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On Media: Paul Offit and the Right to Opt Out

Trust_fallBy Anne Dachel

Late last month, Scripps news service put out a number of articles on the debate over vaccines.  It seems the controversy that shows no signs of going away is heating up.  As much as the press would love it if parents would accept the fact that "studies show no link," it just isn't happening.

These were the stories:

Fears of long-range side effects fuel vaccine debate  (HERE)

Thousands of unvaccinated children enter schools (HERE)

Poll: Americans see both need, potential dangers of vaccines (HERE.)

Vaccine poll highlights (HERE)

The unprotected among us (HERE)

There were good aspects in the pieces.  They make it clear that many parents don't believe officials and their distrust is getting worse. 

There are lots of statistics about non-vaccinating parents.  Barbara Loe Fisher from the National Vaccine Information Center (HERE) is quoted telling us, "The question remains open because definitive, independent studies haven't been done."

And it was refreshing to read that Dr. Saad Omer, assistant professor at Emory University's School of Public Health in Atlanta, "agrees that the public health community needs to spend more time on the risks and benefits of vaccinations."  He also says that government and industry need to 'be more proactive on vaccine safety research.'

All these stories coming out at once really shows how serious this debate has become and how complex it is.  Reports have been endless in the news in the UK for weeks warning about the threat of a measles epidemic because of unvaccinated kids. 

Here in America, we've also caught measles fever and the press is telling us that vaccination rates are falling dangerously low and outbreaks are happening.  Predictions that measles might become an epidemic with complications and even death as a result are getting widespread coverage.  Reporters continue to stress that vaccines save lives.  Most of all, we're reminded that officials have seriously looked and there's no evidence that vaccines cause autism. 
 
One of the Scripps stories, The unprotected Among Us, focuses on the potential victims of disease because of the unvaccinated.  We read about a reporter who said, "Hundreds of thousands of children are going to school this fall without protection from deadly diseases." And if vaccination rates continue to fall off, "this could threaten to undo years of progress in public health."

Most ominous in the story was the remark made by Paul Offit about the right of parents not to vaccinate.  He said, "At some point, we're going to be forced to decide whether it is an inalienable right to catch and transmit potentially fatal infections." (It should be noted that he's merely described as "Dr. Paul Offit of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia," and not as "Paul Offit vaccine patent holder who personally profits from the mandated schedule.")

This new "scare the public" tactic was brought about because the old one just didn't work.  For years, official study after official study was produced all showing no link between autism and vaccines.  The mega Institute of Medicine Study in 2004 was the combination of research that was supposed to quash the debate.  Few have been convinced, however, and more and more parents are opting out of the schedule.  I really wonder how long the public will continue to accept mandated vaccines when there's this kind of debate over their safety.  Telling parents they have to vaccinate for the good of the herd won't make vaccines safe.

At a time when autism is at a never-before-seen rate and parents are increasingly scared to vaccinate, I hardly think Offit's "vaccinate or else" attitude is going to go over.  I can only imagine the reaction of parents who watched vaccines steal away their child's smile, happiness, and health when they read Offit's comment.

Another interesting part of this is the coincidental release of Offit's new book, Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure.  In this book, he examines the history of  "the notion that vaccines might cause autism." He says he proves that the "science was pretty clear'" and after his careful presentation of the data you'll be convinced too.  At least this is what he says on the promo video.

What perfect timing.  As the controversy rages in the press and we all look for answers, voila! -- here comes Offit's book to settle things.  I can see story after story in which reporters will be saying, "A new book by vaccine expert Paul Offit reexamines the science surrounding the controversy over vaccines and autism and fails to find any connection." 

In the real world, the nice neat scenario where parents realize the truth, vaccinate their kids and stave off outbreaks of disease isn't going to happen.  Too many kids have autism. Too many people are saying vaccines cause autism.   Paul Offit and all the others defending vaccines have no reasonable explanation.  Trying to make the measles into a health care emergency while ignoring the autism epidemic shows just how crazy things have gotten.
--
Anne Dachel is Media Editor of Age of Autism.

Comments

Alanna

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Alanna

http://www.craigslisthelper.info


jill

i'm glad they are recomending all these kids get flu shots. but mine won't be getting them. they can recomend away, but my germ infested kids will not get a shot that didn't even protect against the right strain last year! in fact they are starting to vaccinate all inpatients at the hospital i work at this month. great! i also liked how they doctor is using government funds for his research. doesn't that worry anyone? it makes me think twice.

Terri Lewis

Dr D Carlson,

Welcome! I haven't seen you here before, but I very much hope you'll stay and comment again.

Your point that we *don't* vaccinate against any number of contagious diseases--and yet these diseases don't threaten the U.S. population with annual epidemics--is excellent and deserves discussion.

We need you here.

Terri Lewis

John Stone

Dr Carlson

Indeed, MMR vaccination was over 90% in the USA last year:

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/stats-surv/nis/data/tables_2007.htm#overall

while in the UK the Health Protection Agency have been double vaccinating infants in London outbreaks as if the vaccine is unreliable and citing the views of Paul Offit as evidence for safety.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7408278.stm

Dr D Carlson

With news coverage of 161 measles cases reported in the U.S., we see repeated barbs from vaccine officials directed at parents opting to decline vaccination. Make no mistake - this directs focus away from the truth.

If you use contraception and become pregnant, the product failed. If you apply flame protection and the item burns, the product failed. If you vaccinate and succumb to disease, the product failed.

The theory of “herd immunity” requiring a vast majority of people to be immunized is exactly that – a theory. Historically, we do not mass vaccinate for tuberculosis, pneumonia, malaria, bubonic plague, cholera or typhoid and the population of the U.S. is not threatened with annual “epidemics”. Contagious diseases involve many environmental factors and controls. You cannot vaccinate for every contagion as well. But if there is a product to sell, there is fear to monger.

