Letters and Opinion

Wrong about vaccines

March 17, 2012

IBJ readers may be terribly misled by Anita Y. Woudenberg’s [March 5 Forefront] remarks about vaccines. Measles is a highly contagious infection in unvaccinated people and can be fatal. While deaths from measles are quite rare in the U.S. now, 30 percent of patients with measles experience complications, including pneumonia, which accounts for 60 percent of measles-related deaths. Measles is especially dangerous for pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.

The measles outbreak in Indiana points out the importance of keeping all Hoosiers, especially our children, vaccinated with measles-mumps-rubella vaccine.

Secondly, the author states that peanut oil is “a known component in manufacturing some vaccines” and implies that peanut oil in vaccines can cause deaths from peanut allergy. We have confirmed through the Food and Drug Administration that peanut oil is not an ingredient in any licensed U.S. human vaccines nor is it used in the manufacturing process. Vaccine excipient lists (ingredients and substances added to vaccines) are available through both the FDA and Centers for Disease Control vaccines websites.

Likewise, Woudenberg’s comments about tetanus vaccine depleting the immune system have no scientific basis.

Vaccinations to prevent infectious diseases are one of the greatest public health achievements of all time. Unreliable information is a great disservice to Hoosiers.
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Drs. Charlene Graves, Sarah Stelzner, co-presidents
Dr. Dawn Haut, board member, Indiana Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

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