Examine the science behind vaccinations, the return of preventable diseases, and the risks of opting out. Airing September 10, 2014 at 9 pm on PBS
Diseases that were largely eradicated in the United States a generation ago-whooping cough, measles, mumps-are returning, in part because nervous parents are skipping their children's shots. NOVA's "Vaccines - Calling the Shots" takes viewers around the world to track epidemics, explore the science behind vaccinations, hear from parents wrestling with vaccine-related questions, and shed light on the risks of opting out.
"Risks of opting out"? Will we also hear about the risks of "opting in" or will PBS just pretend that vaccines carry no side effects?
Will the producers at PBS include a clip from their series, Autism Now, from 2011? Veteran newscaster Robert MacNeil interviewed autism expert, Dr. David Amaral from the MIND Institute at UC-Davis about the link between vaccines and autism. While Amaral didn't think vaccines are the only cause of autism, he said this about a child who might have a predisposition or be ill at the time of vaccination,
"Vaccinations for those children actually may be the environmental factor that tipped them over the edge of autism. And I think it is incredibly important, still, to try and figure out what, if any, vulnerabilities, in a small subset of children, might make them at risk for having certain vaccinations."
That was a pretty amazing comment. It certainly means that parents who worry about vaccine side effects have good reason for their concern.
You can see the PBS interview with David Amaral on YouTube. (PBS no longer has the video available.) 9:12
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism and author of The Big Autism Cover-Up: How and Why the Media Is Lying to the American Public, which goes on sale this Fall from Skyhorse Publishing.