Media/Policy Watch

Media/Policy Watch
This watch section is intended to alert readers to substantive news, analysis and opinion from the general media and selected think tanks and similar organizations on vaccines, immunization, global public health and related themes. Media Watch is not intended to be exhaustive, but indicative of themes and issues CVEP is actively tracking. This section will grow from an initial base of newspapers, magazines and blog sources, and is segregated from Journal Watch above which scans the peer-reviewed journal ecology.

We acknowledge the Western/Northern bias in this initial selection of titles and invite suggestions for expanded coverage. We are conservative in our outlook in adding news sources which largely report on primary content we are already covering above. Many electronic media sources have tiered, fee-based subscription models for access. We will provide full-text where content is published without restriction, but most publications require registration and some subscription level.

Accessed 14 January 2017
AMA And Family Doctors Rip Trump Vaccine Commission
Jan 10, 2017
Bruce Japsen, Contributor
The American Medical Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians Tuesday night blasted the Trump administration idea that a new commission on vaccine safety was needed.

Foreign Policy
Accessed 14 January 2017
Donald Trump and the Anti-Vaxxer Conspiracy Theorists
The president-elect’s dangerous views on the safety of vaccines threaten the lives of millions of Americans.
11 January 2017
By Laurie Garrett
Things are getting down and dirty now. And millions of lives are at stake. I cannot possibly state strongly enough how dangerous it is that President-elect Donald Trump has embraced the notion that vaccination is the cause of autism.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a celebrated vaccine skeptic, met with Trump on Jan. 10. Speaking to reporters outside Trump Tower in Manhattan after the meeting, Kennedy said he will chair a commission “on vaccine safety and scientific integrity” at Trump’s request, because, “we ought to be debating the science.”…

The Guardian
Accessed 14 January 2017
Trump’s vaccine conspiracy theories are a threat to your children
Vaccines have been shown safe and effective. When he hints otherwise, the president-elect is gambling with young lives
13 January 2017
Celine Gounder
Whether Trump is creating a commission on vaccine safety or autism, the message is clear. Trump is offering prominent support to the conspiracy theory that vaccines cause autism. The science on vaccines is very clear: they are safe and effective.

New Yorker
Accessed 14 January 2017
Trump’s Dangerous Support for Conspiracies About Autism and Vaccines
By Michael Specter
January 11, 2017

New York Times
Accessed 14 January 2017
Anti-Vaccine Activist Says Trump Wants Him to Lead Panel on Immunization Safety
10 January 2017

Washington Post
The United States already has a vaccine safety commission. And it works really well, experts say.
The federal panel was established more than 50 years ago and consists of medical and scientific experts as well as a consumer representative.
Lena H. Sun | National/health-science | Jan 13, 2017

The race to develop a vaccine: Scientists inch closer to preventing Zika
12 January 2017
Several companies and U.S. government institutions are racing to develop a vaccine to prevent infection from the Zika virus. The vaccine candidates to date, which use a variety of approaches, are in different stages of development…

The Post’s View: If Trump keeps stoking vaccine fears, he will endanger children’s lives
The president-elect’s meeting with a leading vaccine skeptic sent a troubling signal about a critical children’s health issues.
Editorial Board | Editorial-Opinion | Jan 12, 2017
PRESIDENT-ELECT Donald Trump’s transition team tried to tamp down the report from leading vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. that Mr. Trump had asked him to lead a new panel on the safety of childhood inoculations. The president-elect, we were told, is only exploring the possibility of forming a government commission on autism. But by even entertaining the idea, Mr. Trump — who has his own troubling history when it comes to vaccine safety — gives new life to debunked conspiracy theories tying autism to vaccines. That in turn endangers children’s lives.
Mr. Trump met Tuesday with Mr. Kennedy, a longtime opponent of mandatory vaccination laws who once characterized the shots children receive to guard against illness as a holocaust. The meeting at Trump Tower, which Mr. Kennedy told reporters was requested by Mr. Trump, caused immediate and understandable concern in the medical community.
“It gives it a quasi-legitimacy that I frankly find frightening,” William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University, told the New York Times. Theories about a link between vaccines and conditions such as autism have been thoroughly discredited in numerous scientific studies that have established — without any question — the safety of vaccines.
Yet Mr. Trump, 10 days away from taking the oath of office for president, thought it important enough to meet with a leading proponent of conspiracy theories about vaccines, someone who, by the way, holds a law — not a medical — degree. Mr. Trump’s past comments about vaccines — “massive combined inoculations to small children is the cause for big increase in autism,” he tweeted in 2012 — betray an ignorant distrust of vaccines.
If Mr. Trump wants to make attacking autism a priority, he should be applauded. But he needs to go about it responsibly. Experts will tell him that the diagnosis of autism is more prevalent than in the past not because there is an “epidemic,” as he once claimed, but because the definition of autism spectrum disorder has grown more inclusive. And they will assure him there is no connection to vaccines. He will endanger the health of millions of children if he fans doubts about vaccine safety.