Humint Events Online: Too Much Hyperbole Around Vaccines

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Too Much Hyperbole Around Vaccines

I'm really not sure who is worse, the anti-vaccine crowd or the anti-anti-vaccine crowd, in terms of knee-jerk name-calling and lack of balance and intellectual rigor. But if I had to choose, I would say probably the latter, in terms of the ridiculous crap they throw out regularly at the "anti-vaxxers".

To wit, this headline:

"16 Years Ago, A Doctor Published A Study. It Was Completely Made Up, And It Made Us All Sicker."

Which refers to the famous Wakefield paper, in which Dr. Wakefield made only the faintest claim about a link between autism and vaccines, and it wasn't even the main point of the paper.

The paper was NOT made up, there was no significant issue with ethics in the paper-- it was retracted due an orchestrated smear campaign by the pro-vaccine crowd, that drove Wakefield out of medicine and ruined his career. The whole controversy is massive and I don't have time to go through everything here. The whole Wakefield saga is pretty interesting and instructive, but the main point here is the ridiculously false headline and the misleading story in the linked article.


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