Oprah should devote a show to vaccine safety

Oprah should devote a show to vaccine safety

I am sure Oprah had spectacular ratings for her Lance Armstrong interview and so, in the spirit of truth-telling, I have another mea culpa show for Ms. Winfrey to consider: vaccine safety.

Until Jenny McCarthy got major air time the link between vaccines and autism was relatively fringe. But with Oprah in September of 2007 McCarthy, and by extension Andrew Wakefield, the erroneous link between vaccines and autism hit the jackpot. Oprah, instead of producing a show with any kind of balance simply read a brief statement from the CDC to counter McCarthy’s 45 minute diatribe of warrior-mom-against-the-world. Whether by design or by chance Dr. Bob Sears’ vaccine book was published the very next month and the rest, as they say, is history.

Vaccine rates plummeted, reportable diseases made a resurgence, and pediatricians everywhere groaned. Also, millions of dollars were spent re-studying vaccines to try to prove to the now skeptics that vaccines are indeed safe. The problem? The crux of McCarthy’s and many other vaccine “warriors” is that their beliefs are propped up by conspiracy theory, not science or even common sense.

Now we have a new study that tells us American children are still woefully behind on their immunizations: almost half of the more than 300,000 children studied over four years were undervaccinated. This, despite the fact that there is a plethora of scientific evidence showing vaccine safety.

We as a society have spent millions of dollars proving something that was already known (money that could have gone into studying the cause of autism or testing therapies). A lot of this research has been government-funded, so we paid with our tax dollars. I don’t decry spending tax money on research, but proving something that was already known, over and over again, to try to convince those fueled by conspiracy theories kind of sticks in my craw.

So the mea culpa I want to see is Oprah devoting a show to vaccine safety. I want scientists and doctors. Oprah can use her broadcast arsenal to draw attention to the recent Institute of Medicine’s incredibly comprehensive look at vaccinations that finds ”no evidence of major safety concerns associated with adherence to the childhood immunization schedule.” I also want to hear how vaccine skeptics have profited from their snake oil.

Just like Oprah wanted the truth from Lance to be public, I’m sure she wants the truth about vaccines to get the press it deserves. It’ll be a fascinating hour, don’t you think?

Jennifer Gunter is an obstetrician-gynecologist and author of The Preemie Primer. She blogs at her self-titled site, Dr. Jen Gunter.

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  • http://twitter.com/SeattleMamaDoc WendySueSwanson MD

    Maybe, although it’d be nice to have someone else host it. I’m just not certain Oprah is interested in using science to make decisions. Although I have no idea and have never had the chance to talk with her. We need a host and a voice to help compassionately, empathetically, and accurately detail how and why we make the vaccine schedule, how and why our children are better protected vaccinated (than unvaccinated, or delayed/spaced-out), and we need to continue to facilitate trust…not tension.

    The great news is, the controversy (in the media) seems grim and scary when it comes to families making vaccine decisions. But the reality is 90% of US children are getting all of their shots. The toddler data mentioned in the post can be somewhat misleading…

    The piece of data that continues to nag on me is that 20% of families who do follow the AAP/CDC schedule still have a feeling that an alternative or delayed schedule is safer. We don’t have a single study to show any protection from an alternative schedule. In fact, in theory–it’s only riskier—you get all the risks from the shots, but also the risk of waiting.

    Here’s a post I wrote about data in the US on how families use “alternative” or delayed schedules:

    http://seattlemamadoc.seattlechildrens.org/most-parents-avoid-alternative-vaccination-schedules/

    I’d love to see this show. I’d love to participate but I want passionate, fair, accurate science to really care for the public viewing it.

    • kjindal

      Yes I agree. When some scientific advisory board speaker, trying to be PC, responds to the antivaccinists with statements like “more study is needed regarding alternative vaccine schedules”, to me that is akin to “more study is needed to assess the possibility that 2+2 is actually 6, and not as has been widely accepted in the past, 4″.
      Why is it that, when there is some dispute between scientific and lay-person circles, we strive to pursue an answer that compromises the truth?

