Yesterday, we reported on Dr. Paul Offit s dead-on op-ed in the New York Times, where he thoroughly decimated the concept that there is a fundamental conflict between religion and modern medicine, specifically vaccination.
Dr. Offit, who is the chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children s Hospital of Philadelphia, and one of the world s most influential vaccine experts, was not finished.
Last night, on the CBS Evening News, Offit was interviewed by correspondent Jim Axelrod about why there is still widespread resistance to vaccination. We strongly suggest you watch the interview.
ACSH s Dr. Josh Bloom says, I have had the privilege of getting to know Paul, listening to him lecture (as good as you ll ever hear), and learning from his writings over the past few years. He is a true hero in the area of public health, and, despite the scathing criticisms of irrational anti-vaccine groups, his integrity is unmatched. When he says something, you should drop whatever you are doing and pay attention.
The main thrust of the interview is that much of the anti-vaccine movement that persists today is fallout from a fraudulent study by Dr. Andrew Wakefield: he was stripped of his medical license after his blatant malfeasance was uncovered, thanks to the Herculean effort of British journalist Brian Deer, whose six-year investigation of Wakefield thoroughly exposed him for the crook that he is.
What we at ACSH find both surprising and gratifying is that the message is getting out, and that it is having an effect.
For example, Autism Speaks, which as recently as 2009 was still advocating funding of studies on the autism-vaccination connection is now firmly in the other camp. Rob Ring, the chief science officer of the group, recently reaffirmed their position, issuing the following statement: Over the last two decades, extensive research has asked whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research are clear: Vaccines do not cause autism. We urge that all children be fully vaccinated.
Sometimes pigs do fly.