83 percent of people who voted in a Today Show poll believe “there is no scientific evidence” linking vaccines to autism. As of this posting, 26,650 people have voted — some 22,142 of whom have made it known they do not think there is a vaccine – autism link.
Now-delicensed physician Andrew Wakefield was on the Today Show this Monday, 24th May, making his case for why he is ‘unrepentant‘ about spreading word about his book on vaccines and autism. The book is selling well, which is — despite the above-quoted results from the Today Show poll – not surprising. Various advocates who believe vaccines, or something in vaccines, can be connected to autism have been encouraging people to buy the book.
But, apparently, while people are buying the book, many more are seeing “Wakefield’s follies” and are not (pardon the pun) buying the claims of the now-delicensed physician Wakefield, or of those who persist in proclaiming that vaccines “cause” or “contribute to” autism.
This is a very, very good thing because, as I blogged earlier this week, there are plenty of real and pressing issues facing individuals on the autism spectrum.
The real shame is that Wakefield and some others continue to draw attention to their claims and to themselves. It is of course their right to express their beliefs.
As the mother of an autistic teenager (and a very lovely one at that) who is fast growing up into an autistic adult, I just really wish that Wakefield & Co. would make haste to step aside a little faster and stop hogging the limelight. If they really understood something about autism and the lives of individuals on the autism spectrum, they would see the extent of the damage they have wrought.
Photo by Andrew Rueda.