The American Academy of Pediatrics has asked CBS Outdoor to pull an anti-vaccine video from the Times Square jumbotron. The 20-second ad is sponsored by the deceptively-named National Vaccine Information Center, and quack-medicine vendor Mercola.com. According to NVIC, “the message is shown every hour for 18 hours a day on the 20 by 26-foot full color big screen located on 42nd St. between 7th and 8th Avenues near Broadway and the NY Port Authority and directly beneath where the crystal ball drops at midnight on Times Square every New Year’s Eve.”
Here is the letter:
April 13, 2011
Mr. Wally Kelly
Chairman and CEO
405 Lexington Ave., 14th floor
New York, NY 10174
Dear Mr. Kelly,
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 April on the CBS JumboTron in Times Square, New York. 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. Vaccines are safe.
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 measles and pertussis (whooping cough) can have serious consequences, including seizures, brain damage and even death. From January 1 through December 31, 2010, 9,477 cases of pertussis (including ten infant deaths) were reported throughout California. This is the most cases reported in 65 years there.
The AAP’s 60,000 member pediatricians urge you to remove these harmful messages, which fail to inform the public about the safety of life-saving vaccines. Please do your part to help reassure parents that vaccinating their children on schedule is the best way to protect them from deadly diseases.
O. Marion Burton, MD, FAAP
The ad tells parents to “get informed”, but directs them to NVIC and Mercola, where misinformation about vaccine risks, ingredients, and benefits abound. Here is the ad: