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Shot in the arm for supporters of childhood vaccination

Post by TNT Editorial Board / The News Tribune on Aug. 29, 2011 at 7:19 pm with 5 Comments »
August 29, 2011 5:33 pm

Guadaloupe Robinson, 6, receives an MMR vaccine at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma in October 2010. Dad Reggie Robinson offers moral support. (Janet Jensen/Staff photographer)

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

Just in time for the start of the school year comes a welcome endorsement of vaccinations – and repudiation of efforts to link them to everything from diabetes and autism to death.

An independent team of medical experts conducted a comprehensive study of the latest research and found that vaccinations rarely have serious side effects, and when they do they tend to be in people with pre-existing immune system disorders. That should come as welcome news to parents who might be reluctant to have their children immunized for school because of what they’ve read or heard about the safety of vaccines.

The most widespread claim – which has already been found to be false – links the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine to autism. Although the link has been debunked and the doctor who made it had his license revoked in his native Britain, about one in four parents still believes it.

Some parents claim that the diphtheria-tetanus, acellular pertussis vaccine causes childhood diabetes or that the influenza vaccine worsens asthma or causes the nerve disorder Bell’s palsy.
It’s unfortunate that claims like this have gotten such traction in the United States and abroad. They’re the main reason diseases that once routinely killed or badly scarred children – such as measles and whooping cough – are threatening to make a comeback.

The study’s panel, convened by the Institute of Medicine, did find that six vaccines – including the MMR, flu, chickenpox and tetanus – can trigger an allergic reaction in some individuals, mostly those with immune-system disorders.

Even so, the risks associated with not being vaccinated far outweigh the few, mostly minor side effects.

For instance, some populations cannot be vaccinated, including infants and those aforementioned immune-compromised people. Their health depends on everyone around them being vaccinated and not spreading disease. If an unvaccinated baby comes in contact with someone suffering from measles, the baby is almost certain to be infected – and much more seriously affected than an older child.

As parents ready their children to go back to school and get them the required inoculations, they should recognize the role their own family plays in the health of the greater community. Society’s “herd immunity” to dread diseases is compromised if too many of us decide to forgo the medical miracle of vaccination.

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. amdachel says:

    This is what the Seattle Times had to say about the IOM report on vaccines:

    “In 14 cases the panel examined, it found convincing evidence some vaccines can cause rare adverse events in certain people, including seizures, brain inflammation and fainting. Those problems were, in most cases, experienced by people with immune-system deficiencies.

    “The committee also found the evidence doesn’t support any connection between autism and the MMR vaccine for mumps, measles and rubella (German measles).

    “But in the vast majority of cases – 135 out of 158 examined – the committee couldn’t reach any conclusions about connections between vaccines and serious health conditions, saying there was insufficient evidence.”

    So the tens of thousands of parents with babies who were born healthy and were developing normally until they received certain routine vaccinations and suddenly had seizures, stopped talking, lost learned skills–eventually ended up with an autism diagnosis,


    In the vast majority of cases the experts couldn’t reach any conclusions? This is pretend science. It’s proof of nothing except the fact that vaccines are a risk.

    Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

  2. Misunderestimated says:

    Yes, damn the risk, sheeple, get those shots.

  3. cycleman says:

    Quote from the second paragraph
    article: “An independent team of medical experts conducted a comprehensive study——–“
    Hey TNT Editorial Board< I have a few questions for you..
    *What are the names of the members of the TEAM OF INDEPENDENT MEDICICAL EXPERTS ?
    *Did you do due diligence before publishing , i.e., Do any of those on the supposed INDEPENDENT TEAM OF MEDICAL EXPERTS HAVE ANY CONFLICTS OF INTEREST?
    Before blindly quoting phantom Medical Experts on a topic you know little or nothing about you ought spend a little time familiarizing your with the topic.
    Since the increase in the mandatory number of vaccinations a child born in the USA from 1 or 2 to more than 18 at 18 months of age, 26 by 5 years, the number of children being struck autistic has increased in direct relationship from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in
    Autism is a lifelong loss of life’s quality for the both the injured and the injured supporting family.
    There are few things you ought to consider before getting ahead of yourself and blindly rushing to publish.
    My recommendation is that the parents of a new born must study the present state of vaccines before letting the doctors start injecting!

  4. maurinemeleck says:

    If I’ve heard “the risks of not vaccinating outweigh the risks of vaccinating one more time-I’m gonna be sick . Easy enough to say if you don’t have a child that you had take the risks and now the child has lifelong autism most likely.
    Why would anyone believe a study by the IOM? They are part of the vaccine mandate problem and the huge increase in the number of vaccines and the lack of safety regarding vaccines. I’d believe chicken little before I’d believe a thing the IOM says. Why doesn’t anyone in the government demand a fully vaccinated vs fully unvaccinated study off children , yet to be done. There are plenty of unvaccinated kids they can use for the study.
    Maurine meleck SC

  5. Speaking of conflicts of interest, were those of you pushing the autism-vaccination connection aware that the only study ever to link autism to vaccination was exposed as a fraud? Not just faulty research or incorrectly drawn conclusions, the guy actually faked the data so that he could make millions selling test kits for autism. He no longer has a medical license as a result.

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