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When people misrepresent facts on the record, journalists are in a tough spot — especially when that information can be harmful.

Which brings me to STAT’s recent interview with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., conducted by Helen Branswell. STAT wanted to interview Kennedy about his claim in January 2017 that Donald Trump would soon appoint him to head a commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity. Seven months had passed since Kennedy had made the claim and no announcement had been made. STAT wanted to find out where things stood.

Branswell began her interview by asking Kennedy eight different times and in eight different ways where things stood on his commission. Each time, he failed to confirm or deny whether the White House was about to appoint him.

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That clearly wasn’t what Kennedy wanted to talk about. Instead, he wanted to talk about his belief that mercury in vaccines is poisoning America’s children and that no one in the federal government seems to care. By insisting that the interview be conducted in the question-and-answer format, Kennedy effectively tied STAT’s hands, which had to print what he said without editorial comment or opposing views.

I feel compelled to oppose Kennedy’s claims.

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During the interview, Kennedy said that some babies were being injected with 25 micrograms of ethylmercury, which is part of a preservative called thimerosol that is used in multi-dose vials of influenza vaccine. He claimed that amount to be “100 times” greater than the amount considered to be safe.

As an environmentalist, Kennedy should know that mercury is a natural part of the Earth’s crust. As a consequence, methylmercury (environmental mercury) is contained in water and anything made from water, like breast milk and infant formula. The human body eliminates ethylmercury from vaccines far more efficiently than it eliminates naturally occurring methylmercury.

Babies typically ingest about 360 micrograms of methylmercury during the first 6 months of life, well before they will ever receive their first dose of influenza vaccine. If the 25 micrograms of ethylmercury in vaccines is 100 times greater than what Kennedy claimed is safe, then simply by living on Earth, by 6 months of age babies will have ingested an amount of mercury that is 1,440 times greater than Kennedy’s safety limit.

According to Kennedy’s calculations, all of us are massively intoxicated with mercury. The only way to avoid this would be to move to another planet.

Kennedy also said that he wanted to ensure “that vaccines are subject to the same kind of safety scrutiny and safety testing that other drugs are subject to.” In fact, vaccines are subjected to greater scrutiny than drugs. Much greater. For example, the CDC spends tens of millions of dollars every year on the Vaccine Safety Datalink, a system of linked computerized medical records from several major health maintenance organizations that represents about 7 million Americans, 500,000 of whom are children. Nothing like this exists on the drug side. Frankly, if a Drug Safety Datalink existed, the problem with Vioxx as a cause of heart attacks might have been picked up much sooner.

Kennedy said, “We need to, prior to licensing vaccines, do gold standard safety testing, like every other drug approval requires. We need to do double-blind placebo testing.” Branswell knew that the FDA does require placebo-controlled trials before licensure. So she pushed back. “Sir, that’s done all the time,” she said. “That is done all the time.”

Branswell was right. Here’s an example of the kind of testing that vaccines are put through. One of the currently licensed vaccines against rotavirus was tested in a placebo-controlled, prospective, 11-country, four-year trial of more than 70,000 infants before being approved. That’s fairly typical of most pre-licensure trials. But STAT was stuck having to report Kennedy’s remarks as is, even though Branswell knew they were false. That was the deal. The interview had to be printed without contradiction.

Perhaps most outrageous was Kennedy’s claim that “the hepatitis B vaccines that are currently approved had fewer than five days of safety testing. That means that if the child has a seizure on the sixth day, it’s never seen. If the child dies, it’s never seen.” Safety monitoring for the hepatitis B vaccine, like all vaccines tested before being licensed, involved determining side effects in the vaccinated and unvaccinated group for weeks after each dose. Indeed, some subsets of vaccinated individuals have been monitored for 30 years after hepatitis B vaccination.

Throughout the interview, Kennedy never adequately addressed the new commission. Creating such a commission doesn’t make sense to me for two main reasons.

First, a vaccine safety commission already exists. It’s called the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Staffed by epidemiologists, microbiologists, virologists, statisticians, molecular biologists, and clinicians, the CDC supervises the Vaccine Safety Datalink, which I described earlier. Whenever a new vaccine is licensed, this system quickly determines who’s been vaccinated and who hasn’t and detects any side effects that might be occurring more frequently in the vaccinated group.

