Posted by: Ticktock | March 2, 2010

One In Four = One Depressed Skeptic

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.



  1. It is pretty sad that they have made such inroads with misinformation.

    How long will it take us to recover from the damage inflicted by Dr. Wakefield’s MMR hypothesis and the groups pushing thimerosal as a cause of autism?

  2. This is depressing. I can only hope that the current government position of respect toward science will eventually prevail. I think the Bush administrations general mistrust of the evil, elitist scientists had a role in this.

  3. I’m sure either side can be argued. However, chemicals are exactly that, chemicals. I’ll stick with a holistic approach to medicine as much as possible. As far as who to believe and where I will place my trust? Certainly not in the pharmaceutical companies, a corrupt bunch I’m sure who pay the government whatever they need to, to continue making us believe that we need to be vaccinated for anything…chicken pox, the flu shot! Guess what? My friend got the nasal mist for the swine flu (an already healthy individual), two days later, a loud buzzing in his ear that he has been unable to get rid of for the past 5 months. So, maybe we can’t directly link mercury to autism. But I’m sure the list of ingredients in vaccines is anything but good for you! And you can be sure it’s even harder on babies! I’ll continue to believe that I’m safer without! But thanks for trying!

  4. Cynthia is a wonderful example of why your rhetoric of choice isn’t working: trust. She doesn’t trust the medical/big pharm. to have her best interests at heart. I don’t find that position unreasonable. By mandating questionable vaccines (rotovirus, hep. C, H1N1) questions are raised about legit vaccines. Beating people with facts about an industry who patients find suspect is not going to work. Perhaps rethinking your rhetoric and not grouping DTAP with roto would be wise.

  5. I’m the mother of a 3-year-old autistic boy, and a one-year-old “neurotypical” daughter. My son was autistic before he was vaccinated and despite maintaining a regular vaccination schedule, he continues to improve his communication and social skills through occupational, behavioral and speech therapy with experts a lot more credible than that ass-hat Jenny McCarthy.

    Both of my children will continue to receive vaccinations. I stated my position on my blog ( and have been lambasted by the anti-vax crowd. I finally removed some of the comments because seeing things like “you want to kill your children” in print was just too depressing.

    Thank you for continuing to reinforce the science. There are those of us who appreciate it. And those that are still on the fence, affected by McCarthy’s bunch and their fear-mongering deserve to hear other opinions just as loudly.

  6. Cynthia: Where did you get this H1N1 nasal spray? Did you sit in a clinic line up?

    Has it occurred to you that you might have caught something in that clinic line up? Correlation does not equal causation.

    Incidentally, I, too, am the mother of an autistic boy and an NT daughter (though they are older – 11 and nearly 9). My son was ABSOLUTELY, without a doubt autistic before his MMR. That said, he did have a (very rare) allergic reaction to the vaccine, which left him hospitalized for 3 days. This has led me to wonder if people might have cause and effect backwards. Autistic children are said to have a higher rate of allergies. Eggs are used in the MMR, and are a common allergen (and, indeed, while I’m not allergic, I’m slightly intolerant, and was much more so when I was a child). Further, the sensory issues relating to autism might make a mild side effect seem much more pronounced, as the child might have difficulty dealing with what others might consider a slight discomfort. I’d love to see studies done on the rate of adverse reactions to the MMR in autistic children.

  7. More: case in point about catching something in-clinic. On Thursday I had to see a doctor to get a requisition for some routine blood tests. I sat in a clinic for an hour, then headed to a lab to do tests. Today (Wednesday) I’m feverish, achey and nauseous, yet I’m pretty sure that blood tests did not cause an adverse reaction.

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