Home > Parent Perspective, Preventable Diseases > Actress Amanda Peet Encourages Parents to Vaccinate Kids

Actress Amanda Peet Encourages Parents to Vaccinate Kids

There is one thing that is for sure.  Diseases don’t discriminate based on a person’s popularity, fame or fortune. Which is why actress, and Every Child By Two spokeswoman, Amanda Peet, continues to speak out about the importance of vaccines.

In a recent interview with WebMD, Amanda explains how her 10-month-old daughter, Molly contracted pertussis last year.  Unfortunately, Molly was too young to have received all the doses in the pertussis vaccine series, and came down with a terrible cough.  After four visits to the doctor, she was finally diagnosed with pertussis.  In this article, Amanda explains how concerned she was during that time.  As a vaccine advocate, Amanda was well aware of the risks associated with this contagious disease and this experience simply reinforced why her work with Every Child By Two is so important.

My favorite quote from this article is when Amanda addresses parents who may have concerns about vaccines, encouraging them to research and talk with their physician about the benefits of immunization.

 “Don’t listen to me,” she says. “Listen to the science.”

If only celebrities like Jenny McCarthy had the sense to say the same, perhaps more parents wouldn’t be so misinformed regarding vaccine safety.

The truth is that people need to recognize that vaccines protect more than just the person being vaccinated.  They help protect the entire community.  That is why Every Child By Two and Amanda Peet are encouraging pertussis boosters for adults and adolescents, so that we can collectively “cocoon” young children like Molly, who have not been fully immunized.

Remember, diseases like pertussis may not discriminate, so be sure to vaccinate.

  1. laura
    July 15, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Molly got it when she was 10mo old? That TERRIFIES me. Logically, I know kids need all of the shots to be fully immunized but emotionally, it is hard to accept that my baby is vulnerable for so long. Really, as long as vaccine rates are so low (for teen and adult boosters especially) for this shot, even if you are fully vaccinated, you are still at risk because no vaccine is 100% effective for everyone. Thanks for what you do to educate people.

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  2. Karen
    July 15, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Molly was a lucky baby to have such a with-it and smart mother. I hope that she recovered quickly! Best wishes to Amanda!

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  3. July 15, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    Perhaps if her 10 month old’s immune system was intact and she didn’t have toxins and dead viruses floating around in her body her case of pertussis wouldn’t have been so severe–if she even go it at all. Science says people who are unvaccinated have stronger immune systems–they are infected with viruses and bacteria less often and recover quicker.

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  4. July 15, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    vaccines are Not 100 % proof of getting sick or not getting sick only by educating can you be sure you are doing what is best for your child ,do you know what in those vaccines hmmm have you read all the ingredients…well if you haven’t I would seriously think about educating yourself to what is really in those vaccines and quit fearmongering people into getting them and maybe hurting instead of helping their children ,of course everyone has their own opinion and that is their decision….

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  5. Chelsea
    July 16, 2011 at 1:02 am

    I second this!

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  6. Chelsea
    July 16, 2011 at 1:04 am

    “Science says people who are unvaccinated have stronger immune systems–they are infected with viruses and bacteria less often and recover quicker.”

    No, science doesn’t say that at all. Science says quite the opposite, actually.

    Oh, and I find it appalling that you would comment that way about a child’s illness, when this mother took steps to prevent said illness.

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  7. Chelsea
    July 16, 2011 at 1:08 am

    I do know what is in the vaccines, thank you. I am informed about the way vaccines work, and their ingredients, and the mountains of evidence that support their safety and effectiveness.

    Choosing not to vaccinate is *not* an individual decision, because it has repercussions for the community. It endangers children who cannot be vaccinated due to conditions like cancer, the people for whom vaccines aren’t effective (it’s a small minority, but they should still be protected), It endangers children who are too young to be vaccinated.

    So, because I am actually informed about vaccines, based on science, I vaccinate myself and my child and will continue to do so.

