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Stanford Medicine's Spring Edition Delves Into Vaccine Issues

The Stanford University School of Medicine's recently published spring edition of Stanford Medicine provides insight into many of the issues faced daily by vaccine advocates. The journal provides insightful information on numerous vaccine topics from ingredients to vaccine safety challenges to policy.

This special report, aptly titled, "Hot Shots: Vaccines Under the Gun" is prefaced with a letter written by Every Child By Two co-founder former first lady Rosalynn Carter. Mrs. Carter discusses the fact that in 2008, the U.S. experienced one of the largest measles outbreaks in over a decade. Mrs. Carter first responded to a measles outbreak in 1991 when she and former first lady of Arkansas Betty Bumpers started Every Child By Two.

Read Mrs. Carter's letter

Below are a few notable excerpts from the issue:

A Skeptical Public

Stanford Medicine lays out the issues the public health community faces as they seek to ensure that an increasingly skeptical public is protected from infectious disease. Jonathan Rabinovitz writes about the experiences of a family in Manchester, England who express grief over their decision not to vaccinate their daughter for measles as the child suffers. Mr. Rabinovitz chronicles the events that led to the family's decision to avoid vaccination beginning with the findings of Andrew Wakefield, "who has perhaps done more than any other doctor to create the current fears about vaccines and autism" after publishing faulty research in 1998, which spread like wildfire throughout the U.S. and Europe. 

Media's Role in Communicating Science

 "When Science Gets Hijacked" written by Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC News Chief Medical Editor, discusses the lasting impression of growing up in the 1950s during the polio epidemics as her father, a young surgeon, was "afraid to come home from the hospital, and afraid to hug us, wondering if he might be transporting death to his family." Dr. Snyderman describes why she avoided covering news related to autism after her initial report on the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act for NBC's Today Show was met with much vitriol; however, one book written by a man whose "courage made me realize that none of us can afford to sit on the sidelines when science is hijacked" was the impetus for her return to reporting on this critical issue. That scientist was Dr. Paul Offit, author of Autism's False Prophets

Actor and Mother Amanda Peet Advocates for Vaccines

Every Child By Two's Vaccinate Your Baby campaign volunteer spokeswoman Amanda Peet provides insight into her courageous decision to counter the misleading beliefs in Hollywood. After consulting with medical experts, Ms. Peet decided to vaccinate her daughter and speak publicly about her trust in the science behind vaccines. Ms. Peet, while not well-versed in scientific methodology herself, puts her faith in the medical community and their research which has shown that vaccines are safe: "I think vaccine opponents don't want to talk about the data because they're hard to dispute.  It's hard to argue that reproducible, transparent data are biased – they're inherently unbiased."

For Further Information

Below is a link to the journal, whose readership includes medical schools administrators, health care journalists and other media, legislators, and medical researchers nationwide. 

Every Child By Two is proud to have been a part of this provocative and insightful publication and we encourage our readers to follow the link below to read each of the articles. 

http://stanmed.stanford.edu/2009spring/index.html