Vaccination Myths Must-Reads And References To Pass-Onto-Others Of The Day

Two in one? Yes.

Monday’s medical myth: childhood vaccinations are dangerous - Fiona Stanley, The Conversation (she happens to be local to me and very much admired by the whole country):

Because today’s parents don’t have first-hand experience with dangerous infectious diseases they can be misled by myths about the supposed dangers of childhood vaccination: for instance, whooping cough vaccine causes brain damage; the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine causes autism and vaccination causes cot death or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

There is no truth to any of these claims. We in Australia have some of the best population data in the world on vaccination outcomes in children and it’s absolutely clear these myths are just that, myths.

Then a new resource for Australia (but overseas people may find it a useful booklet too) – from the Australian Academy of Science, in the Herald SunThe Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers:

A 20-page booklet to be launched today explains that many more children will die from diseases such as measles, mumps and diphtheria than will be harmed by the side effects of immunisation.

The booklet, launched by the Academy of Science, will also explain why it is better to gain immunity from a vaccination than from the disease.

…The booklet tackles claims that immunisation is linked to autism and says medical studies show the incidence of autism in people who had the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine is identical to that of people who did not have it.

The booklet is produced by the Australian Academy of Science and parents can access the document here.



About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.

  • Tigger_the_Wing

    Thank you for linking that! I have downloaded it and put a link on my Facebook page so that everyone I know, all over the world, can have access to it. I’m in Australia; I have already had people ‘like’ it from as far away as the USA and Ireland! =^_^=

  • Tracey

    As someone with a profoundly autistic family member, I did a ton of research about the safety of vaccines when I was pregnant, and am 100% convinced they do immense good, not harm. (BTW, the irony is that the autistic family member has an anti-vac mother so she never was vaccinated…and yet, has autism).

    I’m also (American, older part of GenX which means born in the mid-1960s) part of the cohort that remembers being wretchedly ill for a very long time with chicken pox and measles and mumps, and actually knew children who were deaf because of measles. I got the polio vaccine, but knew of adults with scary medical appliances because they had had polio as a child.

    • Kylie Sturgess

      Yes, I went to school with a boy whose twin died of measles; had a younger schoolfriend who wore callipers due to poliomyelitis and I contracted shingles in 2006. I remember crying in pain for about a week… mostly because I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to attend classes for my last unit for my degree, if there was a risk I might pass it onto someone else. I’m a younger GenX, but if I could see anyone not suffer any of those illnesses (and if they can’t be vaccinated, at least have herd immunity to help them out!), I would be very bloody happy.