The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

Posts Tagged ‘clinic’

Vaccination Clinic at Dragon*Con = Massive Success!

Posted by mattusmaximus on September 9, 2010

All I can say is “Whoo Hoo!” – well, that’s not all I can say.  I can also say…

Take THAT, whooping cough! 🙂

I’m happy to say that the launch of the “Hug Me, I’m Vaccinated!” campaign at Dragon*Con in Atlanta this past weekend was an unqualified success.  The clinic was put together via the combined efforts of the Women Thinking Free Foundation, the groovy ladies at Skepchick, the Centers for Disease Control, and the vaccination team from Cobb & Douglas counties.  Over the last few months, we raised money to rent the space; put together a really great FAQ brochure on things everyone should know about vaccines; and mobilized volunteers to help with the clinic.

How successful was the clinic?  Did I mention the word “MASSIVE”?!!!  We provided free booster vaccinations for tetanus, diptheria, and pertussis (also called TDaP) to over 200 Dragon*Con attendees – so many that the people from the CDC and health department almost ran out!  The health department volunteers were flabbergasted by the turnout, because they say that often when they conduct similar events barely anyone shows up, and here we were having almost run out of vaccine because attendance was so high!  In addition, there was free HIV testing available for anyone interested.

Not only that, but we at the WTFF have been notified that others have heard about our successful “Hug Me…” launch, and they are now contemplating holding their own vaccination clinics in the same manner.  I had no idea that it would take off like this: that when I mentioned in my last blog post about “light a candle rather than curse the darkness” we’d end up lighting a freakin’ bonfire!  Did I say “Whoo Hoo!” yet?  🙂

If you are among those interested in learning how we put this all together and are considering holding your own vaccination clinic, just send me an email and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

In closing, allow me to share another photo with you.  This one includes the nurses & workers from the local health department, our CDC representative, as well as many of the skeptics who volunteered their time at Dragon*Con for such a worthy cause…

Posted in medical woo, skeptical community | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

“Hug Me, I’m Vaccinated!” Campaign Launches with Free Vaccination Clinic at Dragon*Con 2010!

Posted by mattusmaximus on September 3, 2010

Much of the time, I spend my energy venting my spleen and bitching about various forms of pseudoscience and flummery; and I get mad at myself for not griping less & doing more.  Or, in the words of Carl Sagan, I sometimes I wish that I spent more time lighting a candle as opposed to cursing the darkness.  Well, with the official launch of “Hug Me, I’m Vaccinated!” campaign this weekend at Dragon*Con in Atlanta, Georgia, I can feel proud that I’m helping to light a LOT of candles. Please note that this is the culmination of months of work, fundraising, and support from the skeptical community (most notably the Women Thinking Free Foundation and Skepchick)

The launch of “Hug Me…” this weekend is twofold:

1. We are going to start mounting an aggressive campaign to get the word out to our target demographic, 20 and 30-somethings & young parents, about the importance of vaccinating themselves and their children.  For example, check out the frequently asked questions at the “Hug Me…” website for more information.

2. We are going to be providing a FREE vaccination clinic at Dragon*Con!  We’ll be providing Tdap (tetanus, diptheria and pertussis – “whooping cough”) booster shots for those who want them.  Adolescents and adults 11-64 years of age should receive one booster dose of the vaccine. Parents, family members and caregivers of infants less than 1 year of age can protect these infants by getting this vaccine.

The clinic will run Saturday & Sunday (Sept. 4th and 5th) in the Mall at Peachtree Center, at the International Blvd entrance.  Cobb & Douglas Public Health staff will be available to administer the vaccinations on those days from 10am to 4pm. More info on this over at Skepchick!

I’ll be around the clinic, helping out as much as possible and giving – what else? – HUGS to those who want them.  If you can, drop by to get your vaccination, and as a bonus you’ll get a hug from me as I’m dressed up as Dr. McCoy 🙂

I promise to not look quite so serious as all that.  In addition, I will be moving about Dragon*Con taking video footage of anyone present who wants to share their thoughts on why getting vaccinated is important to them.  If you see me, flag me down so you can share your story, and spread the word about “Hug Me…”!!!

Posted in medical woo, skeptical community | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

U.S. Appeals Court Finds No Link Between Vaccines & Autism

Posted by mattusmaximus on August 28, 2010

I’m on a vaccine kick lately, probably because of my involvement through the Women Thinking Free Foundation & Skepchick’s work to bring a free vaccine clinic to Dragon*Con 2010. I’ll provide more details about that, as well as the launch of the Hug Me – I’m Vaccinated! campaign, later this week.  For now, I just wanted to share with you my thoughts about an epic win in court for science & evidence-based medicine 🙂

No link between vaccines and autism, appeals court rules

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID
updated 8/27/2010 6:07:09 PM ET

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court on Friday upheld a ruling that vaccines are not to blame for autism.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a decision last year by a special vaccine court, which concluded there’s little if any evidence to support claims of a vaccine-autism link.

Scientist years ago reached that conclusion, but more than 5,500 families sought compensation through the government’s Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

Friday’s ruling came in the case of Michelle Cedillo of Yuma, Ariz., who is disabled with autism, inflammatory bowel disease and other disorders that her parents blame on a measles vaccine given at 15 months.

In the 2009 ruling Special Master Denise Vowell wrote that the evidence “is weak, contradictory and unpersuasive. Sadly, the petitioners in this litigation have been the victims of bad science conducted to support litigation rather than to advance medical and scientific understanding” of autism.

In its ruling Friday the appeals panel said “we have carefully reviewed the decision of the special master and we find that it is rationally supported by the evidence, well-articulated, and reasonable. We, therefore, affirm the denial of the Cedillos’ petition for compensation.”

Earlier this year the so-called vaccine court also concluded that the additive thimerosal is not to blame for autism, an added setback in a long-running battle by parents convinced there is a connection.

The decisions help to offer reassurance to parents scared about vaccinating their babies because of a small but vocal anti-vaccine movement. Some vaccine-preventable diseases, including measles, are on the rise.

I have no doubt that the hard core anti-vaccinationists, like Jenny McCarthy, will just spin this as some kind of conspiracy theory about how the courts are in the pocket of Big Pharma, and so on.  I know that no amount of logic or evidence will convince those who have gone way down the anti-vax rabbit hole, but hopefully the news will convince those on the fence.

Posted in medical woo, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: