Home > Expert Insights, Preventable Diseases, Science & Research > Expert Commentary – Don’t Sacrifice The Good (measles vaccine) For The Perfect

Expert Commentary – Don’t Sacrifice The Good (measles vaccine) For The Perfect

journalsEvery Child By Two is pleased to launch the next article in their Expert Commentary series that will be permanently housed on the Every Child By Two website and referenced here on Shot of Prevention. This series features guest writer Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH, a retired epidemiologist who volunteers his time to provide in-depth and expert analysis of articles which ultimately make false claims about the safety of vaccines.

Today we will feature Dr. Harrison’s latest paper Don’t Sacrifice The Good For The Perfect: A Review of Cathy Jameson’s “A Strong Message About Vaccines.” which critiques a recent article by a vaccine skeptic that downplays the seriousness of measles disease and the public’s concern over the outbreak that continues to spread throughout the nation.  Cathy Jameson complains that the measles vaccine is not 100% effective and implies that the vaccine industry cannot be trusted because they benefit from profits on their products.  However, as Dr. Harrison states, “then one should not trust any product since everything sold is done so to make a profit.”

Dr. Harrison states in his introduction

“Though it’s unfortunate that the measles vaccine doesn’t perfectly protect everyone, it does protect most, preventing unnecessary suffering, hospitalizations, disabilities, and even deaths. And, if everyone were vaccinated, then the risks to those with weaker immune systems would also be significantly reduced. In other words, Don’t Sacrifice the Good for the Perfect

Click here to begin reading Dr. Harrison’s latest expert commentary.

  1. denise lopez
    February 19, 2015 at 5:26 am

    I have 5 kids2boys3 girls.all 5 of my kids have had all their shots. My youngest is now 19 yrs old. All my kids are very healthy. I have 10 grandbabies all just as well very healthy. I strongly believe children should get their shots. I am 43 yrs old. And my family ing with my parents my cousins nieces and nephews aunts and uncles every close relative has had all their shots and not one of us from 1899 which was when my great grandma was born to this date Feb 19′ 2015 has ever had any kind of bad reaction to any required shots.
    I believe all children should have their shots. I also believe the parents should be punished if they don’t.in the state of Iowa it is considered child abuse if u dont vaccinate it children.

    Like

  2. Stephen
    February 19, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Denise,

    It’s great that nobody in your family has ever had any bad vaccine reactions, but why do you assume that means that vaccines are safe for everybody? Vaccines are not a one size fits all. There are many who do have bad reactions. Here is one law firms payouts for vaccine injured http://www.mctlawyers.com/vaccine-injury/cases/ also, you can always check VAERS database for many more. In Iowa parents still have a choice, Religious or Medical exemptions.
    So now you know there is risk with vaccination and there is choice in Iowa. Do you still believe parents should be punished for making medical decisions they feel are best for their families? Child abuse? Do you know that educated people are the ones typically choosing not to vaccinate? You better be careful what you wish for. If they take away a parents right to choose vaccination, other medical choices will also be eventually taken away from you.

    Like

  3. Lawrence
    February 19, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    @Stephen – given the overall safety profile of vaccines (you have a better chance of being struck by lightning or heaven-forbid, drowning in a toiler than suffering a severe vaccine reaction), it makes sense, as a public health policy, to tighten up exemptions for participation in public schools.

    That way, legitimate medical exemptions can be better honored & those students protected.

    And I wouldn’t say that people who don’t vaccinated are “better educated.”

    Like

  4. Stephen
    February 19, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    You actually have a higher chance of getting a vaccine injury then you do of getting the measles or being seriously injured by measles. How many people in the US get measles from year to year and how many are seriously injured? Now compare that to vaccine injuries. It’s a no-brainer.
    Gee, I wonder why we haven’t all died from the measles yet, with all of the millions of unprotected adults walking around without their boosters. I’m sure any immunity they had wore off after what, 10 years? More? Less? And yet the world hasn’t ended.

    Like

  5. Lawrence
    February 19, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    @Stephen – Measles vaccine immunity lasts at least decades, if not lifetime…that’s just a fact.

    And people have died in the US from measles in the last ten years. Not many, thank goodness, but it has happened.

    And “vaccine injuries” – give us your citation.

    Like

  6. Lawrence
    February 19, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    @Stephen – and given that the vast majority of vaccine reactions are “soreness at the injection site” or “fever” the chances of suffering a “serious” vaccine reaction is still so remote and so rare that any product in the world should be so safe.

    Like

  7. jack mehoff
    February 19, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Child Abuse? Injecting myself or my children will ALWAYS be my choice. Patient autonomy is a basic medical ethic. If you like forced vaccinations move to North Korea.

    Our country was founded on the principles of property rights. My body is the most basic of those rights. If you do not own your body than you are a slave.

