Vaccine injury does occur, albeit extremely rarely. You can choke on an apple, fall and hit your head walking to the kitchen, or die from something completely weird.
Life is about minimizing risks like these, and vaccines absolutely help us do that.
There is overwhelming evidence for the safety of vaccines. It’s not even a question. Vaccines are extremely safe, very effective, and absolutely do not cause Autism. The entire vaccine-autism link was first purported by Andrew Wakefield in 1998 in a flawed paper that has since been retracted. Ever since, the anti-vaccine crowd has used Wakefield’s discredited study as proof of a vaccine-autism link. What these science denialists don’t seem to understand is that science works by being able to replicate your results. When scientists tried to do so, including a study of over one million children, they were unable to observe any link between vaccines and autism.
In other it’s-funny-only-because-I’m-trying-to-keep-from-crying news, anti-vaccine proponents fail to realize that Wakefield is an even bigger liar than meets the eye. Wakefield wanted to villainize the MMR vaccine by alleging a link to autism so he could sell his own measles vaccine. A journalist found the patent Wakefield filed just one year before his debunked paper was published.
Not only did Wakefield inadvertently start the anti-vaccine movement, but he is trying to profit from the entire experience with his documentary Vaxxed (Skeptical Raptor has a fantastic breakdown of the “film”). It’s important to remember that documentaries are not research, are not peer-reviewed, and often hold their own biases. That’s not to say that all documentaries are worthless, just consider the source and the source’s interest.
Wakefield is directly responsible for children getting sick and dying from vaccine preventable illnesses.
Despite rigorous safety testing, some individuals do have reactions to vaccines. While most are relatively benign, some do cause life-long disabilities. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund was created to address this. But even their own data shows that with over 2.5 billion doses of vaccines administered, the fund has only paid awards to just over 3,000 individuals. Many of these cases are settled outside of court, and even then there may not necessarily be direct evidence that a vaccine caused the injury. That puts the chance of having an adverse reaction at around 0.00000086%. For comparison, you have a much higher chance of being struck by lightning than being injured by a vaccine.
The other argument pro-diseasers make is the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database. This is an incredibly unreliable system and is not considered to be valid evidence. Some adverse events that were actually accepted include the flu vaccine turning one person into The Incredible Hulk and a vaccine causing someone to get into a motor vehicle accident (with “life threatening” bumps and bruises three months after the vaccination, but didn’t require a hospital stay). The VAERS argument is complete bunk.
So let’s pretend that vaccines do cause autism for a moment. They fucking don’t, but just humor me for a minute. What the anti-vaccine/science denier is saying is that they would rather have a dead child than a child with autism. Think about that.
In the video below, Inside Edition reported that former cheerleader Desiree Jennings claimed she suffered a reaction after receiving a flu vaccine. Desiree claimed she had Dystonia, which is a rare neurological movement disorder. As a result, she could walk backwards or run, but not walk normally.
Spoiler alert: she lied.
Perhaps more concerning than her outright lie is Desiree’s claim that she was cured by an osteopath named Rashid Buttar, who runs the Center for Advanced Medicine and Clinical Research™ (which he himself trademarked). An Osteopath is a doctor of osteopathic medicine, who practices seamlessly alongside other physicians and surgeons in all specialties. In other countries, a DO (or doctor of osteopathy) can be a mail-order diploma from unaccredited outfits. Some are known for promoting woo, just like some regular doctors do (Dr. Oz, for example), but the danger comes when they go beyond the scope of science and push nonsense, like Desiree’s osteopath did.
Buttar claimed that he reversed Desiree’s symptoms within 48 hours of treatment, which included therapy using a hyperbaric chamber and intravenous injections of nutrients. Like the video says, these treatments are expensive, unproven, and ineffective.
The danger of stories like this (and osteopaths like Buttar) is that they perpetuate myths about vaccines, autism, and “alternative” medicine. Sites like Vactruth.comhappily share nonsense like this and tailor it to suit their pro-disease narrative. This doesn’t just waste people’s money, but also creates fear and distrust of modern medicine. This can lead to people denying actual medicine in favor of things like naturopathy, which has resulted in needless deaths.
Watch the video. After filming her behaving normally, they approached her in a parking lot and her explanation was less than stellar:
Knowing that it’s fake makes me feel completely okay laughing at this dubstep version of the video.