They just don’t know when to give up, do they?

As I mentioned in a previous post, some antivaxxers tried to get October declared “Vaccine Injury Awareness Month” with a huge lack of success. For the last few years, they’ve also declared the first full week in November “Vaccine Awareness Week”. Orac, who is now getting back into the swing of things blogging-wise, has a post up deconstructing some nonsense from Barbara Loe Fisher, the founder of the National Vaccine Information Center.
Fisher’s story is a rather sad one. Her son has learning problems which she believes were caused by the old DTP vaccine. Early studies suggested that there might be an association between the vaccine and encephalopathy, but later and larger studies don’t support the hypothesis. Nevertheless, her belief led her to become an advocate for “vaccine injury awareness”.
Fisher’s efforts at first did some good. Her actions led to the passing of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 in the United States. However, she was infuriated that the Act required plaintiffs to prove their case. What she wanted was a completely “no fault non adversarial mechanism” (her words) where anyone who claimed a vaccine injury would automatically be compensated. Never mind that this would lead to all sorts of false claims of injury and eventually be unaffordable. Over the years, she has grown steadily more and more antivaccine. The collapse of the Omnibus Autism Proceedings was a massive blow to her.
I feel great sympathy for Fisher. Being the parent of a child with learning disabilities is an extremely hard row to hoe. All the same, she is almost certainly wrong to blame vaccines for her son’s problems. In addition, by reciting antivaccine falsities, half truths and distortions, she is now doing far more harm than good.

About autismjungle

I am a Software Test Analyst. Shortly before I turned 21 I was officially diagnosed, although I had long suspected I was autistic. Welcome to my blog
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