Paul Offit’s article in the Huffington Post has already garnered a lot of attention and responses.
In the post, Offit points to the outbreaks of measles and other diseases that have resulted from parents not vaccinating their children due to fears, not warranted by scientific research, about the link between vaccines and autism. Offit writes:
These outbreaks have not, apparently, been sobering. If anything, the number of parents choosing to delay or withhold or separate vaccines is increasing. So what will it take? Certainly, as more and more children contract measles and pertussis, deaths from these diseases will follow. And it’s not a leap to believe that we could see other deadly diseases, like polio and diphtheria; both of which still occur commonly in some areas of the world; and both of which are only a plane ride away from causing outbreaks in relatively unvaccinated communities in the United States.
We can only hope that parents have not been lulled into a false sense of security by the success of vaccines — or that our inattention to history will not cause us to relive it.