      • adh1729

        “when there is some dispute between scientific and lay-person circles”: you assume that our profession has science backing it up. Was it scientifically sound to inject babies with mercury? To give neonates hepatitis B vaccines, seeing that none of them inject heroin or engage in promiscuous behavior?
        Does science dictate that we must vaccinate against chickenpox? Didn’t we all get chickenpox back in the day, and weren’t we all fine? Couldn’t we wait until age 11 to vaccinate against rubella and mumps, immunizing only the few children that had not gotten the real diseases? Is it really science that demands the MMR for 15 month olds? Does science dictate that every scratch in the ER needs a tetanus shot?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1338422225 Tom Garvey

          The mercury in vaccines is ethyl mercury. Mercury that toxic is methyl mercury. To equate the two is analogous to equating ethyl alcohol with methyl alcohol. the former, in small to moderate doses, is harmless and creates a pleasant buzz. The latter blinds you.

          The only reason people are upset about ‘mercury’ in vaccines is that they never learned the two different names. Methyl mercury is a ubiquitous environmental toxin. Part of it’s malignant nature is the fact that is largely retained in body fat and causes chronic damage. Ethyl mercury is eliminated quickly. The amount contained in vaccines is trivial and far smaller than the dose you give your child every time you make them a tuna fish sandwich.

          As for getting chicken pox, a small, but significant number of unvaccinated people will die a miserable death from varicella meningitis. I have seen it. It’s horrible. A much larger number will suffer long or even permanent and even debilitating pain from shingles. That’s pretty miserable too. This is not a benign organism. Neither are measles, mumps, or rubella.

          • adh1729

            You are seriously taking the position that methylmercury is the only toxic form of mercury? Inject organomercury compounds into your own children, thank you. BTW, if there is mercury in fish, then maybe the fish should not be eaten. You draw the conclusion that the vaccine is good; you could have drawn the conclusion that the fish is bad.
            I never took the position that disease did not exist or that it did not have complications. (Heck, my USMLE scores were in the high 260s back in the 90s — I know about disease.) I asked, why are we assuming that the benefits of our therapy exceed its risks, when we ought to come out and prove it?

          • http://profiles.google.com/mhirzel Mary L. Hirzel

            adh1729, whoever you are, May doctors like you thrive and multiply. You’re in very, very short supply.

            Wish I knew how you got through medical school with your capacity for critical thinking in tact. It is all too apparent that the experience takes what were once probably perfectly good, even superior minds, and strips out something essential. Reading Dr. Gravy, for instance…… sends chills down my spine.

          • adh1729

            I sometimes regret my choice of profession. It is hard going through life having to bite your tongue all the time.
            I am a general surgeon. I have to stay anonymous for obvious reasons. Even Semmelweis was destroyed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/katie.beecher Katie Beecher

    That would be a fantastic idea. My mother is permanently paralyzed from a flu shot she received four years ago. She can’t even feed herself or sit up on her own. That was just from a seasonal flu shot, not the trivalent vaccine they give now. I have met so many parents with vaccine injured autistic children. This information needs to get out. The media has been hiding it for too long because of all of the pharma company advertisers. Vaccines are dangerous and no drug should be forced on anyone.

    • http://www.facebook.com/SabbaJoe Joseph More

      It is human nature to seek a cause for any dramatic event, especially a devastating one. The “bystander” is most easily tagged as the culprit. Yet, it is often misleading to jump from proximity between to events, to one of them being the cause of the other.

      In a way, the reputation of vaccination falls victim to its success. It is rare nowadays to encounter the devastating consequences of measles- encephalitis in children, or of German-measles in pregnancy; conditions that were not uncommon fifty years ago, but very rare nowadays, thanks to vaccination.

