According to NBC News, the outbreak, which killed 10 infants and sickened more than 9,000 others, was the worst the state has seen in 60 years.
A study released Monday in the medical journal Pediatrics analyzed the outbreak pattern and tracked the number of children whose parents filed for “non-medical exemptions” from the state’s vaccination program. Non-medical exemptions are given to families whose children are well enough to tolerate the vaccine, but who refuse to administer it to them anyway for religious or other reasons.
The California Department of Health identified 39 statistically significant geographic clusters of families seeking non-medical exemptions and two major zones of whooping cough cases. According to the data, non-medical exemption families were 2.5 times more likely to also live in an outbreak zone.
goddamn you jenny!!!!(via yeahiwasintheshit)
In today’s “No shit, Sherlock” news…
…So, we’re agreed that vaccines are potential money-makers for pharmaceutical companies (though, comparatively, not a lot). Let’s look now at those who started the most recent iteration of vaccine panic, including Andrew Wakefield. Wakefield is the British doctor whose study first drew an association between the measles/mumps/rubella (“MMR”) vaccine and autism. Except, first of all, it really didn’t if you look at the original article. And, you might note that article has a big “RETRACTED” notice at the top. This means that the journal took away its support of the paper–it shows that it never should have been published. That’s because, for that study and several others, Wakefield lied about data, unethically recruited test subjects, and/or just outright made shit up. Why might he do this? Well, a British lawyer had paid him to find evidence of this connection between MMR and autism, so that the lawyer could sue on behalf of the parents. Oh, and did I mention that Wakefield stood to make money for a replacement for the MMR vaccine as well? Follow the money indeed–though in this case, it didn’t lead to the pharmaceutical companies. Wakefield was tried in England and stripped of his medical license, but has since moved to the United States and still spreads misinformation about vaccines.
What about other anti-vaccine players? Jenny McCarthy has made millions selling books about how she “cured” her son Evan of his autism. Joseph Mercola makes millions selling dietary supplements (untested and largely unregulated, by the way), and lives in a two million dollar mansion. I know you’ve criticized creationists; well, these people are the creationists of the medical field. They distort, they cherry-pick their evidence, and they cause the public to lose confidence in credentialed scientists because of their writings. Credentialed scientists like myself, who carry out the vast majority of this research but certainly don’t live in million-dollar homes.
"Remember, the Death Star’s power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force." - The White House