A friend suggested she was tired of hearing about vaccines. Her comment and our subsequent conversation seemed to reflect an important shift in parent sentiment: The conversation about vaccines is beginning to get somewhere.
While much of this was born of the mainstream media’s newfound realization that the vaccine-autism connection was cooked, some of this is due to the tireless work of those like the Children’s Hospital of Philedelphia’s Dr. Paul Offit who get the story right.
As part of his passionate agenda to expose vaccine truths, he’s published “Deadly Choices: How the Anti-vaccine Movement Threatens Us All” (Basic Books, 2011). For those looking to understand the origins of anti-vaccine sentiment, read this book.
What struck me is the deep history behind the anti-vaccine movement. From Jenner’s smallpox fix to modern-day MMR struggles, Offit draws fascinating corollaries surrounding immunization that seem to defy the generations. Vaccine resistance was not born of Andrew Wakefield, but broader concerns rooted in religion, individual liberty, fear and propaganda. “Deadly Choices” puts the anti-vaccine movement in a historic sequence that reads like good suspense. I couldn’t put it down. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*
Eighteen percent of American believe that vaccines can cause autism, 30 percent remain unsure, and 52 percent of Americans don’t think vaccines can cause autism, according to public opinion polling done after research linking vaccines to the condition was reported as fraudulent.
While 69 percent of respondents said they had heard about an association between vaccination and autism, 47 percent knew that the original Lancet study had been retracted, and that recently the research is reported as being fraudulent.
The poll also found that 86 percent of parents who have doubts about the vaccine said that their children were fully vaccinated, compared to 98 percent of parents who believe vaccines are safe, and that 92 percent of children are fully vaccinated.
The poll was conducted after news reports were published that said Andrew Wakefield, the lead researcher of the research linking autism to the MMR vaccine, had used faked data.
More than 20 studies since Wakefield’s have disputed the association between vaccination and autism.
The online survey of 2,026 adults from Jan. 11 to 13 was done by Harris Interactive and HealthDay. (AP/Fox News, CNN, BMJ, WebMD)
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*
We write a lot about vaccines here at Science-Based Medicine. Indeed, as I write this, I note that there are 155 posts under the Vaccines category, with this post to make it 156. This is third only to Science and Medicine (which is such a vague, generic category that I’ve been seriously tempted to get rid of it, anyway) and Science and the Media.
There is no doubt that vaccines represent one of the most common topics that we cover here on SBM, and with good reason. That good reason is that, compared to virtually any other modality used in the world of SBM, vaccines are under the most persistent attack from a vocal group of people, who, either because they mistakenly believe that vaccines caused their children’s autism, because they don’t like being told what to do by The Man, because they think that “natural” is always better to the point of thinking that it’s better to get a vaccine-preventable disease in order to achieve immunity than to vaccinate against it, or because a combination of some or all of the above plus other reasons, are anti-vaccine.
“Anti-vaccine.” We regularly throw that word around here at SBM — and, most of the time, with good reason. Many skeptics and defenders of SBM also throw that word around, again with good reason most of the time. There really is a shocking amount of anti-vaccine sentiment out there. But what does “anti-vaccine” really mean? What is “anti-vaccine?” Who is “anti-vaccine?”
Given that this is my first post for SBM’s self-declared Vaccine Awareness Week, proposed to counter Barbara Loe Fisher’s National Vaccine Information Center’s and Joe Mercola’s proposal that November 1-6 be designated “Vaccine Awareness Week” for the purpose of posting all sorts of pseudoscience and misinformation about “vaccine injury” and how dangerous vaccines supposedly are, we decided to try to co-opt the concept for the purpose of countering the pseudoscience promoted by the anti-vaccine movement. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Science-Based Medicine*
Dr. Robert Sears’ The Vaccine Book, is, as Dr. Rahul Parikh puts it, “a nightmare for pediatricians like me.”
In a piece from Salon, Dr. Parikh brings his issues to the author. The controversy of the book is the so-called “alternative vaccine schedule,” which, as vaccine developer Paul Offit puts it:
…is “misrepresentation of vaccine science” that “misinforms parents trying to make the right decision for their children” in the Journal of Pediatrics. And yet, as a pediatrician myself, I have seen an increasing number of caring, reasonable parents hold it up like a bible in my practice (and that of my colleagues).
This post, however, isn’t about the vaccine controversy — I’ll leave you to read Dr. Parikh’s excellent piece for yourself.
What I found interesting was a passage discussing the public health fears stemming from an increasing number of unvaccinated children. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at KevinMD.com*