    • kjindal

      Is it POSSIBLE in your mind that the development of autism was unrelated to the vaccine in the cases you cite? (i.e. coincidence) I am not a pediatrician but I understand the peak incidence is around the time of multiple vaccines in the schedule.
      I actually have an elderly patient with polio, and have seen many elderly patients become very ill with influenza. In NYC lots of people die annually with flu, in fact. But antivaccinism is like religious belief in a higher being – impossible to prove, and impossible to disprove. And thus subject to strong emotions, with little regard for scientific inquiry.

      • adh1729

        “But antivaccinism is like religious belief in a higher being – impossible to prove, and impossible to disprove. And thus subject to strong emotions, with little regard for scientific inquiry.”
        May I respectfully disagree. A clinical study comparing fully vaccinated persons with fully unvaccinated persons, with decades of follow up, would provide a lot of evidence to settle the question. (I doubt that randomization would be feasible.) If such a study has been done, please let me know. I am a well-educated MD and graduated from med school with honors. I have 4 children, and quit vaccinating them because of safety concerns. (My sister-in-law gave me a copy of “Vaccine Safety Manual for Concerned Families and Health Practitioners”, Neil Z. Miller, 2008; on reading it, I felt that med school had vastly underestimated the adverse effects of vaccination.) It is not clear to me that the benefits of vaccination exceed the risks. Will someone please prove it to me. (And don’t give me a silly anecdote about some kid dying of pertussis, because the anti-vax crowd will answer with an anecdote about a baby dying of “SIDS” the night after getting DPT.)

        • Justsayno!

          Well stated doc! There is no proof except the studies provided by or paid for by the Big Pharma or their puppets in the FDA or CDC.

        • Molly_Rn

          Ever hear of small pox? Look up that history.

          • adh1729

            “Cancer was practically unknown until cowpox vaccination began to be introduced. I have had to do with 200 cases of cancer and I never saw a case of cancer in an unvaccinated person.” “Vaccines are principally responsible for the increase of those two really dangerous diseases, cancer and heart disease.” “How is it that smallpox is 5 times as likely to be fatal in the vaccinated as unvaccinated?” These are quotes from physicians who practiced a century ago, and knew about smallpox, and smallpox vaccination, intimately.

          • Molly_Rn

            What crap. Don’t you know the difference between causation and coincidence?

          • adh1729

            See the comment that I just wrote below:

            Hackneyed mantras profit little. “Post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacy, and “correlation does not equal causation”, are both true, and both can be used to avoid facing the truth.
            Correlation, and temporal sequence, may both imply a causal relationship. They should be investigated. If a parent saw their child turn into a vegetable right after vaccination, and you say, Don’t worry, it is just the “Post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacy, then you are an idiot.

          • adh1729

            How is it that all contrary data is just a “coincidence”?
            You should be glad that I selected just 3 quotes, and did not include the other 30. They all said the same thing.

          • Molly_Rn

            A quote doesn’t make something true. You obviously do not understand scientific method. I am not going to respond to you as there is no chance of a real discussion.

          • adh1729

            I agree that a quote doesn’t make something true. I myself said on this forum several days ago that anecdotal evidence is not worth that much. You are the person who spoke to me as if I were a fool that didn’t even know about smallpox. So, I answered you.
            I am well aware of the scientific method; they teach that on the first day of college. I have had to grapple with concepts 100 times harder than that.

          • Molly_Rn

            They don’t teach scientific method the first day of college. Still no proof of causation.

      • Justsayno!

        If you look at the latest research or studies, you will find that the flu shot is only 8% effective in the elderly population. Only a small percentage of people get the flu and there is no data regarding how many of those people who actually get the flu were vaccinated. I am aware of a number of people who I work with who did take the flu shot but still got the flu.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Simpson/100001631757606 Jason Simpson

      Most kids develop autism around 9 months – 15 months. That is also the time that most kids drink juice for the first time.

      Therefore, I conclude that juice causes autism!

