Anonymous asked: Have you any opinions on whether vaccines contribute to autism?
They don’t, and that’s not an opinion, that’s a fact.
The dude who promoted that shitty claim has since lost his medical accreditation. Since then not a single study has found any correlation between vaccines and higher autism rates.
OK, everyone keeps talking about Dr Wakefield losing his medical accreditation (that is, he was struck off the register in the UK which is the equivalent to losing your license in the US - it is illegal for him to practice medicine in the United Kingdom now), but they don’t really go into detail about why. The Wikipedia article has an enormous wealth of knowledge and I would recommend reading it to get a proper overview, but here’s the TL;DR:
Andrew Wakefield (and colleagues) took 12 autistic children, 8 of whom presented with “behavioural symptoms” after being given the MMR vaccination, the onset of these symptoms reportedly occurring within 2 weeks of the vaccination.
Now, already a scientist reading this is probably scoffing at the statistical irrelevance of such a study - but note that Wakefield fully admitted that no link had been proven. He simply wished to use the study to block the triple vaccine until further research could be conducted - sounds pretty noble, right?
But the issue is his motivation. He wanted to give his patients three separate single-virus injections over the course of three years, instead of administering a single triple-virus injection in one shot. He manufactured his “research” in order to stir up controversy surrounding the triple shot virus, so that it would be blocked and he could go back to what he was familiar with (which was by this point deprecated due to obsolescence).
A bias of this magnitude was enough for his hospital to ask him to leave, which he said was because his results were “unpopular”, but the fact of the matter was that there was an undeclared conflict of interest in the results.
So far, we’ve got some guy who’s trying to push an agenda and is being a bit of a dick about it, and lost his job over it. Pretty bad, but not exactly the next Stalin. It gets worse.
The 12 kids from the study were subjected to invasive medical procedures - a colonoscopy and a lumbar puncture (the latter of which is an excruciatingly painful injection into the spine with an enormous needle, as anybody who’s watched House will tell you) each.
It gets worse.
He was in the process of applying for a patent for the single-virus Measles injection before his campaign against the MMR injection began.
He unsuccessfully sued for libel when Channel 4 brought this all to light, along with allegations of a third-party paying Wakefield over £400,000 to build a case against the MMR vaccine, which may or may not also be true.
Nobody has been able to reproduce his results in the 16 years since all this began.
Many people have conducted much larger studies and found no link whatsoever between autism and the MMR vaccination.
The stupidest thing about the entire debacle is that Wakefield was fucking pro-vax and probably still is to this day. He just wanted people to use his (patented) vaccine instead of the MMR triple vaccine which was vastly superior, so he invented a problem with the MMR vaccine in order to put people off it, inadvertently putting people off not just the MMR vaccine but also other vaccines that are entirely unrelated to the MMR vaccine. There’s a sort of sad irony in that, I think.
Yep, all of this. In case any of you were interested on what exactly went down in the Wakefield case…. this is the whole shitty package.
There it is. And now children (and adults) are DYING because of this bastard’s greed and recklessness.
I struggle to find words to convey the badness of both the situation and the man. Truly it’s an awful thing when a medical professional goes rogue.