Vaccines Are Safe

By Scott LaFee

September 2, 2020 5 min read

A new Food and Drug Administration review of 20 years of data collected on 57 vaccines approved during that time found that after hundreds of millions of doses, only one vaccine was withdrawn from the market for safety reasons.

There were 58 modifications to use, however, mostly involving people whose immune systems were compromised, pre-term babies and people with allergies.

Stormy Breather

New research shows that visits to emergency departments by patients with respiratory problems increase the day before thunderstorms.

Previous research had suggested thunderstorms cause pollen grains to erupt when wet, exacerbating the situation for those with asthma or allergies. The new study, though, finds that ED visits peak a day before thunderstorms hit. The reason may be changes in temperature and other fine particles in the atmosphere.

As severe weather becomes more common, hospitals are gearing up to see more affected patients.

Body of Knowledge

On a clear night, the human eye can detect a candle flame 1.7 miles away.

Mark Your Calendar

Beware September. It is full of awareness. This is awareness month for blood cancers, atrial fibrillation, childhood obesity, food safety, sickle cell disease, newborn screenings, pain, polycystic ovary syndrome, sepsis, sexual health, sports eye safety and healthy aging. Fortunately, it's also National Yoga Awareness Month, so there's time to settle down, clear the mind and just be.


25: the age at which women should begin regular screenings for cervical cancer, based on new guidelines

13,800: new cases of invasive cervical cancer diagnosed annually in the U.S.

4,290: number of women in the U.S. who die from cervical cancer each year

Source: American Cancer Society

Stories for the Waiting Room

Doc Talk

Diaphoresis: sweating

Phobia of the Week

Catagelophobia: fear of being ridiculed

Never Say Diet

The Major League Eating speed-eating record for butter is seven quarter-pound sticks in five minutes, held by Don Lerman. Warning: Most of these records are held by professional eaters, the rest by people who really should find something better to do.

Best Medicine

Phlebotomist: "I'm here to draw some blood."

Patient: "But I just received blood yesterday."

Phlebotomist: "You didn't think you'd get to keep it, did you?"


"WebMD is updating its server because of a virus. Well, they think it was a virus, but it could also be malaria, kidney failure, a heart murmur, gallstones or, possibly, appendicitis." — comedian Crystal Lowery

Ig Nobel Apprised

The Ig Nobel Prizes celebrate achievements that make people laugh and then think, a look at real science that's hard to take seriously and even harder to ignore.

In 2017, the Ig Nobel Prize in Medicine went to a team of English and French researchers who used advanced brain-scanning technology to measure the extent to which some people are disgusted by cheese.


Q: How much liver must remain to fully regenerate?

a) 25%

b) 30%

c) 40%

d) 50%

A: 25%

Medical Myths

Do not brush your teeth immediately after you eat. The enamel on your teeth is at its softest after eating due to the acidic environment as your body breaks down food. Wait an hour, and then brush. If you brush too soon — and too hard — you could be brushing away enamel, too.

Curtain Calls

A 24-year-old man named Ateef Rafiq died in 2018 from cardiac arrest when, while looking for his dropped cellphone on the floor of a Birmingham, England, movie theater, his head became stuck under the footrest of the seat.

To find out more about Scott LaFee and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Photo credit: whitesession at Pixabay

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