September 17, 2008 |
They liken him to a prostitute. Someone with blood on his hands, who doesn't care about the health of children. Those are among the insults that Paul Offit gets by e-mail each week at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He should probably expect to start getting a lot more. Offit, 57, has been defending the safety of vaccines for years, in response to beliefs that they are tied to autism-related disorders. He continues in the same vein with his new book - Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure - which is already generating heat.
October 11, 2015 |
They're now luminaries of medical textbooks, but in the 1980s, Paul Offit and Fred Clark were in a Philadelphia lab, elbow-deep in stool samples collected from calves with diarrhea. They were on a mission to develop a vaccine for rotavirus, a deadly disease that filled the hospital beds of pediatric wards, claiming many lives. Without a vaccine, in the first five years of life, four in five children would have symptoms of a viral infection, one in seven would wind up in the ER, and one in 200,000 would die from the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
October 16, 2000 |
With the introduction of several new vaccines over the last decade, babies now are being routinely immunized against 11 diseases. At the same time, the memory of once common and sometimes deadly childhood diseases such as measles and whooping cough is fading - making some parents question whether such vaccines are necessary at all. Other parents are shunning vaccines because of reports, none proven, that suggest a link between vaccines and...
January 7, 2011 |
For years, experts have known that a 1998 paper linking childhood vaccines to autism was fatally flawed. British authorities even stripped the paper's primary author, Andrew J. Wakefield, of his permission to practice medicine. On Wednesday, BMJ, a British medical publisher, sharpened the criticism against Wakefield, painting him as having deliberately manipulated data. It called his work "an elaborate fraud. " Many parents still rally to Wakefield's defense and believe that vaccines may cause autism.
May 25, 2006
As government plans for a possible global flu pandemic, it's ducking one of the hardest questions: Who gets vaccinated first? The federal plan, released in November and updated earlier this month, painted a worst-case scenario of 2 million deaths, 90 million sick and 10 million hospitalized if a new flu virus emerges and begins spreading human-to-human. The plan depends on vaccination as the ultimate solution. But it is also honest in acknowledging the likelihood of a four- to six-month lag between when the exact virus is identified and when vaccines can be manufactured and distributed.
October 10, 1999
"Smallpox was always present, filling the churchyard with corpses, tormenting with constant fear all whom it had not yet stricken, leaving on those whose lives it spared the hideous traces of its power. " So says an account of life in 18th-century England. In the Americas a century earlier, in an example of unintentional biological warfare, smallpox nearly wiped out the Aztecs, Incas and East Coast Native Americans. Today, smallpox is gone, eliminated through immunization, just a dry fact in a history book.
December 21, 2002 |
Pennsylvania will have 22,500 doses of smallpox vaccine available to inoculate hospital staff and law enforcement officers, according to the state's smallpox vaccination plan, which was made public yesterday. Vaccinations could begin in late January. The state's Health Department determined the number of initial doses by calculating that the 229 hospitals in Pennsylvania should each have about 50 to 100 staff members available to treat a smallpox victim. Each hospital, however, will determine how many staff members should be vaccinated, said Richard McGarvey, spokesman for the state's Health Department.
February 4, 2006 |
The Food and Drug Administration approved a Merck & Co. Inc. vaccine yesterday for rotavirus, a diarrhea-inducing microbe that strikes millions of U.S. children each year and kills 500,000 worldwide, primarily in developing nations where medical care is inadequate. The vaccine - which is administered orally, by squirting just a few drops in the mouth - was developed over an 11-year period by scientists at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the Wistar Institute. Merck tested it on more than 70,000 infants in 11 countries, in one of the biggest clinical trials performed by a drug company.
January 26, 2013 |
Out of sight of their patients, the doctors and staff of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia were holding onto each other and crying in back offices, in shock over the slaying of Melissa Ketunuti. At some point, the news reports describing details of the CHOP pediatrician's death Monday had become so relentless that her colleagues needed desperately to end the noise and talk about her life. "So we simply commandeered the hospital's chapel on Thursday," said Paul Offit, chief of the division of infectious diseases and Ketunuti's supervisor.
January 26, 2013 |
Out of sight of their patients, the doctors and staff at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia were holding onto each other and crying in back offices, in shock over the slaying of Melissa Ketunuti. At some point, the news reports describing details of the pediatrician's killing Monday became so relentless that her colleagues needed desperately to end the noise and talk about her life. So, on Thursday, "we simply commandeered the hospital's chapel," said Paul Offit, chief of the division of infectious diseases and Ketunuti's supervisor.