DOH defends vaccines vs critics

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Monday, September 9, 2013


OFFICIALS of the Department of Health (DOH) – Cordillera called on the public not to believe the anti–immunization advertisements being aired through television.

During the early months, a certain television network started airing an advertisement discrediting DOH's vaccines. The advertisement claimed the vaccine causes sterility.

However, DOH Regional Expanded Program on Immunization coordinator Dr. Alexi Marrero said their vaccines are from the World Health Organization (WHO) and these passed several requirements. He said the advertisement is not factual because their vaccines do not promote any kind of illness.

Marrero said the public must disregard the advertisement and let their kids be immunized for the protection of the children against several diseases like measles.

In Britain, the top medical group banned a doctor due to his research, which suggests a link between a common vaccine and autism. His research caused millions of parents worldwide to abandon the shot for measles, mumps and rubella.

Dr. Andrew Wakefield was the first to publish peer-reviewed research suggesting such a connection, even though the study was later widely discredited. The ruling by Britain's General Medical Council found him guilty of serious professional misconduct.

Wakefield, 53, then moved to the US and set up an autism centre in Texas, where he has a wide following, but faces similar skepticism from the medical community. The ruling in Britain only applies to his right to practice medicine in the UK, not in other countries.

Vaccination rates in Britain have never recovered since Wakefield's research was published in 1998 and there are measles outbreaks in the country every year. The disease is also on the rise in the US.

Numerous other studies have been conducted since then and none have found a connection between autism and any vaccine.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 10, 2013.

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