By Anne Dachel
Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump. The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD, an online supplement retailer for patients with special needs.Unseen forces behind the media seem to be using the recent measles cases for their own agenda, and it's pretty easy to see what that agenda is.
**Contagious disease is now a national crisis.
(Ask no questions about all the developmentally disabled children everywhere or the ones who are chronically ill with a host of health conditions like diabetes, seizures, asthma, allergies, and bowel disease.)
**Vaccines have no serious side effects.
(Alleged injuries are only coincidental, not causal. All parents should want to protect their children from getting sick.)
**Every child should be vaccinated.
(The spin is that it's the only way "herd immunity" works. Individual rights are trumped by the good of the community. Thousands of kids would be dying of diseases that are vaccine--preventable.)
The press makes this message incredibly simple: "Vaccines are safe, vaccines save lives, everyone should want their kids vaccinated."
No one in the media seems to have the courage to bring up conflicts of interest, the power and control of the pharmaceutical industry over our regulatory agencies, the experts who disagree with the standard vaccine talking points, and the glaring contradictions in the government's own actions concerning the concession of vaccine-induced autism in the case of Hannah Poling and the 83 settlements by the VICP uncovered in 2011.
We're on a very scary course right now as a result of this measles mania. Philosophical and religious exemptions and non-vaccinating parents are not just being talked about in the media, they're presented as a national threat. There is no fair and balanced coverage. In fact, CNN had Seth Mnookin on saying that THERE AREN'T TWO SIDES, and the press shouldn't pretend there are.
Mnookin: "We know there's not a connection between vaccines and autism."
CNN's T.J. Holmes asked Mnookin about the role of Dr. Andrew Wakefield in all this. "How much responsibility do you put on this one man, Andrew Wakefield, for quite frankly, in some cases, causing a public health scare, or even disaster?"
Mnookin blamed the controversy on, of all things, THE MEDIA. "I think that our industry probably shares a lot of responsibility too. . . .The media. For years after this had been an issue that was settled, we continued to present it as a real debate. We fell into the trap of 'on the one hand, on the other hand,' even after there really weren't two sides."
Holmes: "You say, like we do in this business, the whole objective is to be objective. You let one side have their say, you let the other side have their say. But you're saying, in doing that, in presenting that to the public, we're not saying to them, actually the two sides aren't equal. It might seem like there's no consensus, it might seem like there are two different schools of thought, but there's a very tiny community out there who still believes there's a link."
Mnookin said that being balanced isn't fair because there are "a million doctors on one side and a tiny handful on the other." Furthermore, according to Mnookin, the science isn't equal either. There's "all the research on one side vs a very small amount of research that's been shown not to be reliable."
The problem for members of the media who believe all the science is in, IF they show a doctor on each sides of this controversy, the public may be fooled into thinking that experts are divided 50/50.
The simple solution for mainstream media is to simply not cover anyone (especially a doctor) who dissents from the official government talking points on vaccines.
The fact that no one knows the REAL CAUSE of autism is the real sticking point here. Mnookin said, "That absolutely is the problem. Autism is a terrifying disease for a lot of people. We have not been adequately able to figure out what the cause is. I think one of the real tragedies of the focus on this debate, is that research and time and energy that could have been devoted to looking into what the causes were, has been focused on redoing these studies on addressing this issue over and over and over again. We haven't been able to put the time and focus on looking into what those causes might be."
Holmes then asked Mnookin, "You've done this research over years with this book now. Can you confidently sit here and say to parents who are certainly engaged in this debate, doing their own research out there. Would you say to any of them, absolutely folks, vaccines are not going to cause your child to have autism?"
Mnookin: "Absolutely, I have no problem saying that. There have been millions of children that have been in research studies. It is something that scientists and researchers around the world have looked at extensively. I'm glad it is a topic that was looked at extensively. I have a child. I think it's incredibly important for parents to know vaccines are safe.
