Note, there was a lively Twitter campaign last night to educate using the hastag #VaccinesNOVA. The pro-vaccine injury organizations used "#NothingHappened to imply that vax injury does not exist. How callous. Did you know that no va in Spanish tranlsates to, "it does not go'?
By Anne Dachel
I watched the hour long documentary, Calling the Shots, on PBS. My first reaction was, why? Why was this so hyped? There was nothing new here. The first half of the show was all about the history of vaccines and outbreaks of diseases that were called, "vaccine preventable."
Vaccines were extolled. We heard about smallpox, whooping cough, cowpox, polio, and measles. NOVA was out to convince us that vaccines are our only defense against communicable disease. Prevention is dependent on a 95 percent vaccination rate for "herd immunity."
One little boy who developed seizures following vaccinations was featured, but he was found to have Dravet Syndrome. They explained that this is a genetic disorder. Vaccines were only the trigger. We were told that a fever or sleep deprivation could have done the same thing. Vaccines didn't cause the seizures. The boy "was going to get the condition anyway."
There were comforting comments like, "Vaccines can appear to cause harm." We were told that reactions were limited to fever, swelling at the injection site and "one time seizure events."
There were photos from the 1950s showing children with polio in wheelchairs. Measles and other diseases were talked about. Autism, the diagnosis of one in every 68 children in America, one in every 42 boys, was mentioned in passing.
The message was that having autism has nothing to do with being vaccinated.
Autism activist Alison Singer was shown with her daughter, Jodie, who has autism. Singer is convinced that getting vaccinated and the appearance of signs of autism are just coincidence.
The audience was given the strong message: vaccines don't cause autism. Incredibly, the claim was made that "study after study, whether vaccinated or not...the rates of autism were the same."
We were urged to find "the real causes of autism." While the world "environment" was said once in passing, viewers heard mainly about genetics. Phrases like "written in our DNA," "genetic mutations," and "autism runs in families" made the point.
There was nothing said about the children, like Hannah Poling, who were normally developing until they received certain routine vaccinations and suddenly and dramatically regressed into autism. Instead, NOVA told us that autism had a "fetal origin"-- autism "begins in the womb." And if that's true, it follows that "childhood vaccines cannot be the cause."
The HPV vaccine was also discussed and given a clean bill of health. We were told that it had been "carefully monitored for safety." There were no serious adverse reactions---plus--it prevents cancer.
This whole show was aimed at parents who do vaccinate--but are worried. The ones who take their children in for their recommended shots but also ask questions.
To dispel fears, parents were told that there was only "a one in a million chance of a serious reaction." The show claimed the risk of a reaction was "miniscule."
The audience that NOVA isn't interested in, of course, are those who really know what's going on. For those parents, this is was a completely one-sided and distorted presentation of the real world.
I have lots of questions for the producers of Calling the Shots.
Where are all those unvaccinated children with autism that NOVA assured us were out there?
What about Dr. Greg Poland, the vaccine expert from the Mayo Clinic who claims that the measles vaccine doesn't provide long term protection.
What about the 83 children who developed autism after being vaccinated and were compensated by the federal government at the same time officials were saying there was no link?
Why didn't NOVA tell parents told that no one has liability if a child has a vaccine reaction? They've been protected by federal law. Parents have to appeal to a federal program that is convinced that vaccines are safe.
And of course, after the recent revelation that a top expert at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention--someone who did vaccine research--Dr. William Thompson, now says that MMR study results were falsified to hide a clear association between vaccines and autism, Calling the Shots is irrelevant. So what if the studies show no link? If those studies are all junk science like the one on the MMR, officials have no proof that vaccines don't cause autism.
The whole discussion is changed. Officials so far haven't reacted to the whistleblower scandal. We're waiting to hear their side.
Meanwhile, when is NOVA going to do an hour long special on AUTISM, a once rare disorder that is now familiar to every family in America? When are experts going to show this same concern about a disorder that has no known cause or cure? When is NOVA going to report on the rate of autism among adults? We're continually told that all the autism everywhere is just better diagnosing of a disorder that's always been around.
NOVA certainly has their work cut out for them.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism and author of The Big Autism Cover-Up: How and Why the Media Is Lying to the American Public, which goes on sale this Fall from Skyhorse Publishing.