Thompson Center faculty and staff were pleased to welcome Dr. Paul Offit to the center for a question and answer session with the vaccination advocate. Paul Offit is a pediatrician specializing in infectious diseases and an expert on vaccines, immunology, and virology. He is the co-inventor of a rotavirus vaccine that has been credited with saving hundreds of lives every day.
Offit says that the false and erroneous connection between autism and vaccines caused many people to question vaccinations, however since that connection has been scientifically debunked by dozens of studies, that false perception has thankfully begun to dissipate.
“On average, our lifespans as Americans are 30 years longer than they were 100 years ago,” Offit said. “That is almost entirely due to vaccinations and improvements in sanitation.”
While in Columbia, Offit also addressed the University of Missouri School of Medicine and MU Health Care faculty, staff and students in large lecture.
Offit is the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology, professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the director of the Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He has been a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Dr. Offit has published more than 160 papers in medical and scientific journals in the areas of rotavirus-specific immune responses and vaccine safety as well as several books advocating for childhood vaccinations.