The Vaccines-Cause-Autism Controversy, Explained By Comic

Via LiveJournal, comic strip artist Darryl Cunningham presents a brief illustrated history of the controversy over MMR vaccines and how large numbers of people came to passionately believe that they cause autism.


19 Comments on "The Vaccines-Cause-Autism Controversy, Explained By Comic"

  1. Tuna Ghost | May 25, 2010 at 9:10 pm |

    finally! does this mean I won't have to hear any more bullshit about vaccines on Disinfo? Because that would be great.

  2. There is an informal “control group” of about 35,000 kids with no vaccinations and virtually no autism, ADD, ADHD, allergies, asthma, etc. Believe it or not, there are actual MDs opposed to vaccination: . Vaccination of kids is a $7 billion/year industry. The treatments for the side-effects of vaccination are money makers, as well. As long as there is profit in medicine, all other concerns are secondary. Pure capitalism is amoral. When will we realize this?

    (PS: I put a comment like this on BoingBoing a couple years ago and it got “disemvoweled”)

    • Word Eater | May 25, 2010 at 9:39 pm |

      What you are saying may, indeed, have merit.

      But, Andrew Wakefield is a criminal and a fraud who falsified data, abused children, and intentionally misled the medical community for personal gain with no regard for the affect it wold have on the rest of the world. He was the genesis for mass fear and near hysteria from parents, sowing doubt and forcing parents to choose between two evils (from their point of view).

      Vaccines may be linked to autism and inflammatory bowel disease. More than likely it completely isn't since other studies were not able to recreate the results.

      Vaccines may be linked to acne, apoplexy, and bad breath, but probably not.

    • Tuna Ghost | May 26, 2010 at 7:08 pm |

      “There is an informal 'control group' of about 35,000 kids with no vaccinations and virtually no autism, ADD, ADHD, allergies, asthma, etc.”

      If it's informal then it's not actually control group, it's just 35,000 people picked precisely because of their lack of symptoms for any of the above ailments. This is an entirely meaningless statistic. And the fact that one can scare up a few doctors who are against blanket immunizations is also useless as proof, since I could likely scare up a doctor who advises being kicked by a horse bi-monthly.

      Yes immunizations are a big industry, as a matter of fact medical care in general is one of the biggest industries in our country. There is a profit to be made, you are correct about healthcare as business being a tragedy, but just because someone is making a dollar somewhere doesn't discount the treatment (unless it's psychiatric medication we're talking about).

  3. Wakefield is supposed to be on with Alex Jones today, looking forward to hearing whe has to say for himself.

  4. A couple of points….

    While there are those morons who are “suspicious of science” in say, Sarah Palin World — the problem that people are having with the vaccine controversies more broadly, isn't a “suspicion about science” as much as it is a suspicion about the motives of the mega-corporations that USE science for profit.

    The Monsanto's, Glaxo-Smith Kline's, Pfizer's, etc — them I don't trust as far as I can throw. And there are extremely logical, historical, and rationally well-founded reasons for that mistrust.

    Just one example would be Don Rumsfeld's sketchy relationship with Gilead Sciences and Amylin Pharmaceuticals in connection to the whole Bird Flu/Tamiflu issue (not to mention – per – the increase in his personal net worth going from $57,039,093 to $174,722,000 following that little “incident” which dwarfed his previous profit from the equally harmful aspartame approved by the FDA despite research that showed it's adverse health effects). Another would be things like the net effect of the anti-Anthrax and anti-Sarin vaccine series given to Gulf War I soldiers and the adverse effects of that rapid injection cocktail, or vaccines that contain mercury or other drugs which are contaminated with other diseases through just sloppy manufacturing:

    The doubts people have about the chemistry piggy-backed into vaccines are not an irrational concern. What is interesting is the level of world-class scientists such as Jacques Benveniste, Peter Duesberg, Halton Arp, Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischman who've been defunded, marginalized, or refused publication when they raised concerns or tried to show research that conflicted with Big Pharma's interests.

    One site worth viewing is which outlines people who've had adverse reactions to vaccines.

    When a baby is born in most developed countries, whether there is any medical need for it or not, the birth is medicalised with painkillers and immediate injections of vitamin K and hepatits B vaccine. Nobody really pays attention to what is in that drip (it is an overload of a hormone: oxytocin) namely, a cocktail of toxic preservatives which in many babies cause the development of haemorrhagic disease. In addition to that, a newborn also gets a full blast of the painkiller pethidine (a morphine). The baby is then administered powerful antibiotics intravenously; many babies develop serious reactions to all this and die within about 3-4 weeks of being born. If they survive the initial assault of these toxic substances, then they may develop reactions to the second round at two months: injections of several other vaccines such as DPT (diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus), polio, Haemophilus influenzae type B, the second hepatitis B, and meningococcal and Pneumococcal vaccines, in each thigh. The babies are vaccinated even after they developed symptoms of suppressed immune system such as the runny nose and ear infections after the first toxic assault at birth. Many babies develop whooping cough from the vaccine.

    In our antiseptic age, people forget that the experience of sickness is actually BENEFICIAL for children because it primes and matures the immune system and represents a developmental milestone. Dr. Viera Schiebner's research over the past three decades has shown compelling evidence that many vaccines not only do not prevent disease, but rather the adverse reactions to these vaccines are one of the major causes of infant deaths. The National Health and Medical Research (NHMRC)’s Australian Immunisation Handbook lists over four pages of serious reactions, not the least of which is death.

    Back in 1999, she issued a simple, open challenge to the scientific community in Australia's Medical Observer publication, inviting any pro-vaccination scientist to step up to the plate and get the same vaccine series (adjusted for body weight) that babies get. No one has yet to volunteer to prove the efficacy on themselves. This is probably because (per Dr. Boyd Haley, Chair of the Dept of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky), a single vaccine given to a six-pound newborn is equivalent to giving a 180-pound adult 30 vaccinations all on the same day.

    But how often are young mothers fully-informed of these scientifically-agreed upon risks? In fact in the United States, if you don't get the vaccination cocktail when the government tells you to, if can effect your child's education, because they will be denied admittance to school without them. My advice to new mothers would simply be, demand your doctor show you the product information that accompanies every vaccine. The list of adverse effects will blow your mind.

    More on all that here:

    In truth, simple modern sanitation may have had a more profound effect on disease reduction than any vaccine ever has. Over 1 billion people today go without clean drinking water. Change that one thing, and I'd quite easily wager that infectious disease world-wide would plummet.

    Another factor is the knee-jerk reaction, and frankly arrogance, on the part of some scientists towards aboriginal, or holistic alternative medicines, as if ancient cultures couldn't find natural medications from plant life and thousands of years of practical experience. This, ironically, despite the fact that even a common, now chemically-produced medicine like aspirin, originated from plant life. Tibetan medicine has even had greater success in reversing stage 4 cancers than modern medicine has with radiation and chemo, but unless the solution comes from a Western context, many scientists quite irrationally reject it out of hand.

    What is also erroneous would be to take this one scientist and his alleged sketchy behavior, and draw the conclusion that there is no larger problem here. That's a really dangerous leap in logic.

    We're not talking here about some idiot making a religious argument against inoculation out of some damned fool notion that God doesn't want us to fight diseases because they are a punishment for sin. We're talking about the very real adverse consequences of things like the profit motive on scientific research and impartiality.

    A billion dollars (or more) is a helluva motivator to “look the other way” rather than addressing safety concerns. If it wasn't, the Gulf of Mexico wouldn't be drowning in oil sludge right now.

    At a minimum, we should examine not only the product safety of the vaccines themselves, but also the RATE at which children are given vaccines, in order to minimize adverse reactions to aggregate toxicity.

  5. I think those that blindly follow what big pharma touts as “health care” and paint anti vaccine advocates as uninformed are simply missing the point. How irresponsible is it to take an infant at the most critical time in their nervous system development and stick a needle in their arm injecting mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde, animal viruses, animal DNA, polysorbate 80 and about 10 other chemicals not with one vaccine but 34 by the time child reaches grade school and 64 by the time they reach high school and expect to have healthy children. Since the government has tripled the mandated number of shots in this country, 1 child in 6 is learning disabled, 1 in 9 is asthmatic, 1 in 100 are autistic, and 1 in 400 diabetic. I mean really would you put sugar in the gas tank of your car? It may not be vaccines that cause autism but it absolutely is caused by medical care.

