Do it now: Contact ABC and express your opinion! Join IAC and AAP in urging
ABC to cancel the "Eli Stone" episode on Thursday night (Jan. 31) that
provides extensive misinformation about vaccine safety
Dear Immunization Colleagues:
Last week, IAC learned from a New York Times article (linked below) that
ABC's debut episode of the legal drama "Eli Stone" features a script riddled
with misinformation about the safety of routinely given childhood vaccines.
In this program (scheduled to air Thursday, January 31, at 9 PM ET) lawyer
Eli Stone sues a vaccine manufacturer on behalf of the mother of an autistic
child. Stone argues that the mercury-containing preservative in a vaccine the
child received caused the child's autism. At the end, the jury awards the
mother $5.2 million.
IAC has telephoned and written a letter to ABC, urging the company's
executives to cancel this episode. We encourage IAC Express readers who are
concerned to do the same. To that end, talking points and contact information
appear at the end of this IAC Express. In addition, we include links to
letters IAC, AAP, and the American Medical Association sent to ABC, as well
as links to material from other immunization organizations that will provide
IAC readers with useful background information on the topic.
Deborah L. Wexler, MD
Immunization Action Coalition
ABC CONTACT INFORMATION
Senior Vice President of Entertainment Communications for "Eli Stone"
Phone: (818) 460-5267
Vice President of Media Relations for "Eli Stone"
Phone: (818) 460-7950
POSSIBLE TALKING POINTS
- I urge (or my organization urges) you to
cancel broadcast of this episode.
- This episode transmits the false belief
that vaccines cause autism. They do not. Numerous scientific studies have
investigated a possible link between thimerosal and autism. Scientific
data overwhelmingly confirm that no connection exists between vaccines and
autism. The most recent study showed that autism rates in California have
continued to increase, even though thimerosal has been removed from all
children's vaccines except for some influenza vaccines.
- The consequence of media dissemination of
erroneous, unscientific information is a decline in childhood vaccination.
This recently happened in Britain with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR)
vaccine. The result was that unvaccinated children contracted measles,
which caused many children to be hospitalized and some to die.
- This ABC broadcast will cause some parents
to refuse to vaccinate their children, which can lead to serious illness,
hospitalizations, and loss of lives.
- Autism is a heart-wrenching condition.
When our nation's health resources are squandered by responding to
media-generated misinformation such as that presented in this program, it
means we have fewer resources available to find REAL causes, treatments,
and cures for autism.
LINKS TO BACKGROUND RESOURCES REGARDING "ELI STONE"
To access the New York Times article "ABC Drama Takes on Science and
To read the Immunization Action Coalition's letter to ABC, go to:
To read the American Academy of Pediatrics' press release about "Eli Stone,"
To read the American Academy of Pediatrics' letter to ABC, go to:
To read the American Medical Association's letter to ABC, go to:
To view a preview of the January 31 episode of "Eli Stone," go to:
LINKS TO BACKGROUND RESOURCES ABOUT VACCINE SAFETY
To access Every Child By Two's January 28 press release on vaccine safety, go
To access CDC's information on mercury and vaccines, go to:
To access AAP's autism information, go to:
To access the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Vaccine EducationCenter's
To access the National Network for Immunization Information's material on
thimerosal/mercury, go to:
To access IAC's collection of thimerosal information for healthcare
professionals, go to:
To access IAC's collection of information on thimerosal in vaccines for the
public and healthcare professionals, go to:
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