Legal rights of children to vaccination

Legal rights of children to vaccination

We sometimes, in the arguments about vaccines, forget about the legal rights of children to vaccination – yes, this is a right. Dorit Rubinstein Reiss discussed how the child’s rights to good health care –including vaccinations–can take precedence over the wishes of parents (another article by her can be found here).

There is a belief amongst the antivaccination crowd that the parents have the absolute right to manage the healthcare of their children. Except for the fact that this has never been true – courts, as Dr. Reiss discussed, can intervene whenever parental healthcare choices (or lack thereof) harm the child. That’s how it works not only in the USA, but in most of the developed world.

Since children don’t have the ability to make their own healthcare choices, we assume that parents have that ability. But if the parents don’t, or make bad choices like not vaccinating, then courts and government officials have to make those choices. Continue reading “Legal rights of children to vaccination”

Sexually transmitted infections after HPV vaccination of young women

HPV quadrivalent cancer preventing vaccine, known as Gardasil (or Silgard in Europe), can reduce the risk of several types of cancer by blocking sexually transmitted (along with a few other pathways) infection by human papillomavirus (HPV). There are more than 40 HPV sub-types that can infect the genital areas of males and females. Additionally, some HPV types can also infect the mouth and throat. HPV is generally transmitted from personal contact during vaginal, anal or oral sex. About one-quarter of those sub-types are implicated in a number of genital, anal and oral cancers.

In a broad review of all of the published clinical research involving HPV vaccines, there is a clear scientific and medical consensus that HPV vaccines are extraordinarily safe, they quickly reduce HPV infection rates in populations of adolescents and young adults, and by reducing HPV infection rate, we will eventually have a real and statistically significant reduction in the risks of many types of cancer.

And as I’ve said many times, there are just a handful of methods, supported by real scientific evidence, to reduce the risk of cancer–quit smoking, lose weight to be clinical “skinny”, stay out of the sun, remove radon gas from your house, and get the HPV vaccine. No, eating a non-GMO, organic blueberry-kale shake will absolutely have NO effect on your risk of getting cancer, unless you find that so disgusting that you lose substantial weight. Continue reading “Sexually transmitted infections after HPV vaccination of young women”

Why we vaccinate for the flu–to save children’s lives

flu-vaccine-facts-mythsSeasonal flu is associated with an estimated 54,000 to 430,000 hospitalizations and approximately 3,000 to 49,000 deaths annually in the USA. It has been reported that influenza infection rates in the community are highest among children–even though influenza is usually a self-limiting illness, severe complications, including pneumonia, encephalitis, myocarditis, and death, can occur in children.

We’ve all heard the excuses and myths about the flu vaccines. They just aren’t trueNo, they really really really aren’t true. By the way, Mark Crislip, MD, thinks those of you who make up whiny excuses for not getting the flu vaccine are dumbasses.

Because of the serious consequences of the annual flu, the CDC recommends the flu vaccine for all children aged 6 months. A recent study published in Pediatrics revealed that the flu virus can have significant repercussions for children. The authors described serious complications from the flu for children including deaths. And many of those deaths occurred in children without underlying medical risk factors. Continue reading “Why we vaccinate for the flu–to save children’s lives”

CDC: 90 percent of children who died from flu not vaccinated

Learn about Who Needs A Flu Vaccine.

The 2012-2013 flu season is beginning to wind down from a moderately severe season. Sadly, according to the CDC, 105 children died this season from the flu. And a preliminary review of the data by the CDC found that 90% of those children who died were not vaccinated for this season’s flu. In case that wasn’t clear, over 90 children died from influenza, a vaccine-preventable disease. 

This review by the CDC indicated that 60 percent of deaths occurred in children who were at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications, but 40 percent of the children, who had died, had no recognized chronic health problems. The proportions of pediatric deaths occurring in children who were unvaccinated and those who had high-risk conditions are similar to what the CDC has observed in previous flu seasons.

Earlier this flu season, the CDC had strongly recommended that children get the flu vaccine, and those who had never been vaccinated for the flu before, get two doses of the vaccine. And despite the various myths about the flu vaccine, it is extremely effective, it will not give a child the flu, and it has an incredibly high safety profile

Many of us who discuss medicine know that every medical procedure involves a risk and a benefit. With the flu vaccine, there are few risks, and even those are minor. But the benefit is immense for children. Saving lives. And in my view of the world, saving even one life, one child, is worth it. Parents who don’t give the flu vaccine to their children put them at a small, but significant risk of severe complications to the flu, up to and including death. Maybe next year someone will read this article, and think, “I want to save my child’s life.” I can only hope.


Visit the Science-based Vaccine Search Engine.

Key citations:

Pediatric flu vaccination–it saves children’s lives

If you have any reluctance about having your children receive their annual flu vaccination, look at the chart below:

Flu deaths


Children die from the flu virus–282 innocent children died from the flu in 2009-10, 122 in 2010-11, 34 in 2011-12. So far this flu season, 6 children have died. The number varies from highs during pandemic years, such as in 2009-10, and lower in non-pandemic years. 

The CDC predicts that 2012-13 could be serious, and the current flu vaccine protects against 3 subtypes of the seasonal flu in North America: 

  1. A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like
  2. A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)-like
  3. B/Wisconsin/1/2010-like

There are no valid excuses for avoiding a flu vaccination. Just in case you believe the myths about the flu vaccine, they’re not true. The vaccine does not itself cause the flu. The vaccine is safe for pregnant women. And most of the other myths have been solidly debunked

Get a flu vaccination for your kids. Because Vaccines Save Lives.

Key citations

Visit the Science-based Vaccine Search Engine.

Flu during pregnancy linked with increased risk of autism

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) appear to be an increasing medical issue in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ASD is diagnosed in approximately 1 in 88 children, and are reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. ASD refers to a broad range of symptoms, from mild social awkwardness to mental retardation, repetitive behaviors and an inability to communicate. The CDC states that diagnosing ASD can be difficult, because there are no medical tests, such as a genetic or blood test, that can provide a definitive diagnosis. Physicians make a diagnosis through observation of a child’s behavior and development.

Medical science agrees that the increase in diagnosis is not only a result of better diagnostic standards, but also because there appears to be more children who are actually developing autism. Unfortunately, science has not uncovered the cause. Genetics are a critical factor, for example, since it has been shown that if one twin has autism there is a high likelihood that the other twin will also develop ASD. But are there other factors?

Continue reading “Flu during pregnancy linked with increased risk of autism”

Study about causes of autism–no vaccines involved

[pullquote]That’s the difference between real research and the whining anti-vaccine lunatics who base their claims on nonsense and logical fallacies, which does nothing for understanding the causal factors of autism.[/pullquote]

The Los Angeles Times reports in “Study finds link between autism and obesity during pregnancy” that data from University of California-Davis MIND Institute’s CHARGE (CHildhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment) research study shows a link between risk of autism and Metabolic Conditions, such as maternal obesity and diabetes.  The study found that women who had diabetes or hypertension, or were obese had 1.61 times greater risk to have children with autism spectrum disorders than healthy women. These women with metabolic conditions (MC) also had a 2.35 greater risk to having children with developmental delays. Continue reading “Study about causes of autism–no vaccines involved”