The medias MMR hoax(10 Posts)
I so agree with part of that link -- about how the media is resposible for feeding, building and perpetuating a scare story, anyway.
But, I knew a lot of people in 1999-2000 -- before the BadScience article claims things got really hot and bothered -- who were concerned about MMR. So it's not entirely a good description of all the history.
I think its a matter of scientific education of the general public. Vacinations do carry risks, but the risk of having the diseases is rather greater.
Whether the MMR causes autism, I have no idea. However I am sure that mealses can damage the brain in such a way to mimic autism. Certainly mealses can lead to mengenitis.
In fact I know of a lovely young boy who was brain damaged by mengentitis at the age of 8. He is a lovely little boy, but he has virtually no speech. He will never live independently or be able to hold down a job. Its very tradgic.
Even if the MMR has caused autism in 12 kids out of a million, but has probably saved more kids from major disablity or death.
Agree with flack.
I was bothered about it with dd1 and that was 1992.
I think that the MMR media debate has done no favours to anyone, pro- or anti-vaccination.
To me, the issue is not MMR and autism, but a more general issue with regard to the amount and necessity of the vaccinations given. I would like to see more people question what we inject into our children, but this would really be helped by some honesty and openness from the medical profession, who really do themselves no favours.
Having read JimJams (a scientist to doctorate level iirr) on the subject, I thought that article itself did exactly what it (correctly) accuses other media coverage of doing - over-simplifying what Wakefield actually said. Which was not, in blanket terms, 'MMR causes autism'.
Interesting on the Leo aspect though.
"In the US, the major vaccine fear has been around the use of a preservative called thiomersal, although somehow this hasnt caught on here, even though that same preservative was used in Britain."
This part isn't entirely true either. It was withdrawn from use over here a few years ago (2004 IIRC) because of concerns about brain damage.
I really want Ben G to do a live chat on here, possibly a head-to-head debate with jimjams. I think it would be really interesting. I have heard BG say that he rather admires Wakefield and thinks that he has been scapegoated.
It may be over simplyfying to say that Dr Wakefield said 'MMR causes 'autism'' but why did he say anything at all when he knew that the lab results for measles had come back as negative (in the guts of the children subjected to investigative surgery) rather than positive as he claimed? This interesting fact was mentioned in a US case which examined the evidence for vaccine causition theories incl. thimersol et al. Thimersoal is a mercury based preservative essential to preserving vaccine in climates/countries where fridges are luxuries.The amount of mercury is extremely small. By contrast Mercury is present in the atmosphere in much larger quantities and is present in breastmilk for this reason - also in mascara for some bizarre reason. Mercury is used in some complementary/traditional medicines. Mercury poisoning presents different symptoms from autism.
The government could have handled the whole thing a lot better. I had a number of friends with autistic children who were worried that the MMR might have caused it (symptom onset coincided with the jab), long before I had dd in 1999. When the subject came up in the first few months of my pregnancy, I thought there'd be no problem as I could always opt for the singles which GPs were happy to give. By the time dd was born, the gov had banned GPs from giving singles jabs and forbidden anyone in the NHS from even discussing them. A lot of people took this as a sign of a possible cover-up. By then, enough kids had had the singles, and within a few years enough had had no vaccination at all so that there were easily enough kids around to compare all the groups (MMR, singles, nothing) for the frequency of autism in each. However, the gov wouldn't even talk about alternatives and told everyone that they were putting their kids at risk if they didn't have the MMR, using horribly inflammatory language - and of course, if you could have easily got the singles then you wouldn't have been putting your kids at risk in any real sense. The gov were utterly stupid and paved the way to engender distrust of anything they or their 'henchmen' (CMO etc) said thereafter.
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