"This is an issue that has been arguably the most studied in childhood health. And I can confidently say that."
Holmes: "As you know, there are plenty of parents out there with children with autism [for whom] this is a very passionate, emotional debate. They believe through and through. We can't explain why the numbers have gone up, so they have their school of thought out there as well, but Seth Mnookin, thank you for being here. . . ."
There are now thousands of stories circulating in the news (national and local reports), all saying the very same thing:
It's time to get tough on exemptions. Non-vaxxing parents caused the measles outbreak.
Vaccines must be safe---all the experts and health officials seem to say so. If there is no possibility of serious side effects, then everyone should vaccinate! There's no excuse not to.
Stories now report that the Catholic and Jewish faiths support vaccination. In fact, "God wants you to vaccinate your kids," according to Mother Jones!
Autism, as usual, isn't part of the equation. If your child has autism and you believe that he or she was just fine until they were vaccinated, that's too bad. You're wrong. We don't know the cause of autism, but holding beliefs like you do threatens the health of everyone's children.
Here are some samples of what Americans are seeing:
God Wants You To Vaccinate Your Kids Mother Jones
For some Christians, it's the origin of the MMR vaccine that makes things morally murky. The rubella portion (the "R") was developed in the 1960s using stem cells from aborted fetuses in an effort, ironically enough, to save other fetuses: Rubella at the time was sweeping parts of Europe and the outbreak had come to America. Women infected during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy develop congenital rubella syndrome, which can cause mental retardation, encephalitis (swelling of the brain), deafness, heart disease, and other dangerous birth defects in the developing infant. Many of those women chose to terminate their pregnancies. . . .
Although the MMR vaccine remains a hot topic of debate among pro-life groups, many religious leaders have decided that that, morally speaking, the benefits of the rubella vaccine outweigh its costs. In 2008, the Vatican, under Pope Benedict XVI, concluded that it was okay for Catholics to get the shot, . . .
Vaccines and abortion? The links are cloudy and complicated The Catholic Register
The Internet rumors that claim vaccinations mean having tiny pieces of aborted fetuses injected into your body are flat-out wrong, yet there is a grain of truth in the assertion that vaccinations and abortions are linked.
Many of the most common vaccines, for rubella and chicken pox for example, are grown in and then removed from cells descended from the cells of aborted fetuses. Pregnant women aborted them about 40 years ago by choice, and not with the intent of aiding vaccine production.
Yet for some religious believers, those facts do not lift what they see as a moral prohibition against vaccination. . . .
"But there is a judgment here, both scientific and moral, that says vaccination is part of my obligation - civic and moral - to others." To protect one another, he said, "that's an important biblical teaching." . . .
The Roman Catholic Church, which opposes abortion and endorses vaccination as a general good, advises a similar reasoning process when it comes to vaccines linked - however distantly - to abortions, and the church leaves the decision up to the individual Catholic, said John A. Di Camillo, staff ethicist at the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. . . .
Karen Ernst, a vaccine advocate who leads Minnesota-based Voices for Vaccines, said there is an argument to be made that vaccines prevent abortion.
Are Anti-Vaxxers' Religious Exemption Claims Grounded in Actual Religious ... Jewish Link of New Jersey
As Jewish mom Sally Kohn wrote in The Daily Beast on Feb. 3, "I'm embarrassed to say that the idea that we might be putting other people at risk by not vaccinating our daughter never really crossed our minds. We were focused on keeping our daughter safe, and little else. That was a mistake."
Salisbury, MD Parents can - and should - be forced to vaccinate Delmarva Daily Times
Most everybody agrees with the president on vaccinations and the agreement is bipartisan.
The president is right to urge parents to unconditionally vaccinate their children. Most everybody agrees with him and the agreement is bipartisan. A Pew Research Center poll said only 22 percent of Democrats, 34 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of independents think parents should make the final decision on vaccination. . . .
