The truth about vaccines

Measles. Mumps. Whooping cough. What do these diseases have in common? Thanks to vaccinations, each of these serious diseases was considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be eliminated or nearly eliminated – until recently. What the CDC didn’t count on was that more and more parents would stop vaccinating their children.



Parents who choose not to vaccinate tend to cite safety concerns, specifically the rumor connecting vaccines with autism. The genesis of the autism-vaccine connection was a now-debunked 1998 study by a British researcher who fabricated the medical histories of every one of his subjects, and, after being exposed of the elaborate fraud in 2011, was stripped of his medical license.

Even though there is no scientific connection between vaccines and autism, nor any valid reason to think shots are unsafe, the myth lives on. Earlier this year, President Trump met with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a proponent of the same discredited theory, and reportedly asked him to lead an official commission investigating vaccine safety. The Autism Science Foundation, a nonprofit that supports research into causes of autism, has even sounded the alarm that vaccines have nothing to do with autism – and that feeding the flames of anti-vaccine sentiment will only put children’s lives at risk.


For proof, look no further than the recent resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases. We’re in the midst of the worse mumps outbreak in a decade, according to the CDC. There have been nearly 3,000 cases during the past year in 45 states and the District of Columbia. That’s compared to just 300 cases in 2000 – a 10-fold increase in just 10 years.

Measles, which was considered to be eliminated in 2000, is also back – thanks to gaps in vaccination. The disease is so contagious that if one person has it, the CDC says 90 percent of the people around him or her will also become infected if they are unvaccinated. There were more than 650 measles cases in 27 states in 2014 – the greatest number of cases in more than a decade. Cases of the measles were reported here in Georgia in both 2015 and 2016, according to the Department of Public Health.

Then there’s whooping cough. California’s worst outbreak of whooping cough, or pertussis, occurred in 2010, after spreading among unvaccinated children and infecting more than 9,000 kids.


These diseases prove that just because a disease isn’t common or has even been eliminated from the U.S., it doesn’t mean that your child can’t catch it. Vaccine-preventable diseases are especially common abroad, and it only takes one sick person to start an outbreak.

As a family physician, I am passionate to make all of us healthier, and the first step is to be vaccinated and to have those you love vaccinated and protected. Vaccines are the best tool we have to prevent disease. For example, thanks to vaccines to prevent meningitis, including the recent development of meningitis B vaccines, all strains of the disease have declined since the 1990s.

If you’re concerned about vaccine safety, talk to your physician. You can even work with your doctor to come up with an alternative vaccine schedule for your child. Just don’t let debunked theories outweigh the scientific evidence that vaccines save lives.


The writer is president of the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians, and a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Val White 6 months ago

With all the illegals and refugees invading our country, who knows what diseases they are bringing with them.

These vaccines were being given to just about everyone over 40. How many of these adults now have autism.

Dorit Reiss 6 months ago
The reality is that there are few outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases - almost none that I know of - that had anything to do with illegal immigrants or refugees. For example, many immigrants come here from Latin America, and those countries have higher rate of vaccination than we do. 

Roland SASSER 6 months ago
Good point Val! I have read stories about illegals bringing various diseases with them when they break into our country. The health care systems in third world countries leaves a lot to be desired.
Mark Wax 6 months ago

“VaccinesAre Unavoidably Unsafe”

Don’t take my word for it. These are the words of Justice Scalia in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, LLC in a Supreme Court decision in 2011. Unfortunately,due to the protections afforded the vaccine maker in the National Childhood Vaccine Act of 1986, the Court ruled against a vaccine injured plaintiff in the case. How?

 In the 1980s, children were having adversereactions to the DTP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) vaccine. Lots oflawsuits were being filed against docs and vaccine manufacturers. This causedthe pharmaceutical industry to threaten pulling out of the vaccine market, andthe alarm bells rang that the nation’s health and safety were at risk. Why werevaccine manufacturers getting ready to take their ball and go home? Becausevaccines fall into a class of products considered “unavoidably unsafe.” I amnot kidding you. This “unavoidable” word comes from the National ChildhoodVaccine Injury Act itself “products which, in the present state of human knowledge, are quite incapable of being made safe. 

In 1986, Congress decided on a wayto compensate folks for these avoidable injuries and death.  It is calledthe National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. From 2001 until 2011 theprogram has compensated about 2500 families a total of $2 billion. There hasbeen close to $4 billion paid to date since inception. But, that representsonly a small fraction of those who actually brought claims to the Vaccine Court.You see, there is a 36 month window to bring the claim. There is no “tolling”granted for minors, unlike all the Civil Courts in the U.S. Guess what?Neurological injuries may not present in infants for long after 36 months.Furthermore, who knows how many cases were neverbrought by attorneys on behalf of a vaccine injured child, because thestatute of limitations ran out?

