A sample of phytomenadione (vitamin K1) for injection, also called phylloquinone. Photo courtesy LHcheM via Wikimedia Commons.

Will the next ‘religious’ battle be fought over Vitamin K?

Yet another reason to push back — hard — against anti-vaccine scaremongering: at least seven babies have been admitted to Vanderbilt University’s Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital with cases of VKDB — Vitamin K Deficiency bleeding, which can cause brain damage, intestinal hemorrhaging, and death. It’s a relatively rare disorder. It’s also 100% preventable when injections of Vitamin K are administered routinely at birth, as they have been in this country since 1961. But, in a trend that seems to be closely aligned with the anti-vaccine movement, more parents fear the Vitamin K vaccine and have refused it on behalf of their newborns. Babies don’t have enough Vitamin K in their systems: not enough of it crosses the placenta or via breastmilk (though infant formula does contain the blood-coagulating vitamin) so an injection is given at birth to eliminate the risk of potentially fatal bleeds.

RNS photo courtesy Geltfiend (www.geltfiend.com)

Some Jews can’t get jazzed over Hanukkah

(RNS) Ayelet Waldman isn't shy about sharing her true feelings about the upcoming Jewish festival of lights. “I loathe Hanukkah,'' she says. She's not alone: Some Jews, tired of the “December Dilemma'' and competing with Christmas, would prefer to avoid all the fuss. By Beth Kissileff.