Autism

New Evidence Of No Vaccine/Autism Link Will Definitely Be Ignored By Celebridoctors

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a12epA new review of existing scientific evidence has concluded once again that childhood vaccines are safe and don’t cause serious health problems such as autism or leukemia. Health Day News reports the findings are based on a systematic review of 67 previous studies and also include information “from the more than 1,000 studies in a previous review done by the Institute of Medicine in 2011.” Something tells me the anecdotal evidence celebrities seem to rely on for their “scientific” findings will still trump all of these peer-reviewed studies.

“Our findings support that vaccines are very safe for children, and add to a substantial body of evidence that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the very low risks,” said senior author Dr. Courtney Gidengil, an associate physician scientist at RAND Corporation and an instructor at Harvard Medical School. “Hopefully, this will engage hesitant parents in discussions with their health care providers.”

I think by now it is pretty common knowledge that the study that caused the uproar over the MMR vaccine has been repeatedly debunked. It is also common knowledge that the study’s author, Andrew Wakefield, had altered some of the study’s results. No matter. There are still many, many people who vocally insist that there is a vaccine/autism link. Unfortunately, some of those people are celebrities.

Why do we continually focus on what celebrities say about things like this? Because they have a large audience, and their reach extends much farther than reliable sources like Health Day News. Because they write books under the guise that they have some sort of “expert” opinion on the subject and convince hordes of people to believe their outlandish claims. Because they’re dangerous.

These findings should provide solid support for pediatricians and family physicians in their discussions with parents about the benefits and risks of immunization, said Dr. Carrie Byington, a professor of pediatrics and vice dean of academic affairs and faculty development at the University of Utah College of Medicine.

In an editorial, Byington noted “recent medical school graduates have reported themselves more skeptical of the safety and effectiveness of vaccines than did older graduates.” That is alarming. The mass, uniformed paranoia is working – on future doctors, too?

“I’m hopeful younger physicians who have not seen the devastating vaccine preventable infections may see the data and strengthen their will to communicate the importance of vaccines to parents,” Byington said.

We live in a time when, thanks to vaccines, we haven’t seen the devastating effects of outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses. But apparently that is causing many people to underestimate how devastating they are – and how important vaccines are to the health of a population. I find it hard to believe that one totally debunked study of 12 children could have the devastating effects that Wakefield’s study has. The anti-vaxx movement is vocal and certain celebrities serving as a mouthpiece does not help.

(Image: Twitter)

30 Comments

  1. NoMissCleo...JustMe

    July 3, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    I don’t have a child with autism so I don’t feel like I’m the most qualified when I say this – how insulting is it when someone says they are willing to risk their child’s general health because they don’t want their child to have autism?! If my grandmother was alive today I do believe she would GLADLY take an autistic child over the dead one she buried as a result of the measles.

    Sadly though, I feel as if the non-vax crowd will either ignore any scientific evidence contrary to what they believe or they will find another reason to not vaccinate their children. This sure does seem to be the hill they are willing to risk their children dying on.

    • whiteroses

      July 3, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      I agree with you. They’re not going to understand just how deadly these diseases are until their kids start dropping like flies. And sadly, that’s going to have to happen to wake some people up.
      If I- a complete stranger- cares more about their child’s health then they do, they really need to reevaluate their parenting skills.

    • Shelly Lloyd

      July 3, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      I wouldn’t mind the anti-vax group if only it was just their children at risk, but sadly they risk the herd immunity that protects against people who have a medical valid reason for not getting vaccines like new born can not get the whooping cough vaccines or those with compromised immune systems.

    • whiteroses

      July 3, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      The thing that bothers me, though, is that the anti-vaxxers aren’t the ones who have to pay when their children contract these diseases. It’s the kids that suffer. And that bothers me a lot.

      It also bothers me that my child could be placed at risk for someone else’s ideological perspective. Your personal freedom ends when it violates someone else’s.

    • Momma425

      July 3, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      Unless you’re a corporation…

    • whiteroses

      July 3, 2014 at 8:08 pm

      Yeah, I almost forgot about that one. Jeez.

    • JenH1986

      July 3, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      The medical community has been saying they were safe for years and anti-vaxxers don’t care. It’s some conspiracy, right? I don’t think it’s going to change anyone’s mind unfortunately.

    • LadyClodia the Modest Rat

      July 3, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      There’s an anti-vaxx movement in The Netherlands too, and it makes my husband’s stepmother livid because she had polio and has complications from it and one of her sisters died from it, and she’s angry because she doesn’t want anyone else to go through that.

