Thursday, January 13, 2011

Vaccination Scares and Other Nonsense

In 1998, a research paper in the journal Lancet entitled "Ileal lymphoid nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children" linked the standard vaccine for Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) to a new type of disorder in the autism spectrum. The news media (in typical fashion) produced headlines and parents everywhere were scared to vaccinate their children against diseases that could cripple or kill them. I have had friends and family members talk about allowing others to carry the societal burden for immunization (that is, depend on herd immunity) based on this study and others that rely on it for their foundation.

So, how many of you have now seen the news media in any form trumpet headlines that the FULL paper has been retracted? Everything in the article is "scrubbed" from scientific literature. That means if you cited the paper in your paper for support, it is likely that your paper will be scrutinized next. The good thing is that no one was EVER able to reproduce the results of Wakefield's study. Here is a damning quote by the BMJ (British Medical Journal):

Clear evidence of falsification of data should now close the door on this damaging vaccine scare.

So, what's the big deal? Well, when we allow JUNK SCIENCE to dominate the headlines and then put retractions as footnotes on the back page, the public has a FALSE image that vaccinations are dangerous.  Vaccinations have wiped small pox from the earth, made polio a rarity, and saved millions of lives from other deadly diseases. The real truth is that the original paper should never have been published. The main author (Andrew Wakefield) failed to disclose a couple of small conflicts of interests like the fact that he was hired by a law firm to produce evidence against the multiple disease shot and that he studied children from anti-vaccine groups instead of those from a randomly drawn sample (Guardian article with more details).

The American has more details of the whole issue.  It is a good read on why you should NOT rely on herd immunity.  Here is the sub-head from the article.

The campaign against the most valuable medical technologies ever invented is based on junk science.

Brian Deer has worked for 13 years to kill this whole scam.  Here is the full story:
So, if you are on the fence about vaccinations, don't give it a second thought.  Herd immunity is a good theory until REALITY hits and your child is sick with something that could have been prevented by a small needle.

BTW, stuff likes this vaccine fraud finally being put to rest will probably bring me back to blogging now that Global Warming (no, I mean) Climate Change (sorry again, I meant) Global Climate Disruption (well, what I really meant was) Climate Challenges advocates have "almost" lost the argument. I say almost because they will remain around until the paradigm shift works through academia over the next 20 years.

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