Autism Vaccinations and the Cavallari Link

autism
In early 2000 doctors predicted that they had all but seen the end of measles. MMR vaccinations had become safer, more children were being vaccinated and diseases like the measles were a thing of the past. Just fourteen years later things have changed. Now with outbreaks in New York and California some are left wondering what exactly happened. Researchers and doctors know though, it is a movement some in the community are referring to as the vaccination truthers. Individuals like Jenny McCarthy and Kristen Cavallari who believe despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary that vaccinations are linked to autism.

A study that came out in 1998 tried to link autism to vaccinations and it received traction for a while until ten of the twelve authors recanted and the journal pulled the story. Now the scientific community as a whole has come out with definitive proof that vaccinations are not linked to autism and yet people like McCarthy and Cavallari will stand upon their soap box spouting off that vaccinations are dangerous, hundreds of moms will listen to these actresses rather than listening to the advice of their doctors. These same moms will risk their children’s health based on little more than speculations that vaccines are more dangerous than the actual disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in 20 children who contract the measles will experience serious complications, whereas one or two in every million children who are vaccinated will experience serious complications due to the vaccinations. According to CBS News, however, presenting parents with these facts is not enough; in fact in a recent study, researchers found that showing parents the autism vaccination link has been debunked, despite what Cavallari believes, will actually push them away from vaccinations rather than toward them.

In the study conducted out of Dartmouth College and published in the Journal of Pediatrics, researchers found that when people were shown ads used by public health officials to persuade them to vaccinate they were actually having the opposite effect. People who were already on the fence about vaccinations saw the ads and were then convinced not to vaccinate. The ads shown had to do with proof that there was not a link between vaccinations and autism, as well as an ad depicting a child who contracted measles because he had not been vaccinated.

How do public officials counter misinformation offered up by Cavallari, McCarthy and other vaccination truthers when it comes to a link between vaccinations and autism? Well according to head researcher Brendan Nyhan, debunking the myth of the autism link was successful; however in the process, the information is essentially giving parents new things to worry about when it comes to vaccinations. According to the CDC, 80 percent of measles cases in 2013 were due to not vaccinating, and 80 percent of people who choose not to vaccinate cite philosophical reasons. What do the experts think of Cavallari’s speaking out against vaccinations? Dr. Kenneth Alexander of the University of Chicago chastised the former reality star saying that she was dangerous; her words could result in under-immunization, which would lead to an increase in morbidity and mortality rates in children due to vaccine preventable diseases.

Opinion By Rachel Woodruff
Follow Rachel Woodruff on Twitter

Sources:
Chilliwack Progress
PolicyMIC
Daily Beast
Us Magazine
CBS News
Raw Story

5 Responses to "Autism Vaccinations and the Cavallari Link"

  1. Lisa   March 21, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Vaccines have been linked to autism & many other permanent side effects, even death in Europe & other countries, just not in the US. Why don’t you do some research before you write an article that makes you look like the pharmaceutical industry cuts your paycheck.

    Reply
  2. joejoe   March 16, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Right on Jenninings, exactly my thought.

    Reply
  3. Daniel Storms   March 16, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    P. Jennings, your comment became immediately and irreversibly non-believable when you made it clear that you don’t know that copy editors rather than authors provide headlines. Therefore, Ms. Woodruff’s article retains its full force in lamenting the idiocy of the anti-vaccinators. FSM save us from the Miss Thistlebottoms.

    Reply
  4. elprez   March 16, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    uhhh…why exactly do we care what Kristen Cavallari think?

    Reply
  5. P. Jennings   March 16, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Your story became immediately and irreversibly not-believable when you made it clear — by way of your headline — that you have never heard of that quaint old-fashioned thing called a “comma.”

    If you don’t even use English to the ordinary standard of actual high-standards publications, there is no reason to read further.

    Reply

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