Last updated on: 2/8/2010 | Author: ProCon.org

Ari Brown, MD Biography

Title:
Pediatrician at Capital Pediatric Group
Position:
Pro to the question "Should Any Vaccines Be Required for Children?"
Reasoning:

“What we know for certain is that delaying your child’s shots is playing Russian Roulette. The simple truth is you are leaving your child unprotected. Who knows what disease (preventable from a simple vaccine) will crop up next? Deadly diseases like measles are only a plane flight away….

As a doctor, I am greatly worried when parents decide to delay or not to vaccinate their child. That’s because vaccine-preventable diseases are real. I have watched a child die from a vaccine-preventable disease while I helplessly stood by. I’ve cared for several babies gasping for breath with whooping cough. These diseases kill children. Respect them. Last year alone vaccines prevented 14 million infections and 33,000 deaths in the U.S. Our grandparents remember diseases like polio. And how folks lined up to get vaccinated. Yet, you’ve probably never even heard of anyone with polio today. The great irony of vaccine success is that parents today are unfamiliar with the diseases they prevent.

In the past 10 years, I have seen two forms of bacterial meningitis basically disappear, thanks to vaccines. Before the HIB (Haemophilus influenzae type b) vaccine was developed, there were about 20,000 U.S. children a year who suffered or died from this infection. Now there are less than 200 cases per year. Before the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, which protects against streptococcal meningitis, 17,000 American children per year had invasive infections with strep. And, about 200 kids died of this each year. Since vaccination, serious infections have been reduced by 90%. That’s pretty amazing…

Stoking parents fears about vaccines with false rumors about safety is irresponsible and creates a lose-lose situation for society—and the casualties are children.

Vaccines work. And they are safe.”

“Clear Answers & Smart Advice about Your Baby’s Shots,” vaccineinformation.org, Sep. 2008

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Experts
Individuals with advanced degrees in fields relevant to vaccines and healthcare. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to vaccines and healthcare.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Pediatrician, Capital Pediatric Group
  • Spokeswoman and Fellow, American Academy of Pediactrics
  • Advisor, Parents Magazine
  • Co-chair, legislative committee, Texas Pediatric Society
  • Advisor, Texas Medical Association’s Be-Wise Immunize program
  • Recipient, Profiles in Power Award, Austin Business Journal
  • Recipient, Austin’s Favorite Pediatrician Award, 2004
Education:
  • MD, Harvard Medical School
  • BA, Child Development, University of Texas at Austin
Other:
  • Has appeared on numerous national television shows including the Today Show, CNN, Dr. Phil, the Rachael Ray Show, and ABC News