Why We Fight Anti-Vaccinationism

Katie Couric recently had a scurrilous episode of her show Katie where a mother whose daughter tragically died, blamed the HPV vaccine for her death. As Seth Mnoonkin notes, there is no evidence to support this claim:

* More than 25,000 new cancers attributable to HPV occur in the United States each year. Almost 12,000 of these cases are cervical cancer in females; another 6,000 are oropharyngeal cancers in men.

* More than 100 million doses of the vaccine have been given since it was approved in 2006.

* A study published in the British Medical Journal in October evaluated 997,000 girls, 296,000 of whom had received at least one dose of the HPV vaccine. More than 150,000 of those girls received all three doses. The results? Absolutely no link to short- or long-term health problems. As Lisen Arnheim-Dahlström, the lead researcher on the study, told Reuters Health, “There were not really any concerns before our study and no new ones after.”

While I love my mother very much, and she me, she would be the first to admit that her ability to carry me to term does not by itself qualify her to be either a medical epidemiologist or a virologist. Just want to note that, because it leads into something Hunter at the Great Orange Satan wrote (boldface mine):

Because Katie Couric did a show giving voice to meritless anti-vaccine forces, people are going to die. You really can’t get around that; the deaths may be decades from now, and the links from here to there may never be recognized even by the people around whom the threads are tied, but somewhere in the Katie Couric audience there are going to be people who are not going to vaccinate their children against a deadly disease because Katie Couric put it in their heads that there was a risk in doing it that simply is not there, and those children are going to someday get that disease, and they are going to die from it. Think of any defense you like, but the outcome is the same. Oh, but we were just raising questions is the well-worn excuse of sensationalists everywhere, but if you are raising questions where there are, in fact, no serious questions, you are doing harm.

If Couric had any decency, she would donate the salary for one episode to organization that help provide access to vaccines.

Shameful. And murderous.

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2 Responses to Why We Fight Anti-Vaccinationism

  1. Carissa says:

    Reblogged this on Blue Lyon and commented:
    This. This. This.

  2. Pingback: Anti-Vaxxers Are Now Anti-Vitamin K-ers | Mike the Mad Biologist

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