Heightened media attention to the financial ties between vaccine makers and the physician groups which advocate their use appears to be encouraging a growing number of parents to skip the jabs for their kids--at a cost. The CDC noted that a recent outbreak of measles, a disease eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, could be attributed to the lack of a vaccination in 63 of 64 cases.
The Wall Street Journal notes that a recent CBS report highlighted millions of dollars in manufacturers' grants to the American Academy of Pediatrics, which is responsible for major immunization campaigns. Drug makers like Merck and Wyeth have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the organizations. The groups insist that they're not swayed by the money, which they say allows them to pursue the work they believe in. But evidently a growing segment of the U.S. population isn't persuaded.