By Kim Stagliano
Many of us have spent the last few days fielding phone calls and emails from reporters around the country. Here are three articles on the newest chapter in the Tale of Dr. Andrew Wakefield expressing support for him. Click the links to read the full articles and comment where you are able to. Thanks. KIM
AOL News, Dana Kennedy
">>>Despite a new report that a 1998 study linking childhood vaccines to autism was based on "bogus data," many autism activists are standing by their man -- the disgraced doctor who led the research.
But autism activists, including actress Jenny McCarthy's Generation Rescue, the National Autism Association and well-known autism crusader Kim Stagliano, believe Wakefield's original findings were distorted. They claim that he never said vaccines definitely caused autism but merely suggested the possibility of a link merited further examination.
The activists told AOL News that Wakefield has been crucified by the pharmaceutical industry, which makes millions off vaccines and doesn't want them scrutinized.
"No one's saying don't vaccinate your children," Rita Shreffler, executive director of the National Autism Association, told AOL News today..."
NY Daily News, Rosemary Black
"The barrage against Dr. Wakefield is an unvarnished attempt to convince the American public that there is an ‘anti-vaccine' movement, while ignoring that American children are chronically sicker than ever and autism now hobbles at least 1% of American children," said Stagliano, who is the author of the book, "All I Can Handle: I'm No Mother Teresa."
She added that parents have the right to demand vaccine safety and "honest science, without those who have a financial interest controlling the conversation."
The actress Jenny McCarthy, whose son has autism, hadn't issued comment on the BMJ article, according to CNN. However, McCarthy, who founded Generation Rescue, a group that backs the idea of a link between vaccines and autism, had supported Wakefield in the past.
"...So has all of the fear been for naught, does this mean there's no evidence of a link between the two, and we can all go out and vaccinate our children without a question in our mind that there could be a negative consequence?
Some, like Jennifer LaRue Huget for The Washington Post, say yes:
"Okay, can we just be done with this autism/MMR link once and for all?" Huget writes. "It's been such a huge distraction, likely diverting energy and funds from the research that could detect autism's true causes, and has led to many kids' needlessly coming down with a disease that should be entirely preventable. Let's put this behind us and move on."
Not quite, say others. Wakefield himself vehemently denies the new report and says it's motivated by the pharmaceutical industry, who's trying to take him down.
Kim Stagliano, mother of three daughters with autism and author of the book All I Can Handle; I'm No Mother Teresa, agrees. She says the timing is suspect and points to links in the pharmaceutical industry as well. She said the Wakefield case closed last spring, but now Dr. Paul Offit, co-inventor of the Merck RotaTeq vaccine, has a new book out called Deadly Choices: How the Anti-vaccine Movement Threatens Us All.
"If RotaTeq sounds familiar to parents, that is because Dr. Julie Gerberding, former head of the CDC in Atlanta, placed it on the pediatric vaccine schedule during her tenure," Stagliano said. "Your baby now receives three doses of this oral vaccine. Dr. Gerberding is now the current President of the Merck Vaccine Division, which manufactures RotaTeq."
She said this report does nothing to sway her opinion that vaccines can injure children.
"Vaccine injury is real. Just as childhood diseases are real. The barrage against Dr. Wakefield is an unvarnished attempt to convince the American public that there is an 'anti-vaccine' movement, while ignoring that American children are chronically sicker than ever and autism now hobbles at least 1% of American children. Parents have every right to demand vaccine safety and honest science -- without those who have a financial interest controlling the conversation."...
Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism. Her book from Skyhorse Publishing, All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa; A Life Raising Three Daughters with Autism is available now. Visit her website at Kim Stagliano.