Fraud And Conflict Of Interest Allegations
In February 2009, The Sunday Times reported that a further investigation by the newspaper had revealed that Wakefield “changed and misreported results in his research, creating the appearance of a possible link with autism”, citing evidence obtained by the newspaper from medical records and interviews with witnesses, and supported by evidence presented to the GMC.
In April 2010, Deer expanded on laboratory aspects of his findings in a report in the BMJ, recounting how normal clinical histopathology results had been subjected to wholesale changes, from normal to abnormal, in the medical school and published in The Lancet. On 2 January 2011, Deer provided two tables comparing the data on the twelve children, showing the original hospital data and the data with the wholesale changes as used in the 1998 The Lancet article.
On 5 January 2011, BMJ published an article by Brian Deer entitled “How the case against the MMR vaccine was fixed”. Deer said that, based on examination of the medical records of the 12 children in the original study, his research had found:
In an accompanying editorial, BMJ editors said:
The British Medical Journal editorial concluded that Wakefield’s paper was an “elaborate fraud”.
In October 2012, research published in PNAS, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, identified Wakefield’s 1998 paper as the most cited retracted scientific paper, with 758 citations, and gave the “reason for retraction” as “fraud”.
Myth #: Vaccines Aren’t Worth The Risk
Despite parent concerns, children have been successfully vaccinated for decades. In fact, there has never been a single credible study linking vaccines to long term health conditions.
As for immediate danger from vaccines, in the form of allergic reactions or severe side effects, the incidence of death are so rare they can’t even truly be calculated. For example, only one death was reported to the CDC between 1990 and 1992 that was attributable to a vaccine. The overall incidence rate of severe allergic reaction to vaccines is usually placed around one case for every one or two million injections.
Is There A Connection Between Vaccines And Autism
Is there a connection between vaccines and autism? Parris
No, there is no connection between vaccines and autism.
Autism is a condition that affects the brain and makes communicating and interacting with other people more difficult. The cause of autism is unknown. But genetics, differences in brain anatomy, and toxic substances in the environment are thought to contribute to children developing the condition.
So how did the idea that vaccines play a role get started? Much of the blame lies with a study published in 1998 that suggested that the MMR vaccine, or infection with the naturally occurring measles virus itself, might cause autism. Since then, numerous scientific studies have shown that there is no link between vaccines or any of their ingredients and autism. And the research used in that study was found to be false, the doctor who wrote it lost his medical license, and the medical journal that published it retracted the paper .
Even with the overwhelming evidence that vaccines are safe and effective, some parents still decide not to have their children vaccinated or to delay vaccinations. But this is extremely risky because vaccine-preventable diseases like measles are still around. An unvaccinated child who gets one of these preventable diseases could get very sick or even die, as could other people around the child.
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Should My Kid Get Vaccinated
Although the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and many other reputable organizations agree that vaccines do not cause autism, there are still small but vocal groups who believe they do. And amid that conflicting information, some parents might opt not get their children vaccinated“just to be safe,” because they worry about other possible reactions, or because of religious or other beliefs.
“But if you choose not to vaccinate your child, you are increasing his risk of contracting serious diseases that can lead to complications, hospitalization, and even death,” says Dr. Fombonne. For example, after the MMR vaccine was first linked to autism in England, many parents stopped vaccinating their childrenand several children died during a measles outbreak in Ireland soon afterward. And a recent measles outbreak in the United States has infected hundreds of people.
For all the major childhood vaccinations , most experts agree that the many, many benefits from getting vaccinated far outweigh any possible side effects or risks.
Substantial Uncertainty On Vaccines And Autism
Perhaps the most well-publicized and debunked claim of danger posed by vaccines is that they cause autism. Currently, 10% of U.S. adults believe vaccines cause autism in children, marking a modest increase from 6% in 2015. Nearly half, 45% do not think vaccines cause autism, up modestly from the 41% who said the same almost five years ago. And 46%, down from 52%, say they are unsure.
|Yes, do cause autism|
|Gallup, Dec. 2-15, 2019|
The more advanced an American’s formal education, the more likely they are to say vaccines do not cause autism. The figure is 73% among those with postgraduate education, falling to 61% among those with a college degree only, 42% of those with some college and 28% of those with no college experience. Importantly, lesser-educated Americans are much more likely to have no opinion than to say they believe vaccines do cause autism. The percentage making the causal connection tops out at 12% among Americans with no college education, versus 5% of postgraduates.
There are also substantial partisan differences, with 55% of Democrats saying vaccines do not cause autism, compared with 37% of Republicans.
