Wednesday, January 9, 2008
This could igniite a firestorm, but here goes...VACCINES!
So I am not even really going to touch this issue with a ten-foot pole. For some reason, this topic gets people up in arms more than male circumcision, the Iowa caucuses, piercing you kid's ears, the phenomenon that is TomKat and capital punishment, combined. I will not tell you whether or not to immunize your child. That is something to discuss with your significant other and your doc. I will refer my lovely audience to some medical links below, though.
I will also caution you on randomly Googling vaccines because you will inevitably run across some non-scientifically based sites which will scare you into next week (sort of like how the original Poltergeist freaked the crap out of me when I was in grade school). Obviously, I have a skewed perspective on vaccines, since I have actually seen and taken care of patients with the morbidity and mortality related to measles, mumps, rubella, pneumococcal sepsis, invasive H. flu, disseminated varicella, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, polio, pertussis, tetany (not pretty), rotavirus (one of my scariest patients ever) and meningitis.
Oh wait, did I scare you?
I am providing some MEDICAL links to info on vaccines:
-The Centers for Disease Control (often glamourized in movies like and And the Band Played On and Outbreak - both great movies)
-The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia website
-The Food and Drug Administration website
-The World Health Organization (WHO) website
-An article on immunizations in France
-CDC fact sheet on MMR and autism with some links that anyone with a vested interest in this subject should absolutely read to learn the issues with many of the studies "finding" a link between vaccines and autism
-As reported by MSNBC, Recent California Department of Developmental Services study
Boy are we lucky in the US that we don't have to deal with other vaccine preventable illnesses like yellow fever and typhoid. On that note, I am going to stop talking about vaccines and go and read my new InStyle magazine and West Elm catalog. Good night!