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Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Physician-Parent Advocates Vaccination

In The Politics of Autism, I look at the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism. Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms have helped spread this dangerous myth. Measles can kill.

The Seattle Public School system has taken a massive leap towards protecting their students from life-threatening illnesses by requiring all students to have received their measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine before returning to school Jan. 8.


Vaccinations have been proven to be active and safe in numerous studies. An often quoted, but thoroughly debunked case series published by a now-discredited physician attempted to link the MMR vaccine and autism. Unfortunately, the misinformation that was spread by this paper has led to decades of dangerous, uninformed decision making by well-intentioned parents and caregivers.

As a physician and a mother, despite knowing all of the science and the safety of vaccines, I am embarrassed to say even I paused for a second before my first child receiving her first vaccine.

I recalled all of the sensationalized false data dispersed online since the 1998 paper was reported. When celebrities tout expertise on the subject and nationally attempt to discredit scientific fact and evidence, these doubts can creep into the most educated and informed and lead to dangerous decisions.


In 2019, Washington had two outbreaks of measles and one case unrelated to the explosion. There were 87 cases total, most cases in this state since 1990.

Unfortunately, there are many vaccine myths continually perpetuated, leading to individuals making decisions that they believe are informed, but are based on inaccurate data.

To addresses, the most dangerous myths, first are that no data has ever shown a link between autism and the MMR vaccine.