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How The Mmr Vaccine Scare Began
In 1998, a major medical journal based in the UK, The Lancet, published a report2 headed by Andrew Wakefield, who was at that time a gastroenterological surgeon and medical researcher.The report implied a causal link between the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and the development of autism combined with IBD in children, which Wakefield described as a new syndrome he named autistic entercolitis. For more than a decade, the media has widely reported on the study, leading tens of thousands of people to believe that the suggestion about the MMR vaccine must be true. As a result of this global vaccine scare, immunization rates dropped in the UK3 and North America4. This of course has also lead to an increase in recent years of cases of measles, which the vaccine could have prevented.5
Credible medical journals publish many hundreds of research studies each year. Reports are peer reviewed by the journals medical panels, a rigorous process that can take months or years before a study sees publication. Despite these painstaking procedures, mistakes still happen all research reports have the potential for bias and, on occasion, a flawed, mistaken, or even outright fraudulent paper somehow gets through.
Other researchers have conducted similar studies, diverting thousands of research dollars toward this particular issue, but no similar autism/IBD syndrome has been found, nor any verifiable link between autism and the MMR vaccine, nor any link between IBD and the MMR vaccine.6
Faith In Vaccines Falls 10 Percentage Points In Us Poll
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The percentage of Americans who feel strongly that parents should get their children vaccinated has dropped by 10 percentage points since 2001, according to a Galluppoll. The poll showed that only 45% of Americans believe vaccines do not cause autism in children.
A rise in anti-vaccine sentiment has contributed to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases including measles in the United States and elsewhere, endangering public health. WHO has listed vaccine hesitancy and the erosion of public trust in medicine, including vaccines, as top global health challenges each of the last 2 years.
I think one of our biggest problems is that most families don’t have a tight connection to their child’s pediatrician, Sharon Nachman, MD, chief of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, told Healio. Far too often when a child is sick, which usually happens in the evenings or the weekends, instead of going back to their physician, they go to a walk-in center. That dilutes the connectedness between a family and their physician or medical care providers.
Additionally, 86% believed vaccines are not more dangerous than the diseases they prevent, whereas 89% said they are aware of the advantages and disadvantages of vaccines.
Stony Brook Children’s Hospital:
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Is Vaccination Opposition New
Vaccination opposition isnt a new concept. As long as there have been vaccines, there have been people who objected to them.
Refusing vaccines started back in the early 1800s when the smallpox vaccine started being used in large numbers. The idea of injecting someone with a part of a cowpox blister to protect them from smallpox faced a lot of criticism. The criticism was based on sanitary, religious, and political objections. Some clergy believed that the vaccine went against their religion.
In the 1970s, the DTP vaccine received a wave of opposition when it was linked to neurological disorders. have found that the risks are very low.
To combat vaccination opposition, laws have been passed that require vaccinations as a measure of public health.
There are a variety of reasons behind vaccine opposition. Some people have to forgo different vaccinations due to a high risk of potential allergic reactions. But for most who refuse vaccines it should be known that there is little risk.
There are some common reasons that lead to vaccine opposition. Some cite religious beliefs as the reason behind their refusal to get vaccinated, though most mainstream religions do not condemn vaccines.
There was a belief that diseases were disappearing due to better sanitation and hygiene, not vaccines. This has been proven false by the resurgence of previously eradicated infectious diseases.
The most common reasons that parents oppose vaccinations are medically unfounded. These include:
Survey Shows Majority Of Unvaccinated Americans Believe Microchips Are In Vaccines
A new survey from YouGov and The Economist released Thursday reveals a startling number of Americans will not get vaccinated due to concerns about side effects, “microchip” implantation and political motivations.
One in five Americans believe that the U.S. government is using the vaccine to plant microchip tracking devices into people, the survey found. A significant number of those who reject vaccines also cite the belief that inoculation in general causes autism.
As COVID-19 cases among the unvaccinated surge nationwide, vaccine conspiracies and rejection of the danger posed by COVID-19 appear the primary obstacles in containing the spread of the virus. Jeff Zients, coordinator of the White House coronavirus team, confirmed in a press briefing that unvaccinated Americans “account for virtually all recent Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths.”
The Economist and YouGov survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 1,500 American adults surveyed from July 10-13. The margin of error for the sample was estimated at about three percent.
Republicans, according to the poll, were far more likely to reject vaccines, with more than one-fourth saying they won’t get the vaccine compared to just four percent of Democrats.
Fauci told reporters that in June, almost all of COVID deaths in the U.S. could be attributed to the unvaccinated.
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Structural Abnormalities Of The Nervous System
Toxic or viral insults to the fetus that cause autism, as well as certain central nervous system disorders associated with autism, support the notion that autism is likely to occur in the womb. For example, children exposed to thalidomide during the first or early second trimester were found to have an increased incidence of autism. Thalidomide was a medication that used to be prescribed to pregnant women to treat nausea. However, autism occurred in children with ear, but not arm or leg, abnormalities. Because ears develop before 24 days gestation, and arms and legs develop after 24 days gestation, the risk period for autism following receipt of thalidomide must have been before 24 days gestation. In support of this finding, Rodier and colleagues found evidence for structural abnormalities of the nervous system in children with autism. These abnormalities could only have occurred during development of the nervous system in the womb.
