The AMA Seeks to Boost Public Confidence in Vaccine Safety

September 30, 2008
Category: Uncategorized

The Clinton Administration pointed to the incidence of vaccination as a measure of success of advancing public health. However, the increasing numbers of children with allergies, asthma, autism, and ADHD have left many practitioners, researchers, and parents searching for the trigger(s) that affected their child’s learning and behavior. Vaccines, which have increased dramatically in both number and type, have been part of that discussion.

Now the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics have joined with twenty other major medical groups to say that public confidence in vaccine safety needs to be restored to avoid the risk of deadly disease outbreaks. Recent government data shows that about 77% of U.S. toddlers have received all their recommended shots—which means nearly one-fourth of toddlers do not get the mandated shots. The coalition says that public health officials need to counteract campaigns by advocacy groups who “believe vaccines can cause autism, despite scientific evidence to the contrary.”

But a letter from the mother of an autistic child to Dr. Paul Offit, author of Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and Finding a Cure, eloquently deals with many of the issues regarding vaccine safety and efficacy. She documents the flaws in the epidemiological studies which failed to confirm that vaccines were implicated in autism. These include study bias, poor study design, irrelevant findings, and the fact that epidemiology itself can never prove causation. The mother’s open letter is long, but every word of it is worth reading.

AAHF member Sherri Tenpenny, D.O., has written a book on the subject called Vaccines: the Risks, the Benefits, the Choices. Together with information from the National Vaccine Information Center and a presentation to the International College of Integrative Medicine by Barthelow Classen, M.D, she reveals that vaccines are tested for only two weeks in a small group before they are required for administration to the general population. All of this means that consumers must educate themselves to make an informed decision about vaccination.

AAHF believes parents should be informed of their right to omit or simply postpone shots like the hepatitis B vaccine, and AAHF has issued a position paper on vaccination (click here to read more). The prevailing ethical standard in medical care that became part of international law after World War II includes the right to informed consent in any medical procedure—even vaccinations—that carries the risk of injury or death. Because of the increasing number of vaccines being mandated for school age children, AAHF believes parents should have the right to philosophical or conscientious belief exemptions for their children.

Practitioners who belong to AAHF (click here to Find a Doctor) believe that the government’s mandating of patient vaccinations flies in the face of the right of practitioners to assist with the patient’s decision-making process about vaccinations. AAHF works to preserve freedom of healthcare choice for consumers and practitioners alike, and we need your support.

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