Summary: Low Vaccination Rates in the United States and the Outbreaks they Cause

Since I summarized my final paper in my last post, I am going to use this post to discuss the key takeaways I learned from this project. I researched the reasons for low vaccination rates in the United States and the outbreaks they cause. I decided to specifically focus on measles, as low MMR vaccination rates and measles outbreaks have been a major problem recently. The most interesting and important thing I learned from this project was that the majority of the time, people are not vaccinated due to missed opportunities and a lack of access to vaccines. I knew this was a reason some people were not vaccinated, but I was shocked to find out how much of a problem this really is. The vast majority of people are unvaccinated due to missed opportunities and a lack of access to vaccines, not safety concerns or other objections. There is no reason outbreaks should occur in the United States due to a lack of access to vaccines and missed opportunities to vaccinate. Efforts should be made by public health officials to ensure that everyone has access to vaccination in order to prevent future measles outbreaks.

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Conclusion: Ticks Are Too Interesting for Just One Summer

It is time to say my final hello! Here is my conclusion post for my 2019 summer research. It has been an exciting time full of hiking, biking, reading, number-crunching, and, most importantly, ticks. I’ve talked a lot about my results in the last two posts, but as any good conclusion to a scientific study does, I wanted to dive into why I think I got the results I did and suggest future directions for my study. I also wanted to take some time on reflect what I’ve learned over the summer by taking on this project.

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Summary Post

The aims of my research were to comparatively analyze asthma, diabetes, HIV, mental health issues, obesity, and substance use among four homeless subpopulations. The analysis manifested via a focus on the disease’s process, prevalence, incidence, determinants of the disease which limit health care and social service utilization among the homeless, and other factors specific to the disease’s manifestation in homeless subpopulations. My findings demonstrated a dearth of research for asthma, diabetes, and obesity across all subpopulations with little research among the homeless elderly for all diseases. The determinants and factors investigated spanned across the physical, medical, social, financial, and political domains. Moreover, based on all the disease and cohort specific factors, conclusions, current services, and needs for further research, I classified research and policy implications into six areas for improvement. In order of importance and urgency, they are understanding homeless populations, health care and physical needs, service integration and coordination, health care providers and researchers, settings and shelters, and social networks. All of these areas for improvement call for specified and integrated approaches to understanding the specific burdens of homeless groups. Providing health care is inadequate if the competing needs of shelter and nutrition remain unattended. Furthermore, referrals to secondary care have no value if they are inaccessible to individuals based on geographic, physical, or financial limitations. In conclusion, we must not treat ‘the homeless’ as a homogeneous mass, rather programs, policies, and researchers must be proactive in providing efficient services tailored towards the barriers and determinants experienced by different cohorts.

Final Update – How Did Dinosaurs Sound?

At long last, my research is concluded! It’s been fantastic to learn all about dinosaur acoustics – from both the paleontology side and the sound design perspective.

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