To Whom it May Concern:
Jan Goodwin's article 'Was it Murder or Was it a Bad Vaccine?' is almost certain to mislead readers. This is of grave concern to those of us who fight to ensure that the public understands the facts about vaccines.
Your readers deserve to know that:
Both DTP and DTaP are safe and effective. Because DTaP is the safer of the two vaccines, it has been recommended for all children in the U.S. since 1997. Neither DTaP nor DTP contain any infectious material. Therefore, they cannot cause an infection (such as meningitis). Every lot of vaccine is tested before being approved for use. With the exception of a lot of polio vaccine in 1955 (which was not fully inactivated), there has never been a 'hot lot' of vaccine in the U.S. No vaccine has ever been shown to cause brain damage and hemorrhage that could be mistaken for Shaken Baby Syndrome.
Vaccines are one of the best ways to protect children from serious infectious diseases and their often-devastating consequences. Every parent should ensure that they make immunization decisions based on fact, not on unproven anecdotes.
Since space constraints do not allow us to respond fully to Ms. Goodwin's article, a complete response can be found at, www.immunizationinfo.org. (A copy of the full response is enclosed for the editor.)
Bruce Gellin, MD, MPH
National Network for Immunization Information