HOV Brings Paul Offit and Seth Mnookin to Philadelphia, Tuesday, March 1, 6:30

January 24, 2011 Anonymous

Seth Mnookin and Paul Offit, Tuesday, March 1Join us for a stimulating evening on Tuesday, March 1, when The History of Vaccines brings Paul A. Offit, MD, and Seth Mnookin to speak at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Both have newly published books – Offit’s Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All, and Mnookin’s The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear – and both have been prominent voices in the recent national media coverage of Andrew Wakefield’s 1998 Lancet paper that attempted to link MMR vaccination to autism.

Offit, an infectious disease physician and vaccine developer, and Mnookin, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, will discuss their new books and have a conversation about the past and future of vaccination as depicted in the media, among parents, and in the medical world. A question-and-answer session with the audience will follow. Registration for this free event is required.

Register for the event here.

March 1, 6:30 pm

The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

19 S. 22 Street

Philadelphia, PA 19103

About Paul A. Offit, MD, and Deadly Choices

Renowned researcher and rotavirus vaccine developer Paul Offit vigorously challenges the anti-vaccine movement in Deadly Choices, a powerful defense of science in the face of fear. Offit traces one of the most powerful citizen activist movements in history—a movement that, despite recent epidemics and deaths, continues to grow. Deadly Choices is the story of anti-vaccine activity in America—its origins, leaders, influences, and impact.

Offit is the Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He is the author of five books, including Autism’s False Prophets and Vaccinated. Offit is an advisor to The History of Vaccines.

About Seth Mnookin and The Panic Virus

In The Panic Virus, Mnookin uses a combination of investigative reporting, intellectual and scientific history, and sociological analysis to explore the controversies over vaccines and their rumored connection to developmental disorders. Mnookin is also the author of the 2006 New York Times-bestseller Feeding the Monster: How Money, Smarts, and Nerve Took a Team to the Top, which chronicles the challenges and triumphs of the John Henry-Tom Werner ownership group of the Boston Red Sox. His first book, 2004′s Hard News: The Scandals at The New York Times and Their Meaning for American Media, was a Washington Post Best Book of the Year.


Posted by Anonymous Skeptic (not verified)

I am a recovering heroin addict as Mr. Mnookin is, I was wondering if there is any news about a vaccine to prevent addictions and the eventual relapses. Also I have enjoyed the advocacy by Dr. Offit to help insure everyone is vaccinated, herd immunity is such an important part of our survival as a species. Should there be some legal action taken against those that threaten lives by speaking out against the dangers of vaccines. I remember a book he authored about the polio vaccine killing people in the 60s and how that kicked off all this mistrust. We are seeing efforts stalled in Africa because of the use of the oral polio vaccine and mutated polio viruses, is there a way to keep this fear from hitting the US? I mean after all we dont have wild strains of polio anymore, just the ones from the oral vaccines. Maybe we can lump the polio vaccine in with something else and give it a different name or something. Any thoughts?


Posted by staff2 (not verified)

Hello, Anonymous Skeptic,

We have lots of thoughts:

Certainly there’s promise for, at least, cocaine immunotherapy; see http://www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/article/S0006-3223%2809%2901052-X/abstract for one example of a recent study. And a nicotine vaccine is in Phase III clinical trials. http://www.nabi.com/pipeline/pipeline.php?id=3. Potential opiate vaccines seem to be further away.

Regarding the polio vaccine, you are probably referring to the 1955 Cutter Incident and Dr. Offit’s book on that topic. We have some information on the Cutter Incident in our polio vaccine timeline; see http://dev.historyofvaccines.org/content/timelines/diseases-and-vaccines#EVT_100326 and later entries.

We’re not sure what you mean by “we don’t have wild strains of polio anymore.” The latest report from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative http://www.polioeradication.org/Dataandmonitoring/Poliothisweek.aspx shows recent cases of wild poliovirus cases, and gives the wrap up for last year (966 reported wild poliovirus cases in 2010). They also report on circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (it looks like 46 reported cases in 2010, all of them in Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Niger, and India) http://www.polioeradication.org/Dataandmonitoring/Poliothisweek/Circulatingvaccinederivedpoliovirus.aspx