After having the chance to fully review Dr. Paul Offit’s carefully crafted analysis of The Vaccine Book, I can’t help but think that the American Academy of Pediatrics may be on to something.
More than just exposure of how Sears has misrepresented vaccine science, Offit’s beautifully written piece represents an AAP endorsed, frontline offensive on a very popular, very visible medical family on the front pages of its journal, Pediatrics. As an organization prone to neutrality, this represents a fundamental change in the way of handling the growing assault on vaccines. I might suggest that a piece like Dr. Offit’s may never have seen the pages of an AAP publication as recently as five years ago. This is progress.
While careful, thorough dissection of the antivax propaganda is a critical first step to public education, reiteration of Offit’s message in the social media will ultimately determine its destiny. The hearts and minds of frightened parents are won on Google, Twitter, and the blogosphere. As of the time of this post, a Google blog search for mention of this important article shows rare mention. Myself and other pediatrician bloggers who passionately advocate for children and their needs were never notified. This is a problem.
The American Academy of Pediatrics needs a clearly defined social media strategy that takes full advantage of opportunities such as this. Dr. Paul Offit is a champion for parents, children and the AAP and his hard work needs translation onto social media platforms. But as for now The Problem with Dr. Bob’s Vaccine Schedule will remain quietly in the shadows.