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It always amuses me how antivaccine activists have such a love-hate relationship with academia, particularly the higher echelons of academia.On the one hand, they routinely denigrate academics because inevitably well-designed, well-executed epidemiological studies testing the hypothesis that vaccines are correlated with an increased risk of autism always come up empty. Truth be told, I used to hedge a bit when I said that for the simple reason that it’s impossible ever to completely prove a negative, but over the 12 years I’ve been doing this, I’ve covered more studies than I can remember testing this very hypothesis, and a clear pattern has emerged.Health Impact News Editor Comments The sudden death of a 12-year-old girl in Waukesha, Wisconsin, just hours after receiving the HPV Gardasil vaccine has shocked the girl’s family, and sent local media out asking questions as to how this could happen. Assuming that there is some data to back up the claim of only “1 out of a million,” how many doses of the HPV vaccine are administered every year? Geoffrey Swain of the local health department was interviewed to give the standard CDC reply, which is similar to almost every other vaccine, stating that severe reactions like this resulting in death are “very rare,” and about “1 out of a million”.On the other hand, antivaxers are desperate for validation.They crave any evidence that real scientists take them seriously or, even better, have produced evidence that supports their delusion that vaccines cause autism (or any of the other disorders, conditions, and diseases attributed to vaccines by them).Vaccine controversies have occurred since almost 80 years before the terms vaccine and vaccination were introduced, and continue to this day.
Early attempts to prevent smallpox involved deliberate inoculation of the disease in hopes that a mild result would confer immunity.The local news affiliate asked the question: “So what are the odds another local girl had a similar reaction after getting the shot?