      • NormRx

        Jason, My favorite is—More kids drown in the summer, more kids also eat ice cream in the summer. Therefore ice cream leads to drowning.

      • Justsayno!

        Real smart wise guy! People shouldn’t be forced to drink the koolaid you are drinking. If you were the one in a million that gets paralyzed from the flu vaccine, I am sure that you wouldn’t think vaccines were safe. The truth is as a country, we spend a hell of a lot of money on healthcare and we rank 49th behind nations that spend a lot less. If the methods we use such as vaccines are so effective and reliable, then why the lousy ranking?

        • Molly_Rn

          There is no perfectly safe anything. For heavens sake a man was safely sleeping in his bed when a sinkhole opened up under him and he died. The vaccines are safe but there always is a tiny percentage of people who have a reaction.

          • Justsayno!

            I’d rather take my chances with Mother Nature than corrupt government agencies and unethical pharmaceutical companies. They talk of herd immunity but at best, the flu vaccine is only 60% effective. In my book, that means at least 40% of those vaccinated get the flu, but yet, I hear all of the time, that you can not get the flu from taking the flu shot. I have read that only 2.6% of the population get the flu. The numbers just don’t add up. The latest studies show that it is only 8% effective in those over 65. It is also not as effective in young children undoubtedly because of the insane vaccine load forced on them by their pediatricians. I know several parents who never had their children vaccinated and their children have rarely been sick. On the other hand, speaking from personal experience, I have seen nothing but sickness in those receiving vaccines. My son was vaccinated and had persistent bronchitis until his late teens. He also was hyper, had trouble in school and borderline ADD. My great nephews and nieces are currently constantly sick as their parents have chosen to vaccinate them.

          • Molly_Rn

            There is a difference between coincidence and causation. The insidences that you cite are coincidence. You have no proof that vacciniations had anything to do with them. My family has all of their vaccinations and faithfully get the flu vaccine every year. I will go with science not coincidence.

          • Justsayno!

            The science you are choosing is weird science or pseudoscience. Science is usually based on facts and data. It is a fact that the flu vaccine at best is 56% effective and only 8% effective in the elderly. According to that, if 100,000 adults over the age of 65 received the flu vaccine, 92,000 would get the flu. Are you saying that is a coincidence?

            “. . . The German KiGGS-study with 17.642 children and 1.500 questions for each child between the years 2003 and 2006 has revealed – that children without any vaccination are healthier in general – than those who were vaccinated . . . : That is why big pharma & your government keep this secret ! : Making money has become more important – than survival – which is the ultimate idiocy !

            n 1871-2, England, with 98% of the population aged between 2 and 50 vaccinated against smallpox, it experienced its worst ever smallpox outbreak with 45,000 deaths. During the same period in Germany, with a vaccination rate of 96%, there were over 125,000 deaths from smallpox. (The Hadwen Documents)

            - In Germany, compulsory mass vaccination against diphtheria commenced in 1940 and by 1945 diphtheria cases were up from 40,000 to 250,000. (Don`t Get Stuck, Hannah Allen)

            - In the USA in 1960, two virologists discovered that both polio vaccines were contaminated with the SV 40 virus which causes cancer in animals as well as changes in human cell tissue cultures. Millions of children had been injected with these vaccines. (Med Jnl of Australia 17/3/1973 p555)

            - In 1967, Ghana was declared measles free by the World Health Organisation after 96% of its population was vaccinated. In 1972, Ghana experienced one of its worst measles outbreaks with its highest ever mortality rate. (Dr H Albonico, MMR Vaccine Campaign in Switzerland, March 1990)

            - In the UK between 1970 and 1990, over 200,000 cases of whooping cough occurred in fully vaccinated children. (Community Disease Surveillance Centre, UK)

            - In the 1970`s a tuberculosis vaccine trial in India involving 260,000 people revealed that more cases of TB occurred in the vaccinated than the unvaccinated. (The Lancet 12/1/80 p73)

            - In 1977, Dr Jonas Salk, who developed the first polio vaccine, testified along with other scientists that mass inoculation against polio was the cause of most polio cases throughout the USA since 1961. (Science 4/4/77 “Abstracts” )

            Today, one out of 50 children are autistic. If your science is so reliable, why are so many children so significantly damaged? Are you writing that off to coincidence also? Get Real!!

          • Molly_Rn

            BS! Just because you can find crap written some place doesn’t make it fact. This is BS not science.

          • http://twitter.com/isalwayssick Always Sick Chick

            Agree 100%! Even the water we drink isn’t always 100% safe, but we still drink water because it’s essential for life!

            My kids have food allergies. All three of us are allergic to peanuts, so I conclude that because I can die from eating a peanut, that peanuts should be banned because they cause death.

            Let’s get real, people. Yes, some people have adverse reactions to vaccines, but they are so rare and so many of these reactions cannot be accurately linked to the vaccines themselves.

            If you really want to help children with autism, stop focusing on vaccines and start focusing on funding therapies to help the kids who are struggling.

      • Molly_Rn

        Lots of kids learn to walk about that time. Walking clearly causes autism and asbergers. Same lack of logic.

    • militarymedical

      The first little ditty I memorized when I got into studying vaccines and especially adverse events (at the height of the anti-anthrax hysteria) was “post hoc ergo propter hoc” – loosely translated, “[occuring] after this [event], therefore because of [or caused by] it.” The classic example is the person who is already infected by flu virus, then receives the (non-live) vaccine, then develops flu symptoms. Simple reasoning: the flu vaccine gave me the flu.

      • adh1729

        Hackneyed mantras profit little. “Post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacy, and “correlation does not equal causation”, are both true, and both can be used to avoid facing the truth.
        Correlation, and temporal sequence, may both imply a causal relationship. They should be investigated. If a parent saw their child turn into a vegetable right after vaccination, and you say, Don’t worry, it is just the “Post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacy, then you are an idiot.

        • militarymedical

          Seeing as how I’m not an idiot (how intelligent of you to fall back on some sort of assumption based on one post), of course consideration of all possible connections is valuable and necessary. I thought that would be pretty self-evident. Perhaps I assumed too much about your abilities.

          • adh1729

            I am not calling you an idiot. I don’t know you. You should understand that we get a lot of violent rhetoric directed toward us, if we dare to question mainstream beliefs, some of which need questioning. People assume us to be idiots all the time.

          • militarymedical

            Who, exactly, is “we”? That would go a long way to explaining context.

          • adh1729

            I was referring to people, like me, who question any mainstream beliefs.

          • http://twitter.com/isalwayssick Always Sick Chick

            You did clearly type “idiot” It’s right there in black and white.

          • adh1729

            ” If a parent saw their child turn into a vegetable right after vaccination, and you say, Don’t worry, it is just the “Post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacy, then you are an idiot”.

            “If you take a gun into a bank and fatally shoot the teller, then you are a murderer.” By that sentence, am I accusing anyone of being a murderer? No. I said, IF.

            Do you understand an “if, then” construction? Apparently not. I guess they don’t teach logic in school anymore.

  • buzzkillerjsmith

    I suggest an HBO movie about some kid dying of pertussis because her granolahead mother refused immunizations Forget an appeal to reason. How many people do you know that understand statistical analysis? Tug the heartstrings, jerk some tears.

    • adh1729

      Anecdotal evidence may speak to uneducated laymen, but our profession should be capable of better.
      So I ask, where is a study that compares fully vaccinated persons to fully unvaccinated persons, with decades of follow up? The problem is, the scientific and medical establishment has not conclusively proved that vaccination is safe overall (i.e., that the benefits exceed the risks.)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1338422225 Tom Garvey

        Because to do a an RCT to ‘prove’ the safety and efficacy vaccines would be highly unethical at this point. The safety and efficacy of vaccines have been well-proven by extensive research. Don’t believe it? Look it up or continue to live in denial.

        • adh1729

          “The safety and efficacy of vaccines have been well-proven by extensive research.” Give the citations of the studies that lay all doubts to rest. You had better have decades of follow up, or your studies will be inconclusive.
          I never asked for “an RCT” and stated previously below that a RANDOMIZED trial was likely not feasible at this time. There is a non-randomized trial in progress; actually for quite a few years. It consists of those who believe the scientific establishment and who have been following the vaccine schedule, versus those who are doubters and have not been following that schedule. All that needs to be done is, collect the data on what has already been happening. Prove that the vaccinated children have no increased rate of autoimmune disease, any type of infectious disease, seizure disorder, learning disability, or neurologic disease. Prove that the benefits of vaccination exceed the risks.

  • doc99

    Dr. Gunter, the one to host such a show is your old “pal” Dr. Mehmet Oz, not Oprah.

    • militarymedical

      Good idea, but the unwanted side effect is to have the specialist acting as family practice doc – again. Oz can do that in his sleep, as can Gupta, but I suppose it’s better to bring out the big guns for this battle.

    • Molly_Rn

      NOOOOOOOO! Not Dr. Oz. He is a shill for so many rediculous instant cures that he is a quack. Please see him for what he is, a man trying to make a lot of money.

      • http://twitter.com/isalwayssick Always Sick Chick

        I’m starting to trust Dr. Oz less and less myself. I used to be a huge fan, but now I’m not so sure.

        • Molly_Rn

          Dr. Oz is a showman not a physician. No physician is an expert in everything. Is there anything that Dr. Oz doesn’t know??? He is a shill; he pushes products everyday for profit.

  • http://profiles.google.com/mhirzel Mary L. Hirzel

    The spinmeisters’ most excellent work seems not only to convince the lay public of the truth of what you say in your article, but it’s clear it also has done a number on you docs in the trenches. You all seem to take your turn saying the same ignorant things, as if they were true.

    Can the reputation of your profession get any worse? I doubt it, but you keep trying to make it so, with articles like this.

    Yeah, go ahead and give me your little down arrows and snide remarks. Who cares….I’m just warning you, you’re shooting yourselves in the foot.

    • Justsayno!

      Mary, you know they get their pockets greased by Big Pharma and they completely buy in to whatever they are told by these totally unethical and immoral companies. How many cases of cdif or mrsa are perpetrated by overuse and incorrect use of antibiotics? The number of antibiotic resistant bacteria are on the rise and we have no one else to blame but the doctors and pharmaceutical companies. We have an increasing number of the population hooked on pain killers.

  • disqus_0PSizwOJWG

    As am Infection Preventionist I get to see the devastation left behind by vaccine preventable diseases. I was horrified when Oprah had Jenny McCarthy on spreading falsehoods about vaccine safety, and I e-mailed the Oprah show begging them to have clinicians and scientists on for a rebuttal show. I never got a reply. Oprah still needs to make this one right.

    • http://twitter.com/isalwayssick Always Sick Chick

      Should we hold Oprah partially responsible for the reduction in vaccination rates?

  • http://www.facebook.com/emery.max Emery Max

    There are some misrepresentations here that could be clarified. Vaccination rates have not fallen, they are as high or higher than ever. What has dropped are certain cumulative measures, wherein receipt of the complete recommended schedule on the exact timeframes is considered “vaccinated”. Thus the statistic above citing some over 40% of children were “undervaccinated”- the complete quote from the VSD study is “undervaccinated for a period of at least one day”. Considering the logistics of getting entire birth cohorts to meet the 2, 4, 6 month etc. visits 55% complete compliance is actually a significant accomplishment. The CDC recently noted that less than 1% of 19-35 month olds are completely unvaccinated.
    Public Health is getting 90% plus compliance of all of the “traditional”, or “core” vaccines. There is some pushback against more recent additions for infections where the utility is not self evident, either due to the mildness of the infection (Chicken Pox), or infections that are not casually contractable (Hep B, Hep A).
    Vaccination is not completely without risk, if only from the injection process itself- possible unsanitary procedures, reuse of injection equipment by inadequately trained staff, the injection of a substitute medicine by mistake, improperly reconstituted formulae, etc. And there is the statistically inevitable imperfectly manufactured, packaged, labeled, transported, stored, and administered vaccine itself. There are some legitimate injuries. Trying to pretend that failures, though conceptually possible, do not exist in the real world may be undercutting trust in the system.

