Paul Offit and the MMR ‘booster’

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????I recently forwarded a letter to vaccination expert Paul Offit questioning the ethics of mandated revaccination of likely already immune children with a second dose of the live Measles/Mumps/Rubella vaccine (often misleadingly termed a ‘booster’), and general lack of advice re the availability of a blood test (i.e. an antibody titre test) to verify a response to vaccination with the first dose of live MMR vaccine.

The email below summarises my argument.  My detailed letter can be accessed via this hyperlink:  Letter to Paul Offit re the MMR second dose ‘booster’ vaccine

(Also refer to my webpage on the MMR ‘booster’ for more information, including correspondence to Professor Terry Nolan, Chair of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), and Tanya Plibersek, the Australian Federal Government Health Minister.)

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From: Elizabeth Hart <eliz.hart25@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Sep 6, 2013 at 3:41 PM
Subject: Letter to Paul Offit re the MMR second dose ‘booster’ vaccine

Professor Offit

Please see attached a detailed letter addressed to you questioning the ethics of mandated revaccination of likely already immune children with a second dose of the live Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccine (misleadingly termed a ‘booster’), and general lack of advice re the availability of a blood test (i.e. an antibody titre test) to verify a response to vaccination with the live MMR vaccine.

I suggest that parents of small children are not being properly informed of the option for antibody titre testing rather than an arbitrary second dose of live MMR vaccine.  Two doses of MMR vaccine are mandated in many US states, and also in other countries such as Australia.  These mandates conflict with the obligation for ‘informed consent’ before vaccination.

Parents of small children might be surprised to discover that vaccination ‘best practice’ for companion animals is now more advanced than that for children, with vaccination guidelines for dogs re live vaccines recommending titre testing rather than an arbitrary ‘booster’, i.e.:

“…the principles of ‘evidence-based veterinary medicine’ would dictate that testing for antibody status (for either pups or adult dogs) is a better practice than simply administering a vaccine booster on the basis that this should be ‘safe and cost less'”.[1]

We are on a slippery slope when the state dictates questionable medical interventions for citizens (including ‘pre-citizens’, i.e. children).  I suggest the arbitrary second dose of the MMR vaccine, often inappropriately described as a ‘booster’, is a questionable medical intervention.

Professor Offit, you are on the record acknowledging that antibody titre testing is an option rather than an arbitrary second dose of live MMR vaccine.[2]  I request your assistance in bringing attention to this matter, which I discuss further in my letter attached.

I would appreciate your response.

Sincerely

Elizabeth Hart

*This email and letter is also being circulated to the following:

  • Professor Alan Cohen, Physician-in-Chief and Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • Professor Simon Wain-Hobson, Board Chair, The Foundation for Vaccine Research
  • Professor Brian Martin, Social Sciences, University of Wollongong
  • Laureate Professor Peter Doherty, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne
  • Sir Gus Nossal, Chair of the Oversight Committee for the Australian Academy of Science publication “The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers”
  • Dr Vittorio Demicheli, Cochrane Vaccines Field
  • Dr James Wood, School of Public Health & Community Medicine, University of New South Wales
  • Professor Ronald Schultz, WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group
  • Professor Michael Day, Chairperson, WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group
  • Professor Emeritus Marian Horzinek, previous member of the WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group
  • Professor Jolle Kirpensteijn, EB Liaison, WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Committee
  • Professor Hajime Tsujimoto, WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group
  • Professor Richard Squires, WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group
  • Professor Emeritus Richard Ford, member of the AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines Task Force
  • Bea Mies, independent advocate for judicial vaccine use

and will also be circulated to other parties.


[1]Day, M.J., Horzinek, M.C., Schultz, R.D. World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s (WSAVA) Guidelines for the Vaccination of Dogs and Cats. Journal of Small Animal Practice. Vol. 51. June 2010: http://www.wsava.org/sites/default/files/VaccinationGuidelines2010.pdf

[2] UPDATE:  Previously on Babycenter.com Paul Offit said: “Not having a booster is an option (although an expensive one) for the MMR booster…The first dose of the MMR vaccine, which your child should receive at 12 to 15 months successfully immunizes 95 percent of children against measles, mumps, and rubella…To find out whether your child has responded to the first MMR shot, you can have the doctor do a blood test called an “antibody titer”…If your child’s test shows that he has the MMR antibodies, he doesn’t need a booster shot…”.   Offit has now reneged on this advice in a contradictory manner and without evidence.  I am pursuing this matter further.