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  8. yvonne
    July 17, 2011 at 4:48 am

    It does seem strange that parents who takes precautions so that their children avoid the risks of certain illnesses and choose vaccinations are deemed ‘wise’, yet those who subsequently choose to avoid the ‘hazards’ associated with vaccines are deemed irresponsible. Yes, it is important to investigate and research all information about vaccinations, but when many adverse reactions are deliberately being ‘not recorded’, then the real picture is not known. We live in a time of freedom of speech and movement, each person, as an individual and parent must make the choices they feel are right for them and their family based on their experience and ‘information’. Two quotes comes to mind – ‘Judge not lest ye be judged’. ‘There is no respect for others without humility in one’s self’.

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  9. Kelly
    July 17, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Yvonne, it is not strange at all that parent that choose to avoid the hazards associated with vaccines are deemed irresponsible. The overwhelming amount of scientific evidence favors vaccination as safe and effective way to prevent serious diseases. To ignore this evidence is unwise. To leave children susceptible to these illnesses is unwise. I’m sorry, but there isn’t two sides to this debate. The anti-vaccine side is based on misinformation, misconception and logical fallacies.

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  10. Steve Michaels
    July 17, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Yvonne, the truth is that there are two sides to this debate. It’s just that some people choose to ignore anything that challenges their own beliefs. There is evidence on both sides, but I agree with you. It is up to the pro-vax side to prove safety. None of their studies do because they refuse to conduct double blind placebo studies between vaccinated and non vaccinated groups claiming that it would be unethical. Of course this argument presupposes the very conclusions which are in question, that is that the risk/benefit equation would favor vaccination. It is a logical fallacy to refuse to test a conclusion based on an assumption that the conclusion has already been proven. Kelly either doesn’t understand this or refuses to admit it.

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  11. rosey
    July 17, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Steve and Kelly . . .there is no Institutional Review Board (IRB) in the world that would allow a double blind placebo controlled study of vaccinated vs unvaccinated children because it would be completely unethical. You could equate it to the Tuskeegee experiments when black were injected with syphilis. There is so much irrefutable evidence that vaccines save lives and have a very, very small risk of any siginificant side effect (1-2 per 1,000,000 doses) that it would be completely irresponsible to do such a study.

    We can see already what is happening with vaccination rates dropping below 75-80% in states like CA and Washington – epidemics of pertussis (10 infant deaths all in unvaccinated children) and measles epidemics with 50% of children under 2 yrs requiring hospitalization. If you choose to live in this country then there is a moral imperitive (as well as laws) to vaccinate your children. If you choose not to vaccinate then please move to a different country.

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  12. Steve Michaels
    July 17, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Thanks for the input. I think you will find that Kelly would agree with you. I would not. Most members of IRB’s have been trained into the system in which vaccines are a standard and accepted pillar even though no true studies have been conducted. If there is so much ‘irrefutable’ evidence (that would require initial foundational double blind placebo studies), why have you not cited any? There are studies of efficacy but not of true safety. Most studies only look for minor adverse reactions over a very short period of time and always both control and subject groups have received similar levels of vaccines. The studies are always concurrent, concomitant and/or comparative. A bit like studying cigarettes for a link to lung cancer by studying groups by brand and/or volume of cigarettes smoked, but ensuring that ALL participants smoke. These studies really don’t tell us anything.

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  13. Steve Michaels
    July 17, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Oh, and since the subject here is pertussis and Amanda Peete has spoken out based on her own experience, “After four visits to the doctor, she was finally diagnosed with pertussis.”

    Now what does the AAP have to say about pertussis diagnosis and severity of illness?

    “In a review of pertussis deaths in infants < 3 months old in California, it is apparent that the primary physicians, and hospital emergency room physicians underestimated the impeding severity of the illness; this delayed hospital admission and contributed to the fatal outcome."

    http://www.aap-ca.org/clinical/pertussis/pertussis_in_young_infants.html

    This is a recurring theme in VPD outcomes. It appears that the outcomes from infections from VPD's is more dependent upon early diagnosis and treatment rather than issues of vaccination status. If anything, the promotion of vaccination seems to promote a rather lackadaisical approach to diagnosis as doctors assume that if a child has received vaccines, then a VPD is not worth considering as a diagnosis at an early stage. This is very dangerous thinking and another unintended consequence of vaccination.

