Dr. Ben Carson, a retired pediatric neurosurgeon, hedged. Vaccines are good, but not always for everybody. Quoted in the WaPo, Carson said:
“Vaccines are very important,” Carson said, before qualifying: “Certain ones. The ones that would prevent death or crippling. There are others, there are a multitude of vaccines which probably don’t fit in that category, and there should be some discretion in those cases.”Dr. Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist, is all for vaccines, "But I'm also for freedom." Both he and Trump think vaccines should be spread out. Trump wants "smaller doses over a longer period of time." Carson seemed to agree with this. "It is true that we are probably giving way too many in too short a period of time," he said. "And a lot of pediatricians now recognize that, and, I think, are cutting down on the number and the proximity in which those are done, and I think that's appropriate."
CBS has posted video and transcribed this part of the vaccine debate.
Stop the presses. Three Presidential candidates (2 who are MDs) share the view that too many vaccines are given too close together. Not every vaccine needs to be forced on every child. Yet they like vaccines. They feel they could be used more wisely.
I share this opinion, as do tens (or hundreds) of millions of Americans.
But the Washington Post published a hatchet piece criticizing the three candidates' answers. The WaPo piece was titled "GOP's dangerous 'debate' on vaccines and autism." Wow. A subject too dangerous to debate. Really? Why is this discussion dangerous?
Because WaPo, mainstream media and the nanny state are intent on controlling the vaccine debate. They want the debate limited to two positions only: CDC staff and hand-picked "experts" who favor one-size-fits-all vaccine mandates, on the one hand, and the ignorant "crazies" who are against all vaccines for everyone, on the other.
The media (and especially the WaPo) are doing their darnedest to pretend the reasonable middle ground in the vaccine debate does not exist. In this case, they are trying to silence three Presidential candidates, two of whom happen to be physicians and probably more knowledgeable than WaPo journalist Michael Miller.
The media have created a straw man: a self-indulgent, anti-science, anti-vaccine caricature that the media can disparage and destroy. It has to be all or nothing: you favor forcing every child to receive every government-designated vaccine that is added to the schedule by CDC, or you hate vaccines, period. Reasonable facts and and opinions will not be allowed in this debate. Freedom to pick and choose your vaccines, when you deem they are desirable--which until recently was the norm--has become anathema. Such ideas are too dangerous. Better to deny them any hint of legitimacy and definitely no prime time. Reporter Sharyl Atkisson recently wrote about how the media ignore or demean substantial scientific evidence linking vaccines to neurologic injuries and autism.
But now three Presidential candidates have carved out similar turf: talking about a more reasoned vaccine policy. Presumably they don't think their opinions will be as problematic for the voters as they are for the Post. Here's why. Despite the CDC/media mantra that all vaccines are safe, the public has doubts.
A significant minority of Americans think that vaccines may have something to do with autism, or other neurologic impairments in children. A 2011 Harris poll discussed in USNews found that only 52% of Americans were sure vaccines did not cause autism. The rest of us are not so sure...
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) inserted itself into the Republican debate, tweeting shortly after the broadcast: "Vaccines are safe. Vaccines are effective. Vaccines save lives." Well, AAP, you may represent the pediatricians of America, but it is high time you learned that vaccines are drugs--according to FDA--and all drugs are safe to a degree, effective to a degree, and kill some people, sometimes. If all were safe all the time, why would we need doctors to prescribe them? AAP, be careful you don't tweet yourself out of a job.
UPDATE: I forgot that in order to increase vaccinations, pharmacists may now prescribe and immediately administer vaccines (via so-called "protocols"), even to children. In 39 states, pharmacy interns can administer vaccines.
The local pharmacist at a national chain told me she has a vaccination quota to meet. Doctors and hospitals have vaccine quotas too, when insurers like Medicare designate vaccination rates a "quality measure."
Was a vaccine recommended to you in order to meet the corporate/government quota?