New Evidence Of No Vaccine/Autism Link Will Definitely Be Ignored By Celebridoctors

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a12epA new review of existing scientific evidence has concluded once again that childhood vaccines are safe and don’t cause serious health problems such as autism or leukemia. Health Day News reports the findings are based on a systematic review of 67 previous studies and also include information “from the more than 1,000 studies in a previous review done by the Institute of Medicine in 2011.” Something tells me the anecdotal evidence celebrities seem to rely on for their “scientific” findings will still trump all of these peer-reviewed studies.

“Our findings support that vaccines are very safe for children, and add to a substantial body of evidence that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the very low risks,” said senior author Dr. Courtney Gidengil, an associate physician scientist at RAND Corporation and an instructor at Harvard Medical School. “Hopefully, this will engage hesitant parents in discussions with their health care providers.”

I think by now it is pretty common knowledge that the study that caused the uproar over the MMR vaccine has been repeatedly debunked. It is also common knowledge that the study’s author, Andrew Wakefield, had altered some of the study’s results. No matter. There are still many, many people who vocally insist that there is a vaccine/autism link. Unfortunately, some of those people are celebrities.

Why do we continually focus on what celebrities say about things like this? Because they have a large audience, and their reach extends much farther than reliable sources like Health Day News. Because they write books under the guise that they have some sort of “expert” opinion on the subject and convince hordes of people to believe their outlandish claims. Because they’re dangerous.

These findings should provide solid support for pediatricians and family physicians in their discussions with parents about the benefits and risks of immunization, said Dr. Carrie Byington, a professor of pediatrics and vice dean of academic affairs and faculty development at the University of Utah College of Medicine.

In an editorial, Byington noted “recent medical school graduates have reported themselves more skeptical of the safety and effectiveness of vaccines than did older graduates.” That is alarming. The mass, uniformed paranoia is working – on future doctors, too?

“I’m hopeful younger physicians who have not seen the devastating vaccine preventable infections may see the data and strengthen their will to communicate the importance of vaccines to parents,” Byington said.

We live in a time when, thanks to vaccines, we haven’t seen the devastating effects of outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses. But apparently that is causing many people to underestimate how devastating they are – and how important vaccines are to the health of a population. I find it hard to believe that one totally debunked study of 12 children could have the devastating effects that Wakefield’s study has. The anti-vaxx movement is vocal and certain celebrities serving as a mouthpiece does not help.

(Image: Twitter)