Vaccines in the News

From CNN January 20, 2011:

Researchers looking at the 2008 measles outbreak in San Diego , California , showed just how expensive and serious an outbreak of a disease that could have been prevented with a vaccine can be. A child whose parents refused to vaccinate him traveled to Europe and brought home the measles.

That family exposed 839 people, resulting in 11 additional cases of measles. One child too young to be vaccinated had to be hospitalized.

Forty-eight children too young to be vaccinated had to be quarantined, at an average family cost of $775 per child. The total cost of the outbreak was $124,517, about $11,000 per case and substantially more for the hospitalized child. That was just in the money the county and state spent to clean the mess up, and doesn't take into the account the costs to private insurers.

From May 2008 issue of Time Magazine:
Measles Cases on the Rise
How Safe are Vaccines?

January 30, 2008
Mercury from Vaccines Clears More Quickly in Infants than Anticipated
Researchers at the University of Rochester have found that the mercury from the vaccine preservative thimerosal is excreted by infants quickly and does not build up between vaccinations. The study, published in the February issue of Pediatrics, should be reassuring to parents whose children were vaccinated before 2001,when thimerosal was eliminated from childhood vaccines in the United States, that those vaccines  did not present any long-term toxicity risk.

January 8, 2008
Autism cases still on rise after vaccine change

Autism cases in California continued to climb even after a mercury-rich vaccine preservative that some people blame for the neurological disorder was removed from routine childhood shots, a new study found

November 5, 2007

On October 27, the Wall Street Journal published a guest editorial, "The New McCarthyism: Vaccines & Autism." It is written by Dr. Ari Brown, a pediatrician in Austin, TX. Portions of the editorial are reprinted below:

Dangerous vaccines that harm kids. An epidemic of disabled children, hurt by an uncaring medical establishment. Sounds like a B-grade Hollywood thriller. But this is supposedly a true story as told by actress Jenny McCarthy, author of the best seller "Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism."

When I heard Ms. McCarthy tell Oprah and Larry King that vaccines caused her son's autism, I had a flashback . . . I was the senior pediatric resident on call in the Intensive Care Unit. . . [A] seven-year-old girl was brought to the emergency room at Children's Hospital Boston. The girl had come down with chickenpox a few days earlier . . . That night, she had taken a turn for the worse. Her fever shot up to 106 and she became confused and lethargic. . . . Now she was in "multiple system organ failure"--every square inch of her body was shutting down all at once. . . . My attending physician told me to grab dinner. This child would need me for the rest of the night. I returned to the ICU to find that my patient had gone into cardiac arrest and died. I watched, helplessly, as the nurses placed the little girl into a body bag.

Fast forward five months: The first chickenpox vaccine was approved. That day, I vowed never to let a child on my watch suffer from a disease that was preventable by vaccination.

That's a story that doesn't grab headlines or guest shots on Larry King. Vaccines are one of mankind's greatest scientific achievements. . . . Yet vaccines are victims of their own success. Today's parents are unfamiliar with the diseases they prevent, but these diseases are alive and well in the U.S. . . . .

Celebrity books come and go, but the anxiety they create lives on in pediatricians' offices across the country. A small but growing number of parents are even lying about their religious beliefs to avoid having their children vaccinated, thanks in part to the media hysteria created by [Ms. McCarthy's] book. Parents go through stages of grief when their child is diagnosed with a disorder like autism. . . . But why hasn't the media called out Ms. McCarthy on all the medical inaccuracies in her book? . . . .

[For example:] Ms. McCarthy told Oprah that her son was a normal toddler until he received his measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (at 15 months of age). . . . Yet she contradicts herself in her book: "My friends' babies all cracked a smile way before Evan did . . . he was almost five months old." Which is it? Was he normal until his MMR vaccine or were some of the signs [of autism] missed before he got that shot?

Ms. McCarthy also contends that mercury in vaccines caused damage to her son's gut and immune system, leading to autism. Yet the mercury preservative Ms. McCarthy assails was removed from the childhood vaccination series in 2001. Her son, Evan, was born in 2002. . . .

Doctors do need to do a better job of guiding families through the maze of autism treatments. I also desperately want to know why autism happens and how to treat it. But let's put our energy into funding autism research and treatment, not demonizing our vaccination program. . . .

To access the full text of the editorial from Dr. Brown's website, go to:
The New McCarthyism: Vaccines & Autism

Source: Immunization Action Coalition