n = 12 ?
So I see other people are writing a bunch of stuff about Andrew Wakefield, the guy who published a study linking autism and MMR-vaccination. Here’s an article in the British Medical Journal about the case. I haven’t read much about the stuff before, maybe I should have.
It turns out Wakefield’s study was a study based on 12 individuals. 12. I did not know that.
Ok, so this is why there’s no way I’m giving him the larger part of the blame for what has happened here. If you make a decision as risky as one exposing your child to multiple dangerous and easily preventable diseases, you’d damn better have a better reason than a study on 12 individuals. If not, you’re a gullible moron.
Wakefield is a fraud, but even if that’s the new thing others add to this story today, it’s not what I’m focusing on. How the hell did a study on 12 individuals ever get to be considered important enough to have any kind of impact on, well, anything? Who were those fools who were giving a study like this any kind of credence? Well, there were a lot of them (wikipedia):
“The claims in the Lancet article were widely reported; vaccination rates in the UK and Ireland dropped sharply, which in turn led to greatly increased incidence of measles and mumps, resulting in a few deaths and some severe and permanent injuries.
Between 1997-1998 and 20001-2002 the MMR vaccine coverage of 2-year-olds in the UK fell from appr. 91 percent to 84 percent. The number of measles cases in the UK was more than 10 times as high in 2007 as it was in 2000 (children who’re not vaccinated don’t necessarily get sick, if they get sick, right away).
I’m reminded of the recent case of a type 1 diabetic child who died because the parents were too moronic to take him to the doctor, relying instead on the power of prayer to heal the kid. It wasn’t the first time that particular story had played out, nor will it be the last. If you’re that stupid, don’t have kids.