    • NoMissCleo...JustMe

      July 3, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      My mother’s sister was the one who died from measles after it spread to her brain. My sister-in-law doesn’t vaccinate, but my mother hasn’t said a word because she is afraid to lose the relationship with my nephews.

    • Lackadaisical

      July 3, 2014 at 2:24 pm

      How awful for your mother in law and her family. She is right, no family should have to go through that needlessly

    • Lackadaisical

      July 3, 2014 at 2:22 pm

      Yes, yes and thrice yes. It is utter bobbins to claim that vaccines cause autism, but if they did I would far rather autistic children than tiny graves to visit. Autism happens regardless of vaccines and treating those children like some kind of bogeyman to frighten new mothers with is so wrong. Perhaps in an ideal world I might before the birth of my children have wanted them to be perfect little angels who turned heads with their beauty and always had the top marks in every subject at school. I wouldn’t swap those dull little paragons of the imagination for the real, flawed but utterly wonderful kids that I have. While no parents turn to each other and say “I do hope that when our child is born they will be autistic because an autistic child sounds like fun” that doesn’t mean that having autistic children is a bad thing or that any parent of autistic children would wish the child they love away to be replaced by another. Do parents of autistic children wish that their child found life as easy to manage and understand as other children? Sometimes, yes. Do parents of autistic children think their children are a burden and wish they could play Russian roulette with their kids lives in the hopes of having an non-autistic child? No. Are autistic children every bit as loveable as all the other children out there? Yes.

    • Spongeworthy

      July 3, 2014 at 2:24 pm

      I think they are already finding other excuses not to vaccinate…from what I’ve seen on other stories/forums, a lot of anti-vaxxers are moving slightly away from the autism concern and now going towards the more vague concerns of all the “toxins” they believe are in vaccines, or how there’s just too many and they overwhelm a child’s system. Or that “natural” immunity is better. These assholes will just keep moving the goalposts no matter what research comes out. It’s all funded by Big Pharma anyway!

    • Bleu Cheese Bewbs

      July 3, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      Someone shared this in my FB feed the other day. Seems relevant.

    • Bleu Cheese Bewbs

      July 3, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      Dang it! Picture didn’t come through that time.

    • Spongeworthy

      July 3, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      This is excellent. If I posted this on Facebook I’d probably filter some people out real quick. Hmmmm…

    • tSubh Dearg

      July 4, 2014 at 3:29 am

      Love the shout out to Tim Minchin at the end. His poem “Storm” is brilliant and talks about how medicine is just that, medicine!

    • SunnyD847

      July 4, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      Exactly, they will continue to believe what they want to believe despite all evidence to the contrary.

  2. mediocrity511

    July 3, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    I wouldn’t refer to Andrew Wakefield as Dr, he was struck off the medical register because of the fraud and ethical problems with his ‘study’.

    • Maria Guido

      July 3, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      Good point.

  3. MegzWray

    July 3, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    I recently read a book that referenced the deadly “Spanish Influenza” outbreak of 1918 where it attacked healthy young adults rather than the children and elderly. Killed something like 40Mil people around the globe. Death came in a day. Yeah, autism sucks.

    • the_ether

      July 4, 2014 at 1:52 am

      Yep, that one turned your immune system around on you – the better your immune system, the worse you got it. I’m gonna continue to compromise mine with beer and vaccines, just to make sure I’m safe.

  4. K2

    July 3, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    And again, even if it were true, I can’t understand why a parent would prefer a deadly illness over autism. Incredibly selfish for everyone around them, too.

  5. melena gasper

    July 3, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Autism is not a health problem, it’s a neurodevelopmental delay

    • EmmaFromÉire

      July 3, 2014 at 4:09 pm

      Spend a day in a school for children with special education needs, and then kindly fuck off over the horizon to medical denialism land.

    • NoMissCleo...JustMe

      July 3, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      Hey stranger! Where have you been lately?

    • EmmaFromÉire

      July 3, 2014 at 7:41 pm

      I started a new internship! I’m working crazy hours keeping all my cells alive, it’s my first evening off early in ages 🙂

    • NoMissCleo...JustMe

      July 3, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      Aww…and you’re spending it with us! 🙂

    • melena gasper

      July 3, 2014 at 9:23 pm

      Excuse me? I spend every day with my special needs child. While certain health issues like sleep disturbances and gastrointestinal upset are often present in children with autism, it is not a health condition such as leukemia- it is a neurological disorder.

      And FYI, I do have a MEDICAL diagnosis for my child.

  6. EmmaFromÉire

    July 3, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    It took studying over 25 million children to undo the damage caused by one self-interested bastard.

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