Second, a commission for scientific integrity also already exists. Independent of the CDC, it’s called the Office for Research Integrity, and is housed in the Department of Health and Human Services.

It’s unfortunate that our culture, and our media, sometimes give celebrities a chance to comment without opposition on subjects about which they are often misinformed. It’s invariably the listener or reader who suffers this advice. Maybe journalists could at the very least add a cigarette-style caution to interviews like the one that STAT did with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Something like “CAUTION: Reading this article might be dangerous to your health.”

Paul A. Offit, M.D., is a professor of pediatrics and director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. His most recent book is “Pandora’s Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong” (National Geographic Press, April 2017).

  • Credible news outlets have published recently that for money, the American Academy of Pediatrics will take on Coca Cola as a partner for the health of children. It causes reasonable people to question whether vaccine advertising and high paying vaccine research jobs could have the same negative effect on the objectivity of statements put out by the AAP on vaccines- which makes money for the pharmacies, physicians, researchers, lobbyists- and everyone else on the gravy train, including Dr. Offit sitting in the $1.5mm Merck funded Hilleman Chair position at CHOP.

    “The world’s largest maker of sugary beverages, Coca-Cola has given nearly $3 million to the academy over the past six years, making it the only “gold” sponsor of the HealthyChildren.org website. Even though the pediatric academy has said publicly that sugary drinks contribute to the obesity epidemic, the group praises Coke on its website, calling it a “distinguished” company for its commitment to “better the health of children worldwide….”

    “the soda grants appear to have, in some cases, won the company allies in anti-soda initiatives, wielded influence over health recommendations about soft drinks, and shifted scientific focus away from soda as a factor in the causes of obesity.”

    https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/09/28/coke-spends-lavishly-on-pediatricians-and-dietitians/

    The AAP is a medical trade group that exists to make money. Telling kids to drink Coke is on par with telling healthy kids to get 9 vaccines in one visit- then blithely walking away and denying responsibility when the kids collapses into seizures, requires intubation, respiratory support,
    and stops breathing.

    • This is getting really sad now Josh. Might I suggest a walk outside? Maybe go to a park or do some exercise? This clearly isn’t working for you & you’re become extremely desperate.

    • What a strange comparison. I expect most people realize the difference between protecting kids from more diseases and promoting a sugary beverage with no health benefits.

      I agree that the AAP deserves criticism for partnering with Coca Cola. It also deserves praise for its hard work to protect children from diseases.

      To remind you, diseases like whooping cough, polio, hib, influenza etc’ can certainly lead to children stopping to breathe. Protecting them against diseases with vaccines that have very, very low risks is the right thing to do.

      I note that your latest comments have nothing to do with the article, by the way. Is there a reason?

    • DR: “I note that your latest comments have nothing to do with the article”

      Isn’t the American Academy of Pediatrics involved in some way with providing medical advice concerning vaccines? I thought they are, perhaps I am mistaken.

      If the AAP wants to make money telling gullible parents that their kids should drink Coke because it is important to stay hydrated….. then caveat emptor.

    • This article is not about the AAP. It seems you have decided it’s an appropriate forum to try and argue – not very well – all vaccines are bad.

    • Again, it’s a good comparison. Then, tobacco companies tried to reject and cast doubt on extensive data showing cigarettes are dangerous.

      Now, anti-vaccine activists are trying to reject and cast doubt on extensive evidence – the same kind of studies, by the same kinds of people – showing vaccines are safe.

    • Josh, give it up bro. May I suggest a better forum for your antivax propaganda & conspiracy theories? Perhaps you’d feel more comfortable & find more like-minded people commenting on a Alex Jones video or Natural News post. Then you can also talk about Sandy Hook, 9/11 & the Holocaust. And you won’t get as frustrated or exposed. It will be healthier for everyone.

  • SM:

    “Truth is what matters.”

    Absolutely. That is what we provax advocates espouse except we call it evidence.

    “It doesn’t matter how many industry-funded, industry-controlled, industry-interpreted, and industry-marketed crap studies there are.”

    Most immunization science is no industry-funded.

    “The tobacco industry was well-known for producing studies they claimed showed no link between smoking and lung cancer. ”

    This was back before truth in advertising laws. In the 1940s, the science was clear that tobacco use was associated with cancer. It took 30 years for laws to be passed mandating cigarette advertising not hide that fact. This has nothing to do with vaccines.

