Random FB comment after video: “This man is not correct in his comment on the physician who is no longer practicing for he is practicing again. He also has not retracted in what he said. I have read a lot of research on this and the vaccines are not perfect and I have seen personal damage done by them…”
“There’s a reason why Wakefield is viewed with such contempt in the scientific world.” ~Science Blog. He has not been restored to practice in the UK and is currently serving as “counsel” to a group in Texas where he is not licensed to practice. The issue here is not whether or not vaccines may cause problems – clearly, there is accurate, replicated data for the various side effects of vaccinations – but rather, the FRAUD of Andrew Wakefield for MONEY.
This is such a hot topic ~ “MMR-causes-autism” ranks right up there with the “Obama-was-born-in-Kenya” factions, and the adherents of either camp have the enthusiasm of religious zealots.
The overwhelming data in the world makes it clear that the side-effects of vaccinating are minuscule compared to the benefits, and I point out somewhat cynically that this whole controversy is a First World Problem. While people with money, time, and a Cause are fighting over a fraudulent (and indisputably proven so) paper by a man who chose making money over the truth (Mr. Wakefield apparently had an ‘ethics lapse’), the rest of the world is gratefully lining up to be vaccinated so that measles, mumps, rubella, polio, small pox, and other childhood killers are wiped out among populations that have no money, no time, and no Cause ~ other than to survive.
People have the right to be anti-vaccine if they choose. We have the luxury of not fully facing the consequences of the decision not to vaccinate by virtue of the fact that nearly every other child in Canada IS vaccinated. I am, however, careful to make the distinction between personal experience and data. In science, personal experience is anecdotal, data is empirical. The former is often unique to individuals and circumstance, the latter may be replicated – over, and over, and over.
Andrew Wakefield did a lot of damage. Millions of dollars have been spent on a direction in research that might have been spent on finding the real source and/or cure for pervasive developmental delays in children …not to mention the children who have died from the diseases for which vaccinations were developed. Are vaccines perfect? Absolutely not. But the connection between autism and vaccines has been proven over… and over… and over to be non-existent. On the other hand, no study has been able to replicate Andrew Wakefield’s findings …because he MADE UP the data.
Just like the “Birthers” faction insistence that Obama is not USA born, the anti-vaccine faction seizes on sound bites to continue their crusade. A careful read of the articles, judgments, science, and research make it very clear that there is NO demonstrated/proven/even tenuous link between MMR vaccines in childhood and the development of any variety of pervasive developmental delays (i.e., autism). (Not that something as simple as facts will get in the way of what people feel to be true.)
When there is no room for doubt there is only dogma.