November 14, 2011
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Let us not forget that the vast majority of the claims put forward by the anti-vaccine movement have gone down in flames, but there are a couple of interesting ironies in the situation that is worth taking a closer look at.
Irony #1: Claiming that MMR vaccine causes autism, when it actually can prevent certain cases of autism
One of the most common claims from the anti-vaccine cranks are that vaccines, often specifically the trivalent vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella, causes autism. This claim has been contradicted by a dozen or so large-scale epidemiological studies and detailed reviews of the literature, but the problem goes even deeper than that. A pregnant female infected with rubella can give birth to a child that has the condition known as congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), with includes deafness, abnormal eyes, congenital heart diseases and, surprisingly, developmental disabilities such as autism spectrum disorder (Offit and Moser, 2011). Getting vaccinated with the MMR vaccine strongly reduces the risk for women who later get pregnant to get infected with rubella and therefore prevents the child from getting the congenital rubella syndrome (which is a risk factor for developing autism spectrum disorder). Read more of this post