Vaccine voices: Smart and not

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 1.06.27 PMToday we give a shoutout to a voice of reason in the vaccine debate, and a shout-down to posturing politician, whose voice should just be put on mute.

Alex Berezow, the founding editor of RealClearScience, participated in a CNN debate about mandatory vaccination. His opponent was Mary Holland from the New York School of Law.

The debate was touched off by Berezow s piece in USA today, where he (partly tongue-in-cheek) suggested that parents who did not vaccinate their children should be sent to jail.

So, who won? This may not even be a fair question, since CNN failed to tell Berezow that Holland believed that vaccines were great, but that they caused autism.

After retrieving his jaw from his desktop, ACSH s Dr. Josh Bloom wondered, What the hell does this mean? Vaccines are great, except when they re not? Was she rooting for both Seattle and New England in the Super Bowl?

Also not stated was that she has co-authored anti-vaccine papers with others who stand to gain for example, with Robert Krakow, a New York lawyer who represents plaintiffs in vaccine court. And, according to her NYU page, one of her specialties is Vaccine Safety Law and Vaccine Injury Compensation. Hmm.

You can watch the debate here.

And, speaking of people who should just shut up, today s Posturing Pinhead award goes to Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), who was grilling officials of several Health and Human Services agencies about the poor coverage of this year s flu vaccine.

Murphy asked (rhetorically) Shouldn't we be treating this problem with more urgency?, which he followed up with this brilliant comment: "We're all frustrated. We need to speed up this process."

Dr. Bloom comments, OK, one of the people being grilled was Dr. Anthony Fauci, who among other things, is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a key player in the early fight against HIV, and the winner of numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008. And this jerk is telling Fauci that things need to be sped up?

He continues, It takes six months to grow the vaccine in eggs, yet Murphy is telling Fauci to speed it up. Maybe he should sit on the eggs so they hatch faster.