Two states have handled vaccinations correctly. Mississippi and West Virginia have the highest vaccination rates and the least contagion. . . .
In these states, there is no religious or philosophical exemption - and the non-vaccinated do not attend school.
This can be done everywhere and should be.
ID OUR VIEW: The safe, responsible play - everyone get immunized The Idaho Statesman
It is high time we confront the bigger issue: a growing number of people are refusing vaccinations for themselves and/or their children. . . .
Measles and other childhood diseases are not political. They are not about freedom of choice or even religious issues. They are public health issues. We respect a parent's legitimate right to decline vaccination - but don't expect to take advantage of a public education if you are unwilling to participate in sound public health precautions
Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2015/02/08/3634222/the-safe-responsible-play-everyone.html#storylink=cpy
IL Vaccinate children to maintain public health Chicago Tribune
...To achieve this will require that schools, private and public, have all their children immunized according to the vaccine schedule. While Illinois does not allow personal belief exemptions from immunization, our schools have been too lax in verifying immunization status and communicating that information to parents.
The recent outbreaks highlight the importance of ensuring that all children are appropriately immunized.
- Mark Rosenberg MD, FAAP, Member of the American Academy of Pediatrics
CA Vaccinations; Herd Immunity or Personal Choice? Malibu Times
Nevertheless, a small group of parents persist in withholding immunizations in an effort to protect their children. While I respect their motivation, the ramifications are huge.
What they fail to realize is that their actions put other children, those with cancer and compromised immune systems or those younger than one year, at much greater risk. Their reluctance to vaccinate also apparently caused the resurgence of diseases once deemed eradicated. Experts say a 90 percent vaccination rate is necessary to protect those who can't be vaccinated for medical reasons. It's called "herd immunity." . . .
To involve politicians in this debate is ludicrous and can be the pitfall that tanks a career, or at least a campaign. Decisions must be based on science, but even with the data available, parents have considerations and fears that are personal.
Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and a pediatrics professor at the University of Pennsylvania, has spoken to various media over the past decade, commenting on vaccination trends and arguing against the allowance of non-medical exemptions. Like nearly all scientists who have conducted peer-reviewed research on vaccines, he says vaccines are the only way to prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases like measles.
WA Vaccine opt-outs need to be curbed The Olympian
In the aftermath of the measles outbreak at Disneyland that is now linked to at least 107 cases in 14 states, lawmakers in California and Washington are coming back to the land of reality. Legislative proposals in both states would end waivers or exemptions letting parents opt out of vaccinations solely due to philosophical or personal objections. House Bill 2009, which retains a religious exemption, is sponsored by Rep. June Robinson, D-Everett.
Read more here: http://www.theolympian.com/2015/02/09/3564893/vaccine-opt-outs-need-to-be-curbed.html#storylink=cpy
PA Editorial: Vaccination exemptions must end Chambersburg Public Opinion
It's about lay people who irrationally think they know better than doctors. It's about the creeping triumph of belief over science.
In Pennsylvania, public school children "need not be immunized if the parent, guardian or emancipated child objects in writing to the immunization on religious grounds or on the basis of a strong moral or ethical conviction similar to religious belief," according to state law.
That needs to change, the sooner the better. Other states which prevent children from starting kindergarten without immunizations, such as West Virginia and Mississippi, haven't seen measles outbreaks since the early 1990s.
Something about the current measles outbreak may be altering the public consciousness, suggested Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center and a professor of pediatrics in the division of infectious diseases at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
"This Disney outbreak is the tipping point. It's different," Offit said. "Last year we had more than 600 cases, so why has the Disney outbreak led to this bigger response? I think the answer is where it happened. It's Disneyland, fantasyland, and the contrast to that is this potentially fatal disease."
Baltimore-area doctors made a public stand in favor of vaccines Monday, standing literally shoulder to shoulder to urge holdouts to get their kids vaccinated against measles.