    Like

  8. Stephen
    February 19, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Yes, as I stated “you have a higher chance of getting a vaccine injury then you do of getting the measles or being seriously injured by measles.” You can’s dispute this and if try, I need a citation please.

    Citation needed for, “Measles vaccine immunity lasts at least decades, if not lifetime…that’s just a fact.”

    “the vast majority of vaccine reactions are “soreness at the injection site” or “fever” the chances of suffering a “serious” vaccine reaction is still so remote and so rare that any product in the world should be so safe.” I guess you missed this http://www.mctlawyers.com/vaccine-injury/cases/

    Like

  9. Lawrence
    February 19, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    @Stephen – Out of 2 Billion vaccines given in the last 27 years, you found 222 cases.

    Even a layman can run those numbers and see how safe vaccines really are…..

    Like

  10. Lawrence
    February 19, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    @Stephen – oh, and at least 30 years:

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00053391.htm

    Like

  11. novalox
    February 19, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    @jack, stephen

    Slippery slope fallacy much?

    [citation needed] for your assertions, or we can assume that you are fear mongering and lying/

    Like

  12. jgc56
    February 20, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    “It’s great that nobody in your family has ever had any bad vaccine reactions, but why do you assume that means that vaccines are safe for everybody?”
    No one has assumed this: clearly there are individuals (those who are immunocompromised due to undergoing chemotherapy or for other resons, for example) who are not suitable candidates for vaccination.

    That of course makes it all the more critical that the rest of us remain up to date with scheduled vaccinations, to maintain the herd immunity these individuals rely on for protection from infectious disesases.

    “Vaccines are not a one size fits all.”
    Again: no one has claimed this is the case. The number of individuals for which vaccination is medically contraindicated, however, is very small.

    “There are many who do have bad reactions.”
    Not many, I’m afraid, if by ‘bad reactions’ you’re referring to serious adverse events. Most adverse events associated with vaccination are both minor and transient–soreness at the site of injection, low grade fever–while those that are serious (encephalitis, for exampl) are all but vanishigly rare, such that the risks associated with vaccinatio are far far less than the risks associated with remaining vulnerable to infection by the diseases they protect against.

    Consider the ‘bad reaction’ encephalitis again: about 1 in every 1 million people vaccinated with the MMR vaccine will develop encpehalitis. About 1 in every 1 thousand people who become infected with measles, on the other hand, develop encephalitis. If you’re concered about experiencing this bad reaction the logical thing to do is get vaccinated according to schedule reducing your risk of encephalitis 1000 fold.

    “also, you can always check VAERS database for many more”
    The VAERS dataset collects reports of claimed injuires where no causal association betweenthe injury and vaccinationhas been established, however. It also does not filter out multiple reports of a single claimed injury nor in fact screen out reports of injuires that could not or did not happen following vaccination (the famous example is the report that vaccination turned a child into the Incredible Hulk). The VAERS dataset simply isn’t of any utility in atempting to quantify risk or assign causality. The databse developers explicitly warn users of its limitations, in a statement must acknowledged before gaining access to the reports.

    “ Do you still believe parents should be punished for making medical decisions they feel are best for their families?”
    Depends on what medical decision they are making. If they choose, for example, to withhold insulin from a diabetic child,chemotherapy from one with ALL or leukemia, etc. then yes: I believe intervention by appropriate public health agencies is appropriate and if the child suffers harm as a result the parents should be held accountable befre the law.

    Parents who elect not to have their children vaccinated according to the recommended schedule, however, are not to the best of my knowledge punished in any way. Their children may no longer be eligible to attend public schools, or pediatricians may elect not to accept those families in their practices, but that’s hardly the same thing as punishing them is it?

    “Child abuse? Do you know that educated people are the ones typically choosing not to vaccinate?”
    Did you have a point? Surely you’re not arguing that educated people are incapable of being wrong about safety and efficacy of vaccines, or that intelligent people are incapable of abusing their children?

    “You better be careful what you wish for. If they take away a parents right to choose vaccination, other medical choices will also be eventually taken away from you.”
    Again: no one is taking away a parent’s right to choose to vaccinate or not vaccinate—there may however be reasonable restrictions placed on those who choose not to vaccinate (like ineligibility to enroll in public schools) to limit the risk of outbreaks of infectious diseases

    Like

  13. jgc56
    February 20, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    “You actually have a higher chance of getting a vaccine injury then you do of getting the measles or being seriously injured by measles.”

    Citation needed, stephen–and recall that prior to vaccination pretty much every child experienced a measles infection by the age of 15.

    Like

  14. jgc56
    February 20, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Stephen, why do you keep offering a list of legal decisions to support your claim regarding teh safety and efficacy of vaccination? Surely you realize that court decisions aren’t scientific evidence and are inadequate to support your claim?

    Like

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  1. February 27, 2015 at 5:20 pm
  2. March 4, 2015 at 8:18 pm

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