How To Read Online Health Content
It is natural for parents and caregivers to be concerned about their childrens well-being and to investigate their options thoroughly. However, there is a lot of unverified health content online.
When reading about vaccination and other health choices, it is crucial to consider the accuracy of the content.
Here are some ways to assess whether online health content is trustworthy:
- Does it come from a health organization, government source, or reputable health publisher? These websites may have less bias than private companies or health blogs. Private companies may have vested interests in particular products. Some blog authors may not fact-check their content.
- Does it link to scientific evidence contained in primary sources? Trustworthy content is well-referenced. For example, it might link to recent scientific studies in reputable journals.
- Is it written in a balanced way? Quality content considers both sides of the argument.
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Autisms Genetic Risk Factors
Research tells us that autism tends to run in families. Changes in certain genes increase the risk that a child will develop autism. If a parent carries one or more of these gene changes, they may get passed to a child . Other times, these genetic changes arise spontaneously in an early embryo or the sperm and/or egg that combine to create the embryo. Again, the majority of these gene changes do not cause autism by themselves. They simply increase risk for the disorder
Can Vaccines Cause Autism
The authors of this study claimed that receiving the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination increased the chance of a child developing autism.
However, ethical violations, conflicts of interest, and other errors in the study led to many discrediting it. It is also worth noting that the study included only 12 children.
Giving a child an MMR vaccination protects them from developing measles, mumps, or rubella. Scientists do not believe that receiving the MMR vaccine affects a childs chance of developing autism.
According to a research review by the , there is no valid scientific evidence linking the MMR vaccine to autism.
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Myth #: Natural Immunity Is Better Than Vaccine
In some cases, natural immunity meaning actually catching a disease and getting sick results in a stronger immunity to the disease than a vaccination. However, the dangers of this approach far outweigh the relative benefits. If you wanted to gain immunity to measles, for example, by contracting the disease, you would face a 1 in 500 chance of death from your symptoms. In contrast, the number of people who have had severe allergic reactions from an MMR vaccine, is less than one-in-one million.
When It Comes To Vaccines And Autism Why Is It Hard To Refute Misinformation
For years scientists have said that there is no link between vaccines and autism. There are still many people who are reluctant to vaccinate. But, one woman has changed her mind about vaccines.
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Scientists have said over and over for years that there is no link between vaccines and autism. But there are still a lot of people who are reluctant to vaccinate themselves and their children because they believe there’s a risk, which leads to a question – why is it so hard to refute misinformation? NPR’s Shankar Vedantam has the story.
SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: In 2012, when Maranda Dynda was pregnant, her midwife told her a story that she couldn’t get out of her head. The midwife said that years earlier, something bad happened after she vaccinated her son – he stopped hitting his milestones. One minute he was fine, she said, and the next, he was autistic. She said the light had left his eyes. So the midwife decided not to vaccinate her other children.
VEDANTAM: Dynda started on Google. It led her to Facebook groups.
DYNDA: It’s very easy to find them. So yeah, if you – even if you just Google, you know, support groups for parents who don’t vaccinate, you will find a lot.
VEDANTAM: The moms in these groups echoed Dynda’s midwife.
VEDANTAM: Everyone was caring and attentive. They didn’t just talk about vaccines they talked about regular mom stuff, things that Dynda found hard to talk about with anyone else.
VEDANTAM: Dynda trusted them.
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What About All Vaccinations Combined
Researchers have also looked to see if all the vaccines required before age 2 somehow together triggered autism. Children receive 25 shots in the first 15 months of life. Some people feared that getting all those shots so early in life could lead to the development of autism, but there is no evidence that this is true.
But the CDC compared groups of children who received vaccines on the recommended schedule and those whose vaccines were delayed or didnât get them at all. There was no difference in the autism rate between the two groups.
In 2004, the Immunization Safety Review Committee of the Institute of Medicine published a report on the topic. The group looked at all the studies on vaccines and autism, both published and unpublished. It released a 200-page report stating there was no evidence to support a link between vaccines and autism.
Still, studies continue to look at the issue. In 2019, the largest study to date looked at almost 660-thousand children over a course of 11 years and found no link between the vaccine and autism.
Indian Journal of Psychiatry: âThe MMR Vaccine and Autism: Sensation, Refutation, Retraction, and Fraud.â
Offit, P., and Moser, C., Vaccines and Your Child: Separating Fact from Fiction, Columbia University Press, 2011.
American Journal of Medical Genetics: âComorbidity of Intellectual Disability Confounds Ascertainment of Autism: Implications for Genetic Diagnosis.â
BMJ: âHow the Case Against the MMR Vaccine Was Fixed.â