"Ours is an unequivocal message. Vaccines are safe, they are effective, and they save lives every single day," Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen said as the group stood up in front of a seminar about measles at the Johns Hopkins University school of public health. . . .
CDC says it's clear that clusters of deliberately unvaccinated people are to blame for the outbreak and for most outbreaks. Unvaccinated travelers - most of them Americans returning from abroad - carry the virus back to the United States. . .
Polls suggest most Americans do support and believe in vaccines. A study released Monday by Pew Research found that 83 percent of the U.S. public agrees that vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) are safe for healthy children. The survey found that 92 percent of college graduates agree that vaccines are safe but this drops to 77 percent of people with a high school degree or less.
This year and last, many of the cases have occurred in children whose parents opted out of vaccination based on personal belief.
"The failure of other parents to safely vaccinate their children against these diseases puts Liam and these other children at risk- and that risk includes death," Liam's doctor Margaret Thompson, a staff physician in the department of pediatric hematology, oncology, and blood and marrow transplantation at the Cleveland Clinic, told FoxNews.com.
Measles Outbreak Cues New Action on Vaccination Rules Education Week News
As the illness spread this month, leaders in some states, including California, proposed limiting or eliminating so-called philosophical or belief-based exemptions-broad policies, in place in 19 states, that allow families to avoid vaccination.
. . .
At the national level, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said he planned to introduce a bill that would offer incentives for states to require parents to be informed by a doctor about the risks before refusing vaccinations for their children for nonmedical reasons.
AZ Outbreak reveals potential weakness TriValley Central
State regulations in Illinois and elsewhere generally require vaccinations for older children in day care centers, but measles shots are not recommended for children under age 1. And like most states, Illinois does not require vaccinations for day care center staffers.
"Unfortunately, there is no requirement. But this is on our radar," said Melaney Arnold, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health. . . .
Public health authorities "absolutely should be looking more closely" at how to protect unvaccinated children in day care, through vaccine requirements for staff or fewer exemptions for children of parents who oppose vaccines, Gostin said.
"I'm fine with the idea of individual freedom and parental rights so long as they don't put the community at risk," Gostin said.
MA Why are people getting measles? Boston Globe
In the early 20th century, cities like Boston and New York did force people to get smallpox vaccines. I mean, really force people, by raiding their apartments, holding them down, and giving them shots. And while the Supreme Court said that went too far, they did give states the right to require vaccines for public health reasons - and to jail people who refused.
A lot has changed over the last 100 years, but when I spoke to Northwestern law professor Eugene Kontorovich, he said the precedent might well hold up. In a real public health emergency, states could likely order compulsory vaccinations.
Then again, that's probably not necessary. Short of police raids, there are a lot of way to increase vaccination rates. Schools could make it more difficult to get an exemption. Day care centers could close their doors to kids not following the vaccine schedule. Pediatricians could keep parents from picking and choosing among vaccines.
MD In case of public health emergency, Maryland would drop its religious exemption ... Baltimore Business Journal
Parents in Maryland have the right to opt out of vaccinating their children. But those rules would go out the window if there's an emergency measles outbreak. . . .
The state would weigh the impact of an outbreak with the resources available to handle it. Declaring a public health emergency means pulling out all the stops to any regulations or rules that might otherwise limit the state's authority over public health.
Though medical experts say vaccines are clinically proven to be safe and effective, Magee is still convinced the shots come with a certain level of risk.
"We believe that parents should have some options according to their unique child," she told CBS News.
The debate comes as other states are considering tightening up exemption laws, in line with Mississippi's, to cut down on the spread of measles.
In California, where the current outbreak has sickened more than 100 people, parents requested more than 13,000 "personal belief" exemptions for their children last year. Last week, state lawmakers proposed a bill that would eliminate personal and religious exemptions and require vaccination for all children unless they had a medical reason not to.
FL Measles outbreak reopens vaccine debate Tallahassee.com
FDOH health officer Claudia Blackburn said immunizing children is the best antidote.
