Back to school anti-vaccination woo

We’re already seeing back-to-school shopping specials – even though it’s just the second day of August.

And we’re already seeing some anti-vaccination campaigns getting in full gear as well, reflecting on regulations requiring parents to have kids’ vaccinations up to date prior to the start of school.

In a piece labeled, “Doctors Debate Need for Child Vaccinations,”  Las Vegas television station – KLAS – pitted a pediatrician against a chiropractor (who only lists a BS degree on his LinkedIn profile – and the fact that for 30 years he owned “a center designed to address a proactive approach to health through hormone restoration, genetic optimalization, as well as dietary and lifestyle influences.”)

As presented, is this truly a “doctors’ debate”?

8 News NOW

The TV station’s handling of the “story” has led to a firestorm of criticism on the station’s website.  See the comments at the end of the online piece.

Las Vegas internist internist Zubin Damania – who also does rap videos as “ZDoggMD” – led the charge on Twitter and on the station’s website.

Now the cross-town Las Vegas City Life alternative weekly has blasted the TV station, with a piece, “Viral Disease Promoted at Channel 8.” Excerpt:

“In a video piece stunning for its complete lack of scientific accuracy and objectivity, the local CBS affiliate rolled up the last century of medical progress and hitched its wagon to the thoroughly discredited anti-vaxxer campaigns Wednesday morning.

The headline for the long video piece: “Doctors Debate Need for Child Vaccinations.” There was, in fact, one doctor, a pediatrician, Dr. Blair Duddy, who noted he has seen four cases of whooping cough here in the last two months.

That’s consistent with the rise of pertussis, the medical term for the whooping cough virus, that has seen epidemic outbreaks in California and an overall increase in cases throughout the developed world. Duddy noted that vaccinations may be the most important medical advance seen in the last 50 years.

But Channel 8 had another “doctor” to dispute the pediatrician (thus, the “debate”). This one, reporter Diane Tauzon claimed, was a “holistic doctor.” Dr. Steven Rudack, unlike Duddy, does not work in a hospital and is not a board-certified pediatrician. In fact, despite the claim in Tauzon’s piece, Rudack is not a medical doctor at all.

He’s a Las Vegas chiropractor.

Despite his lack of professional accreditation to diagnose or treat viral diseases, Rudack is undeterred. Channel 8 tells that “holistic doctors say” parents can fight off deadly viruses with a good diet. Really? A good diet will fight off polio, diphtheria and pertussis? If only we had known this during the 1950s, we needn’t have bothered with “medicine” at all.

While sound nutrition is obviously important for anyone’s all-around health, we can’t find any peer-reviewed science to suggest that diet stops viral infections. There are thousands, however, that prove the fact that vaccines save lives….

…it’s extraordinary that at this late stage in the “debate,” which is not a medical or scientific debate at all, a respected and respectable news station would give them such a platform.”

One person who left a comment after this piece called the TV station’s effort: “a stunning and dangerous display of false equivalency.”

 

By the way, ZDoggMD feels so strongly about the need for childhood immunization, he produced this video:

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