Idiots and Autism

Another study refuting any link whatsoever between immunizations and autism.  HO HUM.

Or it would be except for the naive, shortsighted, panicky, or just plain stupid parents out there.  Selfish parents who would prefer to take medical advice from actresses and quacks rather than doctors and researchers. Parents who place a misguided belief above their responsibility not only to their children but to society.

Let’s run down the claims, shall we?

1. Vaccines, specifically the MMR, cause autism.  The doctor who conducted this study later lost his license because it was found to be fraudulent. Subsequent studies showed no correlation.

2.  Thimerosol (a mercury-based additive) causes autism.  Studies show no correlation — the biggest spikes in autism rates occurred after thimerosol was removed.

3.  Kids receive too many vaccines at once and it overwhelms their systems. This is the subject of the most recent study which says, no it doesn’t.

Then there are standard conspiracy theories: the real evidence is being covered up by the pharmaceutical industry, that sort of thing.

Meanwhile, there are children and adults who die from entirely preventable diseases.  The fact that we in the United States have the luxury of viewing measles as simply another minor risk of childhood staggers the imagination.

Yes, there are occasionally people who are injured by vaccines.  We as a nation decided that vaccination was so important that we would indemnify vaccine makers from lawsuit. A young life adversely affected by a vaccine is a tragedy.  Young lives (note the plural on that) dangerously hurt or killed because they were not vaccinated is an outrage.

One of the Time articles I read talked about how to persuade anti-vaxers. You can’t.  They are in the same camp as creationists and people who deny that humans play any role in global change.

The science — the real, honest to God science — is out there and has been. These people just do not care.

Also, on a personal note?  The idea that autism is worse than death (because these “childhood diseases” can kill) offends me beyond measure.

More and more parents are refusing to vaccinate their children — getting by on “philosophical exemptions” to get their kids into public schools. Vermont is considering abolishing them.

Good.  You don’t want to vaccinate your kids?  Keep them away from everybody else.

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