"If people get vaccinated, there is no need to worry," Blackburn said. "That is the best way to prepare."
CT Measles Spread Highlights Vaccine Exemptions; Veteran Physician Offers ... The Newtown Bee
"At the very least, parents who choose not to vaccinate their kids should be aware of the danger it presents to their family and society," Sen Murphy said. Dr Draper concurs.
"Chris [Murphy's] proposal comes back to actual facts, and rightfully directs physicians to discuss with parents looking to avoid vaccinations the risks that decision poses to themselves, their children, and so many others who might become infected," Dr Draper said.
Sen Murphy's legislation would incentivize states to require parents who want a nonmedical exemption from having their child vaccinated to first visit their physician and be informed of the risk of refusing vaccination. The information would be designed to counteract the false information that is being spread, leading parents to believe that vaccinations cause conditions like autism.
"Even if your child is perfectly healthy and can be fine without getting it, you should think of other people" says John Freeman, who takes his 6-year-old daughter to a KinderCare daycare center in Madison.
All KinderCare centers in the United States are taking a stand to prevent measles from spreading. Starting Monday, all KinderCare employees who work in the infant rooms must be vaccinated.
"I fully support that. You should think of other people, show compassion" says Freeman.
PA Why you shouldn't claim measles vaccine exemption Lancaster Online
We all want to do what is best for our own children. However, spreading a potentially lethal disease to others who can't get immunized for medical reasons - because you've decided against vaccination - should not be a right.
TX It's time to revisit vaccine exemption Fort Worth Star Telegram
Dallas lawmaker's proposal to eliminate 'conscientious objections' just makes sense . . .
The trend has alarmed at least one local politician. State Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, says he will propose legislation that will eliminate conscientious exemptions for students attending public schools.
Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/opinion/editorials/article10158608.html#storylink=cpy
PA State legislators seek to shut down vaccine loophole Philly.com
Corbin and other lawmakers say they want to close what they call a "loophole" that has allowed parents to opt out of vaccinations based on philosophical objections, which along with medical and religious, are the three allowable exemptions. Pennsylvania is one of roughly 20 states that has a philosophical exemption, while New Jersey does not.
Sen. Daylin Leach (D., Montgomery) sponsor of the Senate version of the bill, said philosophical exemptions are driving down Pennsylvania's vaccination rates and exposing children unnecessarily to disease.
"I don't think we can afford that given public safety involved," said Leach. "You are [putting] potentially thousands at risk. I don't think someone should have the freedom to not participate in protecting public health."
PA Inside the First Amendment: Public health risk trumps conscience in vaccine ... Centre Daily Times
According to a 2013 study published in Scientific American, "many states are dropping below safety thresholds" because "parents are opting out of state vaccination requirements for kids entering public school despite a dearth of evidence that vaccines are harmful or unnecessary." . . .
Despite a looming public health crisis of significant proportions, scientists and public health officials are having a difficult time convincing the swelling ranks of naysayers.
No matter how clear and compelling the scientific evidence about the safety of vaccines, many parents still refuse to vaccinate their children out of fear, religious conviction, anti-government animus, commitment to a "natural" lifestyle, distrust of pharmaceutical companies - or some combination of the above.
Some anti-vaccine advocates reinforce the fears and distrust by promoting bogus science, including a 1998 study that claimed to have found a link between vaccinations and autism - a study that was soon debunked and retracted.
Education helps, but it isn't enough. States need to revisit their laws and find ways to make opting out of vaccinating children more difficult for parents.
Right now, religious and personal belief exemptions are far too easy to get in most states, requiring little more that filling out a form stating a personal objection to vaccination. Personal belief exemptions are the most common - and they are on the rise.
The measles outbreak should be a wake-up call. The time has come to eliminate broad "personal belief exemptions" entirely and tighten guidelines for religious and philosophical exemptions.
