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A few surprising vaccine myths – Betcha didn’t know!

February 23, 2015

The Pediatric Insider © 2015 Roy Benaroch, MD Myth 1: Vaccines work by preventing disease in individuals who are vaccinated. Nope, that’s not actually true—it’s quite wrong, but in a subtle way. And a misunderstanding of this concept, I think, has led to a lot of mischief. If people understood how vaccines really work, how […]

Vaccines: Children have rights, too

February 9, 2015

The Pediatric Insider © 2015 Roy Benaroch, MD Some people who argue against vaccinations claim that vaccine policies infringe on their “rights”—their rights, as parents, to make medical decisions for their children. It’s a scary, misleading, and chilling message. We need to be careful about where one person’s rights end and the next person’s rights […]

Immunity, breastfeeding, and the timing of measles vaccine

January 27, 2015

The Pediatric Insider © 2015 Roy Benaroch, MD Leave it to Disney to make a splash—any day now, we’ll hear that Anna and Elsa have caught the measles themselves (imagine a link to the sisters all covered with spots, looking miserable in the hospital, with a worried snowman and moose cowering in the background. “For […]

Serious side effects of vaccines are rare. What does that mean?

October 23, 2014

The Pediatric Insider © 2014 Roy Benaroch, MD “Serious side effects of vaccines are rare.” Vaccines are not 100% safe. Like any medical intervention, there’s some risk (honestly, like anything at all, anything we do, there’s some risk. But let’s not get sidetracked here.) Side effects, including serious side effects, can happen after vaccines. What […]

Dr. Bob Sears says skipping vaccines is not good for public health

September 9, 2014

The Pediatric Insider © 2014 Roy Benaroch, MD This weekend, The Los Angeles Times reported on California pediatrician Dr. Bob Sears’ role as a favorite among vaccine-fearing parents. What he tells them is absolute nonsense that he has freely admitted he made up in a Reddit interview. Now he’s let a little more honesty shine […]

Pregnant women should get influenza vaccines to protect their babies and themselves

August 4, 2014

The Pediatric Insider © 2014 Roy Benaroch, MD The kids are heading back to school, and my zucchini vines are withered—that means summer’s almost over, and we’re heading back into flu season. This year, I’m going to try my best to convince as many of you as possible to get yourselves and your children vaccinated. […]

Antivaccine lunacy: Is The Media finally getting it right?

May 5, 2014

The Pediatric Insider © 2014 Roy Benaroch, MD The media likes to report “both sides to a story”—which makes sense, when a story has two legitimate sides. Two political parties arguing over how to fix a problem, or two eyewitnesses who saw two different things. But there are times when it doesn’t make sense to […]

Vaccine messages can backfire

March 3, 2014

The Pediatric Insider © 2014 Roy Benaroch, MD Vaccine coverage rates, overall, remain very strong in the USA. Well over 90% of kids are well-vaccinated, and the rates of vaccine-preventable diseases remains very low. Newer vaccines have proven especially safe and effective, including immunizations against severe diarrheal illness and cancers of the cervix and throat. […]

Does it make sense to change your car’s tires one at a time? (A vaccine parable)

January 20, 2014

The Pediatric Insider © 2014 Roy Benaroch, MD Ron was puzzled. He had been a mechanic for many years, and had known Ms. McCarthy through two previous vehicles. But what could he say to a request like this? “I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to do it this way. What’s the harm?” The mother […]

Does the influenza vaccine work? A small observational study

December 30, 2013

The Pediatric Insider © 2014 Roy Benaroch, MD Flu season is in full swing here, and I’m seeing dozens of feverish, miserable kids a week. Since it started early this year, maybe that means influenza will burn out and be over soon—but maybe not. Some years we get a “double dip” as a second strain […]