Of the 161 cases of measles, several victims had been vaccinated. Every time you hear of an outbreak, vaccine recipients will be involved because injections did not protect them any more than the unvaccinated cases. With growing awareness of vaccine side effects, officials may admit vaccine products are not 100% effective but quickly attack non-compliant parents to focus blame away from any product failure.

Is the truth that vaccination provides protection only if the disease never crops up in your neighborhood? Would you feel good about paying for flame protection if your house burned right along with the unprotected house next door? Is the problem really your neighbor? Or is it the fire and those peddling flame protection to give you peace of mind as long as a blaze never sweeps down your street.

No one wants disease or fire in any case but it seems to me, officials are less than confident that vaccines provide more than peace of mind when disease comes knocking at your door. And therein lies the truth of it.

Bill

"Paul Offit vaccine patent holder who personally profits from the mandated schedule."

Since his employer is listed as assignee on the Rota patent, is there any public evidence he receives royalties from development?

Me

And the earth was created in six days just over 6,000 years ago. It doesn't matter what the science says, no amount of fact will ever over-ride the truth.

Angie

If Paul Offit was so DAMN sure of 'his' science being TRUE, then he would not shy away from starting his promo video and all interviews with this:
"I would first like everyone to know that I am proud to be the inventor and patent holder of the Rotovirus (thats his vaccine right?!? excuse my mistake if it isnt I am super tired today..lol!)...and make no mistake about it, I am not in it for profit, I am in it for the benefit of our Nations Children, to show you how impartial I am to the TRUTH, I am going to donate 100% of the profits I earn from my vaccine to families of children of Autism, because I am so sure that the science prooves that all of our nations vaccines are safe"...

At the very least he would identify himself as an inventor and patent holder/money maker of a vaccine...wouldnt YOU be telling it to everyone if you had HONESTLY believed you were doing good, not harm?

Why wouldnt he?

...thats right, because he KNOWS 'his science' is junk....

LOL!
He makes me SO furious! Think of it this way, when I think of anti TRUE vaccine 'science' I think of Paul Offit..but when I think of REAL TRUE science, I cant even list all of the professionals/doctors/scientists on our side of the fence....seems a little unbalanced doesnt it? THAT itself should say something!

Angie
mom to ethan, alex, and megan

getagrip

Offit is so far removed from reality it defies your imagination.

Where the complications from vaccine insult are not insurmountable, parents have reported getting rid of autism by sequential homeopathy. If vaccines were not the culprit triggering latent infections in the DNA and the immune system, this would not be possible.

You rouse a sleeping tiger and then wonder why it roars. If this isn't flawed science, I don't know what is.

Kecia

Keith,
You are so right! Here is an article on the front page of msnbc.com

Kids truly are little germ factories, study proves-For first time, flu vaccine aimed at key spreaders — children
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26611205/

They are aiming to add 30 MILLION children to the flu vaccination schedule this year.

May all the Pharma thugs burn in hell for not listening and only caring about profit, they could care less how much they are harming this generation of children.

Keith

Now that several studies and reviews have shown flu shots aren't that effective in older adults the target has shifted to children.

Now the children are the source of the nasty viruses and must be stopped! (guess Ill have my son stop his jet set ways and then spreading the viruses when he returns back to school).

so the shift now is we MUSt vaccinate the kids for flu!

Stagmom

There's a new website. Feel free to add it to your reviews on Amazon, B&N and other book seller sites. And blogs. And the bathroom wall at CHOP.

www.pauloffit.com

sdtech

Paul Offit fails to address all of the science on autism.

In the You Tube video he says “A few years ago there was borne the notion that vaccines might cause autism and so the public heath community responded by doing a series of studies to try and answer the question - were you at greater risk of getting autism if you’d gotten vaccines than if you hadn’t. And the answer was clear, and consistent and reproducible - the risk was no greater than if you had gotten the vaccines or hadn’t. And so the science was pretty clear.”

WRONG. The science was not pretty clear. In fact review of data from the Verstraeten Zero Analysis published by SafeMinds and the books Evidence of Harm by David Kirby and Changing the Course of Autism by Bryan Jepson provides clear evidence of risk for brain injury and autism spectrum disorder from vaccines.

The science is not clear and we don’t know if vaccines are safe. But we do know autism is epidemic. And quantifying a potential risk of harm - by comparing the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) rates between the years 1967 and 1983 of 3.4 per 10,000, and the CDC rate of 1 per 150 children in 2002, and then using an annual birth rate of 4 million children per year in this country - this calculates out to an increase of 25,307 more children each year with ASD.

And using an odds ratio, babies born today have a 19.6 times greater odds for getting autism than the babies born 25 years ago. And this person advocates that all vaccines are safe to inject into the bloodstreams of 4 million babies born in this country each year – based on the false premise that “the science was pretty clear.”

Hg Symptoms

Sound familiar to many in the ND community?

Symptoms of Chronic Mercury Poisoning

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM

irritability
anxiety/nervousness, often with difficulty in breathing
restlessness
exaggerated response to stimulation
fearfulness
emotional instability
-lack of self control
-fits of anger, with violent, irrational behavior
loss of self confidence
indecision
shyness or timidity, being easily embarrassed
loss of memory
inability to concentrate
lethargy/drowsiness
insomnia
mental depression, despondency
withdrawal
suicidal tendencies
manic depression

numbness and tingling of hands, feet, fingers, toes, or lips
muscle weakness progressing to paralysis
ataxia
tremors/trembling of hands, feet, lips, eyelids or tongue
incoordination
myoneural transmission failure resembling Myasthenia Gravis

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