‘Every Child By Two’ takes their message to Congress

May 5, 2009

Every Child By Two is an excellent non-profit organization created as a response to anti-vaccine propaganda and devoted to ensuring children get properly vaccinated. Now they’ve put out a press release that I’m resposting below in its entirety:

Congressional Briefing on Vaccines Addresses Local, National Disease Outbreaks

Mother of Hib Meningitis Victim Shares Story with Congress

(WASHINGTON, D.C.): Amidst recent disease outbreaks, Congressmen Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Joseph Barton (R-TX) held a Congressional briefing with several vaccine advocacy organizations to communicate disease risks and consequences. In light of recent resurgences of disease both locally and across the country, Every Child By Two (ECBT) and the American Medical Association (AMA) co-hosted the briefing to educate Congressional members and their staffers on the importance of timely immunization. Several public health organizations and medical associations joined ECBT and AMA as co-sponsors of this important briefing.

In 2008, five children in Minnesota contracted the vaccine-preventable infection Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) resulting in the death of one. Reports indicate that several of the children were intentionally unvaccinated. However, one of the victims was fully vaccinated but suffered from an immune disorder, which prevented the vaccines from working. This child, Julieanna Metcalf, barely survived according to her mother Brendalee Flint, who spoke to Congressional members today. “My daughter endured multiple seizures, brain surgery and a month in the hospital because of this terrible disease,” she said. Julieanna remains developmentally delayed due to her illness. “Parents need to understand that when they choose not to vaccinate, they are making a decision for other people’s children as well. Somebody else chose Julieanna’s path. I still see the scar every day. Our family should not have had to endure this suffering.”

“We are now seeing the severe impact that vaccine-preventable diseases can have on our children,” said Amy Pisani, MS, executive director of Every Child By Two, “A man from the Washington, D.C. area brought the measles virus back with him after a recent trip to India. By the time the man realized he had the illness and sought medical attention, he had already visited seven places throughout the Washington region and infected an 8-month old child in a hospital waiting room. While this particular instance was not due to parental refusal to vaccinate, several other outbreaks have been attributed to misinformation about vaccines.”

Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Mark Sawyer, who treated children during the San Diego measles outbreak of 2008, spoke about the importance of community immunity. “It’s false and reckless to assume that these diseases have disappeared. We have seen the return of Hib in Minnesota and elsewhere as well as the resurgence of measles both on the East and West Coasts. No community is immune to vaccine-preventable diseases. Parents need to be aware of the critical importance of vaccinating their children on time to protect them when they are most vulnerable,” said Dr. Sawyer.

Recent cases of swine influenza highlight the importance of maintaining a robust public health infrastructure that can rapidly detect and contain disease outbreaks. In addition, as stressed by CDC Acting Director Richard Besser, MD, people need to be community-oriented. Preventing disease and containing outbreaks are everyone’s responsibility. For more information on swine influenza, visit the CDC’s website at http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu.

Every Child By Two, the Rosalynn Carter/Betty Bumpers Campaign for Early Childhood Immunization, works to ensure that all children receive timely immunizations and continues to seek methods to institutionalize vaccine delivery and ensure access to vaccines for all children.

For more information, please visit www.ecbt.org and www.vaccinateyourbaby.org.

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News From Around The Blogosphere 10.21.08

October 22, 2008

The British Humanist Association, with the support of Richard Dawkins, has raised nearly £30,000 to place atheist posters on the side of buses – I have to agree with Skepchick tkingdoll and say it’s a great idea but a poor slogan: “There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and get on with your life.”

Further proof that Brigham Young University is a crappy school – BYU has yanked the diploma of a man who created a calendar featuring shirtless Mormon missionaries and was later excommunicated from the church.

Mocking Noah’s Ark – Answers in Genesis isn’t laughing, but the rest of us are.

AMERICAN BIGOTRY:

Keith Olbermann goes off on crazy Minnesota congressman

But wait! There’s more! – A good Christian homeschooling mom who sees the notion of a “gay-friendly” school being blown up by radical terrorists as justice:

A friend recently sent me this article about a “gay-friendly” high school. If we were living in a biblical society, homosexuality would be punishable by death so such a school would be unnecessary. Although I’m against the special accommodations, perhaps this new trend of segregation will protect straight kids from these predators. With any luck, some radical will blow up the gay school. No, I’m not condoning vigilantism–I’m merely saying that it would be poetic justice.

Yet another reason why if heaven exists, I wouldn’t like the company.

And a bulletproof case for Obama being a Socialist Muslim.

Abortion divides Catholic voters – Some won’t vote for a candidate who is pro-choose and others have at least some measure of priorities. And here is another story related to the Catholic vote.

But at least Obama has the much coveted celebrity vote:

Revenge of the clones – “What happens when a group of streptococci stick to cells in your throat and start to make toxins? Your body fights back by making clones.”

Good news for solar power

Researchers have made a new material that promises to greatly increase the efficiency of solar cells. It works by collecting photons over a wider spectrum of wavelengths and by using both fluorescence and phosphorescence to create an electron flow, allowing it to both collect more energy per unit area and facilitating the production of current.

MacGyvering a medical centrifuge – ” Harvard University chemists have built a centrifuge with some plastic tubing, tape, and an egg beater. It can separate plasma from blood cells, and could help doctors in remote villages perform simple lab tests.”