    • emperorreagan | May 26, 2010 at 2:11 pm |

      I have a hard time believing that a handful of shots trump the massive amounts of environmental toxins that we're exposed to from conception throughout the rest of our lives.

      • Thank you, you make my case for me. Health is controlled entirely by environmental factors. A balanced state of homeostasis, any change can only lead to a poor outcome. Now take those environmental toxins and inject them directly into a human body. It's a recipe for disaster.

        • Tuna Ghost | May 26, 2010 at 11:42 pm |

          “Health is controlled entirely by environmental factors.”

          Patently false. What about genetic pre-disposition to ailments like cancer, alzheimers, and a whole host of other things? And does “environmental factors” include things like measels and smallpox? When smallpox was dropping people left and right, was it because they weren't in a homeostatic relationship with their environment? What does that even mean in terms of process?

          “Since the government has tripled the mandated number of shots in this country, 1 child in 6 is learning disabled, 1 in 9 is asthmatic, 1 in 100 are autistic, and 1 in 400 diabetic.”

          Disingenious statement, sir. For one, you leave out when the government tripled the mandated shots, or what the number was before and after–and you also conveniently leave out the fact that all of those except asthma (which more than likely has a mostly environmental cause, i.e. the pollution we're constantly pumping into the air) went undiagnosed for the majority of human history, uncluding a large portion of the twentieth century. The percentage of people with these treatments didn't go up, only the number of people diagnosed. Also, even if the rate of people with these ailments IS increasing, there has been no study that links it to vaccines. It is simply a correlation, not a case of causation. The difference is important.

        • emperorreagan | May 27, 2010 at 10:40 am |

          I certainly didn't mean to imply that health is controlled entirely by environmental factors.

          Just that we are exposed to vastly more chemicals in cocktails that are not tested by anyone and in far greater amount than what's included in the handful of vaccines we take.

          Whatever role environmental toxins take in contributing to or causing disease, I think we should be far more worried about what we're consuming through food, air, & water than vaccines.

          Also, specifically with respect to diabetes…obesity and eating garbage are likely driving that one.

    • It's not only responsible to vaccinate your children, but it's a moral obligation because your failure to do so puts other people's kids at risk. For vaccines to be fully effective, a threshhold “herd immunity” has to be maintained, where a such a high percentage of the population is vaccinated that a given disease cannot spread. Because of the anti-vac movement, kids are now dying from outbreaks of preventable diseases.

      The anti-vac movement is dogmatic and ideological, disregarding any rules of evidence. In certain parts of Africa, people have widely refused vaccines being provided by Western NGO's, believing in a conspiracy by the United States was trying to inject them with HIV. The anti-vac movement in the US is no less irrational–it's just directed at “big pharma.” The quality of the evidence they present to support their claims is of the same quality as what creationists use to attack evolution.

      I absolutely agree that corporations, such as the pharmaceutical companies, are motivated by greed. That having been said, many of us would not be alive today were it not for science-based medicine.

  6. With respect to herd immunity, why then are there out breaks in fully immunized populations? That fallacy fell by the wayside many years ago, the uninformed vaccine supporter pulls this out every so often.

    With respect to genetics, your genes are only the blue prints to the building, making and replacing parts and do not play any role in your expression of health yes predisposition may exist and must be turned on by …wait for it…environmental signals, which must be interpreted by you, this of course explains spontaneous recommissions when a sick person changes their BS (belief system). This is the big secret that biologist know but has been stalled in reaching the population. If people knew that their perception of their environment was the cause of whether or not you get cancer or any other disease it would kill an entire industry bent on keeping people in the dark about our true nature. Pick up The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton, who helped pioneer stem cell cloning at Stanford in the late 60's. In fact all childhood diseases from polio to whooping cough had dropped in incidence anywhere from 70% to 90% before the vaccines were ever introduced according to the CDC”s statistics. I guess you can take credit for anything if your timing is right

    • What are you on about? Are you saying I could live beside a Mobile-Phone mast and I wouldn't get cancer if my perception of my environment changed?

  7. Tuna Ghost | May 28, 2010 at 5:23 am |

    That’s a shame, because I was THIS close to taking you seriously

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