Tag: media

January 18 – This Day in Vaccine History

Would folks be more likely to get vaccinated and protected if they remembered what it was like in the pre-vaccine era?

Since anti-vaccine folks like to make it sound like cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, and everything else are caused by vaccines, will they be surprised to know that in addition to now vaccine-preventable diseases, they were big killers in the pre-vaccine era?
Since anti-vaccine folks like to make it sound like cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, and everything else are caused by vaccines, will they be surprised to know that in addition to now vaccine-preventable diseases, they were big killers in the pre-vaccine era?

A lot of people died of diseases that are now vaccine-preventable, and no, you can’t simply thank better hygiene and nutrition instead of vaccines for saving all of those lives.

A lot of people were still getting smallpox in 1920.
A lot of people were still getting smallpox in 1920.

Since the smallpox vaccine has been around for hundreds of years, can you believe that people were still getting and dying of smallpox 100 years ago?

How about 50 years ago?

January 18, 1970 - everyone was excited about all of the progress that was being made in getting smallpox under control.
January 18, 1970 – everyone was excited about all of the progress that was being made in getting smallpox under control.

That’s hard to imagine, isn’t it, as it was long known how to control smallpox with quarantines and vaccination.

On January 18, 1870, the Chicago Tribune described how Chicago was getting smallpox under control - by getting folks vaccinated.
On January 18, 1870, the Chicago Tribune described how Chicago was getting smallpox under control – by getting folks vaccinated.

Still, it took a long time before smallpox was finally declared eradicated.

And with smallpox under control, fifty years ago, many communities were eager to get kids vaccinated and protected to stop measles.

This paper in Nebraska announced "Stop Measles Day" on January 18, 1970.
This paper in Nebraska announced “Stop Measles Day” on this day in vaccine history – January 18, 1970.

Something changed once we got these diseases under control though.

Can you guess what it was?

Todd Wiley was convicted of manslaughter for shaking his child, but his “DPT defense” made the papers for months, including this article on January 18, 1995.

There were more and more vaccine scare stories in the media. Initially they were about the DPT vaccine and they then moved on to MMR once Andrew Wakefield hit the scene.

The Disneyland measles outbreak was well underway on January 18, 2015.

And even though none of the stories were true, that didn’t stop them from influencing people.

Have we learned our lesson?

Do we need to repeat history?

Vaccines are safe, with few risks, and are obviously necessary.

Anti-vax groups are raising money in Maine and elsewhere to influence parents and politicians and new vaccine laws.
Anti-vax groups are raising money in Maine and elsewhere to influence parents and politicians and new vaccine laws.

Vaccinate and protect your kids. Don’t bring back these deadly diseases.

More on History of Vaccines

Whose Rights Are Taken Away By Vaccine Mandates?

Why do some people continue to bring up anti-vaccine talking points and act like they are asking some profound questions?

What about my choice to send my kids to school and not worry about their being exposed to measles or another vaccine-preventable disease? #JustAsking
What about my choice to send my kids to school and not worry about their being exposed to measles or another vaccine-preventable disease? #JustAsking

I’m just asking…

Whose Rights Are Taken Away By Vaccine Mandates?

Do they not realize that these anti-vaccine talking point have been refuted a thousand times already?

For example, while ‘where there is a risk, there should be a choice” makes a catchy slogan, it is obvious that these folks only care about the rights, risks, and choices of those who don’t want to vaccinate their kids.

Remember that parents nearly always have a choice on whether or not to vaccinate their healthy kids, even if they live in a state without non-medical exceptions.

You don’t have that choice if your child can’t be vaccinated though.

And they very obviously only care about their imagined right to send their intentionally unvaccinated child to school, where they pose a risk to those who can’t be vaccinated and who have immune system problems.

Don’t parents who vaccinate and protect their kids have rights?

What about their right to send their kids to school and not have to worry about being unnecessarily exposed to a vaccine-preventable disease?

That’s especially important if their child can’t be vaccinated or can’t be fully vaccinated, including those with immune system problems or cancer, who may be immunodeficient because of chemotherapy.

More Anti-Vax PRATTS

What about the $4 billion in payouts from VAERS?

