Here is the problem with this opinion; scientific research and peer reviewed data are the only proper way to “debate” this subject. People citing false equivalency and other logical fallacies convolute the actual research and observable data around vaccines and medicine. This whole thing stems from a fraudulent research paper (whose author, Andrew Wakefield, admitted had no proof whatsoever) that supposedly linked autism with the MMR vaccine. It relied on parental recollection and beliefs, had no control group, and linked three common conditions. Since then, through peer review of that fraudulent research paper, it has been shown to be a complete fabrication and without basis in observational reality. The tabloid media hyped it up in an attempt to gain viewers (which many of them later recanted citing the fact it was proven to be fraudulent) and thus the anti-vaccination movement started.
Since then, moms looking for the newest trend or fad for parenting (who haven’t taken the time to look at the obvious facts surrounding this subject, and haven’t exercised critical thinking) have been blindly following this movement. This movement is fundamentally the same as the proponents of a new fad diet, detoxing, or other similar movements within first world nations. Without looking for any evidence to support this change in lifestyle (almost surely designed to garner attention), they blindly follow these ideas.
Why are people like me (who defer to scientific research papers and tested theories when it comes to scientific issues) feeling hot about this movement but not about the detox movement, for example? Fad diets don’t have an effect on the rest of the population, but this movement certainly does. It isn’t as simple as “if you want to be safe from it, get the vaccine”. Babies can’t be given the vaccine before 6 months AT THE MINIMUM. It is usually around 12–15 months. Until this point, they are susceptible. That means that people who come into contact with the child that haven’t been vaccinated and/or who have the measles, can infect the child with NO options left for the parents. Is that fair?
Vaccines work well when everyone gets them, because it limits the chance of these diseases spreading, and it’s not only been proven by biological and medical sciences, but through a look at the history of these diseases. We live in a world where polio and TB are incredibly rare. The measles were just as rare. To say they weren’t “eradicated” is asinine and contributes nothing to the argument as not even 95% of people were vaccinated, so we couldn’t hope for a complete eradication of a disease with 5% of the population still susceptible (and every baby under 12 months old). They were incredibly rare and despite what you want to believe, the evidence shows that vaccines are saving lives. In the wake of Wakefields fraudulent paper, parents in the UK and Ireland who refused to vaccinate their kids rose dramatically. What followed wasn’t shocking, a sharp rise in measles resulting in deaths and permanent injuries. A decrease in the cases of autism did NOT follow, however.
The laws of nature work the way they work, regardless of how you feel about them, and legitimate peer-reviewed scientific studies are our best chance at understanding these laws, not what Jenny McCarthy thinks about them.
BMJ Medical Journal: Wakefield’s article linking MMR vaccine and autism was fraudulent
NCBI: Vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella in children.
Institute of Medicine of the National Academies: Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality
Immunizations are a cornerstone of the nation's efforts to protect people from a host of infectious diseases. Though…www.iom.edu
NCBI: Lack of association between measles-mumps-rubella vaccination and autism in children: a case-control study.
Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2010 May;29(5):397-400. doi: 10.1097/INF.0b013e3181c40a8a.www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Immunization Safety Review Committee, Board on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies: Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism
The Telegraph: Teenager dies of measles as cases of disease rise