Don’t let anyone tell you thatvaccines don’t cause injury. They have, they do and they will do so in thefuture. For years, Thimerosal was used as a preservative in multi-dose vials.While still proclaiming it “safe”, vaccine makers “voluntarily” removedThimerosal. It is still present in trace amounts and in flu vaccine. Thimerosalwas never approved by the FDA, as the patents predated the establishment ofsaid regulations. Worried?

With nearly 6,000 cases pending theUSCFC held the “Omnibus Autism Hearings.” They decided not to make “autism” a“table injury.” How convenient. Since there would never be enough money to payfor all who claim an “autism” injury. But, there have been many casescompensated for “encephalopathy” as a diagnosis with reference to autism. Youcan read it:

For the record, I am not“anti-vaccine.” Both of my children were fully vaccinated. Unfortunately forus, our son was neurologically disabled by vaccines. It is indisputable, yetthe government and the vaccine makers still think that there is a “greatergood” to be served. They may be right. But, let’s not fool ourselves. Vaccinescan be made safer. It is about money.

Dorit Reiss 6 months ago
This is a misunderstanding of the term Unavoidably Unsafe, and the court's decision. The court rejected the argument.

Anything can harm. But serious harms from vaccines are extremely rare - less than one per million - and the risks of not vaccinating much smaller. 

I would just remind people that - 
A. People don't have to be born anti-vaccine. They can become that way, especially if they think (often wrongly) that a relative or themselves was harmed by vaccines.

B. Most claims of vaccine harms you would hear online are for things vaccines don't cause - like autism, allergies, or SIDS. I can't speak to a specific case, but be cautious in letting unverified stories scare you from protecting your kids. 
Lisa Jackson 6 months ago
Any doctor who starts off by saying measles and mumps are serious diseases, then goes on to blame the non-vaccinated for the recent mumps outbreaks, when the CDC itself has acquiesced to the contrary, and continues to believe the uptick in pertussis has nothing to do with the woefully ineffective acellular pertussis vaccine, has his head up his hindside and probably wouldn't know a vaccine adverse event if it happened in his office. This is a vaccine propaganda piece. Learn about the diseases and vaccines yourself; you cannot rely on doctors to provide true informed consent. 
Jerry Whitcomb 6 months ago
"Don’t let anyone tell you that vaccines don’t cause injury. "

Preventable diseases cause more death and injury. The argument against vaccines is ridiculous. 

I would much rather have a few reactions than a nation full of polio victims. 

The whole issue of vaccine safety is really about the money from the lawsuits.
Dorit Reiss 6 months ago
Thank you for reminding us of the importance of protecting our children from preventable diseases. It's a shame that incorrect claims by anti-vaccine activists scare some parents from doing so. 
Ted Fogarty 5 months ago
It's a shame you aren't transparent about your conflicts of interest Dorit.  Dr. Paul Offit needs to be sanctioned for influence peddling as well, we have institutional corruption derailing our economy and I just can't figure how a law school professor gets so into this debate all over the country.  Vaccine companies and the public health apparatus already own the law and the government, just like in your state of California where SB277 gets passed by paid off folks to take the 6th largest economy in the world the way of inverted authoritarianism.  These corrupt institutions don't need your help here unless you are going to be the ethical JD that works to reform the corruptions from within whatever network funds you.  Otherwise just get out of this advocacy, as I said in the OKOne media - you are on the wrong side of history. Defending global trillion dollar companies and a corrupt marketplace that doesn't have your profession to keep it in check is absurd.  Everyone is starting to understand  how much overkill there is in this schedule that is making a killing for the Pharmamafia.
john Mayer 5 months ago
what is an "anti vaccine activist/" Sounds like some kind of fake news, bs propaganda term. The people I know who are concerned about vaccine safety have had negative experiences with vaccines- like these folks-

The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic left a troubling legacy in Europe: More than 1300 people who received a vaccine to prevent the flu developed narcolepsy, an incurable, debilitating condition that causes overpowering daytime sleepiness, sometimes accompanied by a sudden muscle weakness in response to strong emotions such as laughter or anger.
Allie Fujito 6 months ago
I'm wondering why Dr. Richardson's column reads like a sales pitch.

Neither measles nor mumps have ever been particularly problematic in the US, not even in the pre-vaccine era.  

In fact, according to the official US Mortality Statistics 1922 Report, the death rate for measles in both 1921 and 1922 was 4.3 per hundred thousand infected, which is extremely low.  Scroll to the bottom of page 28:

That’s .0043%, nearly 100 years ago—41 years before the first measles vaccine.