That’s actually from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Trust Fund, during a time when billions and billions of doses of vaccines have been given. And while the the great majority of those vaccines are given safely, since vaccines are not 100% safe, we have the Vaccine Court to help folks get compensated if they do suffer a vaccine injury.

But folks should be concerned that there are 200 new vaccines in the pipeline right?

Nope.

In fact, the “200 vaccines” in the pipeline include:

  • 124 for infectious diseases, including 36 to prevent or treat HIV, 25 to prevent influenza, including new nasal flu vaccines, 8 for RSV, and 8 for ebola
  • 105 for cancers
  • thirteen for allergies
  • eight for neurological disorders
  • seven for other conditions

So the only concerning part is that most won’t make it out of the pipeline and few are actually new vaccines to treat infectious diseases…

Of course it is also very concerning that they continue to push this kind of misinformation that scares parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids.

Why isn’t the media covering that more?

How about covering the fact that anti-vaccine folks continue to push the idea that vaccines are not tested against placebos, against saline placebos, aren’t tested together, and aren’t tested in long-term studies, despite the fact that they are?

Do We Need Vaccine Mandates?

It might surprise some folks, but vaccine mandates aren’t new.

What is relatively new are all of the exemptions that were added to the very effective vaccine mandates that helped eliminate measles in the United States.

Bob Sears warned us these measles outbreaks were coming. Of course, many people blame him for stoking those fears that made parents avoid the MMR...
Bob Sears warned us these measles outbreaks were coming. Of course, many people blame him for stoking those fears that made parents avoid the MMR…

It should be clear that we now need vaccine mandates without non-medical exemptions as too many people have been abusing these vaccine exemptions.

It’s a big part of the reason why we are seeing a rise in measles and outbreaks of other diseases.

How many will be enough?

Do we have to wait until more kids are dying before we get your attention?
Do we have to wait until even more kids are dying before we get everyone’s attention? Do we have to go back to the pre-vaccine era?

Do we need to wait until more kids are dying before we strengthen our vaccine mandates?

Or better yet, how about we put an end to spreading anti-vaccine propaganda and encourage more people to get vaccinated and protected so that we don’t need mandates?

Vaccines are safe, with few risks, and are very obviously necessary.

And for what it’s worth, science isn’t something that gets “debated in an open court of law.”

Debating science in the court room got us The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes or the Scopes Monkey Trial, which made it unlawful to teach evolution in schools.
Debating science in the court room got us The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes or the Scopes Monkey Trial, which made it unlawful to teach evolution in schools.

Neither should laws be made simply because our legislators are influenced by a very vocal minority of people who want to take away the choices and rights of everyone else so that they can send their intentionally unvaccinated kids to school.

More on Parental Rights and Vaccine Mandates

Will a NY Law Make the HPV Vaccine Mandatory for Daycare?

Why do some folks think that a proposed bill in New York will make the HPV vaccine mandatory for kids in daycare?

A NY law will not make the HPV vaccine mandatory for kids in daycare.
Kids in daycare will not need to get the HPV vaccine if S298 passes in New York.

Unfortunately, this time the misinformation isn’t just coming from the usual sources. Local news stations are getting in on the action too.

Will a NY Law Make the HPV Vaccine Mandatory for Daycare?

While Senate Bill S298A does “Provides for the immunization of all children born after January 1, 2008 against the human papillomavirus (HPV),” it doesn’t say anything about a mandate for kids in daycare.

“Section one amends the section heading and subdivisions 2; 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8 of section 2164 of the public health law, as amended by chapter 401 of the laws of 2015, by adding human papillomavirus (HPV) to the list of required immunizing agents, such as those against poliomyelitis, mumps and measles, to be administered to children in this state. Section one also adds the HPV vaccine to the list of vaccines for which a booster is required;”

Senate Bill S298A 2019-2020 Legislative Session

When would they get it?

“Every person in parental relation to a child in this state shall have administered to such child an adequate dose or doses of an immunizing agent against poliomyelitis, mumps, measles, diphtheria, rubella,varicella, HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS (HPV), Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), pertussis, tetanus, pneumococcal disease, and hepatitis B, which meets the standards approved by the United States public health service for such biological products, and which is approved by the department under such conditions as may be specified by the public health council.”

