Kids are dying. Just in the US alone there have been more than 1000 vaccine preventable deaths in the last 6 years. It’s not a lot, but if it’s your child I’m pretty sure you would think it important. Why? Because people would prefer to follow the advice of a former playboy bunny than their board certified pediatrician. Jenny McCarthy is not alone in her cause. Mike Adamsof naturalnews.com, he is another anti-vaxxer that uses his site to push his unverifiable opinion. He refers to his site as a non-profit collection of public education, he is not recognized as a 501(c)3 non-profit in the United States. He prefers to compare issues but fails to understand or explain the difference between causation and correlation.
This hysteria began when a small study by Andrew Wakefield, published in The Lancet in 1998, became infamous around 2000-2002 when the UK media caught hold of it. It hypothesized an alleged link between the measles vaccine and autism despite a small sample size of only 12 children. This eventually lead to what Guardian columnist and science writer Ben Goldacre described as “the media’s MMR hoax,”due to the evidence for any link being so lacking that it may as well have been entirely manufactured.
It was later retracted but continued to be the most often cited case study for the link, despite mounting evidence the contrary. It was finally considered “thrown out” on February 2, 2010 after it was discovered that Wakefield behaved unethically. Wakefield was found guilty of not acting in the best medical interests of the children as well as not disclosing his previous involvements with anti-vaccination groups prior to the study and it hitting the news. Further examinations show that Wakefield outright fabricated information or selectively ignored facts in his study, such as preexisting conditions in 5 of the 12 children.
My grandmother, easily the smartest person I’ve ever known, lives through 6 wars, the loss of two husbands and breast cancer. Still, she’ll tell you her greatest fear was polio. For her, Jonas Salk was the greatest man who ever lived. Not everyone should be vaccinated, those with low or no immune system, those allergic to the ingredients and some have genetic issues that prevent them from being candidates. Of course this makes it all that more important that the rest of us are vaccinated to produce the herd immunity.
Then there are those that explain it better than I do, Tara Smith; a scientist wrote an open letter to her Dad about what to believe on the Internet. An open letter to my Dad is a must read. Best most of all, no one does it better than Penn & Teller.
Vaccinate your children, Did I mention, vaccinate your children and if you are expecting grandchildren, make sure you get your D-tap booster 6 weeks before the due date, so you don’t infect your grandchild. Infants have no natural immunity and cannot get their vaccines until 6 months of age. In 2012 over 48k cases of Pertussis (whooping cough) were reported to the CDC and killed 9 babies by July 2012.
H/T: Lorraine, activist extraordinaire and provider of tequila.