Family physicians sign on to letter denouncing vaccine ‘myths,’ ‘untruths’

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), in conjunction with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the AMA and other stakeholder organizations, recently sent a sharply worded letter of protest to the group president of Discovery Communications’ two leading networks: Discovery Channel and TLC (formerly, The Learning Channel).

In the letter, the organizations denounce an article titled “5 Things to Consider When Deciding to Vaccinate Your Child” that was published on the website of the Discovery Communications’ wholly owned subsidiary, “How Stuff Works.”

The article raised a number of inaccurate concerns, such as claiming that people can “catch” the disease a vaccine is meant to prevent from the vaccine itself. The article’s author also resurrected the long-debunked issue of a potential link between vaccines and autism and supported the idea of parents delaying their child’s immunizations.

“Parents need accurate, complete information about immunizations – which they often look for online,” the letter said. “So we were astounded when we found an article on a Discovery Company website that perpetuates dangerous myths and untruths about vaccines. We cannot understand how a company that celebrates the latest in scientific achievements would feature an article so inaccurate and wholly biased against science.”

Fortunately, the article was taken down soon after the letter was received.

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