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A national health challenge: How the anti-vaccine movement threatens us all

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Pediatrician Paul Offit, MD, is one of the most public faces of the pro-vaccine movement for childhood immunizations. He's a hero to pediatricians around the country for taking on an aggressive anti-vaccine movement that makes erroneous claims that vaccines are dangerous to children's health and can cause autism and brain damage.

In his new book, Deadly Choices:How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All, Offit writes that in 2010, California suffered the largest and deadliest outbreak of whopping cough in more than 50 years - killing at least nine childen. Yet an effective vaccine to prevent the disease has been available since the 1940s.

Offit sees the book as a warning alarm to illustrate that preventable diseases are occuring now in the U.S. He says that we're past the tipping point, and he hopes the book is seen as a plea for commonality.

In my latest 1:2:1 podcast, I talked with Offit about the growing fear of vaccines (4 in 10 parents now delay or withhold one or more vaccines from their children) and what happens when people act on those fears. Offit is chief of the division of infectious diseases and director of the vaccine education center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He's also a professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Previously: Special court says no link between autism and vaccines, How the false MMR vaccine-autism connection was perpetuated, It's over: No MMR vaccine-autism connection, New study finds no link between MMR vaccine and autism and Dismissing young patients if parents refuse to vaccinate them
Photo by alvi2047

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