Another blow to the anti-vaccination nutters

The Daily Beast reports:

Yet another group of studies shows vaccines have very low risk of side effects—and no link to autism. When will anti-vaxxers finally wake up?

Probably never. They’re like the anti-fluoride brigade. A local example is former Green MP Sue Kedgley:

Health officials and the medical establishment have decided that vaccination is such an essential public health tool that New Zealanders should simply accept its benefits without question, and have even implied that the unvaccinated are a risk to the health of society. At the same time they have dismissed those who question or oppose it, as dangerous, extreme and irresponsible.

Only because they are.

My own interest in vaccination began when I gave birth to my son 14 years ago. Whether or not to vaccinate our children was a hot topic at our regular mother’s group meetings, but eventually I had my son vaccinated.

Shortly after receiving his triple MMR vaccine at 15 months, he developed a horrendous incident of croup — to the point where he was taken to the emergency department. He subsequently developed a weakness in the chest which led to childhood asthma, which fortunately, through my various remedies, he has managed to shake off.

At the time I said to my doctor, I am certain the croup was triggered by the vaccination, but the doctor dismissed my suggestion as ludicrous, and certainly never forwarded it as an adverse reaction to the Centre for Adverse Reactions, which records significant adverse reactions to vaccination. I was convinced it was, however, and my son has never received another vaccination since.

It’s like the father who is convinced his child’s cancer was caused by the wifi network at their school.

I discovered, to my horror, that 23 vaccines, including vaccines that were given to babies, used thiomersal — a substance that is 50% mercury, one of the most toxic substances.

Kedgley does what most anti science nutters do. She refers to the presence of toxins, without mentioning their level. They may be at less than one thousandeth the safe level, but hey who cares about science.

Given these adverse reactions, and the acknowledged risks of vaccinations, it is alarming that the government has been quietly increasing the number of vaccinations our children receive before they are five, without any public debate or inquiry.

So this Green MP was against kids having more vaccinations.

Green Party policy today is very nuanced on vaccinations it seems because:

Our official position is influenced by the fact that we do not have a firm policy on it as we don’t have consensus from our members.

Anyway back to the main article:

The AHRQ study played out like this: 20,478 articles or meeting abstracts were identified by an electronic dragnet, of which 3,208 had enough about vaccine safety to warrant a closer look. These were really clawed through and mostly discarded for faulty (or absent) study design, missing information, or else use of non-US approved vaccines. Once whittled down, they were left with 67 studies—typical fallout in the world of the systematic review, though one that sometimes raises questions from those first hearing of the approach.

They then worked through a rating system that quantified just how good the evidence, pro or con, was for each vaccine of interest: measles-mumps-rubella (often called MMR) which uses weakened though still-live viruses; the chicken pox vaccine (ditto); and killed or genetically engineered vaccines against influenza, hepatitis, meningitis, and several other conditions.

After all the rigmarole, they found what any pediatrician already knew: the MMR causes fever. Fever, in a child, can provoke seizures. They found zero evidence to support a connection between MMR and autism or other neurologic problems.

Zero evidence. Zip.

Indeed, there is nothing surprising about the AHRQ article or the IOM’s review. Rather, the surprise is that groups as important and as busy continue to re-re-re-review the same data to reach the same conclusions, all because of the relentless countervailing force of the anti-vaccine crowd.

Because they never give up. They have a world view that Gaia made us all perfect and we should never let science interfere with Gaia’s grand plan – even if that means kids dying of preventable illnesses.

But nothing the scientific, evidenced-based, reality-based, rational world can do will change the minds of those who are not working from the same basic premise where science trumps belief. For them and millions of others, belief trumps science. To try to win them over on the merits of the argument is doomed to failure and even derision: the accusations that the latest study is rigged, that the scientists involved actually are only “scientists,” that the real evidence, long suppressed by the orthodox view, shows clear and incontrovertible evidence that vaccines are killing and maiming people left and right.

Very familiar.

I suggest people attend their local Meet The Candidate meetings and ask them for their views on vaccinations. If they start spouting nonsense about how they cause autism, and there is a conspiracy – then that makes it easy – don;t vote for them or their party.

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