"When Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) recently suggested that the human papillomavirus vaccine — recommended for girls and young women to protect against cervical cancer — was dangerous and could cause mental retardation, the American Academy of Pediatrics pushed back hard. The AAP, which represents 60,000 pediatricians, issued a statement saying the claim had 'absolutely no scientific validity.'"
"Bachmann's is only the latest attack on vaccine safety, as anyone knows who has tracked the persistent and discredited claims that vaccines cause autism, among other problems. Public-health experts insist that childhood immunizations are safe, but widespread misinformation by self-described safety advocates and others is one reason pediatricians frequently find themselves fielding questions from anxious parents.
When repeated efforts to educate parents fail, some pediatricians are now taking action: They're refusing to treat children unless their parents agree to have them vaccinated according to guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
Michelle Andrews reports for the Washington Post September 26, 2011.