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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Dear Anti-Vaxxers

Members of the anti-vaccine movement tell us that they are more knowledgeable on diseases and their cures than the world’s top leading scientists. The biggest “study” that the anti-vaxxers use in their insane tirade against modern medicine has been widely discredited as being junk science.

No wonder Michelle Bachmann, Chris Christie and Rand Paul are all skeptics of vaccines. Science contradicts their stupidity. Much like climate change. See a pattern?

But back to the study. Many parents believe that if they get their children inoculated with the M.M.R. vaccine, they will develop autism.

And how have so many people come to this conclusion? In 1998, British doctor Andrew Wakefield, after studying only 12 children, came to the conclusion that the three vaccines in the M.M.R. altered the immune systems of the children which caused intestinal troubles that eventually would reach the brain and cause, among other things, autism.

And what happened when the medical world caught wind of Dr. Wakefield’s findings? Well, for starters, dozens of other epidemiological studies completely contradicted Wakefield, and concluded that the “study” was completely without merit. It is because of these mass contradictions the British Medical Journal called it “fraudulent,” and British medical authorities stripped Wakefield of his license.

In January, after the longest investigation in its history, the council found several instances of what it said was unprofessional conduct by Dr. Wakefield. It cited his taking blood samples for his study from children at his son’s birthday party; he paid each child £5, about $7.20 today, and joked about it later.

It also noted that part of the costs of Dr. Wakefield’s research was paid by lawyers for parents seeking to sue vaccine makers for damages.

The journal retracted the study in February after the medical council in London concluded in January that Dr. Wakefield had been dishonest and that he had violated ethical rules.

After dozens of studies proved Wakefield’s study to be a sham, and the British Medical Journal called him out, the British journal Lancet, who first published the “findings,” retracted it.
According to the Science Based Medicine, in a major study:

“In recent years the antivaccine movement has focused on the claim that vaccines are linked to neurological injury, and specifically to the neurological disorder autism, now referred to as autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

“However the scientific evidence overwhelmingly shows no correlation between vaccines in general, the MMR vaccine specifically, or thimerosal (a mercury-based preservative) in vaccines with ASD or other neurodevelopmental disorders.”

“The antivaccinationists then assume causation from correlation to blame rising ASD rates on thimerosal….However, by 2002 thimerosal was completely removed from the routine vaccine schedule, and now remains only in some flu vaccines…..The total dose of thimerosal exposure is far below 1990 levels, before ASD diagnoses began to rise.

“Antivaccinationists predicted that ASD rates would fall dramatically in the years following the removal of thimerosal from most vaccines – but rates have continued to rise without even the slightest change in the rate of increase. This is a powerful refutation of the thimerosal-autism hypothesis, and has been replicated in other countries.”

The Center for Disease Control calls vaccines as among the “10 great public health achievements” of the 20th century. And why do they come to that conclusion? Because they saved thousands upon thousands of lives from death and millions from preventable diseases.

Because of anti-vaxxers pushing this debunked, unethical “fraudulent” pseudo science, people are starting to ignore the cold, hard facts of science against their children’s best interest. Even worse, because of these stupid, selfish parents, a looming danger is placed on all of us by creating a public health crisis.

The CDC has listed 10 reasons why we should all get vaccinated:
  1. You may be at risk for serious diseases that could be prevented by vaccines
  2. You may be at increased risk for complications from certain diseases if you have a chronic health condition or weakened immune system
  3. You can reduce the chance that you’ll pass on a serious disease to your loved ones
  4. You can help protect those who can’t get vaccinated
  5. You can’t afford to miss work
  6. You don’t want to miss what’s important to you
  7. Increased hospital costs
  8. You like to travel – or have to travel for work
  9. You want the peace of mind that comes with protecting your health
  10. You don’t want to feel crummy if you can prevent it

Here’s the scariest part: anti-vaxxers don’t feel crummy about not vaccinating. They think they’re some sort of social justice warriors when really all they are doing is promoting a dangerous, unmerited fantasy that makes them feel better because they don’t want to take the time to do research.

Author Ryan Denson is living blue in a red state (hopefully it will be purple in the next 10 years). You can reach me at