    “Paul Offit, funded for years by Merck while a voting member of the CDC committee that decided on vaccine recommendations, is a perfect example.”

    Dr Offit has never been funded by Merck and his vaccine was recommended after his tenure at ACIP was up. There is no conflict here, except in your imagination.

    “When industry defenders launch such vicious personal attacks against industry critics, it’s a nice little wake up call for the rest of us. If they had the truth on their side, they would never need or want to do that.”

    Provaxers have not been vicious in these comments. Not even one bit. We’ve been respectful. Refuting misinformation and calling out people’s conflicts of interest are not “vicious attacks.” On the other hand, antivaxers have engaged in a great deal of name calling and reputation slandering, herein.

  • Dorit, while reading this argument. It is impossible to not notice that the dishonest folks you are butting heads with use almost exactly the same fallacies and other tactics s the dishonest folks who oppose GE crops. Right down to the stupid tobacco example used completely backwards as you pointed out. Move the goalposts as often as needed and never acknowledge an obvious fact like the elimination of smallpox.

    • It is true. Antivax industry surrogates/shills like “Science” mom (I will not put her name without the proper quotations) continue to copy/paste debunked antivax propaganda like none of us have access to any fact checking tools.

      What’s next, bringing up the Amish?

  • To anyone reading who wants information from science & not pop singers & zoologists:

    There are 16,637 peer-reviewed worldwide scientific studies showing the safety of vaccines.

    There are 27,404 peer-reviewed worldwide scientific studies showing the efficacy of vaccines

    There are 238,612 peer-reviewed worldwide scientific studies on vaccines:

    Simply put, NOTHING has been studied more or proven to be more safe in human history.

    James “Cherry Pickin” Weiler can find 1 or 2 studies to nitpick or claim “bias” or even “fraud.” Likely not true but even so can he prove each and every one of these is? I don’t think he’s even read 5% of them.

    It’s simply just sad at this point to watch him fall.

    • Truth is what matters.

      It doesn’t matter how many industry-funded, industry-controlled, industry-interpreted, and industry-marketed crap studies there are. The tobacco industry was well-known for producing studies they claimed showed no link between smoking and lung cancer. The only difference between the tobacco industry and the pharmaceutical industry is that the former never controlled any positions at the CDC and FDA. Paul Offit, funded for years by Merck while a voting member of the CDC committee that decided on vaccine recommendations, is a perfect example.

      It doesn’t matter who is calling out a lying pharmaceutical CEO/employees. James Lyons-Weiler could be a garbage collector for all I care; he’s still speaking the truth.

      When industry defenders launch such vicious personal attacks against industry critics, it’s a nice little wake up call for the rest of us. If they had the truth on their side, they would never need or want to do that.

    • I agree truth is what matters. I expect most people realize that truth is what is shown in the tens of thousands of studies done by different teams from different countries all around the world looking at vaccine safety. They found that vaccines are very safe: they have risks, but those risks are small, and the benefits great.

      Describing that abundant literature as somehow controlled by industry is unrealistic. You would have to assume industry controls thousands of researchers and all the governments in the world. Doesn’t hold.

      And it’s a little ironic that someone pretending to speak for truth then makes untrue statements about Dr. Offit. Dr. Offit gets a salary from CHOP. Describing him as “funded by Merck while a voting member of a CDC committee” is simply attacking his character against the evidence.

      And the tobacco comparison is an excellent one, though it goes the other way. For years, studies by researchers showed tobacco is dangerous, and for years companies worked to cast doubt on those studies. Now, exactly the same studies by exactly the same type of researchers show vaccines are very safe. And anti-vaccine activists work hard to cast doubt on those studies.

      A striking parallel.

    • Ouch. I haven’t seen someone’s comment so crucified by Dorit since…well maybe not ever. “Science” Mom should simply #deleteheraccount now.

      It is true. In order for decades and tens of thousands of peer-reviewed worldwide studies from different countries, many independently funded with no ties to “big pharma”, to ALL be fraudulent & invalid would be the greatest conspiracy in the history of the earth. And to think, Bill Clinton couldn’t even keep a secret that only him & Monica knew about.

