On Tuesday, February 2, 2010, the medical journal The Lancet retracted and disavowed a 1998 study conducted by Dr. Andrew Wakefield which claimed a connection between the mumps-measles-rubella vaccine and autism.
The Lancet retracted the study, originally published by them, for three reasons: first, that Dr. Wakefield had conducted his study in an unscientific manner, basically "cooking the books"; second, no subsequent study attempting to reproduce his results has been able to do so; and third, Dr. Wakefield's study was conducted in such an unethical manner as to inflict pain and suffering on children in such a way that showed callous disregard for their welfare.
Since Dr. Wakefield's study, over twenty other studies into a possible link between vaccines and autism have been conducted. None of them found any connection between the two. Dr. Wakefield's study was the sole bit of evidence to support that connection- and it has just been completely invalidated.
I write this to make certain that everyone in our community hears the truth- that there is no credible evidence to show that vaccinating children causes autism or any other lasting harm. Those who oppose vaccinations put their unfounded paranoia ahead of the health of their children- and other parents' children as well.
Vaccination is not merely the best way to protect your child from potentially deadly disease- it is the best way to push those diseases to extinction, as we have done with polio and smallpox. We can protect not just today's children but all future children from these diseases- if only we put unfounded fears aside and trust our doctors to know what they're talking about.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Everybody Spread the Word, Too
I'm writing the following letter to my local newspaper. I encourage all of you to do the same sort of thing. This really, REALLY needs to make the rounds. so that those who still advance the ignorant view that vaccines are bad for you have one less excuse for their position.