autism and vaccination

Unvaccinated children in the U.S. could get polio if exposed to contaminated material. Therefore, the anti-vax controversy affects our polio eradication efforts.

A massive, new study of 95,000 children shows no link between vaccination and autism. Autism is a very sad disease both for the afflicted and their family.  In 1998, a very small study published in the prestigious journal The Lancet purported to show a link between vaccination and autism. This has caused many people to not vaccinate their children.  
However, investigations by Sunday Times of Londojournalist Brian Deer reported that Andrew Wakefield, the author of the original research paper, had multiple undeclared conflicts of interest, had manipulated evidence, and had broken other ethical codes. The Lancet paper was partially retracted in 2004, and fully retracted in 2010, when the Lancet's editor-in-chief, Richard Horton, described it as "utterly false," and said that the journal had been "deceived."
In 2004, after a four-month investigation, reporter Deer wrote in the Sunday Times that, prior to submitting his paper to The Lancet, Wakefield had received 55,000 pounds from Legal Aid Board solicitors seeking evidence to use against vaccine manufacturers, that several of the parents quoted as saying that the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine had damaged their children were also litigants, and that Wakefield did not inform either colleagues or medical authorities of the conflict of interest. When the editors of The Lancet learned about this, they said that based on Deer's evidence, Wakefield's paper should have never been published because its findings were "entirely flawed."
The new study, described above, further disputes the claims in this paper. It is interesting that Dr. Wakefield did not endorse not vaccinating but just separating the three components of the MMR vaccine, and giving them separately. Bad reporting and hysteria led to parents rejecting all vaccination.  


Papa's Boots

Amanda Graves (right), author of Papa's Boots,  will be back in District 7910 from May 31 through July 21. She is an excellent speaker, describing her book on a young boy discovering his grandfather's battle with polio.

Amanda, who provides 10 percent of the proceeds to Rotary International, was featured in a recentTelegram & Gazette article.

Amanda may be contacted either at 508-783-0336, or through Steve Levitsky, chair of the District Speakers Bureau, at or 978-337-4050.

Let's complete the job!!

On April 12, 1955, Dr. Jonas Salk announced that his new heat-killed vaccine was safe and effective. In the 1950s, 200,000 children a month succumbed to polio. Today, there are only a few in the entire world. Rotary has been a major factor in this public-health revolution, a fact for which we can all be proud.  

Rotary's End Polio Now effort has been a major factor in helping those who have had polio, to deal with its resurgence as they age.  Let's not forget them, and donate to Rotary's Polio Plus campaign.  Your contributions are greatly appreciated!


End Polio Now
Individual Foundation donations are very welcome. For The Rotary Foundation Donation Form, with the “Individual” and “Polio Plus Fund” boxes highlighted, click here.
Thanks very much for your help. I would appreciate suggestions for raising our donation levels.
To learn more on End Polio Nowclick here
Worth a listen
recent science podcast interviewed Dr. Jay Wenger, MD (shown, right), director of polio-eradication efforts of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It is one of the best descriptions of the program that I have heard – and is worth a listen.
Dr. Wenger discusses the history of wild poliovirus, including its devastating medical effects as well as the incredible success of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. (Oral polio vaccination has reduced cases around the world by 99.9 percent since 1988.) In addition, they focus on new cases in Nigeria, and why it is more important than ever to focus on final eradication efforts. To support the End Polio Now effort, click here.
Virtual-reality films bring a new dimension to polio fight  
At this year’s World Polio Day celebration in Atlanta, Rotary harnessed the power of virtual-reality technology to build empathy and inspire action in our fight to eradicate polio.
Learn more about the filmsclick here.
To watch the video of World Polio Day in Atlantaclick here.
If you are had an event for World Polio Day (or Week) last fall, please send me a brief description. We are keeping track of the events. 
Carl Good III, chair of the District Polio Subcommittee, may be reached at