Nov 052013

I was recently directed to a video that purports that “CDC Chief Admits that Vaccines Trigger Autism.” It’s interesting that the video does nothing of the sort. In fact it takes the normal scientific practice of describing what happened and what we know, and then makes outrageous claims completely unsupported by the statement. This is the same sort of tactic that global warming deniers use to claim science has no idea what’s causing the current climate change (and previously used to claim that we didn’t even know if any change was occuring).


Her words, from transcript:

“my understanding is that the child has a — what we think is a rare mitochondrial disorder. And children that have this disease, anything that stresses them creates a situation where their cells just can’t make enough energy to keep their brains functioning normally. Now, we all know that vaccines can occasionally cause fevers in kids. So if a child was immunized, got a fever, had other complications from the vaccines. And if you’re predisposed with the mitochondrial disorder, it can certainly set off some damage.”

The title of the video is so misleading that it borders on “outright lie”. Dr Gerberding, speaking with Sanjay Gupta, says that a certain disorder can lead to cells not creating enough energy to support the brain, and that this is exacerbated by stress on the body. She acknowledges that a fever is one such stressor (obviously) and that a mild fever is a well-known side-effect of vaccination.

To go from this to “CDC Admits Vaccines Trigger Autism” is as bad as “B. Hussien Obama Admits He Wants To Destroy America”. Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Chicken Pox, Polio, etc are all much greater stressors than a fever is. And it’s unlikely that the child could avoid any fever or similar stress for their entire childhood.

But far more important than any of these – this type of genetic disorder is EXACTLY why everyone should be getting the vaccine! There are some children who cannot be vaccinated against these early killer diseases – precisely because they have rare disorders or compromised immune systems (or are simply too young). Everyone who can get the vaccines should do so, so that the children who can’t get them will still be protected by herd immunity. How the heck is this video being used as ammo for the denialists when it should be a shining example of why wide-spread vaccination is awesomely important?

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