vaccines

If Donald Trump's anti-vaccine tweets were not enough to make the scientific and medical community nervous about the future of vaccination in this country, there is now a new reason to be concerned. Very concerned. 

It is reported that Donald Trump met this week with Robert Kennedy Jr., a vaccine denier and one of the most outspoken proponents of the false claim that vaccines cause autism. At the core of RFK Jr.'s irrational and harmful platform is the use of the preservative thimerosal in vaccines. Just two years ago, he edited the book, "Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak: The Evidence Supporting the Immediate Removal of Mercury--a Known Neurotoxin--from...

In a span of 72 hours, the Cleveland Clinic has fallen from being regarded as one of the top medical institutions in the country to a near 'trending topic' on twitter (and the hashtags are not good.)

At the center of the backlash is a blog post written by the medical director and chief operating officer of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, Dr. Daniel Neides. The details of the post have been described, and appropriately challenged, in full detail by our own Dr. Josh Bloom in his article, The Fool at The Cleveland Clinic.  

In essence, the blog post was a bunch of anti-science quackery as Dr. Neides opined on toxins, chemicals and food.

But, what caught people's...

Perhaps the strangest medical phenomenon discovered in recent years is a link between the lone star tick and an allergy to red meat.

The bite of a lone star tick exposes a person to a small carbohydrate called alpha-gal. In a handful of people, this exposure elicits an abnormal immune response that produces a type of antibody called IgE, which causes allergies. Because red meat also contains alpha-gal, people who have been sensitized to the carbohydrate from a tick bite can develop life-threatening anaphylaxis if they consume pork or beef. 

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Andrew Wakefield, Jenny McCarthy and their anti-vaccination groupies are making less and less of an impact, according to a new report released by the CDC that analyzes vaccination data on Kindergartners.  

The CDC collected vaccination data from the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, and the results look like a win for medicine. The data collected looked at the rates of vaccination for three vaccines - the first two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, the diptheria, tetanus and pertussis (whopping cough) (DTaP) vaccine and the two doses of the varicella zoster (chicken pox) vaccine (for the 42 states that require it.)

For each vaccine, the percentage of vaccinated...

When a measles outbreak occurred at Disneyland roughly two years ago, anti-vaccine activists mocked it. They derided the infectious disease, caused by perhaps the most contagious human virus known, as "Mickey Mouse measles." Many claimed that measles is no big deal. As proof, they cited memories of getting measles as a child and recovering.

If only every person was so lucky. The World Health Organization estimates that, in 2015, there were 134,200 deaths caused by measles, or 367 deaths every single day. In 1980, a staggering 2.6 million people died from measles. That is why measles really is a big deal; it's a highly infectious virus that is potentially deadly. And it is why global public health...

When some of the public hears about vaccines today, they may think of Andrew Wakefield's fraudulent links to autism or Jenny McCarthy’s use of her Hollywood megaphone to polarize the issue as well as encourage the spread of an anti-vaccine movement.  

Truth be told, for a time public opinion did shift and philosophical exemptions boomed, primarily in states like California, Washington, and Oregon. Preventable diseases blossomed. 

As science stood largely silent, Dr. Paul Offit - Chief of Infectious Diseases and the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and long-time trustee and supporter of the American Council on Science and Health - took to the helm to fight the noble battle on behalf of children’s health and safety.  He...

Tougher vaccine exemption laws are working

The measles outbreak at Disneyland, which came to the public's attention in January 2015, prompted several states to tighten their vaccine exemption laws. California, for instance, went from having one of the weakest laws in the nation to one of the strictest after it eliminated personal and religious objections for the parents of children enrolling in school or day care. 

Even before the Disneyland outbreak, Michigan was in the process of tightening its vaccine exemption laws. According to MLive, a Michigan news site, the state made it very easy for a...

When I was a child, getting chickenpox was a rite of passage. Everyone had to get it, sooner or later, and sooner was preferable. The day I noticed in 2nd grade the itchy little bumps forming, I celebrated because I knew that it meant several days away from school. 

Of course, after just a day or two of itchiness, I learned that chickenpox wasn't all that fun. Then, when I turned 30, I suffered an outbreak of shingles, which was incredibly unpleasant. It was then that I wished the chickenpox vaccine had existed when I was a tot. And because the virus that causes chickenpox is a type of herpesvirus, it will live inside me forever, meaning that I could have an outbreak of...

In an effort to halt what some pediatricians are calling a rising tide in vaccine hesitancy, the American Academy of Pediatrics have released a statement urging states to crack down on parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. The recommendations go as far as stating that pediatricians reserve the right to exclude anti-vaccine families from the practice who refuse to change their minds.

The news is good, and we here at the council welcome it, as a whopping 87 percent of pediatricians this year have been 'challenged' by parents who refuse to vaccinate their children, up from 75 percent in the last decade.

“Parents, pediatricians, and policy-makers all have a role here in protecting children from diseases like measles and whooping cough,” said AAP President Benard P....

Slide1 A disturbing view of pediatric chiropractics Image courtesy of www.abc.net.au

A perfect storm of ignorance and misinformation will be taking place in Maui this December at the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics annual conference.

Amidst the backdrop of talks on the questionable practice of the manipulation of children's spines, will be a session on "vaccines and autism."

It is bad enough to perform spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) on children and babies (pediatric chiropractors now recommend starting spinal...