Dr. Andy

Reflections on medicine and biology among other things

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Vaccine safety and the internet

This article concisely summarizes why vaccines are overwhelmingly safe and life-saving:
At present, there are no data to conclude that childhood vaccines, and in particular hepatitis B vaccine, pose a serious health risk or justify a change in current immunization practice. However, vaccine “scares” continue to have an international impact on immunization coverage.
It goes on to point out the communication difficulties vaccine advocates (such as myself) face given the emotional appeals and pseudoscience used by those who oppose vaccination, recognizing the internet as a powerful force in today's world:
The Internet has increasingly become a powerful means of international communication and an almost inexhaustible source of information, capable of playing an influential role in both the positive and the negative sense
The article itself is not available except to subscribers to the Journal. Sometimes I feel like we are fighting with one hand tied behind our back.


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