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  14. KMB
    July 17, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Steve – I disagree with your interpretation. The fact is that vaccines have been so successful that many doctors have never seen these VPDs before, and this is why they are sometimes slow to make a diagnosis.

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  15. rosey
    July 17, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    For most vaccine-preventable illnesses there is no effective treatment. For pertussis, antibiotics may decrease contagiousness (but only if given in the first few 2-3 weeks of illness and at that point the illness really looks just like a bad cold and is very difficult to diagnose and the child has already exposes amny other people) but they do nothing to alter the severity of the illness. The only treatment is supportive. I have seen several infants with pertussis over the years. It is heartbreaking watching them struggle to breath and battle all the secretions. There is no treatment for measles either. Anyone who thinks measles is just a minor illness that children can battle with their own immune systems should just listen to the heart-wrenching acount of the mother of a 9 month old who was exposed in the waiting room of her pediatrician in San Diego. Her baby had fever of 105-106 for almost three weeks (along with the severe irritability, cough, conjunctivitis, etc). She said she was afraid he would die at any minute if she put him down.

    For other vaccines like prevnar and menactra that prevent bacterial meningitis, there are antibiotics that treat those infections, but the infections come on so quickly and are so overwhelming that there are very high mortality rates even with early diagnosis and treatment. And even if the child lives they can be left retarded, parlalyzed and/or deaf. THESE ARE SERIOUS DISEASES PEOPLE! And they are highly contagious. It is so sad that we have to have otherwise healthy children suffering and dying unnecessarily because of the fringe anti-vax group which has no scientific expertise or background. Thankfully, the tide has started to turn with the downfall of Andrew Wakefield. Parents are no longer listening to the Age of Autism fanatics, and states are repealing philosphical exemption laws and tightening up religious exemptions laws.

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  16. rosey
    July 17, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    How about history, Steve? Check out the CDC site for the incidences of all teh vaccien rpeventable illnesses prior to the introduction of vaccines – look at the mortality and morbidity data. And are you condemning all virologists and infectious disease experts in this country by saying that most member sof IRBs “have been trianed into the system”?! What exactly do you mean by that? You don’t believe in modern medical training/research? What exactly is your scientific background/training?

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  17. Steve Michaels
    July 17, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    My point exactly. Thank you for supporting the point!

    Like

  18. Steve Michaels
    July 17, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Oddly, before vaccines, the propaganda was precisely the opposite to what you are now espousing. Measles parties, for example, were a common occurrence before vaccinations. Even in France right now, there are over 7,000 cases of measles with no mortalities reported and no reported long term consequences. To use the word ‘contagious’ is nothing more than propaganda. Many things are contagious, but this does not mean necessarily that these things are dangerous. Yes, some of these diseases are dangerous, but without any proper risk/benefit analysis, it is impossible to determine which is more dangerous, the disease or the prevention… Statistics have already proven that the fear-mongering threat of death is vastly overstated to convince people to vaccinate. Death rates have not changed significantly as a result of vaccination. This is clear and fully documented.

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  19. rosey
    July 17, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    You are just completely wrong, Steve.

    http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/298/18/2155.short

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  20. rosey
    July 17, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    more information about what would happen if we decided to stop vaccinating:

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/whatifstop.htm

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  21. Kelly
    July 17, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Yes, Rosey, I would agree with you. Steve has admitted he has absolutely no scientific training. He has been presented with double-blind, placebo-controlled studies to show vaccine efficiency and safety and dismissed them because he claims conflict of interest or that the subjects were not completely unvaccinated. Recently Steve has confused viruses and bacteria, thought water was toxic because we referred to it by its chemical name and the best was when he thought the DTaP vaccine was a live vaccine because the antigens were listed as “active ingredients” in the package inserts. He likes to call me confused because he doesn’t like how I challenge his beliefs. Being a scientist, my decision to vaccinate was based on the science not some belief system or indoctineration. Steve has been told that before as well, but he is mighty fond of strawmen.

