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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 1, 2000
Bernard Rimland's "Do Children's Shots Invite Autism?" (Commentary, April 26) starts off with "First, do no harm," from Hippocrates' ancient dictum, and then proceeds to do a great deal of harm to the health of our children by making irresponsible statements about autism being caused by vaccinations. He presents no scientific evidence to back up his statements but just uses words such as "probably would" and "might have" to make the connection. Our society doesn't need more irresponsible statements getting high-profile distribution and decreasing the vaccination rate to the point where major epidemics are again a public health problem.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
April 25, 2014 | By Susan Rohwer, guest blogger
Celebrities who question the safety of vaccines just won't shut up. It seems like every week there's another famous person spouting some anti-vaccine nonsense, from Jenny McCarthy to Kristin Cavalari to Donald Trump and now, Alicia Silverstone . The continuing spread of misinformation about vaccines by celebs is alarming. And because the power of celebrity is used to sell products and champion social causes, like it or not, what famous people say has influence. So will the pro-vaccine celebrities please stand up?
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OPINION
December 4, 2004
Re "Witnesses for Petitioners Are Often Tough to Find," Nov. 29: Thank you for finally bringing this issue to light. Vaccine injury claims are all too often overlooked, or the vaccine is too new to make a claim, as in my case. About 2 1/2 years ago, I was given a routine shot for hepatitis A. Three days later, I showed symptoms of the disease itself, and I was hospitalized three days after that. Since then I've had to carefully monitor my health in case of relapse, and I was turned away from my high school's annual blood drive because I pose the risk of infecting others.
SCIENCE
April 24, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
How much are childhood vaccines worth to America? Nearly $1.7 trillion, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That dollar figure represents the net savings of 20 years' worth of vaccines administered to American children born between 1994 and 2013 over their entire lifetimes, according to a report in Friday's edition of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. An estimated $295 billion worth of that savings comes in the form of direct costs averted, and $1.38 trillion is the estimated value of savings to society.
OPINION
October 16, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Why did Gov. Jerry Brown bother signing a law to encourage childhood vaccinations if his immediate intent was to undermine it? With rising numbers of parents succumbing to discredited fears that childhood inoculations cause autism, AB 2109 was supposed to tighten the state's lax rules that allow parents to exempt their children from vaccinations based on "personal belief. " Under the law, parents could still send their children to public school without the vaccinations, but first they would have to submit a form signed by a health professional showing that they had been informed about the risks and benefits of immunization.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- The percentage of parents opting for the "personal belief exemption" to avoid vaccinations for their children in kindergarten has tripled in a decade, county health officials said Wednesday. The result is that 4.5% of the 43,000-plus kindergartners in San Diego County schools are missing one or more of the recommended vaccinations, said public health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten. That totals more than 1,900 students. Among the 14 diseases that vaccinations can prevent are measles, mumps, polio, chickenpox and whooping cough, Wooten said.
OPINION
August 10, 2013 | By Nina Shapiro
Across the country, preschools and elementary schools are declaring themselves nut free or peanut free, asking families not to pack lunch foods that could pose life-threatening dangers to highly allergic children. And the prohibitions are expanding beyond nuts. Some schools, for example, have prohibited powdered cheese products to protect children who are especially dairy sensitive. These measures may be excessive, but as a physician, I understand the desire to protect students. Children with serious allergies really can have severe reactions to trigger foods, so it's not that surprising that some schools have reacted aggressively.
SCIENCE
October 17, 2009 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Giving acetaminophen -- best-known by the brand name Tylenol -- to infants to prevent fevers after vaccinations reduces the effectiveness of the vaccines, perhaps because a fever is an essential part of the development of an immune response, Czech researchers reported Thursday in the journal Lancet. Even in the children studied who received acetaminophen, more than 90% developed protective antibodies, so the overall risk is small. Still, the finding suggests that it would be best not to use the drug to prevent fevers after vaccinations.
