Scientists Announce Vaccines Still Don’t Cause Autism, And Also, The Sky Is Blue
Brace yourselves, anti-vaxxers: science is coming. And you’re not going to like what it has to say.
Vocativ reports that, according to an enormous epidemiological study of 95,000 children published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, there is absolutely no connection between getting any combination of measles, mumps, or rubella vaccines and developing autism at a later date. Zip! Zero! Zilch! Also, if you’re playing along at home, this investigation included 94,988 more subjects than Andrew Wakefield’s fraudulent and thoroughly-retracted, meticulously-debunked 1998 ‘study’ that originally suggested a link between vaccination and autism.
The researchers involved in this latest study also specifically investigated children from families with a history of autism, but even in this high-risk group, there was no correlation between vaccination and the development of autism.
But despite the size and scope of this study, and of course all the resources that must have been diverted from the Department of Whether Or Not Bears Shit In The Woods, it’s unlikely it’s going to change any anti-vaxxer minds. Fifteen years of studies dismantling Wakefield’s spurious claims haven’t made a dent in their (il)logic–it doesn’t matter how big the study is or how clear the science is. Vaccines sound scary, so they must be scary. QED.
So, really, who cares what they think? This research should only serve to underline the importance of any attempts, like California’s SB 277, to close unnecessary ‘personal belief’ exemption loopholes to mandatory vaccinations. People don’t get personal belief exemptions to seat belt or car seat laws, they don’t get personal belief exemptions to smoking indoors where that’s illegal, and they shouldn’t get personal belief exemptions on the public health issue of vaccines, either.
The science is in and it’s not exactly open to interpretation: vaccines save lives and improve them. Yes, improve them: however much you’re enjoying binge-watching Daredevil on Netflix, the variety of ‘blind’ kids can end up with from chickenpox or measles does not come with vigilante superpowers, unlike the kind that comes from getting hit by a truck of radioactive chemicals.
For those who have bought into the anti-science conspiracy theories, there’s no amount of data researchers can produce that will sell them on the idea that vaccination really is in our best interest as a society–not to mention as parents. A study could present the radical notion that water is wet or that, yes, it appears that the Pope really is Catholic, and they’d take that as further proof that the opposite is true. But for those of us who have to live in the real world, this study is just more fodder for what we’ve already known for a long time: vaccines are a Good Thing.
(Image: RidvanArda / Getty)