Measles, Rubella, Vaccine, Vaccines, And Vaccines

Decent Essays
For hundreds of years, vaccines have been preventing dangerous and deadly diseases such as polio, the measles, hepatitis, and more. However, as long as there have been vaccines, there has been strong opposition to their use. Perhaps the most common belief is that vaccines—specifically the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, is tied to an increased risk of autism. Media coverage, based on inaccurate evidence and disproved by scientific studies, has led to a large public fear that autism can be caused by vaccines. These beliefs stem primarily from a 1998 publication by British doctor Andrew Wakefield; yet even after this paper was deemed inaccurate, these fears did not recede, and have only seemed to become more prevalent in society. Wakefield’s paper was based on falsified medical records and fabricated histories of the patients in his study to coincide with his hypothesis. Even without these falsified documents, Wakefield’s case study was flawed otherwise; using only a 12-person sample size and an uncontrolled design. Britain’s Medical Council ruled in January that the children Wakefield studied were “carefully selected and some of Wakefield’s research was funded by lawyers acting for parents who were involved in lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers” (Eggertson, 2010, p. 1).
Not surprisingly, Wakefield’s original article sparked intense concern, which was fueled by mass media attention, speeches, and public appearances by those involved in the study. Arguably those
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