Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Wakefield’s false claims backfire

Posted in Left Brain Right Brain by Skepdude on July 8, 2009

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Last week Andrew Wakefield announced to the world that the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) had ordered the Sunday Times to take down some articles about him from its website. Wakefield suggested that this was a tacit admission by the Times that its story was inaccurate and this message was dutifully repeated by Age of Autism and the rest of Wakefield’s online supporters.

As I reported previously, the PCC is waiting on the final outcome of the GMC disciplinary hearing against Wakefield before conducting its own inquiry over the articles and felt it would be fairer all round if the material was temporarily removed from the Times website. The Times agreed and removed the articles as a courtesy to the PCC. The Times was not impressed by Wakefield’s ungracious response and as a result the material is now back on their website.

This is not the first time that Wakefield’s actions have backfired on him. Four years ago he tried to sue Channel 4 and Brian Deer for libel over a documentary, MMR: What they didn’t tell you, that contained damaging revelations about Wakefield’s role in the MMR scare. As with his current complaint to the PCC and his recent press release, Wakefield’s action in bringing the case seems to have been motivated by a desire to please his loyal supporters rather than a serious attempt to settle the issue. Unusually for a litigant, Wakefield showed a marked reluctance to clear his name in court, seeking to delay the hearings for two years. When the court decided that Deer and his legal team were entitled to see the unredacted medical records of the children who were the subjects of Wakefield’s original Lancet paper Wakefield withdrew the action and agreed to pay costs to Brian Deer.

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Jennifer Lopez adds vocal support

Posted in Left Brain Right Brain by Skepdude on April 27, 2009

In an interview with ‘Good Morning America’ Jennifer Lopez stood up for vaccinations by talking about a new campaign and website. The website is very accomplished and features Ms Lopez talking about how to protect your baby from Whooping Cough.

The interview itself contained the following on vaccines:

She’s also raising awareness about pertussis, the potentially fatal disease better known as whooping cough.Visit www.soundsofpertussis.com to find out more about the vaccine.

Pertussis cases were virtually nonexistent in the United States after a vaccine was developed. Reported cases of whooping cough hit a low of about 1,000 in 1976. That number has been on the rise over the past 30 years, and in 2005, 25,000 cases were reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to a CDC study of the disease, Hispanic infants were particularly hard hit by the disease, though there is no clear reason why.

Read more: “Autism Blog – Jennifer Lopez adds vocal support « Left Brain/Right Brain” – http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/?p=2230#ixzz0DuA7uwlz&A

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Anti-vaxxers rejoice! You got another one!

Posted in Left Brain Right Brain by Skepdude on March 17, 2009

DANA Elizabeth McCaffery died at 4 weeks of age from Whooping cough, a totally vaccine preventable disease. She was the first to die from this appalling disease since 1997.

Local Paediatrician Chris Ingall said:

“The only way to stop babies getting infected with whooping cough is by vaccination, there is no other way,”he said.“The vaccination rates on the North Coast are the worst in Australia. This is why we have so many incidences in this area compared with other parts of Australia.

“Parents should be alarmed, whooping cough kills little babies. We must get our vaccination rates up so adults don’t pass the disease on to babies.”

The local health authority acted responsibly by bringing forward the vaccine schedule – a move that many anti-vaxxers will be horrified at no doubt.

Meanwhile, over in Kittitas Secondary School in the United States, the local health authority:

…is requiring postponement of all field trips and scheduled activities or events that include other schools, school districts, and/or family members of students.

Why? Because of Whooping cough.

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