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Fighting over vaccines

The MMR vaccine works against the measles, mumps, and rubella.JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

In our polarized society, doctor review sites turn libelous

Re “Under attack, doctors push back at foes of vaccines” (Page A1, May 12): I am appalled at how polarized we as a society have become. Yes, we may all have our own opinions regarding vaccinations, but to smear a physician online is libelous. No one has the right to impose their beliefs in such a manner.

Most likely, these smear campaigners have never seen a case of encephalitis as a complication of measles or Reye’s syndrome from chickenpox, or had to contend with sterility from mumps.

Perhaps all online reviews should be vetted before any postings. Social media is a hiding place for bullying tactics. A sad commentary on us, for sure.


Dorothy Driscoll


We have to push back against vaccine misinformation

Re “Contain measles outbreak with these two simple steps” (Editorial, May 8): Families make the choice not to vaccinate their children for various reasons. Among them is the long-held fear that the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine may cause autism. This belief is based on a widely discredited study published in the medical journal Lancet in 1998, which resulted in researcher Andrew Wakefield losing his medical license.

Vaccinations do not cause autism.

Even as the number of unvaccinated children increases, autism diagnosis rates continue to rise. The fact is, depriving a child of the MMR vaccine will not help him or her avoid a diagnosis of autism, but it could place that child’s health at significant risk.

As we continue to communicate the critical importance of early diagnosis and intervention for young children with autism, we have a responsibility to push back against the misinformation that the MMR vaccine can cause autism.

Cynthia M. Anderson


National Autism Center

May Institute