With all the concern about swine flu, not to mention the regular flu (hey, remember that?), conversation about the potential dangers of vaccinating our children is bubbling up again.
Jeanne posted an item earlier this week, pegged to a story on Slate, about how non-vaccinated children can have a potentially negative impact on children whose immune systems are compromised by leukemia or other conditions. Shelley Abreu also wrote this piece right here on Babble about why parents should not be afraid to get their children an H1N1 flu vaccine.
But one of the most candid, no b.s. media reports on the anti-vaccination movement has to be the cover story of November’s Wired magazine. Let’s put it this way: when Jenny McCarthy reads it, she will not be pleased.
The story — entitled “An Epidemic of Fear” — very clearly states that vaccines do not cause autism, a fact that is at odds with the messages that come from McCarthy, her organization, Generation Rescue, and similar organizations, like Austism One.
To break it down further, writer Amy Wallace clearly states that there is no scientific evidence of a cause-effect link between vaccines and autism. She also notes that the idea that vaccines are no longer necessary is a falsehood; in fact, they only seem unnecessary because they’ve succeeded so well at eradicating disease. And she points out that, while allergic reactions to vaccines do happen, they are so rare that they are statistically insignificant.
One of the sidebars that accompanies the story even goes so far as to identify “the misinformants,” the well-known people who have crusaded against vaccinations and, in Wallace’s estimation, planted seeds of doubt where they don’t belong. Among those misinformants? McCarthy beau Jim Carrey, Joe Scarborough, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and, yes, McCarthy.
The piece makes some very convincing arguments and is worth a read. I’m particularly curious to hear how people who consider themselves “anti-vaccine” react to this story. Did reading it change your mind, or do you think the Wired article doesn’t present a full enough picture of the issue?
Image: Wired magazine