      Maybe time to rethink which side of history you want to be on. The one whose sole justification is linked to the greatest conspiracy in human history being kept secret for decades in every country on earth….or the one who trusts tens of thousands of peer-reviewed scientific studies that have proven the safety & efficacy of vaccines.

      Tough call!

  • Dorit claims my behavior of acknowledging the actual risks of vaccination and accepting the evidence of fraudulent CDC science as anti-vaccine behavior and points to Paul Offit as providing what she considers reasonable responses to vaccine risk. Since both Offit and Reiss work over time to minimize the public’s perception of risk at all costs, including their own credibility, consider the sources.

    • Yes, you’re a zoologist with no qualifications in vaccines, infectious disease, immunology or any medical background of any kind. Your only qualifications are writing an antivax industry blog & being head of an antivax industry “research” group founded & designed to do studies that show vaccines aren’t safe.

      In this very comment thread your re-posted comments made by a middling-pop singer.

      When you say “actual risks of vaccination” you’re literally lying. What you view as “actual risks” are simply not the actual risks. What you view as “fraudulent CDC science” is simply not the case.

      Ironically as you attack the CDC and say they can’t be trusted you are now saying their latest study on the flu vaccine CAN be trusted.

      And people wonder why you were given the name James “Cherry Pickin” Weiler.

      You have no more credibility here. I would suggest returning to the echo chamber where you don’t allow challenges and nobody can see how exposed you get when you encounters experts in the field you aren’t a part of.

    • Studies from all around the world found no link between vaccines and autism, allergies, etc’. Claiming those are vaccine risks is not acknowledging actual risk – it’s rejecting the evidence.

      Claiming CDC science generally is fraudulent without evidence is not accepting evidence, either. There is none.

      Anyone who reads Dr. Offit’s books – or my articles – will see we both acknowledge risks. However, we acknowledge risks supported by the evidence, and reject claims of risks that go against it.

      Evidence matters.

    • To anyone reading who wants information from science & not pop singers & zoologists:

      Here are 16,637 peer-reviewed worldwide scientific studies showing the safety of vaccines:
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/?term=vaccine+safety

      Here are 27,404 peer-reviewed worldwide scientific studies showing the efficacy of vaccines:
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/?term=vaccine+efficacy

      Here are 238,612 peer-reviewed worldwide scientific studies on vaccines:
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/?term=vaccines

      Simply put, NOTHING has been studied more or proven to be more safe in human history.

      James “Cherry Pickin” Weiler can find 1 or 2 studies to nitpick or claim “bias” or even “fraud.” Likely not true but even so can he prove each and every one of these is? I don’t think he’s even read 5% of them.

      It’s simply just sad at this point to watch him fall.

    • To anyone reading who wants information from science & not pop singers & zoologists:

      There are 16,637 peer-reviewed worldwide scientific studies showing the safety of vaccines.

      There are 27,404 peer-reviewed worldwide scientific studies showing the efficacy of vaccines

      There are 238,612 peer-reviewed worldwide scientific studies on vaccines:

      Simply put, NOTHING has been studied more or proven to be more safe in human history.

      James “Cherry Pickin” Weiler can find 1 or 2 studies to nitpick or claim “bias” or even “fraud.” Likely not true but even so can he prove each and every one of these is? I don’t think he’s even read 5% of them.

      It’s simply just sad at this point to watch him fall.

  • They really should work on a vaccine prevent ignorance and denial.
    OR
    Just ban them from the internet……..

  • It appears my comments are not being put through, so I’ll continue to repost & recap, until I’m assured my comments are not being suppressed.

    Dear anonymous creature who goes by the name Truther: I don’t understand why you defend the author’s well documented penchant for outrageous claims. Is it because Arthur Caplan told you to “fight unfair” in vaccine debates? Did you know that P. Offit is being accused of misrepresenting a Vaccine-Miscarriage Study published by the Daily Beast? Do you defend that kind of activity?

    Read it here:

    “Paul Offit has written a post for The Daily Beast arguing that a CDC study of miscarriage and influenza vaccination should have never been published. He bases his argument on his own misrepresentations of the study’s results. Read Autism Investigated’s below letter to The Daily Beast’s editorial team demanding they retract Offit’s post.

    ——– Original Message ——–
    Subject: Paul Offit’s Article Misrepresents Study Findings, Should be
    Retracted
    From:
    Date: Sun, September 24, 2017 3:33 pm
    To: editorial@thedailybeast.com

    Dear Daily Beast,
    Your contributor Paul Offit’s latest article “The Pregnancy Vaccine Scare That Should Have Never Been” makes multiple misrepresentations of a recent CDC study on influenza vaccination and miscarriage. Since these misrepresentations form the basis of his central argument that the study should never have been published, Offit’s article is fatally flawed and should be retracted by your publication.

    Offit states about a recent study of miscarriage and flu vaccination that the study authors found no overall association with miscarriage and flu vaccination when they had:

    “The CDC’s question prior to this study was “Does influenza vaccine cause spontaneous abortions?” The answer to that question was no. It was only after investigators sub-stratified their data to include those who had or hadn’t received a vaccine the previous year that they could find statistical significance.”

    This is directly from the study, contradicting Offit’s claim:

    “The overall adjusted odds ratio (aOR) was 2.0 (95% CI, 1.1–3.6)”
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X17308666

    As someone who holds a degree in epidemiology (unlike Offit) and has analyzed the database used in this study (also unlike Offit), I can assure you that that is a significant association. The “95% CI” (confidence interval) excludes the number 1.0. Therefore, the answer to their study question would point in the “yes” direction.

    This also demolishes his next point about the study, that the association was based on small numbers:

    “After the CDC researchers had finished sub-stratifying their data, the numbers were small”, concluding the results due to “the curse of small numbers gleaned from a large database.” But even before the authors had computed their next association from a smaller sample, the association from their full study sample was already significant. But because Offit misrepresented the association as being insignificant, his point about the study’s findings being based solely on small numbers is also wrong.

    His very first point was also wrong, too:

    “Researchers had studied two influenza-vaccine seasons: 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. The problem of first-trimester spontaneous abortions occurred during the first season but not the second.”

    The study itself makes clear this happened in both seasons: “This effect modification was observed in each season”

    Because the majority of Offit’s points are based on his own misrepresentations – including all those that discussed the study findings directly – simple corrections are too mild. The entire post should be retracted by The Daily Beast, especially since the purpose of the post was to make the case for why the study should have never been published. In reality, The Daily Beast should have never posted this fatally flawed article by Paul Offit and should now retract it.

    Sincerely,

    Jake Crosby, MPH”

    Truther, why do you defend flawed vaccine science studies which tease out undesirable optics, and the medical professionals who misrepresent science data? Readers can ascertain for themselves how dishonest you are being by doing so, who do you think you’re fooling?

    Like I said in my original comment, the vaccine enthusiasts are constantly establishing the need for a new vaccine safety commission, because they are acting so irresponsibly. It’s high time for the mother of all drug interventions! It’s time for transparency and honesty. It’s time to hit the reset button on alleged “vaccine safety”.

    With all of my heart, I just have to wonder why vaccine proponents throw a tantrum at the mention of A NEW VACCINE SAFETY COMMISSION? After all, it will be an opportunity for vaccination proponents to show the world that science doesn’t occur by consensus, right? If you are truly for safe vaccines and not against them, you will welcome a new vaccine safety commission. So relax, and get use to the idea!

  • YOU may not know. YOU may not WANT to know. But that doesn’t change facts. And I’m sorry if facts get in the way of your agenda. I really am.

  • “prevented 176,000 hospitalizations, 242,000 ER visits and 1.1 million doctor’s visits, saving $924 million.”

    Your forgot it also makes magic unicorns real- just as real as the numbers you throw up, and just as provable.

    • I’m sorry facts don’t suit your agenda and I’m sorry we’re on a forum where you can’t censor them. I realize this hurts you deeply & I do have some sympathy.

      It is funny, and somewhat ironic given that Offit helped create it, how of all the vaccines, the rotovirus is likely the least attacked by the #antivax industry because of it’s overwhelming success worldwide.

    • For those who like facts over talk about “unicorns” here they are:

      “Rotavirus infection is a serious disease that usually affects young children. Over the course of the infection, which typically lasts a week, children experience severe vomiting and diarrhea, and become highly susceptible to dehydration due to these symptoms. In Canada, children often make a full recovery during hospitalization, but for many children across the world, this illness can be fatal. The World Health Organization estimates that 453,000 children under the age of five lost their lives to the virus in 2008.1 Infection in adults is rare, as most people develop immunity during childhood.

