Jan 7, 2014, The Columbian (Vancouver, WA): In Our View: Vaccinations a Vital Defense
Jan 5, 2014, Wall Street Journal: A Booster Shot for Vaccines
Things at UCSB have been pretty tense recently. With all the meningitis and influenza outbreaks, it is no wonder - each year thousands die in the U.S. from diseases such as these. In uneasy times like this there is good news, though. We have a very good protection against these pathogens, a nearly foolproof method of fortifying the body: the process known as vaccination. However, thanks to a few outspoken, rather ignorant groups, misinformation has been spread about vaccines, namely the myth that they can cause autism. . . .
Even so, some still clamor that vaccines cause autism spectrum disorders. Perhaps the reason for this is that the age in which a child gets vaccinated simply coincides with when they develop the symptoms of autism. Around two-or-three-years-old is when a child first starts to develop symptoms of autism and, as it just so happens, is also when they get many of their vaccines. At this age, regardless of whether or not children are vaccinated, they may develop symptoms of autism if they happen to be autistic - that is just how the body works.
Despite what any Playmate of the Year would say (I'm looking at you beautiful, but-oh-so misguided Jenny McCarthy), autism cannot be caused by vaccines. These people claim that certain chemicals in the shots, like mercury and aluminum, could cause adverse reactions in a child's brain, possibly resulting in autism. But the fact is that nowadays, these chemicals have either been entirely removed from the vaccine, or are in such incredibly low amounts that there is no reaction to speak of. Furthermore, studies have shown that kids who get their MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine basically have the same rate of autism as kids who did not get the vaccine. What more proof would you need? . . .
Organizations like the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, the National Academy of Sciences and even Autism Speaks, have come out supporting the fact that vaccines do not cause autism. And even if vaccines could somehow "provoke" autism in some children - which I am saying there is absolutely no evidence for - the benefits would still outweigh the negatives.
I certainly hope Jay Grafft isn't a journalism student. His outlook is incredibly naïve and simplistic. He spins the science into blatant falsehoods. He pretends there has been a comparison of vaccinated/unvaccinated kids. And most stunning of all, he believes that even if vaccines do cause autism, it's worth the risk.
I posted comments.
Perhaps it is an inevitable result of the current climate in this country, but even the notion of vaccines can be politicized and infused with paranoia these days.
In recent years, many have come to believe that the childhood measles, mumps and rubella vaccine can cause autism - even though the "research" that sparked such beliefs has been shown to be fraudulent. Others have pointed to vaccines of various types as some sort of nefarious government plot. So it probably should come as no surprise that, with the flu season bearing down, recommendations for people to get vaccinated are met with skepticism in some quarters...
No method of prevention is fail-safe, but the most assured way to avoid contracting the flu is to receive a vaccine -- a notion that flies in the face of a growing anti-vaccine movement in this country. While the decision of whether or not to receive a vaccine is a personal one for adults and/or parents, if somebody becomes ill, they put those around them at risk. There's nothing personal about influenza.
Autism is never a problem. Vaccines are the best thing that ever happened to medicine. And doubts are due to Andrew Wakefield/Jenny McCarthy. I posted 13 comments. Links are working.
Amid national outbreaks of measles, whooping cough and other preventable diseases, Colorado officials might make it harder for parents to exempt children from vaccinations for school and day care. . . . .
Such a move would make Colorado the latest of a handful of states, including Washington and Oregon, to adopt tougher rules. All U.S. states allow children to be exempted from vaccination requirements for medical reasons.
Colorado officials are concerned that current procedures often make it easier for busy parents to skip vaccinations simply by filling out a form than taking their kids to the doctor for shots. They're also eager to counter what they call confusion among parents over vaccine safety after a study a decade and a half ago linked vaccines to autism-a finding since debunked.
Vaccines are "an incredibly important public-health intervention," said Rachel Herlihy, chief of the state health department's immunization section.
Stricter standards could boost Colorado's vaccination rates, which are among the lowest in the nation, with 85.7% of kindergartners immunized against measles, mumps and rubella, Dr. Herlihy and other proponents say. They would like to see Colorado's rates closer to those of Mississippi, which allows medical exemptions only and has at least 99.9% of kindergartners vaccinated-the nation's highest rate.
Vaccine promoters are working to strike down exemptions on a state-by-state basis. The goal here is not just to inform parents about the benefits of vaccination--it's to remove our rights.