Sunday, February 1, 2015

Vaccines: Who Ya Gonna Trust?

--- A former Playboy model and professional idiot who thinks that because her child received a childhood vaccine and her child is also autistic, the vaccine must have caused the autism?

--- The discredited researcher who published a so-called study which supposedly found a connection between autism and vaccines, but later admitted he was wrong and retracted the paper?

--- Actual, real research which shows absolutely no connection between vaccines and autism?

--- Actual, real-life research which shows that "herd immunity," offered by vaccinating the large majority of the population, protects us from getting diseases like measles, smallpox and chickenpox, and polio?

--- Actual, real-life results which show that kids with measles get very, very sick; and pregnant women who are exposed to measles may give birth to children with preventable maladies?

Here's where the trouble started with the measles (M.M.R., which stands for measles/mumps/rubella)  shot:
"Typically, the M.M.R. shot is given to infants at about 12 months and again at age 5 or 6. This doctor, Andrew Wakefield, wrote that his study of 12 children showed that the three vaccines taken together could alter immune systems, causing intestinal woes that then reach, and damage, the brain. In fairly short order, his findings were widely rejected as — not to put too fine a point on it — bunk. Dozens of epidemiological studies found no merit to his work, which was based on a tiny sample. The British Medical Journal went so far as to call his research “fraudulent.” The British journal Lancet, which originally published Dr. Wakefield’s paper, retracted it. The British medical authorities stripped him of his license."

I hope you'll watch the video in this link, which lays out better than I can the issues involved in vaccines: the deadly childhood diseases involved, the media hype, and the misunderstanding and, let's admit it, continued distortions by famous people, and so on.

"The notion that you would take a 12-person case study and make claims about a population as a whole is ridiculous," as the documentary points out. The original doctor was found to have distorted even the data in that original case study and acted unethically to make himself famous. Why would you trust this man?

And here's another video, shorter, and funnier, from Larry Wilmore's Nightly Show:

These anti-vaccine people are guilty of the "Post hoc, ergo propter hoc" logical fallacy: "After this, therefore because of this," or, in other words, "My kid  was vaccinated, and he suffers from autism, so his autism must be the direct result of the vaccine."

From the same article quoted above:
"Nonetheless, despite his being held in disgrace, the vaccine-autism link has continued to be accepted on faith by some. Among the more prominently outspoken is Jenny McCarthy, a former television host and Playboy Playmate, who has linked her son’s autism to his vaccination: He got the shot, and then he was not O.K. Post hoc, etc.

"Steadily, as time passed, clusters of resistance to inoculation bubbled up. While the nationwide rate of vaccination against childhood diseases has stayed at 90 percent or higher, the percentage in some parts of the country has fallen well below that mark. Often enough, these are places whose residents tend to be well off and well educated, with parents seeking exemptions from vaccinations for religious or other personal reasons."
This is infuriating. As a member of the generation before the MMR and polio and chickenpox vaccines were commonplace, and who in my childhood got measles, mumps, rubella, polio, and chickenpox, I don't understand why these people are letting their own children be vulnerable to these horrible diseases --- AND making other kids, and parents, and pregnant women, and old people, susceptible to getting them, too.

One more quote from the article, emphasizing again the importance of people getting these vaccinations: 
"Mass vaccinations have been described by the C.D.C. as among the “10 great public health achievements” of the 20th century, one that had prevented tens of thousands of deaths in the United States. Yet diseases once presumed to have been kept reasonably in check are bouncing back. Whooping cough is one example. Measles draws especially close attention because it is highly infectious. Someone who has it can sneeze in a room, and the virus will linger in the air for two hours. Any unvaccinated person who enters that room risks becoming infected and, of course, can then spread it further. Disneyland proved a case in point. The measles outbreak there showed that it is indeed a small world, after all."

1 comment:

AskTheGeologist said...

If you ever want to be infuriated and terrified at the same time, watch some of the clips of Jenny McCarthy in the link mid-way down this blog. She is smart - and vicious.

Her lack of education would be hilarious - if it wasn't leading to DEATH THREATS TO MY OWN GRANDCHILDREN.