Senate Bill S298A 2019-2020 Legislative Session

Like the other vaccines, they would almost certainly get it at the standard age, when they are 11 or 12 years old.

“Every person in parental relation to a child in this state born on or after January first, nineteen hundred ninety-four and entering sixth grade or a comparable age level special education program with an unassigned grade on or after September first, two thousand seven, shall have administered to such child a booster immunization containing diphtheria and tetanus toxoids, [and] an acellular pertussis vaccine, AND A HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS (HPV) VACCINE, which meets the standards approved by the United States public health service for such biological products, and which is approved by the department under such conditions as may be specified by the public health council.”

Senate Bill S298A 2019-2020 Legislative Session

And they would get their second booster dose in the sixth grade.

So why do some folks think the bill includes a mandate for daycare?

“The term “school” means and includes any public, private or parochial child caring center, day nursery, day care agency, nursery school, kindergarten, elementary, intermediate or secondary school.”

Senate Bill S298A 2019-2020 Legislative Session

The term day care is used in the definitions list at the beginning of the bill…

“The term “child” shall mean and include any person between the ages of two months and eighteen years.”

Senate Bill S298A 2019-2020 Legislative Session

While that might be a little confusing, it really isn’t if you read the whole bill.

“This bill will leave to the department of health to determine the age at which children will be required to be vaccinated in light of ACIP recommendations.”

Senate Bill S298A 2019-2020 Legislative Session

After all, what are the ACIP recommendations?

“Routine vaccination at age 11 or 12 years has been recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) since 2006 for females and since 2011 for males.”

Use of a 2-Dose Schedule for Human Papillomavirus Vaccination — Updated Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices

Since there is nothing in the ACIP recommendations about kids in day care getting a dose of HPV vaccine, it should be very clear that S298A is not a mandate for day care, preschool, or kindergarten, etc.

It is a mandate for kids to get vaccinated and protected in middle school.

And New York, if this bill is enacted, would join Hawaii, Rhode Island, Virginia, and District of Columbia, which already have HPV vaccine school entry mandates.

More on HPV Vaccine School Entry Mandates

Five Things to Know About the Reporting on California’s New Vaccine Law

California has a new vaccine law, and based on the media coverage, a lot of folks still don’t understand what it does or how to report about vaccines and the anti-vaccine movement…

“Other opponents say the law tries to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.”

Elizabeth Aguilera on Five Things to Know About California’s New Vaccine Law

As is typically the case, the problem is false balance.

Five Things to Know About the Reporting on California’s New Vaccine Law

Before we talk about what California’s new vaccine law does, let’s remind folks about what it doesn’t do.

What does the new law do?

It doesn’t eliminate all exemptions, stop doctors from writing medical exemptions, require all exemptions to be reviewed, or revoke all medical exemptions.

It simply helps stop providers who are writing inappropriate vaccine exemptions – or at least keep them from writing more than four inappropriate vaccine exemptions.

How did we get here?

It is no surprise how California ended up passing two vaccine laws in four years.

The state has a problem with clusters of unvaccinated kids. Unfortunately, the first vaccine law, SB277, didn’t fix the issue, as some providers found that they could get around it by writing unnecessary medical exemptions.

Some even found that they could make money writing these exemptions!

The vast majority of kids are vaccinated, so what’s the big deal?

While it is great if a state has high immunization rates, that doesn’t mean as much if half the kids in your child’s school are unvaccinated.

This is known as a breakdown of herd immunity.

It puts kids at risk to get a vaccine-preventable disease, especially if they have a true medical exemption.

Are vaccines dangerous, as some critics say?

Vaccines are safe, with few risks.

What is dangerous, are the folks who push misinformation about vaccines that scare parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids. Why don’t we hear more stories about them in the media?

So is this fight over now?

While this should be a time when everyone starts to learn about why vaccines are safe and necessary, unfortunately, some are doubling down and still don’t want to vaccinate and protect their kids.

Did the opposition write this article in the Valley News?
Did “the opposition” write this article in the Valley News?

That might change if instead of simply printing what the opposition says in the spirit of being balanced, the media ever actually fact checks what the opponents to SB 276 and other vaccine laws have been doing and saying…

More On Reporting About Vaccines