The Doctor Who Fooled The World Into Thinking Vaccines Cause Autism
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

The Doctor Who Fooled The World Into Thinking Vaccines Cause Autism

The man who started this assertion was actually paid by lawyers.

1037
The Doctor Who Fooled The World Into Thinking Vaccines Cause Autism
https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-syringe-3786166/

Measles was once declared eradicated in the United States due to a highly effective vaccination program. However, when the assertion of "vaccines cause autism" became prevalent, significantly less number of parents were vaccinating their children against measles, causing the disease to re-emerge and eventually causing deaths due to unvaccinated U.S. residents traveling internationally. Measles is now one of the leading vaccine-preventable diseases caused by death.

So, how did we go from not a single case of measles in the United States for at least twelve consecutive months to hundreds of cases a year?

It all started from a 1998 peer-reviewed medical article written by a British surgeon, Andrew Wakefield, and it consisted of a study that he did with only twelve children, most of which he selected himself. A true medical study includes at least hundreds of people who volunteered to be part of the study, and the people in it needs to be randomized to represent a wide variety of races and genders. Instead of conducting the study out of true intentions for the betterment of the world, Wakefield was being paid by lawyers who were suing over alleged vaccine injuries. Not only that, the children in his study were the children of the parents suing, and he treated them unethically. This raised concerns that led to the lost Wakefield's medical license, and ultimately, the retraction of his study from the British Medical Journal.

Unfortunately, his assertion of "vaccines cause autism" is still prevalent to this very day.

More and more people suffer from measles over the years. In 2004, there were only 37 cases of measles in the U.S., but by 2014, that number raised to 667. In the following year, in January of 2015, an outbreak in Disneyland caused 111 cases, which were 59% of the cases that year. The U.S. ended up with a total of 188 cases by the end of 2015. Although these numbers decreased from the year 2014 to 2015, the U.S reported 375 cases in 2018, the second largest number of cases of measles since it was eradicated in 2000, with 667 cases in 2014 being the first. And to think, there was not a single case of measles in the U.S. for at least twelve consecutive months back when it was eradicated, but since then, the U.S. has seen nearly 3,000 cases since 2001.

Measles could still have been eradicated in the U.S by now if it weren't for parents choosing not to vaccinate their children against the disease, and instead, choosing to believe in Wakefield's assertion of "vaccines cause autism". The link between vaccines and the eradication of a disease doesn't only pertain to the measles vaccine and the disease itself. You don't hear on the news about many of the diseases that we have been vaccinated against since we were children. "Thanks to widespread vaccination, the United States has been polio-free since 1979," and smallpox has been eliminated in the U.S. since the 1950s.

But the elimination of a disease doesn't have to stop there. Any disease can be eliminated if there is a vaccine available for it. The most obvious example would be COVID-19. If enough people, not only in the U.S. but also worldwide, were to get the COVID-19 vaccine, cases would be significantly less than what it is now, and we would see a continued decline in cases throughout the following months and years. However, vaccine hesitancy is still prevalent, with the assertion of "vaccines cause autism" still being one of the many concerns even though it's not a valid concern.

Report this Content
Featured

Haunted Houses For Halloween In New Jersey

The Top Scariest Haunted Houses In New Jersey

7210

Residing in New Jersey enables you to participate in various activities, and everyone has a favorite. In New Jersey, Halloween is also celebrated in a spooky way. There are many scariest haunted houses in NJ to celebrate Halloween. If you want to confront your greatest fears, Halloween Scariest haunted houses are ideal.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Leaving My Backpack In The Library

Views about society and the stranger sitting right across from me

51201
https://unsplash.com/photos/O0T1SIgHAfM

As a college student, my backpack is an extension of myself in many ways. It contains my notes, pens, and computer vital for my success in college. It contains the snacks and water bottle I need to survive long days on campus. It also contains the "in-case" items that help put my mind at rest if I forgot something from home: extra hair ties, masks, and that backup-backup snack. With so much in my backpack important to me and my life on campus, it is no wonder that I can get apprehensive about it when it is not with me or in my line of sight. And that makes me wonder.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

5 Cool Gadgets To Make Your Car Smart

Don't let this stop you from making your car smart. You can change the one you have using smart gadgets that transform your car into a smart car.

108921

Cars are no longer just a mode of transport, where you only worry about the engine and how beautiful its interior is. These days, everyone wants to make their cars smarter, those with advanced technology systems. It makes sense for several reasons. It can make your vehicle more efficient and safer when you need to drive.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Inevitable Truth of Loss

You're going to be okay.

129173

As we humans face loss and grief on a daily basis, it's challenging to see the good in all the change. Here's a better perspective on how we can deal with this inevitable feeling and why it could help us grow.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

'Venom: Let There Be Carnage' Film Review

Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson lead a tigher, more fun sequel to 2018's 'Venom'

105278
Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FmWuCgJmxo

When Sony announced that Venom would be getting a stand-alone movie, outside of the Tom Holland MCU Spider-Man films, and intended to start its own separate shared universe of films, the reactions were generally not that kind. Even if Tom Hardy was going to take on the role, why would you take Venom, so intrinsically connected to Spider-Man's comic book roots, and remove all of that for cheap action spectacle?

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments