A plea for clear language on vaccine safety

In an editorial by Dr. Noni MacDonald and the Globe and Mail’s Andre Picard entitled “A plea for clear language on vaccine safety”, a case is made for plain English and more direct language when discussing and interpreting research findings and clinical recommendations.

As outlined in his book “Bad Science” in a recent interview on Sunday House Call, Guardian journalist and physician Dr. Ben Goldacre devoted an entire chapter to what he calls the MMR hoax, a hoax that stems from poor interpretation of results and wording from clinical studies. This in turn lead to the medias and special interest groups drawing incorrect conclusions, indeed the antithesis to what the information originally intended to report.

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” — Albert Einstein

  • Dr. Nora (Noni) MacDonald, MD MSc FRCPc, Professor of Pediatrics at Dalhousie University and Division Pediatric Infectious Diseases at IWK Health Center.  She also is a consultant to the Department of Immunization, Vaccine and Biologicals of WHO since completion of her term on the World Health Organization’s Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety. Dr. MacDonald has long been recognized in Canada, as an advocate for children and youth health and as a leader in paediatric infectious disease.


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