ANTI-VACCINE NEWS:

Should Every Child By Two try to get on Oprah’s show? – I was initially in favor of it but Orac has made some good points, so I’m currently undecided on the issue.

Antivaccinationist wacko Kim Stagliano to join fellow cohorts David Kirby, RFK, Jr., and Deirdre Imus at the Huffington Post – I believe the Huffington Post’s slogan I believe is: “All the bullshit we can legally print.”

Antivaccinationist Gary Null demanding that vaccines be 100% safe! – What a freakin’ jackass! That is a False Continuum and very the height of denialism: well it isn’t 100% safe, so it’s like it’s 0% safe and I don’t want it. Seriously, this guy sounds so over the top you’d almost swear this were satire.

Phil Plait goes off on Jenny McCarthy – Wow! Phil rarely covers the antivaccine movement in his blogs but that’s 2 days in a row. Awesome!

CareerBuilder.com promoting astrology

Puncturing the Acupuncture Myth


News From Around The Blogosphere 8.5.08

August 6, 2008

The greatest skeptical TV show ever is becoming another feature-length film -Before I knew what skepticism even was, as a kid, these guys inspired me to investigate the paranormal more than any other. In my opinion, they’re the best television role models for kids in the media. Suck it Scully!

More sad news in the skeptical world -Skeptic Robert Lancaster was hospitalized after suffering from a stroke that has left him partially paralyzed. Lancaster is perhaps best known for being arguably “psychic” Sylvia Browne’s arch enemy (other than Randi) and for his website exposing her fraud, Stop Sylvia Browne. And recently, he met Browne face to face, a hilarious account chronicled here. Here’s the thread on the JREF forum where his wife Susan has posted the news. My best wishes go out to Robert. Get well soon.

For the record, yes, there are still people who believe the Earth is flat -This is how far off the deep end belief in grand conspiracy theories can take you…or rather how far off the edge of the Earth it can take you. Flat-Earthers after all, are only challenging “the conspiracy” that the Earth is round. A quote from 25-year-old flat-Earther John Davis: “Many use the term ‘flat-earther’ as a term of abuse, and with connotations that imply blind faith, ignorance or even anti-intellectualism.” Hmm, can’t imagine why. Davis believes “the Earth is flat and horizontally infinite – it stretches horizontally forever”. Of course! It all makes sense now! Take that, Magellan!

Here’s another hilarious conspiracy theorist. For the record, Chemtrail people, this is what you look like to the rest of us.

Acupuncture for veterans -Acupucture now being marketed for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in veterans. Is there anything it can’t do? Oh yeah! treat PTSD, treat medical conditions, treat addictions, act as a pain reliever, and do anything other than shrink the size of your wallet.

Knights Templar sue Pope-“They claim that when the order was dissolved by his predecessor Pope Clement V in 1307, more than 9,000 properties as well as countless pastures, mills and other commercial ventures belonging to the knights were appropriated by the church.”

More Pareidolia with Jesus– Some of my favorites:

Is that Jesus or a Cheeto?

This one I think looks the best:

I’ve been ripping into this cdesign proponentsist several times over the past few days but here’s PZ Myers is going to be go up against Ray “The Banana Guy” Comfort. Ray appeared on a radio show today to make his case. PZ’s going on the same show tomorrow to give a rebuttal. But here’s PZ’s blog commentary on Ray’s performance on the show.

John Freshwater, the Ohio science teacher who uses his classroom to proselytize and promote creationism, is following a familiar tactic: Lie.

Even sterile water injections work better than acupuncture -More on the power of placebos.

New “Vaccinate Your Baby” campaign angers Jenny McCarthy and other anti-vacciners – New “Vaccine Your Baby” campaign being promoted by the American Academy of Pediatrics and Every Child By Two, Amanda Peet, and others has unleashed the wrath of the “Green Vaccine” Movement including Jenny McCarthy. But if as they claim, they’re not anti-vaccine, what seems to be the problem? Update: Here’s another blog on this that includes a link to a clip of Amanda Peet being interviewed on Good Morning America about this.

Suzanne Somers’ latest foray into quackery – Apparently, she’s now into something called”bioidentical” hormones, which are ascribed with mystical properties, none of which they actually have.

State Senator Ernie Chambers resumes lawsuit against God -I thought Pete Stark was the only openly atheist member of our government, though Lori Lipman Brown says that she knows of at least 20 other alleged atheists in our government who admitted to being non-believers but asked her not to disclose their identities out of fear of it damaging their career in politics. So I’m glad to hear about Ernie Chambers. I hope that when God doesn’t show for court that he’s held in contempt.

Ashley Paramore holds up a banner for the Omnipresent Atheists group in Columbus, Ohio:

Paris Hilton gets the last laugh – As much as I detest Paris Hilton, I have to admit that whoever wrote her lines for this satiric response to McCain’s attack ad did an awesome job. It actually made me forget how much I despise Hilton for 2 whole minutes.

And now a moment of science:

Breakthrough In Quantum Mechanics -“Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have recently reached what they are calling a milestone in experimental quantum mechanics.”

Schizophrenia: Price Of Human Brain Evolution? -“Metabolic changes responsible for the evolution of our unique cognitive abilities indicate that the brain may have been pushed to the limit of its capabilities. Research published today in BioMed Central’s open access journal Genome Biology adds weight to the theory that schizophrenia is a costly by-product of human brain evolution.”