January 28, 2010

The link between childhood vaccinations and Autism

What a bunch of fucking delusional baloney -- the people who believe that there is a causative link between vaccines and Autism are doing grave harm to their children and their children's playmates. The movement started with reports from a Dr. Andrew Wakefield who did the pioneering research. Well, it seems that the good Doctor was Unethical and has been proven dead wrong. From Discover Magazine:
Antivaxxer movement leader found to have acted unethically
Continuing a month of skeptical victories, the UK�s General Medical Council has found that Andrew Wakefield � the founder of the modern antivaccination movement � acted "dishonestly and irresponsibly" when doing the research that led him to conclude that vaccinations were linked with autism. This is being reported everywhere, including the BBC, Sky News, the Yorkshire Evening Post, and more.

The GMC (the independent body of medical regulators in the UK, rather like the AMA in the US) didn�t investigate whether his claims were correct or not � and let�s be very clear, his claims have been shown beyond any doubt to be totally wrong � only whether he acted ethically in his research. What they found is that his research (involving spinal taps of children) was against the children�s clinical interest, that Wakefield was unqualified to perform the test, and that he had no ethical approval to do them.

Wow. Again, let�s be clear: that�s a whole lot of ethical damnation from the UK�s leading medical board.

Not to pile on here, but I was rather surprised that they didn�t mention the claims � supported by a lot of evidence � that on top of all that unethical behavior, he may have faked his results, too. There�s also no mention of his grave conflict of interest� at the time he published his paper slamming vaccines and which started the antivax craze, he was developing an alternative to vaccinations, so he had a very large monetary incentive to make the public distrust vaccines.

The GMC has not announced whether he (and two of his cohorts) will be sanctioned or not. I�ll be very curious to see what they do.
Good. As the article mentions, we are starting to see a resurgence of the horrible childhood diseases which can be prevented with a simple and safe jab in the arm.
The antivax movement is resulting in the deaths of children from preventable diseases, many of which were all but gone in the United States. We�re seeing the return of measles, mumps, pertussis, even polio � polio, which was eradicated entirely in the US by 1994. Because vaccines are so effective, people don�t remember these diseases and how they would kill, and now the antivaxxers are paving the way for their return.
I would classify anyone who prevents their child from getting the vaccinations as clinically insane. Who, in their right mind, would object to having their child vaccinated. Posted by DaveH at January 28, 2010 8:46 PM
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