CA Other Voices: Mississippi a star in vaccine efficacy The Desert Sun
Mississippi allows only medical exemptions to the vaccines, but that number has more than doubled in recent years, from 54 in 2008 to 135 in 2014.
There also have been efforts in the Legislature to increase the number of unvaccinated children by allowing religious and philosophical exemptions. Yet as the state Department of Health notes, states with such exemptions usually account for most of the cases of measles in the U.S.
Mississippians can be proud of their No. 1 ranking in vaccinations. And they should maintain it as a matter of life or death.
GA Measles outbreak stirs up debate Covington News
At least some of the religious exemptions in Georgia were likely filed by parents who are not so much religious as they are concerned over rumored links between vaccines and autism. Georgia, unlike other states, does not allow philosophical exemptions.
Dr. Melinda Willingham, a pediatrician at Decatur Pediatric Group, said she has never encountered a family that resisted vaccination on religious grounds, but increasing numbers of parents fear their child could develop autism.
"I want to approach [the parents] knowing what their concerns are, what they've read and what they're afraid of, and then I explain how and why vaccines were developed, how a child's immune system develops and why there is a set schedule," she said. "Once we start discussing that and I give them some reputable websites to read, a lot of parents who did not want to vaccinate come around."
She said that children today receive more vaccines than those born in the eighties or earlier because there are new and emerging infectious diseases to be vaccinated against.
"I emphatically argue against an altered schedule," she said of some parents' compromise solution to stagger their child's vaccinations. "I need to deliver medicine the way it has been scientifically proven to work."
Willingham said the erroneous link between vaccines and autism is likely a result of the fact that autism is generally diagnosed when the child is between 12 and 24 months-the same period when they would be receiving their vaccinations. Moreover, she said, she has at least two patients who are autistic and were never vaccinated. . . .
CA Why the big jump in autism diagnoses? OC Register
Despite headlines and hysteria about skyrocketing numbers of children diagnosed as autistic, the number of children who meet the original definition of autism has been relatively stable in recent years, at about one quarter of 1 percent of children, according to Stephen Camarata of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in his book, "Late-Talking Children."
IA Mississippi, West Virginia toughest on school immunizations Sioux City Journal
"Mississippi is not traditionally viewed as a leader on health issues. But in this area, they should be proud of the fact that they have not changed this law. Mississippi and West Virginia could be role models for other states," said Dr. Mark Schleiss, a pediatrician and vaccine researcher at the University of Minnesota.
NY Measles vaccination rates vary widely in Mid-Hudson region's schools The Daily Freeman
Dr. Marc Tack, an infectious disease specialist with Medical Associates of the Hudson Valley, said people who choose to not vaccinate their children for other than a legitimate medical reason are being "foolishly fearless." . . .
"This is not a common cold, this is a dangerous disease," he said, adding that according to the CDC, between one and two children out of every 1,000 who contract the disease will die.
"For those children who don't die, there's also a significant amount of children left with permanent neurological damage," he said.
Tack said there is no scientific evidence linking the measles vaccine to serious health problems, including autism, which is one of the most widely cited concerns among those who choose not to vaccinate their children.
NC Measles see comeback amid vaccine debate Laurinburg Exchange
Dr. William R. Purcell, a retired Laurinburg pediatrician and former Laurinburg mayor who also served 15 years in the N.C. General Assembly, expressed skepticism Friday for any reasons, other than medical, for exempting a child from the vaccinations required by state law.
"I can't fathom any good religious reason for wanting to risk your own child's disability or death by refusing to get that child vaccinated,'' said Purcell, who remains associated with the children's medical clinic he founded decades ago. "It's an unusual religion that would not want to protect their children from potential death.'' . . .
Purcell was adamant that compulsory vaccinations are safe, make for a sound public health policy and should be the choice of responsible parents.
"Why would anyone choose to put a child at risk of disability or death when you don't have to?'' Purcell said. "Immunization just makes eminent good sense.''
