In today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, BIO President & CEO Jim Greenwood authored an op-ed for National Immunization Month dismantling the dangerous anti-vaccination movement and describing the risks of complacency if families choose not to inoculate their children from serious, preventable diseases. Greenwood recalls his own vaccination during the height of the polio scare in the early 1960s and urges today’s parents to be guided by science, not fear.
He writes, “Many first-time parents remember wanting to be reassured by their doctor that multiple injections were in their precious child’s best interest. This is a perfectly human impulse. But in the end, decisions to immunize should be based on science and decades of experience with serious disease outbreaks in communities where too many parents choose not to vaccinate.
“We have to push back against the antiscience movement. The truth is, we don’t yet know what causes autism. There are thousands of diseases affecting the human condition that biomedical researchers have not yet unlocked. The answer is to intensify our research and investment into conditions like autism, trusting that the time-tested scientific method will ultimately reveal the answers and lead to discoveries in how we diagnose and treat the condition.
“The process of scientific discovery takes an enormous commitment of time and resources. We must not, in desperation, turn to junk science and medical conspiracy theories when science doesn’t give us the answers we want, when we want them. If families choose to forgo proven vaccines that prevent disease and avert pandemics, they’re not reducing their children’s risk; they’re compounding their communities’.”