News piece gives false balance to anti-vax agenda

“Health Day” piece uses Barbara Loe Fisher of NVIC as an “expert” in this piece that reports that the vaccination schedule is safe. What’s wrong with that? The NVIC is against vaccinations and she even mentions the A word: autism.

Childhood Vaccine Schedule Is Safe, Report Says.

The standard vaccine schedule for young children in the United States is safe and effective, a new review says.

The report, issued Wednesday by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) at the request of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the first to look at the entire vaccine schedule as opposed to just individual vaccines. The current vaccine schedule entails 24 vaccines given before the age of 2, averaging one to five shots during a single doctor visit.

“The committee found no evidence that the childhood immunization schedule is not safe,” said Ada Sue Hinshaw

“The IOM Committee has done a good job outlining core parental concerns about the safety of the U.S. child vaccine schedule and identifying the large knowledge gaps that cause parents to continue to ask doctors questions they can’t answer,” said Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), a nonprofit organization “advocating for the institution of vaccine safety and informed consent protections in the public health system.”

But, she added, “The most shocking part of this report is that the committee could only identify fewer than 40 studies published in the past 10 years that addressed the current 0-6-year-old child vaccine schedule. We still don’t know if the doubling of the numbers of doses of vaccines that children are given since 1982 is associated with health problems in premature infants or development of chronic brain and immune system disorders, such as asthma, atopy, allergy, autoimmunity, autism, learning disorders, communication disorders, developmental disorders, intellectual disability, attention-deficit disorder, disruptive behavior disorder, tics and Tourette’s syndrome, seizures, febrile seizures and epilepsy.”

Apparently this media source is unaware of what the NVIC really is and what they do. It was picked up by major news networks for syndication. That’s very unfortunate. The American media have not learned the lessons from Australia where a similar group, the Australian Vaccination Network, has been removed from the discussion because they are unscientific and biased about vaccination. Fisher’s comments here are ridiculous. There is no evidence or mechanism recognized to suggest that there is a link between vaccines and that laundry list of disorders. For her to say this is “shocking” is pure drama, no substance.

Meanwhile, autism and vaccines? Nope. Autism and 25 gene variants is news.

  2 comments for “News piece gives false balance to anti-vax agenda

  1. January 17, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    As the father of an autistic child, I can’t tell you how much it makes my blood boil that the anti-vaccine machine still continues to invoke autism as a scare tactic to persuade parents away from vaccinating their children. We know vaccines work and that they have saved millions of lives. There is no credible evidence suggesting vaccinating your children will cause autism or any of the other countless illnesses they’ve listed.

  2. January 21, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    Dr. Rachie pens this – perfect to add to this piece. http://scepticsbook.com/2013/01/13/tipping-the-scales-on-false-balance/

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