Vaccines are unquestionably one of the greatest triumphs of modern medicine. Smallpox was the deadliest scourge in human history. It was responsible for 300-500 million deaths in the 20thcentury alone, when it was already on its way out. Thanks to vaccines, smallpox has been completely eradicated. And now polio is well on its way to
More evidence that flu shots work, that they are safe during pregnancy, and that they don’t cause autism. Last week I wrote about influenza vaccines. I provided a link to a site summarizing the evidence that flu shots are effective and safe. Nevertheless, one reader commented “The flu vaccine does not work,” citing a Cochrane
Flu shots are safe and effective. They not only protect the recipient but others in the community who are more vulnerable. Get your flu shot! It’s that time of the year again: time to get our flu shots. Flu shots are undeniably safe and effective, although they are not as effective as we might wish.
I recently came across Round the Red Lamp, a delightful volume of medical-themed short stories and other medical writings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a medical doctor and the creator of Sherlock Holmes. Among its many treasures are two of his letters that were printed in newspapers in 1887 on the subject of compulsory vaccination.
A large number of vaccines are recommended for children; not so many for adults. Lately a new shingles vaccine has been added to the schedule for adults over the age of 50. The first shingles vaccine, Zostavax, was released in 2006. Now the FDA has approved another vaccine, Shingrix. You may be wondering if
A couple of years ago, the James Randi Educational Foundation commissioned me to develop a series of 10 video lectures on Science-Based Medicine. After a lot of work and many vicissitudes, it is now available. The lecture titles are: Science-Based Medicine vs. Evidence-Based Medicine What Is CAM? Chiropractic Acupuncture Homeopathy Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine Energy Medicine Miscellaneous
On January 29, 2016, HBO Real Time host Bill Maher featured Samir Chachoua, a man who claims to have discovered a cure for HIV/AIDS, cancer, and a host of other illnesses. He is not licensed to practice medicine in the US; he operates out of Mexico where he charges rich visitors many thousands of dollars for treatment with
A new documentary takes a novel approach. It features scientist moms who are just like other moms except that they understand the science. They set the record straight about GMOs, vaccines, and other subjects of interest to parents. They provide the facts to counteract unreasonable fears. At the recent conference of the Committee for Skeptical
The many myths about flu shots continue to circulate and persuade some people not to get a flu shot. Flu shots are excellent insurance, safe and reasonably effective. Immunization protects not only the recipient but also vulnerable groups in the community. It’s that time again. The flu season starts in October. You will be protected about
There are many myths about the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. Some of them are pretty funny. In the SBM comments section, someone recently posted this gem: “That ‘Spanish flu’ pandemic was actually caused by a typhus vaccine. They called it Spanish flu so the vaccine didn’t get blamed.” Other commenters quickly pointed out that time travel