Tonawanda News

Opinion

May 1, 2014

WALLACE: Anti-vaxxers are hurting us all

Tonawanda News — It’s National Infant Immunization Week. But unfortunately, we seem to be regressing as a society where immunizations are concerned.

Measles, a highly contagious respiratory disease that affects young children, is making a comeback and parents’ refusal to have their children vaccinated is the cause. 

Measles has infected 129 people in 13 states in 2014, the most in the first four months of any year since 1996, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in April.

California has seen 58 cases, New York has had 24 and Washington state has had 13. Symptoms of measles include fever, a runny nose, cough, a distinctive rash all over the body and can be deadly.

Researchers have worked for years to develop immunizations to prevent dangerous and deadly diseases with much success. Diseases like polio, small pox, whooping cough and measles were once eradicated thanks to the vaccines developed to prevent them.

But now, these diseases are returning with a vengeance due to misinformation and urban legend.

The anti-vaxxers, as they are called, are parents who believe that there is a link between autism and vaccines, particularly the measles, mumps, rubella or MMR vaccine. These parents live in a time when they have never seen what these diseases can do and where there is an ever-increasing rate of autism with no explanation.

Where did the idea come from that the MMR vaccine was linked to autism?

The MMR vaccine controversy originated around the 1998 publication of a research paper in the medical journal “The Lancet” by British doctor Andrew Wakefield. The article cited a link between autism and MMR vaccines.

Investigations revealed that the author had multiple undeclared conflicts of interest, manipulated evidence and broke other ethical codes. The article was partially retracted in 2004 and fully retracted in 2010. Wakefield was found guilty by the General Medical Council of serious professional misconduct in May 2010 and was no longer allowed to practice as a doctor. 

Text Only
Opinion
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014

  • ADAMCZYK: Homesick for someplace I've never been You stumble over things that make you wonder. I do, at least, and the latest is one of those advertising artifacts from yesteryear that encourage me to ponder what's changed and what never will.

    July 11, 2014

  • WALLACE: Playing politics as usual The immigration crisis is just the most recent example of how dysfunctional Washington, D.C. is right now.

    July 10, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg A stunning scandal in Mississippi-voting|DUVALL: A stunning scandal in Mississippi We don't tend to talk a whole lot about Mississippi on this paper's editorial page and for good reason. It's a long way away in both distance and temperament. But I swear this will be worth it.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: Employers don't need 24/7 access to workers

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Taste of Buffalo sneaks up again This time next week you can find me tromping somewhere up and down Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. I'll be there with tens of thousands of my closest friends.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo