Patt Morrison for September 14, 2010

To vaccinate or not… a parent’s dilemma

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Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

People hold signs showing the faces of children with autism before a march calling for healthier vaccines in Washington, DC. Many at the march are concerned about the connection between heavy metals in vaccines and autism.

After years of media hype, some concerned parents have decided not to have their children vaccinated amidst fears the vaccines somehow trigger autism. Scientists have stated time and time again that this isn’t true, and public health officials have discouraged skipping the shots, yet last year a record was set for kindergartners entering schools sans vaccinations. Why are parents so worried? Science has spoken, so what evidence does a mom or dad need to listen?

Guests:

Dr. Peter Shulman, Valley Pediatric Medical Group

Michael Specter, staff writer for the New Yorker; his new book, Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet and Threatens Our Lives explores why we have increasingly begun to fear scientific advances instead of embracing them


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