Sunday, February 10, 2013

Some Comment on a Recent Story on Vaccinations and Autism

I just thought that I would share some comments I left on a story in the Washington Times about vaccines being safe and not causing autism. I thought this was a no-brainer, but apparently stories like this attract the no-vaccination trolls in droves. So, I thought that I would put one of them in their place. You can read the full article here.


Here is my first comment:

 OMG! Get the tin foil hats everyone! There's a conspiracy afoot!
Do you seriously believe that thousands of doctors and researchers, no matter how much money they're getting from grants and companies, would tell people to vaccinate their children if convincing evidence supported the idea that the vaccines were unsafe? Really? All of them across the board?
These doctors and researchers have kids. They're people, just like the rest of us. Most of them got into medicine because they want to help people and save lives. If you really think that all of these doctors and researchers are so heartless and cynical that they would just let people take vaccines while knowing that they are unsafe or cause autism, then lady ...
you have problems.

Here is my second comment: 

"This story is proof that parents really need to research this topic." 
No, they need to shut their traps and start listening to the people who actually research this for a living.
I know that WebMD, Wikipedia, and Youtube has every amateur convinced that they are the world's greatest unpaid physician, but there are people who actually do this stuff for a living who quite frankly know more than you do. There are literally millions of research articles and patient studies that have been published over the last 200 years or so that modern medicine has existed. These recommendations about vaccines and vaccine safety represent the best guesses as to what is effective and safe in preventing childhood diseases. To have uniformed people continually dismiss this body of research in favor of anecdotal evidence and the testimony of modern snake oil salesmen is the epitome of ignorance.
Also, I see that you're proud of that website you run -- Age of Autism. Tell me, how many leading doctors and researchers in autism subscribe to the theory that childhood vaccinations contribute to a child developing autism? 50%? 10%? 5%? I am sure that if you polled the leading researchers in the field, you wouldn't even get that high of a percentage. That should give you a clue. Just because you can find a few quacks willing to say that the two are linked doesn't mean that you get to ignore the scientific consensus on the matter. And, even if you choose to ignore it, it's very wrong for you to mislead impressionable people -- who may be legitimately looking for advice on whether they should get their children immunized -- on the subject. To do so is beyond irresponsible.
You are a bad person. You may not see yourself as such, but you are. If even one child dies from a preventable childhood illness because of some stupid lies you wrote on the internet about not getting children vaccinated, you should realize that you are partially to blame for his or her death.
Here is the CDC's analysis of the non-existence of the link between autism and vaccinations.

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