Orac has issued a real challenge for science communication that is asking for ideas from framers on how to address the public health issue of anti-vaccination propaganda. Commenter DLC has suggested that bloggers should go through the vaccination schedule and discuss the rationale for each one in plain language.
Such a series has been done several times. One of the best (and certainly most accessible) series was this:
On My Left Shoulder discusses the successful vaccination programme against smallpox.
The Can from Hell discusses polio and why prevention is better than management.
Go Home and Die discusses Haemophilus influenzae type b and vaccination.
Strangling Angel discusses diphtheria.
Risus Sardonicus discusses tetanus and why vaccination may be a good idea.
The Cough of One Hundred Days discusses whooping cough vaccination.
Dew Drops on Rose Petals discusses chicken pox or varicella vaccine.
The Chicken Pox Vaccine Sucks! – speaks for itself.
Yellow Alert discusses the hepatitis B vaccine and Pediarix.
Superstition ain’t the way discusses the measles, mups and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
There are also some reviews of some work by Stephanie Cave and Sherri Tenpenny.
Stephanie Cave: Philosopher Queen reviews Stephanie Cave’s What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Childrens Vaccinations.
The Tenpenny Opera reviews the anti-vaccination work of Sherri Tenpenny.
If anyone can suggest a comparable and accessible overview of the ‘missing’ vaccinations such as meningitis C or pneumoccal then we would be grateful. Until such time, we offer the BBC report on the success of the UK meningitis C and pneumococcal vaccination programme:
It is estimated that meningitis C vaccination has saved 500 lives since 2000 and the pneumococcal vaccine, introduced in 2006, has prevented 470 deaths or serious illness in young children.
We also recommend the Vaccine Education Center of the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania. They offer A Look at Each Vaccine which is excellent. We should mention that lots of people have recommended Do Vaccines Cause That? as remarkably clear and down-to-earth on vaccine issues.
Update July 20: CDC FAQ for common mis-conceptions about vaccines.
Update August 14: Infectious disease specialist Dr Mark Crislip has compiled a briefing list for the morbidity and mortality of preventable childhood illness.
[A] brief tour of the childhood vaccines and review the morbidity and mortality caused by vaccine preventable diseases and the efficacy of the vaccines in preventing these diseases.