February 14, 2013 | Vol. 116 -- No. 43

Dispelling vaccine myths as the flu threatens lives

Guest Commentary

It’s been a tough year for public health. The U.S. is currently facing a particularly harsh influenza season, but this virus represents only one problematic pathogen.

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Another is the bacterium Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of pertussis (whooping cough). In December, Vermont declared a pertussis epidemic. Last April, so did Washington state.

Both of these infectious diseases have vaccines that can help keep them in check. However, as I discuss in my new book, “Science Left Behind,” myths surrounding vaccines live on to this day – like zombies that just refuse to die –...

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