To the editor:
Flu season is coming up and accurate scientific information is necessary to make informed decisions. Information that is not referenced by scientific studies is at best an opinion; although well intentioned, it is still just an opinion. If one does a search on the Internet, be wary of opinions; they are very common.
1. The intramuscular vaccine is very effective and safe. Many scientific studies verify this fact. The CDC and AAP highly recommends vaccination of all children over 6 months old.
2. Two studies in children showed a 40 percent reduction in otitis media in children following vaccination. Another showed an 80 percent reduction of the common cold by vaccinating the entire family. This vaccine uniquely improves the body's natural immunity.
3. Mercury is only used in multiple-entry bottles. Our office has not used a multi-dose vial this century. Mercury has been outlawed in pediatrics since 2001.
4. FluMist is superior to the injectable vaccine and has no mercury. As a nasal spray, needle phobia is bypassed. The FluMist provides 10 months, not three, and has 50 percent fewer breakthrough cases after immunization compared to the IM form. No vaccine is 100 percent effective - more like 90 percent.
5. Flu deaths are not uncommon. We had a beautiful young mother die of the flu last winter, and a family in Kansas City is starting a pro-flu vaccine group because they lost a child last winter to the flu.
I hope the above information is helpful and increases flu vaccinations in Lawrence.
Dr. Terrance P. Riordan,