Tag: vaccines

Aluminum in cells

Move over, Christopher Shaw, there’s a new antivaccine scientist in town

Move over, Christopher Shaw, there's a new antivaccine scientist dedicated to demonizing aluminum adjuvants in town. His name is Christopher Exley. He's got a fluorescence microscope, and he's not afraid to use it.

/ December 4, 2017

Science Moms Fight Fears with Facts

A new documentary takes a novel approach. It features scientist moms who are just like other moms except that they understand the science. They set the record straight about GMOs, vaccines, and other subjects of interest to parents. They provide the facts to counteract unreasonable fears.

/ November 28, 2017

Torturing mice, data, and figures in the name of antivaccine pseudoscience

In September, antivaccine "researchers" Christopher Shaw and Lucija Tomljenovic published a study claiming to link aluminum adjuvants in vaccines to neuroinflammation and autism. Naturally, the antivaccine movement pointed to it as slam dunk evidence that vaccines cause autism. It's not. In fact, not only is it bad science, but it might well be fraudulent.

/ October 30, 2017

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

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

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

Fun with Spanish Flu Myths

There are many myths about the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. Some of them are pretty funny.

/ June 20, 2017

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

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

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