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Because vaccination is a community effort

Speak Up, Be Heard
Did you know that 90% of parents vaccinate?

One of the toughest parts of mobilizing parents - or anyone - is that people take for granted that vaccinating is the norm. And you know what, that's fantastic! We want vaccinating to be the norm. The problem, though, is that when legislation comes up to make laws tighter, to protect everyone better, the small, fringe, anti-vaccine groups scream loudly.

In other words, being a vaccinating and vaccinated human being is a silent majority.

What can you do? The beauty of the modern age is that this is actually an area where you, at your computer, can do something whether it's writing local politicians or just speaking out and being heard on the internet (yeah, pamphlets don't do a thing but apparently internet comments do which is kind of a shocker).

Here are some fantastic online communities that I hope you'll go "like" and that you'll share with your friends:

Voices for Vaccines - I know Karen personally and she is one fantastic lady. VfV is one of the organizations that got me thinking and moving!
Vaccine Information Awareness - This group let's anyone talk who can support their position with science. Anti-vaccine people hang out there but they don't get very far since, well, no science. The moderators are all pro-vaccine and they're pretty patient. Of course, they can always have more pro-vaccine people. It's also just a great place to get info - check out their dedicated threads.
The Vaccine Page - a new and awesome page that takes questions and answers them in a gentle, non-snarky way.

From there, these pages will guide you to more, but these are a great place to start :)

CDC Health Advisory
If you haven't gotten your flu shot yet, there's still time!

That being said, the CDC has issued an advisory noting that one of the strains has mutated. This will lessen the effectiveness of the vaccine (not, as some have claimed, make the vaccine useless). It's likely that even with the strain having mutated the vaccine can help lessen symptoms.

Here are some helpful links:

Official CDC Health Advisory
No the CDC did not just apologize... (Orac does a fantastic job debunking all the social media misinformation)
Nurses Who Vaccinate: CDC Health Advisory

Herd Immunity & Alleged Whistleblowers
In case anyone is wondering, I'm still lurking on LJ, just not posting as much because of life. However, there have been a few big news "events" in the last while, namely the supposed "whistleblower" controversy that, for the moment, the vaccine deniers are hailing as their Holy Grail (except they don't really understand what happened).

Here's some light reading:

Herd Immunity
Here's Some Basics on Herd Immunity (with ZOMBIES) - In comic form, this is a very fun and easy way to explain herd immunity. There's additional links at the end and some commentary too. But c'mon, zombies ;)

CDC Whistleblower
CDC Whistleblower Breaks Silence - Harpocrates Speaks is a great blog and this post is no exception. There's a fantastic breakdown of exactly what happened and why the anti-vaccine movement is once again behaving in a manner that is clearly out of touch with the facts.
Did a High Ranking Whistleblower Really...? - SBM is another great go-to as well (of course, I enjoy the snark).
Wakefield Betrays Whistleblower with Hooker's Help - A lbrb article discussing the motivations of Wakefraud... I mean Wakefield.

If there's a topic you want to know more about, let me know!!

Science, It's Cool! (A Round Up!)
Science, It's Cool
Mayo Clinic trial: Massive blast of measles vaccine wipes out cancer - Every now and again I come across something just flat out mind-boggling in science. It'll be fascinating to see what happens in the actual studies.
Ear infections down, thanks to vaccine - Thanks PCV-13!

General Pro-Vax
Leaving the Anti-Vaccine Movement - A crunchy mama talks about how and why she realized that vaccines were important and the backlash she got when she decided to start vaccinating.

General Anti-Vax
Playing Newborn Intracranial Roulette: Parental Refusal of Vitamin K Injection - This is a disturbing trend in anti-vaccine circles. Several infants in Tennessee ended up with brain damage because their parents refused the Vit. K shot at birth.
Antivax 101: Tactics and Tropes of the Antivaccine Movement - Just a helpful run down of certain phrases you'll hear that are really indicators of the anti-vaccine movement.

Vaccines & Safety
50 Years after Thalidomide: Why regulation matters - Sometimes in conversations with vaccine deniers, someone will throw out the thalidomide debacle. They usually don't realize the FDA never approved the drug for use in the US during pregnancy (and only later approved it for other uses after clear studies had been done). It's an informative read.
Journey of Your Child's Vaccine - An infographic from the CDC.
MMR/Measles Vaccine - A helpful round up of some of the major studies surrounding this vaccine.

Vaccine Ingredients
Human Cell Strains in Vaccine Development - You'll hear the cry of "aborted fetal tissue" being in vaccines which is a misrepresentation of the facts. Here's a helpful guide that explains it. (If you have a friend who is pro-life, this is a helpful article which is a response from the Vatican - I myself am Protestant but I thought it well reasoned)

Notes From the Field (CA, CDC) - These are the notes for 2014 for the measles cases in the US. You'll note that a majority were either unvaccinated or under-vaccinated.

I'll leave you with this video made by a member of a pro-vaccine Facebook group. It's worth your time and your sharing.

Pertussis - The Baboon Study
You may have seen in the news over the last six months that they've found the DTaP to be less effective against pertussis (whooping cough) than its predecessor the DTP vaccine. Some vaccine deniers have picked up a study done in baboons and have made the erroneous claim that the vaccine can give a person pertussis (which if they had read the article more slowly they would have picked up that the baboons were purposefully exposed to pertussis to see what happened).

Here is an excellent post with citations that explains the study in more detail, what we learned from the study, and how it can help us formulate a better vaccine. (Plus, Red Wine and Applesauce is really just a great blog in general).

