More proof–as though more were needed–that the anti-vaccination movement is built on misinformation, disinformation, bad science, ignorance, and outright lies:
A major study published in one of the world’s leading medical journals has concluded that there is no link between the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination and autism in children.
The findings from the study of a cohort of around 95,000 children will not surprise most scientists, who have been reassuring parents of the jab’s safety for 17 years, since the publication of now discredited research by the gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield.
But the belief that autism and vaccinations are linked continues to cause many parents to decide against having their children immunised. As a result there have been avoidable measles outbreaks, including one in the US last year, which began in Disneyland in California in December and led to school closures and quarantine measures. In all, 159 children were diagnosed with measles across 18 states. The repercussions continue, as US doctors attempt to bring in legislation to prevent parents opting out of vaccination for their children on the grounds of “personal belief”, while activists accuse scientists of being in the pockets of drug companies.
The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Jama). It sought to find out whether children who had older siblings with autism and therefore were at higher risk than most, were more likely to develop an autistic spectrum disorder themselves after having the MMR jab. They found no association between the jab and autism, even among the high-risk children, and regardless of whether they had just the first shot, under the age of two, or the booster as well at around the age of five.
This should be enough–indeed, this should be more than enough–to totally and completely discredit the anti-vaccination movement. But short of having loved ones actually get sick because of a failure to vaccinate, it seems to be impossible to make the crazies who populate the movement see reason.