    • Molly_Rn

      The anti-vaccine know-nothings will beat you down if they can. It truly is a religion to them.

      • adh1729

        Those who blindly follow the pediatrician, while that pediatrician is blindly following the establishment, are the true know-nothings.

        • http://twitter.com/isalwayssick Always Sick Chick

          I’ve done my research. I fell into anti-vax hysteria. I was wrong. And you are also wrong, adh1729. Anti-vax literature is nothing but pseudo-science.

          • adh1729

            There is precious little of definitive proof for either pro or anti-vax. That is why I was so disgusted at the appeal to Oprah. We don’t need her; we need scientific study. Compare the health of the fully vaccinated and the fully unvaccinated children alive right now, publish the results, and lay the whole debate to rest, one way or another. It wouldn’t be randomized, but that is the best that we can do.

  • http://twitter.com/subailey Susan Bailey MD

    I’m with buzzkillerjsmith. Vaccines are the victim of their dramatic success. When was the last time you diagnosed acute infectious diptheria or tetanus? Smallpox? Polio? These are horrible, horrible diseases. Influenza kills thousands yearly but we don’t hear about that. Mumps can make a man sterile. And pertussis in babies isn’t some “silly anecdote” – if you see an infant literally cough herself to death, you won’t forget it. One Oprah show on the horrors of vaccine-preventible diseases might not be enough. We;d need an episode on each one. I’ve always thought that a gut-wrenching, tear-jerking, parental advisory filled show filled with infectious disease victims and their families would be much more effective than statistics on vaccine safety.

    • adh1729

      Death and disease are never silly, especially not in infants.
      Anecdote-driven medicine is silly, when scientific and systematic study could have been done, but was not done. I am not aware of a clinical study comparing fully vaccinated individuals with fully unvaccinated individuals, with decades of follow up. Apparently you aren’t either, or you would have cited the research.
      We are MDs. We know that disease is bad. We don’t need to argue that. What you refuse to admit is, sometimes “preventative medicine” is worse than the disease in question. Why should a 22 year old nurse become permanently disabled by Guillain-Barre in the rare hopes that her vaccination might save a 90 year old from getting the flu? Why should a baby be vaccinated against hepatitis B and risk severe adverse reactions, in hopes that some 40 year old drug addict will avoid the disease? Think about the potential healthy years lost, before you fight to save the nursing home.
      Disease bad. And 2+3 = 5. Our profession should be capable of a more penetrating analysis than that.

    • http://twitter.com/isalwayssick Always Sick Chick

      Absolutely! I 100% agree. The benefits outweigh the potential risks associated with vaccines. Just look at how many children used to die who now don’t even become ill with these diseases!

  • Molly_Rn

    I agree. Oprah has the ear of millions of Americans and this would help to counter the plastic princess Jenny McCarthy’s nonsense.

  • http://twitter.com/isalwayssick Always Sick Chick

    I ABSOLUTELY 100% agree with you! In 2007, I got sucked into the anti-vax ridiculousness and delayed vaccinating our youngest son (now 6). He is now fully vaccinated, but I tell you, I was TERRIFIED when he was diagnosed with asthma and we learned that Pertussis had made a comeback! We went to the doctor just for the shots and did them as soon as we were able to complete the entire series as quickly as possible.

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