Friday, August 12, 2011

Why the vaccine "debate" will never be settled

In the August 2011 edition of The Costco Connection there appeared an article promoting various vaccines for adults.  You can read the entire article here.

I just emailed the following letter to the editor:

If medical and public health vaccine advocates want to know why they do not hold any credibility with those of us who question the current vaccine protocol they need to look no further than the quote credited to Dr. Raymond A. Strikas in the August 2011 edition of the Costco Connection.  In the article Dr. Strikas is quoted as say "If you've lost your [immunization] records and are unsure about whether you were vaccinated as a child, there is no harm in getting revaccinated as an adult,".  This is patently false.  Every time a person is vaccinated they are exposed to the possibility of adverse reactions to that vaccine.  Looking at the package inserts of some of the most common vaccines these potential adverse reaction include encephalitis and encephalopathy, chronic joint symptoms, or aseptic meningitis - all of which are listed as reported adverse reactions by the manufacturers for various measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox vaccines. While all of these events are quite rare, it is cheap and easy to run a titer to see if a person is already immune to the disease for which the vaccine is suggested.  Why take the risk of any adverse reaction, even a minor one, if it can be clinically determined that a person is immune?

If Dr. Strikas or others would like to discuss the relative risks versus benefits (personal and public) of various vaccinations that is a conversation worthy of consideration.  But I would ask that neither he nor The Costco Connection insult my intelligence by arguing that vaccines are risk-free.

I would love to hear your thoughts.....

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