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Continuing the conversation on vaccinations

4:04 PM, Jan 13, 2011   |    comments
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"This research was proven to be fraudulent," said Dr. Jim Todd, medical director of infection control at The Children's Hospital.

Six weeks ago, Todd debated Wakefield when he came to an event in Boulder. Boulder happens to be one of three Colorado areas where figures have shown that parents are more hesitant to vaccinate their children. The other two areas are Highlands Ranch and Durango, according to the Colorado Children's Immunization Coalition.

This week, the British Medical Journal continued a three-part investigative series discrediting the study, saying Wakefield was paid by lawyers who intended to sue a vaccine company. His study has been retracted by the journal that originally published it. But Wakefield stands by his research.

In the midst of the debate caused by it, Todd acknowledges that can be difficult for parents to know which sources of information to trust.

"We have structures in the U.S. that are very credible as opposed to individuals who are advancing their own theories," Todd said. "We have structures that test those theories (such as) our Institute of Medicine and other groups."

Still, some parents worry about the effects of vaccines. One mother posted her concerns on saying:

"How can safety by sworn by in a vaccine when there aren't long-term studies on its side effects?"

Todd answered, in part, by saying "vaccines have been incredibly safe and effective in Colorado."

Answering a question from another Denver mother, Todd also revealed that researchers are still developing combination vaccines, that may reduce the number of needles used on a child who needs multiple vaccinations.

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