Guest post by Elizabeth Brown
When my son started public school, he had recently been diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency. His body could not produce cortisol, which negatively affects different systems in the body—especially the immune system. What is an innocuous cold for an otherwise healthy person could easily become life threatening for him. Read more
By Aimee Pugh-Bernard, PhD
In the eleventh installment of the Immunology 101 Series, Aimee will explain the basics of the infectious disease mumps and the science behind the vaccines available for mumps.
By Karli Carston
As a kid, I took vaccines for granted. Shots were something that was mildly unpleasant but necessary.
Then I grew up and became a mom.
I followed the car seat recommendations. I followed recommendations for breastfeeding and starting solid foods. I understood the relative risks and benefits of vaccines and followed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) schedule for both my kids. I assumed pretty much everyone else did the same.
It wasn’t until a couple of years ago when I moved to Boulder, Colo. to start a new job when my bubble burst. A local education news outlet, Chalkbeat Colorado, had calculated the proportion of students in each public school who were fully vaccinated and published the rates for parents like myself to see, and the information was both surprising and disheartening. A well-regarded charter school recommended to us by friends and neighbors had a 50 percent vaccination rate. Our local elementary school was much better at 85 percent but still fell far short of what is necessary for herd immunity. Not everyone accepts that the health benefits of vaccines outweigh the minuscule risks?!, I thought. How could this be? But the data were there in black and white.
This blog post originally appeared on From the Square – The NYU Press Blog April 27, 2016.
By Jennifer Reich
Actor Robert DeNiro hand-picked the documentary Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe to show at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, which he founded. The film, which has since been removed after widespread criticism, explores well-traveled terrain. At the center (according to promotional materials) are perennial claims that vaccines cause autism. More specifically, the movie focuses on a 2004 study published in the well-respected journal Pediatrics in which researchers from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) argue there is no causal link between autism and the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. The filmmakers revisit a controversial claim by one of the authors: data showed that for a subset of African American boys vaccinated before the age of three years, the risk of autism increased with on-time vaccination and the CDC threw those data out.