Antivax epidemic

By Phil Plait | August 24, 2009 12:21 pm

Geez, trying to keep up with the lies, distortions, and utter galling nonsense of the various mouthpieces of the antivax movement and their enablers in the media is so hard it’s almost like trying to stamp out a, y’know, virus. Here’s some of the latest on the War on the War on (good) Drugs… and we start off with some good news!

1) First: Autism Speaks, a group that has done much to spread the garbage that autism is linked to vaccinations — which is provably not true — has started backing off their inflammatory rhetoric. I would love to think this is because they are finally dipping a toe into reality, but given that two high-level people in their group have quit because they wouldn’t back down on their vaccine claims, I strongly suspect this is simply a PR move to quiet down all the negative (to them) attention they’re getting.

2) Second, Steve Novella has compiled a one-stop shopping list of vaccine references for anyone and everyone who needs info at their fingertips when dealing with the rabid antivaxxer. Whenever you find yourself with someone spouting the usual long-debunked "facts" from an antivaxxer, send ’em there. You can send them here as well.

3) The online paper Live news has an accurate report with a good headline: "Refusing vaccines puts kids at risk: autism expert". Yay!

Now the not-so-good stuff:

4) Another newspaper chimes in with a grossly misleading article on the safety of Gardasil: the Daily Telegraph. Feh. Feh!

5) This video plays up the antivax rhetoric as a (glurp) rap song. Whether you think it’s particularly good rap or not, it’s full of misleading nonsense. See #2 above for why.

6) Finally, the Young Australian Skeptics have issued a call to arms over a terrible, terrible interview done on an a.m. talk show on Australia’s Channel 10, where they gave an antivax pro-homeopathy mouthpiece way more time than he deserves (correct amount: 0). The YAS is asking for people to write the station and let them know the potential damage they’re doing.

Tip o’ the needle to the many, many people who sent me these links!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Alt-Med, Antiscience

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