Antibiotic Habit (1999), The Cutter Incident: How America’s First Polio Vaccine Led to Today’s Growing Vaccine Crisis (2005), and Vaccinated: One Man's Quest to Defeat the World's Deadliest Diseases (2007).
Additional recommended knowledge
Offit earned his bachelor's degree from Tufts University and his Medical Doctor credentials from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
Rotavirus and the CDC
Offit is a co-patent holder for RotaTeq, a rotavirus vaccine manufactured by Merck in 2006. It is the second vaccine against rotavirus to be introduced in the United States (the first, RotaShield, was withdrawn from the market six months after its introduction because of an association with intussusception).
The rotavirus vaccine is necessary to protect public health, according to many experts. In the US, rotavirus is blamed for killing about sixty children a year. Rotavirus is often a deadly disease in developing countries, where it is thought to cause nearly a million deaths annually from severe dehydration.
Rotavirus vaccine returns
In February, 2006, RotaTeq was approved for inclusion in the recommended US vaccination schedule, after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted marketing approval to Merck. Two studies, by Merck and its competitor GlaxoSmithKline, were published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluding that the new vaccines have overcome the problems that plagued the original rotavirus vaccine.
Offit is a recipient of numerous awards, including the J. Edmund Bradley Prize for Excellence in Pediatrics from the University of Maryland Medical School, the Young Investigator Award in Vaccine Development from the Infectious Disease Society of America, and a Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Paul_Offit". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|