The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is an organization which has been highly critical of vaccines. They have helped to keep the “vaccine induced autism epidemic” alive. They have not only supported, but awarded Andrew Wakefield, the doctor whose misconduct in his research lost him his license to practise medicine. With no sense of irony, NVIC presented Mr. Wakefield with the “Humanitarian Award” for “his compassion, brave spirit and uncompromising commitment to improving the health of children and the biological integrity of future generations.” One board member for NVIC wrote John Stossel with her opinion: “Vaccines are a holocaust of poison on our children’s brains and immune systems.”
Recently, NVIC has placed advertisements in the in-flight entertainment for Delta Air Lines for the holiday season. By NVIC standards, their ad is rather mild. The vaccine fear angle is not prominent, with the focus more on downplaying the need for the flu vaccine.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has sent a letter to the CEO of Delta asking them to reconsider the decision to accept the NVIC advertisement:
November 4, 2011
Chief Executive Officer
Delta Air Lines
Dear Mr. Anderson,
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) objects to the paid advertisement/public service message from the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) being shown throughout the month of November on Delta’s in-flight programming. The ad urges viewers to become informed about influenza and how to stay well during the flu season without resorting to the influenza vaccine.
While hand washing and covering sneezes are parts of a larger strategy to prevent the spread of influenza, influenza vaccine continues to be the best way to protect against the disease. It is especially important in enclosed settings where disease droplets can easily spread to passengers sitting in close quarters, especially infants and children and those with special health care needs.
The AAP and many other child health organizations have worked hard to protect children and their families from unfounded and unscientific misinformation regarding vaccine safety. The influenza vaccine is safe and effective.
By providing advertising space to an organization like the NVIC, which opposes the nation’s recommended childhood immunization schedule and promotes the unscientific practice of delaying or skipping vaccines altogether, you are putting the lives of children at risk, leaving them unprotected from vaccine-preventable diseases. Diseases like influenza can have serious consequences. From September 2010 to August 2011, 115 children died from influenza disease, most of whom were unvaccinated.
The AAP’s 60,000 member pediatricians urge you to remove these harmful messages, which fail to inform the public about the safety and efficacy of influenza vaccine. Please do your part to help reassure parents that vaccinating their children is the best way to protect them from influenza disease, particularly during this busy travel season.