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Saturday, April 13, 2013

MMR, measles and new myths

The posting of a position statement by the current editor of the South Wales Evening Post justifying their campaign over a decade ago against the MMR vaccine was extraordinary enough, but the latest development in a saga that has now led to nearly 700 cases of measles in the wider Swansea area is just breath-taking.

According to the Independent the man who started the controversy in the first place, Andrew Wakefield has now stepped into the fray with the unbelievable claim that this outbreak justifies his stance.

To be honest it is difficult to follow his argument, but it seems he believes that the decision by the authorities to prevent the importation of the single measles vaccine meant that there was no alternative for parents who were too scared to give their child the MMR jabs because of the publicity generated by Mr. Wakefield and the Evening Post amongst others.

Commonsense tells us that the real cause of the outbreak is insufficient take-up of an effective vaccine as a result of panic generated by now-discredited science. Mr. Wakefield may have made a new life for himself in the USA but surely even he must see that he is on the wrong side of the argument and that he is better shutting up and saying nothing rather than attracting attention to himself once more.
I was surprised at the space which the Indy gave to a discredited and now struck-off doctor. The Post, too, could have saved its newsprint for all the good its "apology" did.

In theory, their assertion that taking separate vaccinations provide as good immunity as the triple vaccine is valid but, in practice, how many mothers take their offspring for a stressful procedure time and time again? MMR is effective because it requires only two injections, a couple of years apart.
"... Andrew Wakefield has now stepped into the fray with the unbelievable claim that this outbreak justifies his stance."

That's essentially the global warming argument too vis-à-vis 'global warming' - but the scientific illiterate don't see it and so support a spurious 'scientific' argument.

For example, the increase in ice around Antarctica is also caused by 'global warming'; that cold weather is caused by 'global warming', etc.

As Andrew Neil recently suggested - there's no way of responding to that. I would say: such arguments are nonsensical and breathtaking in their scope

- But hey as Sagan once said:

"We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology."

Which for the most part is the state of affairs among Welsh Assembly Members - there was a chemist or sorts - but he made a special study of C2H5OH.
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