Vaccine Controversy?

Posted by on Jan 13, 2017 in Patient Care | 0 comments

Vaccine Controversy?

Benefits are a matter of fact

I have started, scratched out and even abandoned the writing of this essay. I couldn’t do it. It wasn’t there. Didn’t feel it.

Something kept nagging at me, and it took some time to finally figure out what it was. It’s the idea that this article would be labeled “opinion” or “editorial” in the first place.

Sure, there are some topics that seem to lend themselves appropriately to opinion pages. Vaccines, however, which have prevented 6 million deaths every ear worldwide and have fundamentally changed modern medicine, should not be on that list.

The benefit of vaccines is not a matter of opinion. It is a matter of fact.

Studies, including a meta-analysis of 1.2 million children in 2014show no link between vaccines and autism. That is not a matter of opinion. It is a matter of fact.

That you are 100 times more likely to be struck by lightning than to have a serious allergic reaction to the vaccine that protects you against measles is not a matter of opinion. That is also a matter of fact.

Facts should matter, and science should win, but after 13 years as a medical reporter, I know it is not that simple.

Science often loses the zeal argument to ideology, and in some ways, it is easy to understand why.

At the heart of the vaccine argument is the awesome challenge of trying to prove a negative.

If you or your child never gets the disease the vaccine was designed to prevent, there is no surprise. There is no headline. Life goes on.

The flip side, though, is the one-in-a-million child (literally, 1/1,000,000) who has a serious adverse reaction. It is likely to make the news, confirm the worst fears and lead to the enlistment of an army in the fight against vaccines.

Click here to read the entire CNN article by Dr. Gupta.

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