For those who are students of science, it would seem there are some fair assessments and issues brought to light in the piece above. As relates to the KOMU coverage of this, I would have to think Dr. Miles might want to comment on these criticisms in the February wrap up.
For policy makers in state government in Missouri, this little project has done a great service to our democracy by presenting both sides of a debate. I encourage all to read through all of the many posts, understand we are human and this is of incredible importance to many not just as a medical debate but as relates to the potential for biological imperialism as imposed by state and federal government. Titer documentation not vaccination records should determine public school entrance and exemptions need to be protected. I will vaccinate my fourth child in a quite different manner than the "guidelines" given by the CDC, knowing all that I understand currently and was complete unaware of before having been engaged in this area by the experience of my family.
Evidence based medicine requires evidence of need for boosters after first dose of a vaccine in a series; it is the keep-it-simple-stupid approach that should be openly and honestly discussed between family practice and pediatrics physicians and their patients. Those who open their doors in practice to this idea may see many new patients, parents like me who want to vaccinate their children for the appropriate at-risk epidemic diseases at appropriate ages with the safest of approaches; this would shift revenue to clinical pathologists from vaccine companies selling unneeded boosters and to open-minded clinicians in the care of children. This compromise puts the patient-physician relationship back in the spotlight. The approach also dims the governance-governed relationship of the CDC and public health officials trying to do their best on a societal basis while ignoring the needs of individuals. These policy artists are so willing to overdose vaccines on the assumption that it is the best method to protect a populace that can't make decisions on its own; very unAmerican and unscientific as the idea has never ben approached any other way. A titer check approach to indicate booster need would actually help defuse a growing vaccine availability crisis, ironic isn't it?
For those who ask why a former Husker and Dakotan has so much to say on this blog, it is simple: our water is your water, I live on the banks of the great river that bears the name of your state and what we do up here on these molecules of H2O gets to Missouri eventually.
Protecting our children's environment is getting harder everyday and it is something that requires great effort from the "little" guy. Autism has a major environmental component that is a liability for the many large industries that are polluting our children's bodies; thus, though vaccines are not completely to blame they do reflect the effects of an industry who job it is to protect the environmental health of our children.
Physicians pushing pharmaceuticals to be better than the fossil fuels industry, metals manufacturers and other industrial polluters shouldn't be so hard, but as anyone can see from experience on this blog, the conditioning of MDs leads them to keep their mouths shut on politically contentious issues for fear of many backlashes.
If PHaRMA wants to push back on this issue, maybe they should spend some money on researching the environmental connections here in a productive manner for their industry by supporting the epidemiology of autism near industrial pollution sites instead of just trying to white wash their own role in this , or give Dr. Von Saal of the University of Missouri some grants to research the explosion of reproductive toxins in our food supply. The role of other industries in this internal-environmental crisis affecting the neurological health of the next generation of Americans is probably even worse than the role played by vaccines, but mom's keep blaming vaccines completely when by temporal association there is an event of vaccination and a response of neurological decline that then gets institutionally ignored.
The future will show we are on the course of a growing epigenetic epidemic, our genes and our environments are suffering increasing dysfunction. These kids are Rachel Carson's birds of the 21st century they need better than what society is doing to skirt the issues so as to protect establishment medicine (state of denial), pharmaceuticals (vaccines), big oil (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), manufacturing (heavy metals), agriculture (organophosphates), food processors (bisphenol A, aspartame), and others (including radiologists) who are playing this role in punctuated genomic instability complicated by molecular slowing of toxin handling kinetics in an increasing proportion of an entire generation of children. Sadly, all of this is only going to get much worse (slowly) for a very long time (decades); the chicken little of today will be understood as the sentinel of tomorrow-by then I fear we will not really have the American experiment anymore, being too run down as a middle class populace by these social-environmental issues to fight the good fight anymore.
As for approach to treatment, establishment academic clinicians need to start paying attention to the work and ideas of Martha Herbert, MD, PhD at Harvard, she's doing the right homework on this issue where so many others are afraid to in the ivory towers. People who want the vision to see how to make this debate productive for children need to read Changing the Course of Autism by Bryan Jepson, MD.
Thanks again to the faculty of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, you are profiles in courage for our day.
Edward F. Fogarty, III, M.D.
Chairman of Radiology
University of North Dakota School of Medicine
Lifelong resident of the banks of the Missouri.