That woman is nuts. I just emailed her this:
Ms. Boule, I stumbled upon your article this morning on the internet, and although I'm not located in Oregon, I wanted to comment a bit on it. First, I want to congratulate your for tackling an issue that is usually swept under the rug in this day and age. It is true that many newer physicians have little or no experience with some of the "older" ailments because they've no experience treating them. They must rely on what they learn in medical school. They largely practice prophylactic, or preventative, medicine in the hopes of avoiding future disaster. However, it takes many years to get through medical school, and medical advances are purportedly made every day. How many studies have been done that reveal outdated knowledge? Doctors practice medicine, and the CDC, even the NIH, are headed by doctors who practice medicine. Doctors are human just as the rest of us, and all humans make mistakes sometimes. Remember the Rotovirus vaccine? If not, I suggest you do some research. Remember the anti-nausea drug prophylactlically prescribed to pregnant women a few decades ago? It caused miscarriages and birth defects before it was taken off the market. Remember the FDA approved diet pill that was giving people heart failure a few years back?
In your article, you stated "The big deal is this: The contagious disease is extremely dangerous for infants and small children, and can be fatal." I couldn't agree more. But the fact remains that the DTaP shot is not approved for use in small infants. It is further contraindicted for use in some children. It is not approved for adults, because it could cause damage. In all these cases, the shot is also extrememly dangerous, and can be fatal.
Further in your article, you state "A number of readers asked if the family whose story was told two weeks ago had been vaccinated. The adults had, but the newborn was too young to have begun the process. The toddler had not yet received the full three inoculations and two boosters required for greatest protection." What you're saying is, according to recommended schedules, this family was up to date on their shots. Alas, many of your readers may not realize this, because your tone implies that they were not.
Still further down you quote Hilary Gillette from the NIH as saying that the vaccine is not 100% perfect & effective, yet you tell your readers that it's the unvaccinated children that have spawned your epidemic. You fail to mention completely that there can be valid medical reasons for not vaccinating a child; instead you imply in your writing that all non-vaccinating parents are irresponsible. Near the end of your article you encourage people to visit Canada to recieve the adult approved pertussis vaccine. Are you willing to take responsibility for any adverse reaction a reader may have for following your suggestion? Are you a medical proffesional? If you answered no to either question, then you are practicing irresponsible journalism. In the future, please practice more responsibility, because journalists affect lives just as much, if not more, than doctors.
I have no problem signing my whole name to this.
Sorry for the length, but damn....thank you, owensmom, for putting that link up there.