The special vaccine issue of the journal Health Affairs includes an article about a survey that examined parental vaccine behaviors and concerns. “The good news is that almost all parents are getting their children vaccinated. But that doesn’t necessarily mean all parents have a high level of confidence in those vaccines,” says the survey’s lead author, Allison Kennedy, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 2 percent of parents said that their children would receive none of the recommended vaccines, and 5 percent would give their children some but not all vaccines. Twenty-three percent of parents said that they had no concern about vaccines. Concerns among the rest ranged from children’s suffering physical pain from shots to whether vaccines could cause autism.
The Silverdocs documentary film festival kicked off yesterday in Silver Spring with a slate of 108 films from 52 countries, including a few health-related movies. “Cafeteria Man” profiles chef and activist Tony Geraci on his quest to reform school lunches in Baltimore. The students learn to plant and harvest vegetables and develop practical job skills, but their motivation is more immediate: “We wanted to have our lunch better because it was disgusting,” says one girl. “Age of Champions” is the story of athletes at the 2009 National Senior Games in San Francisco, including Washington nonagenarian swimmers Bradford and John Tatum. “Donor Unknown” follows a 20-year-old woman in search of her sperm-donor father. She not only finds him — a self-described “beach bum” in California — but also 15 half-siblings all over the country. Silverdocs runs through June 26, with most screenings at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. See the full schedule and buy tickets ($11 per film) at www.