immunization

Vaccines (Part II): Hygiene, Sanitation, Immunization, and Pestilential Diseases

Author: 
Miguel A. Faria, Jr., MD
Article Type: 
Feature Article
Issue: 
March/April 2000
Volume Number: 
5
Issue Number: 
2

Vaccines --- Kill or Cure?

As the controversial debate over mandatory vaccine policy heats up igniting passions, it is perhaps appropriate we summarize what is known about the manifest benefits of modern vaccines, not forgetting the tremendously salutary impact on health and longevity wrought about by better living conditions, hygiene and sanitation, in general, and the introduction and subsequent widespread use of antibiotics, in particular.

Vaccines and Epidemics

Author: 
Jane M. Orient, MD
Article Type: 
Editorial
Issue: 
Fall 2001
Volume Number: 
6
Issue Number: 
3

It has been said that every epidemic begins with a single case report. A single case report, however, could just be an anecdote, and most "clusters" turn out to be statistical artifacts.

One can make two types of errors: Type A --- overreacting to a false alarm like Chicken Little; and Type B --- ignoring a sentinel event and behaving like an ostrich.

To limit the mortality and morbidity if there really is an epidemic, we must investigate case reports dispassionately, following the evidence wherever it leads --- even if we must dare to question some sacred cows.