Andrew Wakefield, Autism, and Vaccines

I’ll try to be more upbeat on next week’s video, but in the meantime, let’s talk about Andrew “Callous, Unethical, and Dishonest” Wakefield:

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. So when is Jenny McCarthy going to retract all her bullshit?

    When is Oprah going to have a show on all this deception and retract the earlier show?

  2. Jenny McCarthy will never retract anything. She just see this as a sign that she needs to double her efforts. The media really needs to out her as the quack that she is instead being a soapbox for her.

  3. It’s a well worded and concise response. However, your argument has one critical mistake. You are relying on the rational thought process of you opponent. You’re assuming that Adrenarralyn would change her opinion when given new information. However, she knew that vaccines were bad, even before she had any information. No amount of studies or results well make a bit of difference.

    I recommend that we make a concerted effort to replace one crackpot theory with another crazy, but less harmful theory. How about eating blue-fin tuna, and only blue-fin tuna, causes autism? The crazies will get their vaccines, and the over-exploitation of blue-fin tuna populations will decrease. Or how about taking elevators causes autism? The nutters get both vaccines and exercise.


  4. Took my two-month old son in for vaccinations yesterday. He rolled over front to back last night. He also slept for 8 hours, all the way through the night.

    Based on this, the only conclusion I can come to is that his vaccinations gave him superpowers! By my calculations, he should be able to fly when he’s 14 months, as long as I take him back for his boosters.

  5. @Chimbley Sweep: COTW, seconded. Vaccinations give you superpowers! :-)

    @Holytape: It’s true, most anti-vaxxers have too much emotional investment to pay attention to rational, reasonable arguments against their position. I love your “taking elevators causes autism” argument, tho. Vaccines and exercise, win-win!

  6. I always feel like doing a cliche slow but increasing in speed clapping as though we’re in some 80’s teen drama or a 90’s after school special. That’s right, I love these videos so much, I’d have to go retro to express my love for them.

  7. @Berlzebub: Our little guy has always been a good sleeper. Lots of 5-6 hour sleeping times in the first two months. We just got lucky. Also, we use a product called the Amby (along with co-sleeping on a positioner). The Amby is a baby hammock, and he loves it. YMMV.

    (I am in no way connected to Amby. Just a dad who likes to sleep.)

  8. Wow. That age of autism article is so loaded with bullshit, I can taste it. I posted a reply, but given that their comments are moderated, I’m sure it’ll be deleted soon enough.

  9. Thanks Rebecca. Concise and rational. It is too bad that so much time and so many resources are being wasted on the anti-vaccine movement when we should be be focusing on a cure and the true cause of autistic disorders.

  10. Very well said. VERY well said. In fact … may I utilize this video in my practice? Though I refer to Wakefield and Offit and all the significant villians and heros as I talk with my patients, multiple approaches and multiple media ( Offit’s book , Wallace’s article, and hopefully this ) all reinforce my message.

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