Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: Institute of Medicine

Aug.
29th

Shot in the arm for supporters of childhood vaccination


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.

Read more »

Aug.
11th

Birth control coverage will be a boon for millions

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Contraceptive use in the United States is an issue fraught with irony.

The women who can least afford to get pregnant – including the young, the poor and the uneducated – often have the least access to effective birth control. They may not have health insurance, but even if they do, it might be subject to a deductible or co-pay. So they’re more likely to use cheaper, less effective methods like condoms – or nothing at all.

Little wonder the United States has the highest rate of unintended pregnancies in the industrialized world. Almost half of all U.S. pregnancies are unplanned, and about 40 percent of those end in abortion. Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program alone spend more than $12 billion a year providing maternity care for low-income women and care for infants in the first year of life. Read more »