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Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Bogus Claim about Vaccines and Autism in Vietnam

In The Politics of Autism, I analyze the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism. This bogus idea can hurt people by allowing diseases to spread  And among those diseases could be COVID-19.

 Long Nguyen at AFP:

A video circulating on social media claims vaccines brought to Vietnam by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation led to a massive increase in the number of autism patients in the country. This is false; research shows no link between vaccination and autism, and Vietnamese experts said growing awareness and changes to diagnosis criteria have contributed to more people being identified with the neurodevelopmental disorder.

"No autism in Vietnam before Bill Gates," says text over a video shared July 17, 2023 on Instagram.
"There is no link between vaccination and autism in Vietnam or other countries," said Quyet Minh Nguyen, a psychiatrist at the Vietnam National Children's Hospital.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability. Scientists are still researching its causes, which may include genetic or other factors, according to Nguyen.

"Saying vaccination causes autism is unscientific," he told AFP.

The footage shared online includes a watermark that indicates it was cut from the controversial documentary "Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe."

The film was directed by Andrew Wakefield, a British doctor whose medical license was revoked after he falsified data in a 1998 paper linking autism to the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. The Lancet retracted the study years later, but it continues to fuel misinformation.

Scientists have repeatedly quashed claims that autism and vaccination are connected (archived here)