In this edition of antivaccine Whac-A-Mole, Orac discusses a large study that fails to find a link between maternal Tdap vaccination and autism in the baby. No big surprise there. So, mothers, get your Tdap to protect your baby.
Here we go again with yet another case of religion-inspired child neglect in which lack of medical care led to the death of a child. This time, however, the authorities actually appear to be ready to bring the hammer down on the parents.
Infectious disease outbreaks are costly in human and financial terms. An analysis of the 2013 Brooklyn measles outbreak shows just how costly one outbreak can be and how much it can strain already strained public health resources. This is the cost of antivaccine madness.
Earlier this week, the New York Times ran a fascinating feature about Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop. In it, we learn—surprise! surprise!—that Gwyneth Paltrow does not like fact-checking. We also learn that the criticism of Goop's selling of pseudoscience and quackery has reached the point where Paltrow has given in and plans to hire a fact checker. Unfortunately, I strongly suspect that it will do no good and that skeptics will have as much work to do refuting Goop's quackery after the fact-checker is hired as we do now.
Antivaxers frequently try to appeal to antiabortion activists by claiming "fetal parts" are used in vaccines. In Michigan, they're trying to enshrine such deceptive efforts into law in Michigan Senate Bill 1055, which would mandate "informed consent" regarding vaccines for which fetal cell lines are used to grow the virus. In reality, this would be misinformed consent and a strategy to frighten parents out of vaccinating.
As it does every two years, the CDC has issued its 2018 report on autism prevalence. As in years past, autism prevalence has ticked upward. As in years past, antivaxers have tried to blame it on vaccines. As in years past, they're wrong. Vaccines are not responsible for increased autism prevalence.
Zoe O'Toole, aka "The Professor" at an antivaccine crank blog known as The Thinking Moms' Revolution, likes to think she's figured out this whole science thing. Her falling for "crooked theory," an impressively daft piece of antivaccine pseudoscience by Forrest Maready, shows her self-delusion on that score.
I've mentioned Dr. Paul Thomas before as a rising star in the antivaccine movement. A month and a half later, it occurs to me that I haven't given proper due to his co-author, Jennifer Margulis, as an equally prominent rising star in the same crank movement. Here, I rectify that oversight.
One of the central myths of the antivaccine movement is that vaccines cause autism. Consequently, researchers looked at vaccination rates in children with autism spectrum disorder and their younger siblings and found both groups were significantly less likely to be fully vaccinated. Thanks, antivaxers.