The fact Ethan Lindenberger is over 18 years of age cannot be glossed over in this conversation. When dealing with minors, which this teen by legal definition is not, the terrain can get murky.
Hearts don’t open and minds don’t change when you yell at people. Or berate them. Or chastise them. Not with vaccination, or any other medical intervention.
The media hits keep coming ... and coming ... and coming. Here's where our dedicated experts appeared in recent days, promoting evidence-based science.
Vaccine resistance is one of the top 10 threats to global health. New York City is currently experiencing its worst outbreak of measles in decades, sickening scores of children in ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods. Prominent health organizations and advocacy groups have called on state legislatures to eliminate religious and philosophical exemptions.
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.
Many Americans hold beliefs about the flu vaccine that are at odds with the best available scientific evidence. For example, a recent study found that 43 percent of Americans believe that the seasonal flu vaccine can give us the flu. Scientific research strongly suggests that this is not true. Because most modern flu shots do not contain a live virus, the shot itself simply cannot get us sick.
Only about 37% of American adults bothered to get a flu shot this past flu season. That's actually a decrease from the previous season, when about 43% got one. Partially as a result, 80,000 Americans died from the flu. On the flip side, we did buy more organic food than ever before.
When what's absent in a story carries equal or more weight than what is actually reported, the damage goes beyond ratings. It undermines public health.
The media reports of a polio-like condition mostly impacting children sound pretty scary. But let's give acute flaccid myelitis, also known as AFM, some well-needed context.
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.
A mumps outbreak has infected nearly 400 people in Alaska -- because apparently being stubborn and getting mumps is preferable to getting vaccinated.
If the goal is guaranteeing the safety of children, as well as protecting the general population being from infectious diseases, then why is the act of shaming playing any role in vaccine compliance?