Andrew Wakefield, M.D., was on The Today Show this morning. He’s the doctor who initially found the link between the MMR combo vaccine and autism in 1998.
He says he only suggested spreading out the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella instead of giving it all at once. Meanwhile, the worldwide movement to skip vaccines was born. No study has been able to reproduce Wakefield’s results. The medical community largely believes that the link between autism and vaccines is completely false. Pediatricians are caught in the crossfire, and meanwhile, measles and whooping cough cases in children are on the rise.
On Sunday at 7 p.m., NBC will air a special with Dr. Wakefield called A Dose of Controversy. I’ll definitely watch (DVR), especially if 60 Minutes is a rerun.
Locally, parents have strong opinions on one side or the other, and only a handful of area pediatricians will support a parent who wants to skip or delay vaccinations. I take my kids to one of those doctors, Howard Schlachter, MD, in Essex Fells. I’m not pro- or anti-vaccine as much as I would like to have input on what goes into my kids and when. You can always put those shots in, but you can’t take them out, as Schlachter says. For more info on the side of choice, check out the local Yahoo Group called Fighting Vaccine Mandates in NJ.
How do you feel about this sensitive, hot-button issue?