The Vaccine War

April 27, 2010

With measles, mumps and rubella all making a comeback, FRONTLINE investigates the latest chapter in the war against vaccines.

(53:41) FRONTLINE investigates the science and the politics of vaccine safety.

Seth Mnookin: How the Vaccine War Has Changed

“What we’ve learned in the last five years is that once you scare someone, you can’t just unscare them,” says Mnookin, a science writer who has reported extensively on the vaccine debate.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: Risks From Vaccines Are “Almost Nonmeasurable”

When a vaccine has gone through the safety process, the risk to children is “almost nonmeasurable,” says the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Jenny McCarthy: “We’re Not An Anti-Vaccine Movement … We’re Pro-Safe Vaccine”

“Ask 99.9 percent of parents who have children with autism if we’d rather have the measles versus autism, we’d sign up for the measles,” says the celebrity, author and activist.

Dr. Paul Offit: “A Choice Not To Get a Vaccine Is Not a Risk-Free Choice”

“The only way in which you can really effectively stop transmission is to vaccinate,” says Paul Offit, the chief of the division of infectious diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a co-developer of a vaccine for rotavirus.

Dr. Cynthia Cristofani: Not Vaccinating Children is a “Twofold Tragedy”

Parents who choose not to vaccinate are putting their children at risk while side-tracking much-needed research into autism, says pediatrician Cynthia Cristofani.

Dr. Robert W. Sears: Why Partial Vaccinations May Be an Answer

In the absence of consensus between concerned parents and public health officials over vaccine safety, partial vaccinations for children may be a middle ground, says pediatrician Robert Sears.

Alvaro and Myriam Fontan: Herd Immunity is the “Only Thing” to Protect a Child Like Ours

Alvaro and Myriam are the parents of Vanessa, who was just 40 days old — too young to have been vaccinated for whooping cough — when she became extremely ill.

J.B. Handley: No Study Shows “Vaccines Didn’t Cause My Son’s Autism”

The cofounder of the autism advocacy site Generation Rescue says that if he ran the CDC, he would give “far fewer” vaccinations to children, “and I’d give them in a much more careful way.”


California Approves Strict New Vaccine Requirements for Children

California now has one of the strictest vaccination laws in the country, after Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation on Tuesday that eliminates personal and religious belief exemptions.

What’s Next for the Vaccine Debate? Live Chat 3/25 3:00 pm ET

Join us for a live chat about “The Vaccine War” with producer and director Kate McMahon, Lisa Aliferis from the KQED blog State of the Health, UC Berkeley professor Arthur Reingold, and Carl Krawitt from the film. You can leave a question now.

“The Time Was Right to Revisit This Issue”: Behind the Scenes of “The Vaccine War”

Making “The Vaccine War” was a unique journey for Jon Palfreman and Kate McMahon — and some of the film’s most striking footage came about in unexpected ways.

Could Your Pediatrician Spot a Disease Made Rare By Vaccines?

Thanks to widespread vaccination, diseases that once killed thousands of Americans each year have become so rare in the U.S. that most younger doctors have never seen an in-person case.

Press Release | Mar. 24 on FRONTLINE: Should Vaccinating Children Be A Choice?

With measles making a comeback, FRONTLINE investigates the latest chapter in the war over vaccines.

Coming in March on FRONTLINE

FRONTLINE investigates two heated battles in March: the fight against ISIS, and the resurgent vaccine debate.

CDC Urges Measles Vaccinations as Number of Cases Exceeds 100

Director Dr. Thomas Frieden blamed a lack of vaccinations for the resurgence of a disease that the CDC said was eliminated in the U.S. in 2000.

Doctors to Parents: Get Your Child Vaccinated, Or Get Out

There’s a new twist to the ongoing vaccine debate, which pits some parents against doctors and public health officials over the safety of inoculations: an increase in doctors “firing” patients whose refuse vaccinations.

Why Aren’t Parents Vaccinating Their Children?

According to a new AP report released today, more than 1 in 20 kindergarteners in public schools across eight states … Continue reading

Report: No Link Between Vaccines and Autism

The National Academy of Sciences released a report yesterday concluding that “few health problems are caused by or clearly associated … Continue reading


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