Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August Is (Was) National Immunization Awareness Month

The CDC wants to remind you that immunization is (was) "one of the most significant public health achievements of the 20th century," as we lament its wide disrepute in the 21st. Vaccine pioneer Dr Thomas C. Peebles died earlier this month, Tara Parker-Pope wrote an illuminating piece on whooping cough, the federal government did its bit with NIAM, and still no hoopla or a single PSA in the mainstream news. These days our best shot at disease prevention gets no respect.

Maybe the Internet has stirred up public mistrust. Maybe there's an evidence-based argument we're missing. What constantly surprises, though, is the confusion among otherwise well-informed, practicing physicians.

We saw a frank and fair airing of the issue in "The Vaccine War" on PBS's Frontline in April. Others, like the Alliance for Natural Health, watched the same program and saw media bias and a cover-up.

In certain circles of hyperbaric medicine, the criticism of vaccines has not been limited to autism, where a rather significant segment of patients, families, and providers believes vaccines contain toxins that cause the disorder. Lately we've also been monitoring claims that HBOT is an effective treatment for seizure-related disorders allegedly caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) immunizations.

These developments merit our brief undivided attention, later this week, with some helpful information about how the medical community and public health authorities monitor the safety of vaccines.

O2.O is the news blog of HyperbaricLink, the independent web guide to hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

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