Making sense out of the baboon pertussis study

Yes, You Can Make a Difference

Some of you may have heard that Chili's was originally planning on supporting the National Autism Association. The NAA not only has terrible financials, but also promotes the dangerous pseudo-science that states that vaccines cause autism. In response, many vaccine advocates (myself included), reached out to Chili's. Within 48 hours, Chili's had reversed their decision to donate to the NAA and at last mention were going to look into finding an autism organization they could support (in my contact, I listed several excellent organizations).

In Minnesota, last year, when the state wanted to revise the vaccine schedule, vaccine deniers from all over the world wrote in to challenge the schedule change (which didn't even affect them). The change happened and Minnesota's schedule was brought up to date.

Now we have a new battle to fight. In Colorado, the state house passed a bill that will make it harder to opt out of vaccinations. People may still do it, but now they will have to sign a form every year and they will have to either speak with a healthcare professional or do an online module educating them on the facts with vaccines. While this won't sway the most hardcore, there is evidence out there that some people opt out simply because it's easiest. Oregon has already passed a bill like this. In states where it's harder to opt out, vaccination rates tend to be higher.

So what does that mean for you? Please, even if you're not a Colorado resident, take the time to write the state senate as they consider this bill (I was told to just BCC all of them as I'm not in CO). If you're in Colorado, contact your direct senator, and know that you carry far more weight than any of us. The NVIC is fighting this hard. Share this on your FB, Twitter, LJ, wherever feeds and get the word out. Here's the info to share: ACTION ALERT. It includes a sample letter.

This is for all of our safety. Let science and sanity once again rule the day.

All the email addresses for the state senatorsCollapse )

When Doctors Fail
Right now we are in the middle of a measles epidemic on both coasts (and I know there's an outbreak in Canada as well). I want to share this with you because it is time to no longer support Dr. Sears as anything but a charlatan. Yesterday his anti-vaccine sympathies were exposed.

When a doctor stop behaving like one

Weekly Round Up

If there's a particular topic you'd like information on, please feel free to ask a question and I'll keep an ear to the ground for information (I have a lot of places to look!)

General Pro-Vax
The Most Important Conversation: How to Persuade a Friend to Vaccinate - Pretty straightforward. I admit, I'm not as good at this as I would like to be.
The Top Six LEAST Logical Anti-Vax Arguments - In the end, maybe the anti-vax movement is really the conspiracy ;)
8 Reasons You're Wrong About Not Vaccinating Your Daughter - This is response to another article in which a dad claims he isn't going to vax his little girl and why.
Adventures in Peaceful Parenting (tumblr) - A crunchy mom explains how she went from being anti-vaccine to pro-vaccine, and what that meant for relationships.

Benefits of Vaccines
The Unbelievable Impact of Vaccines - It's a fancy graphic that puts things in perspective.
The Vaccination Effect: 100 Million Cases of Infectious Diseases Prevented

Delayed Vax
Cashing in on Fear: The Danger of Dr. Sears - Sears panders to the fears of parents instead of dealing with them and that's dangerous (and clearly lucrative).

Vaccines & Autism
The Facts in the Case of Andrew Wakefield - From right here on LJ, tallguywrites creates a graphic novel to explain how Wakefield's lies happened (and why they're lies).

Vaccines & Safety
VAERS a Few Things We Need to Discuss - Typically vaccine deniers will point to VAERS as "proof" and this article explains what VAERS actually is and why the raw data isn't "proof".

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
FDA Study Explains Rise in Pertussis Rates - The acellular (part of the DTaP and the Tdap) is not as effective as the old whole cellular (DTP).

And finally, I'm going to share this from a campaign in Australia:

I ImmuniseCollapse )

(You can find more here)

An interview!
I hope to be back in February with a ton of info! For some reason I've had issues trying to post from my computer and haven't had a chance to figure out why. This post is from my tablet so I don't know what quirky things will happen.

The story I posted recently (Growing Up Unvaccinated) went viral. One of the nuttier claims that came from vaccine deniers was that Amy wasn't real. Well she is! And here's an interview with her discussing how her story went from a personal plea to an internet conversation.

How one mother's story went viral

Posted via m.livejournal.com.

I'm on hiatus, but on one earlier post I included a link to a post on Facebook about a child of 70s health nuts who had decided to vaccinate after contracting a number of vaccine preventable illnesses. I was wary on posting it because I didn't know who's story it was... well I am wary no more! Voices for Vaccines got a hold of Amy and posted her story on their site (with citations to her claims, no less). If you have some friends who are super crunchy (or maybe you're super crunchy AND vaccinate), this is a *great* piece to share.

Growing Up Unvaccinated (new title)

"I am the 70s child of a health nut. I wasn’t vaccinated. I was brought up on an incredibly healthy diet: no sugar til I was one, breastfed for over a year, organic homegrown vegetables, raw milk, no MSG, no additives, no aspartame. My mother used homeopathy, aromatherapy, osteopathy, we took daily supplements of vitamin C, echinacea, cod liver oil. I had an outdoor lifestyle; I grew up next to a farm, walked everywhere, did sports and danced twice a week, drank plenty of water. I wasn’t even allowed pop; even my fresh juice was watered down to protect my teeth, and I would’ve killed for white, shop-bought bread in my lunch box once in a while and biscuits instead of fruit like all the other kids. We only ate (organic local) meat maybe once or twice a week and my mother and father cooked everything from scratch – I have yet to taste a Findus crispy pancake and oven chips were reserved for those nights when mum and dad had friends over and we got a “treat.”

As healthy as my lifestyle seemed, I contracted measles, mumps, rubella, a type of viral meningitis, scarlatina, whooping cough, yearly tonsillitis, and chickenpox. In my twenties I got precancerous HPV and spent 6 months of my life wondering how I was going to tell my two children under the age of 7 that mummy might have cancer before it was safely removed."

(Go to the site to read the rest!)

I'll be updating the link as well on that previous post :)