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Rants: Vaccines

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August 19, 2010

02:25

It all started with the publication of a single paper in the journal The Lancet in 1998; a study of 12 children exhibiting autism spectrum disorder with symptoms that began shortly after the administration of the MMR vaccine in the UK. The primary author of the paper was Andrew Wakefield, a man who had filed a patent for an alternative measles-mumps vaccine, and who had recieved funding from individuals involved in litigation against vaccine manufacturers, though neither of these conflicts of interest had been declared prior to publication.

Despite the issues with the study itself (which are damning and numerous), and despite the fact that the study has since been retracted, both by its co-authors, and The Lancet's editor's, the anti-vaccine hysteria it set in motion has yet to die down. The science states that there is no grounds for the autism-vaccine link. Science in Seconds says it again.

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Host: Brit Trogen

Photo credits: Wikimedia users Gamerscoreblog, Angela George, David Shankbone, Sam Pullara and Rick Kimpel

References:

http://www.autism-watch.org/news/lancet.shtml

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/13/science/13vaccine.html

http://sciencebasedmedicine.org/reference/vaccines-and-autism/#Key%20Research

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=3941 - the topic is covered extensively here

YOUR COMMENTS

Ryan Shannon on August 20, 2010
Good on you for tackling this ridiculous non-debate. Instead of my typical rant to people who criticize vaccination, I'm just going to send them the link to your site.

If you missed it, there was a study in done in Quebec a few years ago that actually found higher incidences of autism in children who had not been vaccinated which might make for good linking too. I don't have the citation details offhand, but I'm sure PubMed will pull it up.
David on December 09, 2010
Wow, I just lost all respect for this site. Talk about lack of a balanced representation of a controversial issue. I personally know a handful of people (even a Medical Doctor) who have children who have experienced dramatic mental decline and ASD within 24 hours of receiving vaccinations.

Give Dr. Wakefield a chance by listening to his interview:
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/04/10/wakefield-interview.aspx

Also, have some fun with this link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvQvz5uPPZk
Brit Trogen December 10, 2010
Hi David, thanks for your comments. Unfortunately your Wakefield interview isn't available for free viewing. However, I will certainly have some fun with the youtube link.

There's so much inaccurate information here, it's hard to decide where to begin. The main argument of this video seems to be that the ingredients of vaccines are kept secret by manufacturers, due to their use of chicken embryos, live flu virus, formaldehyde, ether, detergent and mercury.

In reality, any product monograph will have a complete listing of vaccine ingredients, usually in the "Dosage forms, Composition and Packaging" section. Like the Merck-Frost MMR vaccine I've posted below. Page 18 has a full listing of ingredients - mostly various growth media, sugars and amino acids. Not a single one of the ingredients mentioned in your video are used. Same goes for the GlaxoSmithKline Rotarix rotavirus vaccine. I'd also recommend you look up the definition of "attenuated vaccine." Spoiler alert: it's not a sneeze.

MMR: http://www.merckfrosst.ca/assets/en/pdf/products/MMRII_0902-a_126334-E.pdf
Rotarix: ttp://www.gsk.ca/english/docs-pdf/Rotarix_PM%20(2010-02-17).pdf

Your anecdotal tale of symptom onset shortly after vaccination is not evidence. The earliest diagnosis time for children with ASD is around 18 months; the same time as the second-round MMR vaccines. By pure chance, it would be expected that some children begin to show symptoms "after" vaccination, just as many more show onset "before," or without ever being vaccinated at all. Your story is a correlation, not a causation. There is no evidence that these events are causally related, and much evidence to the contrary.

When it comes to autism and vaccines, the argument (as it relates to real science) has been settled. Ex-executive of Autism Speaks, Alison Singer, said it best: "Every dollar spent looking where we know the answer isn't is one less dollar we have to spend where we might find new answers."
Scarlett on January 14, 2013
Love the video. Thanks for posting this. I think it is important to mention as well that your child runs about a 1 in 1 million chance of having severe allergic reaction and dying from the vaccine (which the nurse reviews with you prior to getting the shot) but a much higher chance of dying from the disease. It's all about risk vs benefit and when it comes to vaccines the benefits far outweigh the risks.

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