By Anne Dachel
The Board of Health in New York City has voted to make the flu shot mandatory for kids in preschool and daycare.
Melody Anne Butler, RN, founder of Nurses Who Vaccinate, and John Gilmore, Autism Action Network, discussed the flu vaccine requirement for young children in NYC. New York News
Butler: "The flu shot has been clinically proven to save lives and the earlier you start, six months and older, you help protect children, And when you protect children, you're also protecting families. . . . "
In answer to the question of people getting the flu despite having gotten a flu shot, Butler said, "Yes, but they'll also get a less severe version of it. And the more people who get the flu shot, the less people who actually contract the disease."
Gilmore: "The flu shot isn't nearly as effective as people are led to believe it is. There are study after study that show it effectiveness is questionable. There are a great deal of side effects associated with it. There isn't good evidence that it is effective at all in young children."
John was asked about the "tie into autism."
Gilmore: "At this age group, that's not really an issue. What is an issue is neurological damage. All you have to do is read the package insert for the flu shot and it's right there that it can cause Guillain-Barre Syndrome and a variety of neurological problems. We just don't think it's called for. If parents want to give their child this shot, they can do it. They can go to any drug store and do it. We don't see any reason why it should be forced upon them by the city of New York. These will be the only citizens in the state of New York who are required by law to get this shot."
Butler then talked about how effective vaccines are in preventing disease.
Gilmore: "I disagree with that. Just this week, in the New England Journal of Medicine, a study came out that said the review showed reliable evidence of influenza vaccine is thin, but there is evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusion and spurious notoriety of the studies."
Butler tried to insinuate that Gilmore's information was "from the Internet" and he corrected her that it was from the New England Journal of Medicine.
Butler advised parents to talk to their pediatricians and go to the websites for the CDC, VaccinateYourBaby.org,, Voices for Vaccines because "these are credible websites."
One of the Fox anchors added that six months sounded "so young" to be given this vaccine.
John got in the statement, "There's no evidence in the medical literature that it even works at six months. That's not even in dispute."
Butler agreed that this was true "because it's very hard to find children who are going to be studied in that setting. . . ."
Gilmore: "This is the Lancet, one of the most influential medical journals in the world: 'Immunization of very young children is not lent support by our findings. We've recorded no convincing evidence that vaccines can reduce mortality, admission to hospitals, and community transmission of influenza.'"
At the end we were shown a clip of one of the anchors getting vaccinated by Dr. Oz. He added, "I have gotten sick from this before."
Gilmore added, "But it was your choice."
Melody Anne Butler promoted the flu vaccine as safe and effective. I question her contention that the higher the vaccination rate, the fewer people who get the flu.
What does it tell the audience that an advocate from an autism group was in this discussion? --The controversy over vaccines and autism is very much alive.
Unfortunately there was no discussion of the use of mercury in much of the vaccine available and the fact that doctors, including Dr. Oz, have no liability for damage from this vaccine, but just the fact that the public is told that there are peoplewho oppose this mandate was huge.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.