One in four surveyed parents wrongfully believe that vaccines cause autism. One in four have been convinced, despite any supporting scientific evidence, that their child could suddenly collapse into a heap of neurological disfunction when being treated with the best preventative medical treatments the world has ever known.
This startling statistic comes despite the fact that Andrew Wakefield, the bloke whose research sparked the debate about whether the MMR vaccine could cause autism, has been scolded by the General Medical Council for being dishonest and irresponsible.
This startling statistic comes despite the fact that even the best cases for a link between MMR and autism were rejected by the vaccine court in the autism omnibus proceedings.
This startling statistic lands limply on my desktop despite the fact that numerous studies have disproved a link, despite the fact that thimerosal has been removed from childhood vaccines without a subsequent decline in autism, despite the fact that “mother’s intuition”, conspiracy theories, and imagined toxins are the best that vaccine opponents can provide.
And yet, despite the 25% survey respondents who were suckered by the rhetoric of antivaccine activists, 9/10 still believe in vaccines enough to say that they are a good way to prevent diseases for their children. So, at the least, I can go to bed knowing that, for now, a semblance of common sense prevails, despite the hysteria and anti-medical propaganda being promoted by my ideological opponents. It’s little comfort, but I’ll take what I can get.