Saturday, March 22, 2008

Poor Choice of Headlines

From the AMA newsletter:

"In a front-page article, the New York Times (3/21, A1, Steinharuer) reports that nine parents of the 12 children who fell ill during a "highly unusual outbreak of measles" in San Diego "are among a small, but growing, number of vaccine skeptics in California and other states who take advantage of exemptions to laws requiring vaccinations for school-age children." Moreover, the "exemptions have been growing since the early 1990s at a rate that many epidemiologists, public health officials, and physicians find disturbing." In 1991, "less than one percent of children in the states with personal-belief exemptions went without vaccines based on the exemption." But, "by 2004, the most recent year for which data are available, the percentage had increased to 2.54 percent," according to Saad B. Omer, MBBS, M.P.H., of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Although the typical "picture of an unvaccinated child was once that of the offspring of poor and uneducated parents," today, "'exempters' are often well educated and financially stable." "

Note the headline of the linked article.

What the headline should read is:

Measles Vaccine Failed to Protect 25% of Outbreak Victims

Note that the article never mentions the fact that 3 of the 12 students affected were vaccinated. It goes out of its way to prevent you from noticing it. Never mind that the vaccine didn't work. We need to get more kids vaccinated... so it won't work for them to!

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