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.
Today I’m headed to San Francisco, kicking off three weeks of travel. By early May I’ll hit my hometown for the NYAS Two Cultures conference and then it’s back west for a few days at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. Posting from me may be patchy at times, but I have full confidence Chris will keep everyone on their toes. While I’m miles overhead, some odds and ends:
1) Jim Carrey in HuffPo:
In this growing crisis, we cannot afford to blindly trumpet the agenda of the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) or vaccine makers.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, for the sake of our kids, parents: do not confuse entertainment with the ability to provide sound medical advice.
2) Recently came across terrific audio from a 2002 episode of This American Life while researching testosterone for my next book. Griffin Hansbury is a transsexual who asserts that after receiving ‘T’ (testosterone), he became interested in science and understood physics. Perhaps, but I suspect he may also be susceptible to placebo. Listen and decide for yourself.
4) Since I’m headed to Oakland next week, it’s good reason to remind readers that in 21 days, Green Day’s long anticipated 21st Century Breakdown drops! Today also marks the debut of the first video from a track called Know Your Enemy. Great expectations for this album…