We don’t know what causes all autism but we do know vaccines don’t. Continuing to elevate myth does NO ONE any good. That’s why the Tribeca Film Festival got it right when pulling a documentary written and co-directed by vaccine science villain, Dr. Andrew Wakefield. Giving him another platform and more voice just isn’t insightful. To me it’s more noise and less what we need. There isn’t controversy here and there isn’t anything new to uncover. Allowing Wakefield more air time and the catapult generated by a film festival just ISN’T going to help us perfect parenthood and it won’t improve our jobs protecting our families, our children, and our communities. The Injustice of Immunization Interviews continues…
Tribeca Film Festival And Vaccines:
- Tribeca Film Festival planned to air the Wakefield documentary.
- Robert De Niro, one of the festival’s founders, last week originally announced he stood by the decision to have the film included in the festival because of his family’s personal story and connection to autism.
- Then after LOUD criticism from medical experts, The Tribeca Film Festival and De Niro responded to pressure of the potential harm caused by airing the film and decides to remove it from the festival in this Facebook announcement on March 26th.
- Then today, The American Academy of Pediatrics reaffirms the importance of vaccines and the Tribeca Film Festival decision.
Wakefield is a doctor whose work connecting vaccines to autism was retracted from a medical journal (this is nearly UNHEARD of) and a doctor who lost his license to actually practice medicine. He’s not respected nor is his work something for us to learn from. His work may go down as one of the biggest frauds in medical history. Read: Wakefield’s article linking MMR to autism was fraudulent.
The science, on the other hand, is clear and well established. Vaccines have repeatedly and repeatedly been studied with respect to development of neurodevelopment changes and diagnoses on the autism spectrum. Don’t believe the preposterous things the politicians say. The 2011 comprehensive and enormous report from The Institute of Medicine analyzed over 1,000 studies on adverse side effects from vaccines. They concluded, “the evidence shows there are no links between immunization and some serious conditions that have raised concerns, including Type 1 diabetes and autism.” (read more here)
Ongoing research, motivated primarily because of the distrust and fear for vaccine safety propagated in movies, media, and documentaries alike continue to find the very same thing. Science continues to come out on the side of vaccines. Vaccines have adverse effects (fever, pain, seizure, and fainting, for example) but not autism.
See this April 2015 opinion by Dr. Bryan King in reaction to yet another study disproving a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Dr. King is a thoughtful psychiatrist and an expert in autism who has dedicated his life to supporting children on the spectrum and their families. He says,
Controversy seems to follow autism like the tail of a kite. But, to be fair, controversy can be a stimulus for progress. These studies move the field forward toward a more focused and productive search for factors contributing to autism risk. They also provide information to support families affected by autism.
The field is long overdue for calm weather, but the forecast is increasingly promising. The more we learn about accurate causes of autism, the easier it will be to debunk myths. ~Dr. Bryan King
There is no question we want to make great choices to protect our children. There is no question that we want to ensure safety with the food they eat, the medicines we use to prevent or cure disease, and no question we want to only improve and understand more about vaccines. But ongoing weight to a dead issue (link between vaccines and autism and airtime for Andrew Wakefield) isn’t going to help.
Politics are in the air, that’s certain. But let’s not bring any more myth to the ongoing rhetoric or dialogue. I think Tribeca Film Festival, in the end, got this right. And we once again can return to the facts. Read more here about politics and the non-debate in Dr. Aaron Carroll’s NYT piece, Not Up For Debate: The Science Behind Vaccination including this quote below:
Spacing out vaccines provides no benefit, and leaves children susceptible to illnesses for a longer time. It also requires more trips to the doctor, each of which is a chance to be exposed to other sick children. In addition, studies show that spacing out vaccines reduces the likelihood that children will complete the full schedule of immunizations.