NEWS
March 31, 2000 | From Associated Press
An Air Force major was discharged Thursday, ending his fight against an order to take an anthrax vaccine. Maj. Sonnie Bates, 35, had initially faced a court-martial for refusing an order. He was believed to have been the highest-ranking officer in the Air Force to face a court-martial for refusing an order to take the vaccine. Bates, a pilot at Dover Air Force Base, said the vaccine could jeopardize his health. The Pentagon says it is safe.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 1999 | TONY LYSTRA, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Your head is cloudy. Your bones ache. Your nose is running like a faucet. And you are about as likely to take up skydiving as get off the couch. But it's nothing unusual for this time of year, says a county health official. The kids are back in school. And when they return to classes each fall, they spread viruses. Then they pass those bugs to their parents. And, yes, those parents bring the virus into the workplace. "I don't think we're seeing anything out of the ordinary," said Lin Glusac, an immunization coordinator for Ventura County Public Health.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- The percentage of parents opting for the "personal belief exemption" to avoid vaccinations for their children in kindergarten has tripled in a decade, county health officials said Wednesday. The result is that 4.5% of the 43,000-plus kindergartners in San Diego County schools are missing one or more of the recommended vaccinations, said public health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten. That totals more than 1,900 students. Among the 14 diseases that vaccinations can prevent are measles, mumps, polio, chickenpox and whooping cough, Wooten said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2014 | By Steve Chawkins
Charles F. Farthing, a physician who was at the forefront of care for HIV/AIDS patients and who drew attention to the need for an AIDS vaccine by announcing his willingness to inject himself, has died. He was 60. Farthing, who collapsed in a Hong Kong taxi April 5, had a heart attack, family members said in an announcement. Farthing was chief of medicine for the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation from 1994 to 2007. He was planning to return to the foundation in June as director of treatment programs in the 32 countries outside the U.S. where it provides services.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 2014 | By Hailey Branson-Potts
Three gay men who contracted meningitis have died from the disease, officials said Thursday, heightening calls in West Hollywood and beyond that people get vaccinated. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health began providing free vaccinations for patients without health insurance Thursday. It recommended that gay and bisexual men get the medicine. The department announced earlier this week that there have been eight cases of invasive meningococcal disease in the county so far this year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2014 | By Anh Do
Orange County health officials met in an emergency session this week after the latest measles tally showed the number of cases in the county had rocketed in the last few weeks. There are now 21 confirmed cases of measles in Orange County, the most of any county in California and nearly five times the number of cases in the entire state at this time last year, health officials said. Across the state, the numbers also moved forward, climbing to 49 cases by Friday. Last year, at this time, there were only four reported in the entire state.
BUSINESS
March 17, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
And now, New York City. Measles is spreading in upper Manhattan and the Bronx, according to public health authorities in New York. About 16 cases have turned up, including two that involved contagion in doctors' offices. Outbreaks have also been reported in the Boston area , Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles .  Much of the current outbreak is traceable to the Philippines, where the disease is raging and easily spread to unvaccinated travelers. They come home to the U.S., where the virus is finding a surprising welcome.  Health experts add these to the tally of the anti-vaccination movement, which is based almost entirely on a long since debunked and withdrawn paper published in Britain in 1998.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 17, 2014 | By Meredith Blake, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
Jenny McCarthy has learned the hard way that Twitter can be a dose of bitter medicine.  On Thursday, "The View" co-host posed a seemingly innocuous question to her 1.1 million followers on Twitter: " What is the most important personality trait you look for in a mate? Reply using #JennyAsks . " The former Playboy model and co-host of the '90s MTV dating show "Singled Out" has been one of the most outspoken celebrity advocates of a  debunked theory linking childhood vaccines with autism.
OPINION
December 18, 2002
Segregation, cross burnings and smallpox vaccinations. Very retro. John Gebler Los Angeles
TRAVEL
June 22, 1997
Regarding "Public Clinics Offer Low-Cost Vaccines" (The Healthy Traveler, March 30): Why should county and city taxes be used to subsidize vaccinations for people traveling overseas? Vaccinations should be considered part of the cost of the trip. County and city taxes for health facilities should be for those who truly need this care. MRS. O.C. BRIDGER, JR. Apple Valley, Calif.
OPINION
February 27, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The state of California issued an advisory on measles last week. Though only about a dozen cases have been reported so far, many more people have been exposed to the virus. In the Bay Area, thousands were warned to watch for signs of the disease after a man who'd been infected on a trip to Asia rode a BART train. In Los Angeles, far more people than necessary were exposed to measles because doctors failed to report two patients' cases immediately. One had traveled to Asia; the other had been exposed to a recently infected traveler.
SCIENCE
February 20, 2014 | By Monte Morin, This post has been corrected. See note at bottom for details.
With several weeks or more remaining in a particularly deadly influenza season, U.S. health officials on Thursday urged flu vaccinations for everyone over the age of 6 months, including pregnant women. "Influenza can make anyone very sick, very fast and it can kill," said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Vaccination is the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself. " This year's illnesses have been caused predominantly by the H1N1 virus -- the same "swine flu" strain that caused the pandemic in 2009.
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