Vaccine Myths 3.1: The Scourge of Childhood

“…young parents of today do not remember…”

In 1974 the St. Petersburg Times wrote:

So many people are neglecting to get immunity shots that doctors fear the seven one-time scourges of childhood–polio, mumps, measles, rubella, diphtheria, lockjaw and whooping cough–may strike American communities again.

However, just six years earlier, in 1968, newspaper stories said things like this:

Although mumps is a relatively mild childhood disease, it can cause sterility when it strikes adult males.

At that time the recommendation was to give the recently developed shots to boys if they hadn’t had the mumps by the time they hit adolescence. Read more

Vaccines? Safe. Parents? Dangerous.

December 15, 2008 by · 15 Comments
Filed under: Opinion 

Lately I’ve been noticing an increasing number of journal articles, blog articles and opinion pieces on a terrible problem: Parents have questions about vaccines.

You would have to look far and wide to find anyone who thinks that these questions are valid and should be taken seriously. Common explanations are:
1) It is all about the parents who think they are really smart.
2) It is all about the parents who are very stupid and read stuff on the Internet.
3) It is all about the bad stuff on the Internet which is deceiving the parents who aren’t very smart and who think they are smarter than doctors. And infinite variations on this theme, which is really one argument…and the real argument is (drum roll)…vaccines are perfect and parents are the problem.

Being called stupid dupes hasn’t worked to shut up the parents with questions. Perhaps this is not a good strategy?

I’m sure you’ve noticed that many articles and blogs offer comment options to the public. If you are following the vaccine related discussions you’ll have noticed that there is a coterie of passionate vaccine defenders who pop up in every such public discussion. These vaccine defenders are fighting for the good of the vaccine program with everything they’ve got.

Oddly, however, the number of parents with questions seems to be increasing. Perhaps the vaccine defenders need to reconsider their approach. Read more

Where Do They Find These Scary Statistics III – Let’s Make a Few Assumptions – Hepatitis B

September 2, 2008 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: CDC Watch, Vaccine Science, Vaccine/Disease Analysis 

[Part I, Part II, ]

Parents have questions about the risk-benefit equation of the Hepatitis B vaccine. It is possible for a parent to be quite certain that their infant is not at risk of prenatal or birth exposure to this disease. The risk factors for exposure during infancy, early childhood, and the elementary school years can be reasonably well assessed on an individual basis. Read more

Eradicate Chickenpox? Sure! Why Not?

March 20, 2008 by · 9 Comments
Filed under: Vaccine/Disease Analysis 

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Chickenpox

Look back to the time of the earliest humans and you’ll find chickenpox. Anywhere you go on the planet, you find human beings who carry and share the virus. No remote village or tribe on Earth has ever been discovered to be free of this virus. Quite an achievement! For the virus…

Scientists have studied small, isolated populations, trying to understand how the virus survives; it has a unique survival strategy we call “shingles”.
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