As discussed in my previous post, once a “fact” has taken hold in the public’s mind, it will most likely live forever in some sectors of the general population.
One particularly egregious – and harmful – example is found in the Vaccination/Autism link, which has long been debunked but which continues to perpetuate itself.
Executive Summary: There is no link between vaccinations (particularly thimerosal) and autism. The scare was created by a disreputable doctor, Andrew Wakefield, who was hired as a paid consultant by a law firm who looked to make money from suing vaccine manufacturers. The flawed study was published in Lancet, and later retracted.
It’s a shame that time and energy even needs to be spent on this nonsense.
Here are some links that are worth reading if you have any questions.
1) Journal of Pediatrics: “The Risk of Autism Is Not Increased by “Too Many Vaccines Too Soon“
2) Time Magazine: Debunked
“More than any other research, it was a study published in the British medical journal the Lancet in 1998 that helped foster the persisting notion that childhood vaccines can cause autism. On Feb. 2, that flawed study, led by gastroenterologist Dr. Andrew Wakefield, was officially retracted by the journal’s editors… Among other failures, Wakefield neglected to disclose that he was a paid adviser in legal cases involving families suing vaccine manufacturers for harm to their children.”
According to the Huffington Post, Wakefield was stripped of his right to practice medicine in Britain in May of 2010.
3) British Medical Journal: How the case against the MMR vaccine was fixed
In this brilliant and painstakingly documented investigative report, Brian Deer outlines step-by-step how the fraud was perpetuated, and by whom, and for what rea$on.
Do yourself a favor – get your kids vaccinated – failure to do so is resulting in an explosion of measles cases, and as many parents continue to refuse all vaccinations, a resurgence of previously rare diseases is a real possibility.
Edit: As of 2013, the reported number of cases of whooping cough has been declining since last year, but there is still an unacceptable jump in the numbers since 1990 or thereabouts.
The Old Wolf has spoken.
On this point, I must beg to differ. This is not a myth by any means. A close friend of mine lost her nine month old grandson – he died in his sleep the same night following his four vaccinations earlier that day. I attended the funeral, I saw what “reaction” that poor tiny body had to that fatal, routine doctor appointment. All human bodies react differently – some are affected enough to show visible reactions, some are not affected much, or not enough to “see” but this does not debunk those cases where children are injured. Yes, vaccines serve a critical purpose and we should ensure children are vaccinated BUT we need to spread those out to avoid overloading the body with too much at once. Some bodies can not overcome the “attack” on the immune system and are permanently affected or sadly, die. Children DIE because we fail to administer vaccines in the SAFEST POSSIBLE MANNER. NO ONE says we should NOT vaccinate at all but we have a DUTY TO VACCINATE AS SAFELY AS POSSIBLE.
First and foremost, condolences to your friend and her family. Second, I am not a huge supporter of the medical establishment by nature. I prefer prevention and natural remedies over prescriptions and surgery any time. That said, there is something to be said in the case of vaccinations for the concept of “acceptable risk.” There’s no question that this term sounds horrible, and for those who themselves fall into that small percentage who suffer from negative outcomes up to and including death, the term is an obscenity – but we’re talking about global percentages here, and nothing that medicine does can be absolutely foolproof, given the vast genetic variation that exists among humans. As a result, some people will react negatively to even a safely-spaced vaccination series. I have nothing against caution and safety, but the point I’m stressing here is that there is no credible scientific evidence for a link between vaccinations and autism.