One common concern is that obtaining a nonmedical exemption may have become too easy in some states. Oregon's opt-out rate for nonmedical reasons is 7 percent, the highest in the nation, followed by Vermont at 6.1 percent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The result is that some communities are at risk of losing "herd immunity" by falling below the recommended 92 to 95 percent childhood vaccination rate, the CDC reported in October. Below that rate, those who cannot receive MMR (mumps, measles and rubella) vaccines for medical reasons are at greater risk of developing the diseases.
In California, a group of state legislators announced last week that they would sponsor a bill to eliminate the state's "personal belief" exemption, which includes the religious exemption, from the state's immunization laws. California allowed 17,253 nonmedical exemptions in the 2013-14 school year for an opt-out rate of 3.1 percent.
MN Measles outbreak sparks call to limit vaccination exemptions Minnesota Public Radio News
Riding a wave of public anger over the nationwide measles outbreak, vaccine supporters are calling on state lawmakers to tighten or eliminate an exemption to Minnesota's vaccination rules.
Minnesota is one of 20 states that allow parents to opt out of vaccinations for their children, if they object to vaccines based on personal beliefs. Parents can do so by providing a notarized statement to their child's school in which they say the state's vaccination requirements are contrary to their "conscientiously held beliefs." Vaccine advocates say the philosophical exemption is overused and has made Minnesotans needlessly vulnerable to measles. A bill in the Legislature this session authored by state Rep. Mike Freiberg, DFL-Golden Valley, would require parents to consult with a medical professional before they could claim that exemption. . . .
"We actually suffer from this liberal exemption rule," said Dr. Robert Jacobson, a pediatrician at Mayo Clinic. "We could be doing better with our vaccination rates." . . .
That increasingly vocal pro-vaccine sentiment worries Wayne Rohde, co-founder of the Vaccine Safety Council of Minnesota. The group warns vaccines are not risk-free and therefore should not be required.
"Parents are in the best position to make the right decisions and not the government," he said.
Rohde said his 17-year-old son Nick had a severe reaction to the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine when he was 13 months old. Within 24 hours of receiving the vaccine, he said, Nick got a high fever and started screaming and arching his back. Rohde said his son was severely ill for two months. Nick's twin brother Austin, who received his MMR shot the same day, did not have any reaction.
Rohde said he's not claiming that the vaccine caused his son's autism, which was diagnosed later. But he does believe the vaccine overwhelmed his son's immune system and put him on a downward spiral.
"I don't believe that the vaccines are as good as they're being proposed," he said. "Parents are figuring that out and they're saying 'No.'"
But it still concerns public health experts, because the highest rates of exemptions are concentrated in counties where parents are educated about requirements and have access to medical care.
CA Personal Belief Exemptions For Vaccines Under Fire KPBS San Diego
But concerns about studies linking vaccines to autism have more parents opting out of that program. Now, California legislators are looking at ways to bring vaccination numbers up by eliminating personal belief exemptions.
Think about parents who disagrees with the universal message that vaccines are safe for every child. They don't dare open their months. Reporters have gotten the message: Only report which health officials tell you when it comes to vaccines; anything else jeopardizes the lives of children. My local paper in Chippewa Falls, WI (pop. 13,000+) has had a number of measles/exemption stories recently. It's like this across the country.
I can't help but think about any congressional hearing exposing how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention falsified vaccine safety study results. Will the mainstream media even cover it? Will reporters only defend the actions of agency officials and attack the hearing as dangerous since it could cause parents to question vaccinations? Those powerful forces that control what the media is allowed to say will, I'm sure, have a strategy to cover up the truth. It's already happening.
The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD. Lee Silsby is one of the most respected compounding pharmacies in the country and is committed to serving the needs of the Autism community. OurkidsASD is an online retailer for nutritional supplements for patients with special needs. OurkidsASD carries thousands of products from more than 60 brands and offers free ground shipping on all orders.
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 is on sale now from Skyhorse Publishing.