As a board certified pediatrician, I took the same oath as all physicians, “to do no harm.”
The latest media presentation of the measles outbreak at Disneyland as a result of unvaccinated children is very upsetting to me. We are being fed information that is essentially inaccurate by media journalists – none of whom have medical degrees – which may actually be promoting medical harm to our children.
The latest reports blaming a failure of the measles vaccine on the unvaccinated population are not accurate, and in some reports, not true at all. In fact, over the past 30 years, there have been similar numbers of measles cases reported in various areas of the United States. Studies published in leading medical journals, such as the New England Journal of Medicine, American Journal of Epidemiology, American Journal of Public Health and others around the world have confirmed small numbers, 75-140 cases of measles annually. So why then is the latest statistic of over 90 cases of measles spread over 14 states, representing tens of millions of people being billed as an epidemic?
The media would have us believe that this is a result of the fringe population of anti-vaxers who refuse to have their children vaccinated according the guidelines of the current vaccine schedule. Medical reporting has brought to light the glaring ineffectiveness of the measles vaccines in fulfilling their widely claimed promise of preventing outbreaks in highly vaccine compliant populations. In fact, measles outbreaks have occurred in populations that have been vaccinated on the average of 77%- 99%, not the so-called anti-vaxers.
Last year 1 in every 500,000 Americans came down with the measles. Nearly all recovered in a few days without serious consequences. At the same time 1 in 68 American children were diagnosed with autism or for every case of measles there were 7000 cases of autism. I ask myself which is the real epidemic here?
I wish these journalists, vaccinologists and infectious disease specialists spent a week in my office. I wish they would actually listen to the testimonials given to me by parents of autistic children who were obviously affected by these vaccines adversely. I wish they would tell parents that the risk of dying from the measles in the United States is around zero. I wish they would admit that they are being told by pharmaceutical companies not to report certain statistics or to cover up factual scientific information. I wish they could be free to report honestly about vaccines rather than being dependent upon drug advertising and internet information.
This is an emotional debate for sure. If we discount emotion and fear, we would realize that a child may have a greater chance of getting struck by lightning, accidental drowning or possibly from adverse side effects of the MMR vaccination itself than from acquiring live measles infection. I wish that my pediatric colleagues would offer parents factual pros and cons of vaccines in general so that a parent can make an informed decision and then give consent to vaccinate rather than being told that if their child isn’t vaccinated they will be thrown out of school and they are guilty of child abuse!
I am not advocating that vaccines be discontinued. I am advocating that doctors and patients become aware of the ingredients of these vaccines, what they can potentially do to affect an adverse outcome in an immunologically compromised child. Adverse reactions to MMR and other vaccines have been reported in numerous clinical trials and studies. I am advocating that medical practitioners and researchers, not journalists, address the real medical epidemics of autism, asthma, GI disease and autoimmune diseases facing our society and people around the world. Stop hyping the safety of MMR vaccines which may actually be more dangerous than live measles and may be ineffective in preventing the illness which they are so anxious to report as a dangerous epidemic itself. Let’s stop believing that the mainstream media is telling us the truth when all they are doing is shutting down any intelligent and open discussion about vaccine safety and how to improve it.
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About the Author
Dr Elice is a graduate of Syracuse University and the Chicago Medical School. He maintains teaching positions at New York University Medical School and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and has adjunct professorship at North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, New York and the Cohen Children’s Hospital of the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, New York.
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