Anti-vaccine authors have successfully hired a room at the University of Minnesota. This isn’t an especially impressive or interesting development – I just couldn’t think how else to start this post. The book symposium will take place next January.
The symposium is being sponsored by Skyhorse Publishing, experienced in publishing “books on sports, flyfishing, nature and history” (an obvious choice for anyone who has written a scholarly tome on medical matters – as I’m sure Andrew Wakefield would tell you). The other sponsors are The Holland Center (a treatment centre which offers biomedical interventions such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, nutrition consulting and allergy testing), CADE (a local non-profit organisation), The Canary Party, Age of Autism and Health Choice (you may notice some overlap between the last three groups and the list of authors).
The minimum ticket price appears to be $25 but this does include one of the ten books being promoted (for $99 dollars you get a ticket and enough books to remedy up to ten wonky tables).
Anti-vaccinationists have made a wide range of claims about the dangers of vaccines. In spite of the fact that they have generally had neither data nor a plausible mechanism for the claimed effect, several of their claims have been investigated by researchers.
As it turns out, the anti-vaccinationists are remarkably consistent. Time and time again, they are shown to be wrong. I’m not sure how many times a group needs to be wrong before people stop seeing them as credible. Perhaps people need to be reminded of how many times this group has been wrong? Read the rest of this entry »
A guest blog post from a UK Doctor
New revelations and implications about Andrew Wakefield’s research work.
For anyone who doesn’t know about the ramifications of the Andrew Wakefield saga, here is a brief recap. In 1998 he published a paper in the Lancet journal along with 11 colleagues, detailing bowel changes found in a sequence of children supposedly consecutively referred to his department of Gastroenterology at the Royal Free Hospital in London. The suggestion was that these children’s parents had noticed behavioural or gastrointestinal abnormalities within a very short interval following MMR vaccination. The inference drawn was that MMR might damage the bowel, leading to neurological changes of autism. In a press conference called after the paper was published, Wakefield expressed no faith in the MMR vaccine, and called for single measles vaccines to be used as an alternative. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve written before about the anti-vaccination lobbyists and their obsession with competing interests. John Stone’s big discovery was apparently that Dr Evan Harris’s father was once on a committee. Competing interests by proxy are hardly notable, but anti-vaxxers have sometimes failed harder than that in their conspiracy theorising. Read the rest of this entry »
Guest blogpost from Peter Flegg, UK doctor.
There seems to be something about health that can make some people discussing issues relating to it become rather angry. There is a new example of this in the case of Dr Alan Dangour. The scientist who conducted research concluding that organic food is no healthier than conventional produce “told The Independent that hundreds of people had contacted him since his work was published, with many accusing him of dishonesty and incompetence in emails peppered with swear words”. Read the rest of this entry »
Here is an article on swine flu and vaccination written for The Times by guest contributor Dr Richard Halvorsen. Background: Halvorsen runs a clinic that offers single vaccines for measles and rubella (at a cost of £95 each), and he has also contributed to prolonging the media’s MMR hoax by writing pieces such as this one (an extract from his book “The Truth About Vaccines” in which he recommended that it may “be worth vaccinating against measles with a single vaccine”). Read the rest of this entry »
I was irritated, and a little concerned, to note (via Zeno’s blog) that Jeni Barnett was planning to discuss swine flu and vaccination on her radio show. Then I spotted something on Jeni’s blog that amused me. I now have conflicting emotions: I’m cheerfully annoyed. Read the rest of this entry »
The BBC has reported that “there were 1,217 cases of measles from January to November 2008, the highest figure for over a decade.” Report. The HPA press release is here and includes Read the rest of this entry »