If the death rate from measles was so low in 1922, even before antibiotics, even before IV hydration for severe diarrhea (which are the two most complications for measles), and even before vitamin A deficiency was discovered to greatly contribute to such complications, surely it would be even less problematic today, with modern medical knowledge and facilities.  

So why does Dr. Richardson regard measles as though it were a terrible plague in the US?  Yes, it's extremely contagious.  So is the common cold.  Both can result in serious complications for those with underlying health issues.  But we see doctors, nurses, food service workers, and teachers all show up to work with "it's just a cold."

Meanwhile, since 1990, the MMR vaccine has been reported in conjunction with SERIOUS side effects (such as stroke, hearing loss, pancreatitis, seizure, etc) in over 7,500 reports to VAERS, as well as 358 deaths, the vast majority in children under the age of 3.

We hear about each and every case of measles, no matter how mild, but we don’t hear about the vaccine reactions; surely those children matter, too?

VAERS lists over 69,000 *severe* reactions associated with vaccines, and well over 6,000 deaths.  Again, most are in children under 3 years old. What has Dr. Richardson done to address these issues?  Why isn't he calling for further investigation into the possible genetic and environmental predispositions to adverse vaccine reaction?  Why doesn't he care about the families whose children suffer such serious encephalopathic reactions that their lives are forever changed, and in some cases, cut short?

Of course, if you look at the package insert for the MMR, it is clear that not all of these reactions are in children.  “In women, incidence rates for arthritis and arthralgia are generally higher than those seen in children (children: 0-3%; women: 12-26%), and the reactions tend to be more marked and of longer duration. Symptoms may persist for a matter of months or on rare occasions for years. In adolescent girls, the reactions appear to be intermediate in incidence between those seen in children and in adult women. Even in women older than 35 years, these reactions are generally well tolerated and rarely interfere with normal activities.”

One has to wonder why Dr. Richardson believes that months or even years of joint pain in up to 26% of women is acceptable, when the numbers of long-term complications from measles has, in the US, always been far lower.  

One also wonders exactly who decided that such pain is “well tolerated.”  Oh, right, Merck, maker of the MMR vaccine, also has a financial stake in popular arthritis drug Remicade.
Ted Fogarty 5 months ago
Our vaccination program can be done so much better.  We are wasting money on vaccines because of schedule timing problems.  Vaccinating into the face of transplacental maternal derived antibodies that are now prevalent in this generation of mothers is leading to decreased efficacy and sadly no one is checking this issue in all of medicine.  The radiologists, surgeons, internists  and pathologists of the country don't expect that we should treat babies like little adults but that seems to be the general misunderstanding of translation of preclinical efficacy testing on adults that does not factor in to the equation the efficacy "hit" of maternal immunointerference.  Additionally it's just down right unethical for Physicians to bill for procedures that patients don't need but we are too brainwashed to check antibodies prior to boosters.  In my clincal understanding, nearly half of all the boosters on the schedule for the CDC are not needed in the average child if one just checks the antibody response after the first vaccination in each series.  The marketplace is beginning to demand this approach and sadly most primary care doctors are just not independent enough to see this as their Hippocratic Duty.  Ethical Vaccinomics is coming to Georgia in the next 2 years and the CDC will be looking quite foolish in its own backyard for not advocating safer, cheaper and better schedules via titer checking and removal of the most dangerous and unethical intervention in the history of medicine-Hepatitis B vaccination of infants born of mothers who's vaccination status is molecularly defined already during pregnancy. Old dogs are losing out on the new diagnostic tricks and smarts of millennial MDs.  
James Grundvig 5 months ago
"The Truth About Vaccines" is a totally misleading headline, by design. It is as if Big Pharma's PR machine and hacks wrote it. The real "Truth" is vaccines are loaded with toxins that can and have penetrated the brain in fetuses, newborns, toddlers, and children. Boric acid, which is a poison to kill cockroaches--what's it doing in a vaccine? Aluminum and mercury? How about micro-particles of stainless steel? Or glyphosate--Round-Up weed killer banned in most Western Europe nations. And then the FDA is so bought off by Pharma that there is zero quality control, no inspections for all of our vaccines made in China. That alone should be a national security threat to the U.S. And President Trump is right to launch a true independent Vaccine Safety Commission. 
john Mayer 5 months ago
Dr. Robinson does not discuss how much money he makes selling vaccines in his practice. I wonder if he has qualified for the $400/patient retroactive bonus paid out when a pediatric medical practice achieves 63% compliance with the CDC recommended vaccine schedule. 


Wed, 06/28/2017 - 00:24

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Wed, 06/28/2017 - 00:24

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Wed, 06/28/2017 - 00:24

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