parents are reluctant to vaccinate their children for a variety of
reasons, including a concern that children receive too many vaccines too
early. To address parents’ concerns about vaccines, Dr Robert Sears,
wrote The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for your Child,
published in October 2007. The book has sold more than 40,000 copies.
The article examines the reasons behind the popularity of Sears’ book,
explains the logic behind the recommendations, and describes how Sears’
misrepresentation of vaccine science misinforms parents’
The article cites that Dr
Sears’ message is one that casts fear and doubt about national public
health agencies and pharmaceutical companies. It also explains that
Sears believes vaccine mandates should be optional, vaccine-preventable
diseases are not very harmful, that parents can rely on herd immunity,
and that natural infection is better than vaccination. The authors
provide evidence to refute each of these points.
and Moser state that the problem with Dr Sears’ message is that he
wants parents to make their own decisions about vaccination; however the
article claims that Sears does not give parents the proper information
to make an informed decision. Further, they claim that Sears’ general
theories of science and medicine are poorly reasoned or illogical.
Sears offers 2 alternative vaccine schedules for parents who are
worried about vaccines. The article points out that there are many
problems with these alternative schedules including decreasing
immunization rates, increased office visits, and increased chance of
acquiring a vaccine-preventable disease. In conclusion, if more parents
rely on Sears’ immunization schedule, then fewer children will be
protected and the consequence is outbreaks of vaccine-preventable
The full article is available at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/123/1/e164?
PEDIATRICS Vol. 123 No. 1 January 2009, pp. e164 – e169
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