Yet more evidence for the safety and effectiveness of vaccines
© 2013 Roy Benaroch, MD
Item #1: A study of about a million (!) girls in Sweden and Denmark showed no serious side effects, none at all, after administration of the HPV vaccine.
Item #2: Another study, looking at children vaccinated against influenza from 2010-2012, showed a 77% reduction in life threatening flu illness.
Item #3: From JAMA Pediatrics, a study showing that among children 3-36 months of age, those who hadn’t received their routine vaccines had 18 times the risk of pertussis compared to fully vaccinated children.
What do these studies have in common? They’ve all been published within the last few weeks, and they’re good, solid science. They’ll also be ignored by the hardcore anti-vaccine crowd, for whom no amount of evidence matters one bit. They’ve made up their minds, and they have no interest in what scientists or doctors or anyone else has to say—unless you already agree with them.
Jonathan Swift said, “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.” People who have come to their antivaccine views out of hysteria and fear have not used reason. And I don’t think there is much hope to convince them of anything.
But the vast majority of vaccine-questioning parents aren’t like that. They want good, reliable information to help them make their decisions. Studies like these continue to be published, hundreds of them a year. As more evidence accumulates, the safety and effectiveness of vaccines continues to be reinforced. We’re learning more and more about the immune system and how to protect ourselves, and newer vaccines have been very effective. That’s great news for those of us who want to do what’s best to protect our children, or families, and our communities.