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  22. Kelly
    July 17, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    There have been 6 deaths reported in France so far, Steve. There are 14 cases with neurological complications and 444 cases with severe pneumonia.

    There was also 1 death in Germany.

    http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications/Publications/2011_June_measles_montly.pdf

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  23. Kelly
    July 17, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    If you stick around Rosey, you will find that Steve is always wrong. We correct him and he’ll repeat the same mistake next week. Perhaps now that more people are correcting his mistakes ( or misspeaks as he likes to call them), he’ll get the hint that he is not as educated about vaccines that he thinks he is.

    Like

  24. Chelsea
    July 18, 2011 at 4:11 am

    Your point is a moving target, eh?

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  25. Steve Michaels
    July 18, 2011 at 4:33 am

    Chelsea :
    Your point is a moving target, eh?

    My statement: “If anything, the promotion of vaccination seems to promote a rather lackadaisical approach to diagnosis as doctors assume that if a child has received vaccines, then a VPD is not worth considering as a diagnosis at an early stage. This is very dangerous thinking and another unintended consequence of vaccination.”

    KMB statement: “The fact is that vaccines have been so successful that many doctors have never seen these VPDs before, and this is why they are sometimes slow to make a diagnosis.”

    Not verbatim, but close…

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  26. Stacie
    July 18, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Molly had 3 of 4 shots and she’s still susceptible?

    So, when vaccines don’t work – then who is to blame and then what do you do – go get re-shot?

    (Babies need a series of three vaccines before they are fully protected. – http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/pertussis-000128.htm)

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  27. Stacie
    July 18, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Karen, why was she so “with-it”, she’d already vaccinated her babe and she still got the disease she was vaccinated against…

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  28. Stacie
    July 18, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Fear prompts vaxers and anti-vaxers alike!

    Vaxers fear their child will contract a treatable disease; anti-vaxers fear their child will be debilitated by a vaccine (which is irreversible). Anti-vaxers would rather deal with the known treatments of a disease than the unknowns of vaccine “safety”.

    Any vaccine apologists ever heard of the Cutter incident? Look it up…

    My concern is that you cannot trust a vaccine’s safety 100%.

    Like

  29. Kelly
    July 18, 2011 at 10:20 am

    None of the VPD are treatable Stacie, that is why prevention is so important. All doctors can do is provide supportive care with the hope that the patient’s immune system will eventually overcome the infection. While most will recover with no consequences, others are faced with permanent disabilities and some even die. I’m not sure how you figure death, blindness, deafness, and brain damage is reversible, Stacie. We also don’t know which child will walk away unscathed and which child will end up dead. All will suffer before either defeating or succumbing to the illness. I would do everything I can to minimize my child’s suffering and vaccines offer a safe and effective way to do that. Are vaccines 100% safe and effective? No, but they are certainly better than 0% obtained by not vaccinating.

    Expecting vaccines to be 100% safe and effective is called the nirvana fallacy. Nothing is 100% safe, including leaving children unvaccinated. An unvaccinated child has a much greater risk of harm than a vaccinated child. One would be very ignorant not to fear the real risks of VPD compared to the minimal risks (or even imaginary risks proposed by the anti-vaxers) associated with vaccines.

    Like

  30. rosey
    July 18, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Kelly . . .thanks for the info. . . I willbe happy to help correct Steve and distribute the correct information. (and I apologize for incorrectly referencing you yesterday . . . I meant my reply to reference Yvonne. . .)

    Like

  31. rosey
    July 18, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I fmolly had not had those three initial vaccines she would have been much sicker and possibly could have died liek the 10 infants who died of pertussis in CA during their recent pertussis outbreak (none had been vaccinated). “The herd” failed Molly. . .

    Like

  32. Karen
    July 20, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Because she understands that while vaccines are not a guarantee that a child will not get a disease, she isn’t silly enough to believe that not vaccinating is a valid alternative. Children who are not vaccinated are 23 times more likely to develop pertussis than those who are.

    Like

  33. October 3, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Brilliance for free; your parents must be a sweeheatrt and a certified genius.

    Like

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