Dr. Paul Offit, sometimes called Dr. Profit by his detractors, serves on the board of The American Council on Science and Health, and is well known in the media as an outspoken supporter of vaccines and of the elimination of the rights of parents to make the informed decision to not vaccinate their children. 1He has even been quoted as saying that an infant could handle 10,000 vaccines at once as he believes they are completely safe. 2While he may hold a position in a hospital and purport to only be working for the greater good, his publications and media presence clearly show a motive for profit.
Paul Offit received his undergraduate degree from Tufts University in 1973 and then his MD from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1977. 3He went on to complete his Internship and Residency in Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He then completed a Fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and is Board Certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. 4
Dr. Offit is an adjunct associate professor at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology as well as a professor within the Department of Pediatrics of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. 4
Dr. Offit is an attending physician within the Division of Infectious Diseases and the director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). He also serves as the chairman of the hospital’s Drug Use Evaluation Committee. Outside of his work at CHOP, he has served on a number of committees and advisory boards including the following: co-director of the Center for Vaccine Ethics and Policy since 2008, member of American Council on Science and Health advisory board since 2006, member of Every Child By Two advisory board since 2006, and member of Immunization Action Coalition advisory board since 1999. 4
Along with Stanley Plotkin and Fred Clark, Dr. Paul Offit created the RotaTeq vaccine in response to the rotavirus. This particular virus causes diarrhea which is hard to treat and can lead to death in children. The controversy surrounding Offit and RotaTeq stems from the fact that he was a voting member of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) while his vaccine was going through clinical trials. Around this time, ACIP added the rotavirus vaccine to the childhood vaccine schedule. Even though the other vaccine that was on the market was pulled because of adverse effects, RotaTeq continues to be promoted. 5
Though Dr. Offit clearly profited from the RotaTeq vaccine, the exact amount has not been published. He said in an interview that he received approximately six million in payout from the patent, but others have estimated that he received profits and royalties of ten million as of 2009. Others have estimated that he will earn from thirteen to thirty-five million from the RotaTeq patents through 2019. 6
Though he has downplayed his profits when questioned in the media, records have proved otherwise.
Attacks Against the Anti-Vaccination Movement and Exemptions
Dr. Offit has published a number of books on vaccines and the anti-vaccine movement. He is adamantly pro-vaccine and believes that no exemptions should be allowed for religious or philosophical reasons and for very few medical reasons. 7
He vilifies anyone who opposes or simply questions vaccines, claiming they are quite safe, despite all evidence to the contrary, and has pushed for forced vaccinations on everyone, especially young children under the age of 7. 8
He has even gone so far as to equate parents who decline to vaccinate their child with parents who abuse or neglect their children. 9
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