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Matthew Lacek become stricken with a rare bacterial infection, which is prevented through vaccines.
Must read from CNN:
The rate of vaccination for kids covered under private insurance fell 4 percentage points in 2009, according to a nonprofit association that certifies health care organizations. It was the first time a drop had been seen.
There are theories that the recent whooping cough epidemic, which has killed ten in California, is a result of lagging vaccinations. In California, 320 new whooping cough cases have been reported this week. Health authorities urge booster shots for everyone 10 years or older who has not yet received it, especially women of childbearing age and health care workers who are in contact with pregnant women or infants.
A small subset of the population, typically well-educated, white and in the upper-middle class, have grown skeptical of immunizations, said Jason Glanz, a senior scientist and epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente’s Institute for Health Research.”
There is no conspiracy over vaccines. The often cited paper by Andrew Wakefield from 1998 involved just 12 children and had conflicts of interest. It was later retracted and may have been fraudulent.
The real research? A recent study of 70,000 children born between 1994 and 1999 confirmed that there is no link between vaccines and autism. For more information see Nestor Lopez-Duran’s terrific blog post about this study*.
The dangerous storm of misinformation and pseudoscience regarding vaccines infuriates and saddens me because we are losing children to diseases that had been mostly eradicated. Short and simple, vaccinate your kids.
* Citation: Price, C., Thompson, W., Goodson, B., Weintraub, E., Croen, L., Hinrichsen, V., Marcy, M., Robertson, A., Eriksen, E., Lewis, E., Bernal, P., Shay, D., Davis, R., & DeStefano, F. (2010). Prenatal and Infant Exposure to Thimerosal From Vaccines and Immunoglobulins and Risk of AutismPEDIATRICS, 126 (4), 656-664 DOI: 10.1542/peds.2010-0309.
As the midterm election nears, Sheril has been doing some great blogging about Christine O’Donnell’s wacky views on science, religion, and the constitution.
On Friday, I’ll be mining this vein some more on Point of Inquiry. My guest: Top climate blogger Joe Romm, who will discuss the Tea Party movement’s anti-science and anti-environment tendencies, with particular respect to climate change.
Romm never pulls any punches, and for this show, um, he didn’t either.
So stand by….with the PZ Myers debate last time around–which is on track to be my most downloaded show–and now this one, I think we’re going to have a pretty popular run of programs.