As winter rolls into spring, we here at ACSH are springing ahead with our pro-science agenda. (Did you see what we did there?) From Fox Business to the Financial Times, here are the places we appeared in recent days.
The CDC has reported on the horrifying near-death of a 6-year-old boy in Oregon. As is the case with so many stories these days, he was unvaccinated. He was outside playing -- which is, quite frankly, dangerous if you're not vaccinated -- when he scratched his forehead. Then a horror story ensued.
Some science positions are so well-supported by data that every literate adult should embrace them. For those who reject facts, an appeal to emotion with funny pictures and clever text can sometimes work to persuade. So, let's celebrate some of our favorite pro-vaccine memes. In the science wars, some positions are so well-supported by mountains of data ("vaccines are safe and effective"), that every literate adult should embrace them. Alas, they do not. For people who reject facts, an appeal to emotion might work. Hence, the meme. It's simply a matter of reality that memes with funny pictures and clever text go viral, while the latest research paper from the Journal of the American Medical Association does not. So, let's celebrate pro-vaccine memes.
The media hits keep coming ... and coming ... and coming. Here's where our dedicated experts appeared in recent days, promoting evidence-based science.
The New York Times has done something that it very rarely does: It wrote an editorial in support of biotechnology. Unfortunately, the newspaper has a long history of spreading misinformation about GMOs and chemicals, which seriously undermines the important message in its pro-vaccine editorial.
Anyone who believes that vaccines cause autism shouldn't be in a position of authority. The fundamental problem with someone making such a claim is not that s/he is wrong. Instead, it reveals someone who's conspiratorially minded and lacks critical thinking skills. That's not the sort of person who should be in charge of anything important.
Municipalities may feel justified in trying to up the ante in the vaccine wars. Drunk drivers who kill somebody can be charged with manslaughter. Perhaps they have a point in saying this law should be extended to those who, through negligence, sicken or kill another person with a vaccine-preventable illness. That is certainly a far more palatable option than filling up tiny coffins.
Despite the reality of measles, rotavirus, and a plethora of other infectious diseases, there's yet another anti-vaccine movement afoot in California. And its aim is to turn the clock back to the 10th Century.
This article, written by Dr. Alex Berezow, was cited by New York Daily News. Obviously, measles outbreaks are garnering a lot of national attention. People seem to have forgotten that, at one time, measles killed thousands of Americans every single year. To this day, measles kills more than 100,000 people around the world annually. But without a doubt, health officials –- especially those who trek to remote and sometimes dangerous locations to administer vaccines – are true public servants.
More vaccinations mean fewer people are getting preventable diseases. But 2016 was a year filled with the fervor of the anti-vaxxer movement. And alarmingly, that dangerous zeal for stopping this effective public health measure, which helps save the lives of children, looks like it is ramping up as we head into 2017.
In its latest issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC estimates the worldwide impact that vaccination against measles. The results are both encouraging and breathtaking. What would happen if there was no measles vaccine? Roughly 1.5 million people would die of the disease every single year.
The outbreak began with a Michigan parent who was diagnosed with shingles last October. Despite acquiring first-hand knowledge of the pain and discomfort of shingles, the parent apparently took no significant action to protect his or her 5 kids. Within a month, one by one each came down with chickenpox. And then it spread outside the family home.