Dr. Carson and Dr. Paul: Pandering to Anti-Vaxxers?!? Really?!?


Being a pediatrician and a public health advocate, there were several things that bothered me about Wednesday night’s “debate” about vaccines. Let’s start with the first part of Jake Tapper’s question: “Dr. Carson, Donald

It may seem scary and complicated, but I assure you that document is nowhere near as scary as struggling to breathe because of whooping cough or diphtheria; losing your vision and/or hearing to meningitis; or suffering brain damage from measles. As for why there are so many doses, it helps to think of human immunity like the saying about Rome: it’s not built in a day. Our children’s immune systems are incredible at protecting them, fighting 2,000 to 6,000 germs on any given day, so doing combination vaccines or multiple injections at one visit will not “overwhelm the system.” The dangers of certain diseases are really not worth the personal risk nor community risk of going un-immunized. The safety of providing multiple vaccines has been proven by the scientific community, and the current vaccine schedule is effective at protecting public health. Prevention through immunization has saved millions of lives, and our country is healthier for it.

By the way, something like that last paragraph is what we should have heard from the two doctors running to be the Republican candidate for President. Instead, we heard Dr. Carson criticize the government for protecting the public’s health. Then, in a “second opinion,” we heard Dr. Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist, say “I’m all for vaccines. But I’m also for freedom.” What makes that “but” so frustrating is that vaccines and freedom are not opposed to each other. In 2000, fifteen years before the recent Disneyland measles outbreak, America was free from measles because —> Read More