      Rotavirus affects the body by damaging cells in the small intestine, causing gastroenteritis, which is a medical condition that occurs whenever you experience inflammation in the stomach and intestine. Viruses, bacteria, or parasites typically cause acute gastroenteritis. Having a stomach bug, which many people incorrectly call the stomach ‘flu’, is a common example of acute gastroenteritis.

      The vaccines for rotavirus are newcomers to the market, with the first rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq®, released in 2006, followed by Rotarix® in 2008.

      A recent study2 from the United States compared how often children were hospitalized for rotavirus infection before the vaccine became available, to hospital admission rates after the vaccine became routine. They looked at hospitalization rates from 2000-2012, which is six years before to six years after the release of the first rotavirus vaccine. By 2012, the number of hospitalizations in children younger than five years of age related to rotavirus had dropped drastically, by 94%.

      Since screening for rotavirus wasn’t mandatory in children with gastroenteritis before they implemented routine rotavirus vaccinations, the researchers also looked for any changes in the rate of hospitalizations for acute gastroenteritis in children younger than five. They found that the total number of gastroenteritis hospitalizations were down 55% from pre-vaccine rates by 2012, which could mean that there were a greater number of children infected with the virus before the vaccine than we were aware of in the past.”

      More here:
      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1198743X15002864

      https://www.badgut.org/information-centre/a-z-digestive-topics/rotavirus-vaccine-success/

    • Do you have a basis for rejecting those numbers, aside from wanting to believe vaccines do not have benefits?

    • Actually, we have no idea whether ANY hospitalizations, ER visits, or doctors visits have been saved. It’s all “estimates” based on …other estimates.

      We don’t know how many people received influenza vaccine, thought that meant they couldn’t spread the flu, and then showed up to work with a sniffle, or sent their child to school with a cough, or took Tylenol for their fever and then went and sneezed while at the salad bar AND SPREAD INFLUENZA when they otherwise might have had the sense to stay home with their germs.

      As pointed out earlier, doctors and nurses are among the worst when it comes to going to work while sick. How many people going to the doctor for a check-up, or for a vaccine, or for other viral symptoms have been exposed to influenza by their own health care provider, who took a flu shot, thought they weren’t contagious for the flu, BUT WERE?

    • YOU may not know. YOU may not WANT to know. But that doesn’t change facts. And I’m sorry if facts get in the way of your agenda. I really am.

      Let’s talk about facts, shall we:

      “Rotavirus infection is a serious disease that usually affects young children. Over the course of the infection, which typically lasts a week, children experience severe vomiting and diarrhea, and become highly susceptible to dehydration due to these symptoms. In Canada, children often make a full recovery during hospitalization, but for many children across the world, this illness can be fatal. The World Health Organization estimates that 453,000 children under the age of five lost their lives to the virus in 2008.1 Infection in adults is rare, as most people develop immunity during childhood.

      Rotavirus affects the body by damaging cells in the small intestine, causing gastroenteritis, which is a medical condition that occurs whenever you experience inflammation in the stomach and intestine. Viruses, bacteria, or parasites typically cause acute gastroenteritis. Having a stomach bug, which many people incorrectly call the stomach ‘flu’, is a common example of acute gastroenteritis.

      The vaccines for rotavirus are newcomers to the market, with the first rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq®, released in 2006, followed by Rotarix® in 2008.

      A recent study2 from the United States compared how often children were hospitalized for rotavirus infection before the vaccine became available, to hospital admission rates after the vaccine became routine. They looked at hospitalization rates from 2000-2012, which is six years before to six years after the release of the first rotavirus vaccine. By 2012, the number of hospitalizations in children younger than five years of age related to rotavirus had dropped drastically, by 94%.

      Since screening for rotavirus wasn’t mandatory in children with gastroenteritis before they implemented routine rotavirus vaccinations, the researchers also looked for any changes in the rate of hospitalizations for acute gastroenteritis in children younger than five. They found that the total number of gastroenteritis hospitalizations were down 55% from pre-vaccine rates by 2012, which could mean that there were a greater number of children infected with the virus before the vaccine than we were aware of in the past.”

      https://www.badgut.org/information-centre/a-z-digestive-topics/rotavirus-vaccine-success/

      More here:
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25680314

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