Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Amanda Peet Blasts Anti-Vaccine Advocates As Parasites

Amanda Peet supports early childhood vaccinations - Photo courtesy of Cookie Magazine

Amanda Peet (the rich man's Lake Bell) splashed down in some hot water, lending her celebrity status to the battle against pseudoscientific claims of anti-vaccine activists. She called parents who buy into unproven theories parasites and publicized her support for Every Child By Two, an advocacy group supporting early inoculations.

Anti-vaccine activists have become more and more vocal in recent years, organizing letter writing campaigns and staging demonstrations. Spurred by the support of celebrity parents such as Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carey, the movement has reached a fever pitch, causing an alarming increase in the number of parents who refuse to inoculate their children.

Some people simply want more autism research. Here's an informative video from celebrity vlogger James Kotecki chronicling an annual fundraising and awareness event in Washington, D.C.

Health organizations and physicians blame the anti-vaccine movement for a pandemic of diseases, virtually unheard of in the United States after the AMA endorsed a policy of routine vaccinations.

Peet's controversial comments recently appeared in Cookie Magazine.

'It's irresponsible to suggest that virtually the entire medical community, and the CDC, and the American Academy of Pediatrics are behind a massive cover-up about vaccine safety. Frankly, I feel that parents who don't vaccinate their children are parasites.'
She later issued a public apology, but stood by the gist of her comments.

One of my physician relatives was directly involved in the controversial NIH vaccine link to autism study. He squarely sides with Amanda Peet, calling the charges of anti-vaccine activists well-intentioned but irresponsible.

The younger sister of a physician friend was quite normal until the age of two, then began exhibiting autistic-like behavior, perhaps coincidentally after a bombardment of vaccinations. My friend also sides against anti-vaccine activists, but can't rule out the possibility of sensitive susceptibility in a small number of children. Nevertheless, he acknowledges the role of personal tragedy in contributing to this belief and strongly advocates routine vaccination of all children by the age of two.

Until scientific evidence produces a definitive link between autism and the series of vaccinations recommended by pediatricians, anti-vaccine advocates may want to re-examine their cause by making a similar acknowledgment.