The needle nuts are at it again -- and this time, they're pushing a dangerous vaccine on babies for a disease you shouldn't worry about in the first place.
The feds have signed off on a plan to give Menactra, a vaccine that's supposed to prevent invasive meningococcal disease, to babies as young as nine months old.
"The highest rate of meningococcal disease occurs in children under one year of age," said Dr. Karen Midthun, director of FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.
Sounds scary, right?
But here's what she didn't say: The overall odds of dying of meningococcal disease are so low you're more likely to be hit by lightning TWICE!
The condition strikes just 2,500 Americans a year, killing 300 -- putting the risk of death at literally one in a million.
Now, I'm not heartless -- any death at all is tragic. If there was a safe and effective way to save 300 lives out of 300 million people, I'd sign up for it in an instant.
But this ain't it.
Take a look at this warning right on the front page of the vaccine's Web site, just past all the usual promises of pain, redness, swelling, headache and fatigue: "There is a potential for an increased chance of getting Guillain-Barré syndrome following vaccination. Vaccination with Menactra vaccine may not protect all individuals."
Talk about a double whammy -- an increased risk of a crippling and potentially deadly nervous system disorder AND the vaccine may not even work!
Health officials claim the Guillain-Barré risk is small... but get this: The World Health Organization says the odds of getting the syndrome following a Menactra vaccination are 1.25 in a million.
In other words, the risk of getting Guillain-Barré syndrome from the vaccine is actually slightly greater than the overall risk of dying of the disease the shot is supposed to (but might not) prevent.
You just can't make this stuff up!