Tag: antivaccine

Dr. Andy Wakefield photographed at home in Austin, Texas. Wakefield is a physician best known for his controversial work on autism.  (Photo by David Howells/Corbis via Getty Images)

The Pathological Optimist: More hagiography than documentary about Andrew Wakefield

The Pathological Optimist is a recently released documentary by Miranda Bailey about Andrew Wakefield that I got a chance to see. In interviews and in the film's promotional materials, Bailey takes great pains to emphasize that she "doesn't take a side" about Wakefield. Unfortunately, her film demonstrates that, when it comes to pseudoscience, "not taking a side" is taking a side, and...

/ October 9, 2017
Flu vaccine

The influenza vaccine and miscarriages: Much ado about nothing

A study published on Wednesday claims to have found a link between influenza vaccination and miscarriage, and antivaxers are gloating. The study itself suffers mightily from post hoc subgroup analyses on small numbers, so much so that even its authors don’t really believe its results. None of that stopped them from publishing the study, thus justifying "more research" that will almost certainly...

/ September 15, 2017
SIDS

No, a Vaccine Court ruling does not show that vaccines cause SIDS

There was a rumbling in the antivaccine underground over the weekend about a recent ruling by the Vaccine Court compensating parents of a child who died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In a confused and scientifically highly flawed decision, the Special Master Thomas Gowen didn't rule that vaccines cause SIDS, but did rule that they contributed to SIDS in this one...

/ August 21, 2017
CDC Headquarters

Trump’s new CDC Director is very pro-vaccine, but was she also at one time a quack?

On Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Tom Price announced the appointment of Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald to head the CDC. Reassuringly, her record as Georgia Public Health Commissioner was pro-vaccine and relatively non-ideological. Not so reassuringly, a news report yesterday found that before entering public service she was peddling anti-aging quackery at her private practice. Where will her balance fall now...

/ July 10, 2017
If you were to believe antivaxers, you'd think that they're doing Cersei's walk of atonement (complete with a priestess chanting, "Shame! Shame! Shame!") every day. But is this true?

Does society try to shame and shun vaccine refusers and the vaccine-averse?

Antivaxers often complain that they are judged harshly, even shunned. A recent study suggests that, to some extent, they might well be. But are judging, shaming, and shunning parents who refuse to vaccinate their children wrong? More importantly, what about the children, who didn’t choose not to be vaccinated, and how likely is such stigmatization to change behavior?

/ June 12, 2017
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Corrigendum. The Week in Review for 05/14/2017.

The week in review. Measles cases climb in Minnesota; Texas is jealous. Koala and rabbit abuse. FDA suggesting pseudo-medicine? And more.

/ May 14, 2017
MMR vaccine

Two (now retracted) studies purporting to show that vaccinated children are sicker than unvaccinated children show nothing of the sort

Antivaccine websites have been touting two recently published studies as strong evidence that vaccinated children are less healthy than unvaccinated children. The studies are so flawed that they show nothing of the sort. Even more hilariously, the bottom-feeding predatory open access journal that published them appears to have retracted them.

/ May 11, 2017
Somali Women

Outbreaks among Somali immigrants in Minnesota: Thanks for the measles again, Andy

Andrew Wakefield's antivaccine propaganda film VAXXED claims that MMR vaccination causes autism in African American boys. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Wakefield has targeted people of color with antivaccine misinformation. Before there was VAXXED, Wakefield and antivaxers targeted Somali immigrants in Minnesota. Measles outbreaks have been the result.

/ April 24, 2017
MMR Coverage California

California SB 277: New evidence that restricting nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine requirements works

The 2016-2017 kindergarten numbers are in. SB 277, the new California law banning personal belief exemptions to school vaccine requirements, works as intended. Early numbers show that vaccine uptake has increased, and personal belief exemptions are down dramatically.

/ April 16, 2017
NASA's_Hubble_Finds_Life_is_Too_Fast,_Too_Furious_for_This_Runaway_Galaxy_(12952512944)

Corrigendum. The Week in Review. 03/26/2017

Death from naturopathy. Cows and soldiers have a similar problem. Pseudo-medicines never die. Chiropractic complications. And more.

/ March 26, 2017