Home > In the News, Preventable Diseases > PBS Frontline’s “The Vaccine War” is worth watching

PBS Frontline’s “The Vaccine War” is worth watching

By Alison Singer
President, Autism Science Foundation

I highly recommend PBS’s “The Vaccine War” which first aired on April 27 on PBS, and which will be replayed several times this week on PBS. In a rare display of tv news common sense, one side is simply declared to be wrong. The science is very clear; vaccines do not cause autism and it’s time to move on from this well debunked myth and find out what does.

The show features interviews with Dr. Paul Offit, Dr. Arthur Caplan, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Cynthia Cristofani, Dr. Anders Hviid & Dr. Eric Fombonne, as well as with actress Jenny McCarthy and JB Handley of Generation Rescue. 

“Scientifically, I think the matter is settled,” says Anders Hviid, an epidemiologist at the Statens Serum Institut in Denmark. In one of the largest and most comprehensive epidemiological studies available, Hviid and colleagues analyzed data on more than a half million children and found no link between the MMR “triple shot” for measles, mumps and rubella and an increased rate of autism — a link that’s been strongly asserted for years by anti-vaccine activists. Similar epidemiological studies in Denmark also failed to reveal a link between the mercury preservative thimerosal and autism. In fact, around the world, peer-reviewed epidemiological studies have found no link between autism and either the MMR shot or thimerosal.

You can watch the full episode online here.

View scientific studies regarding autism and vaccines here.

  1. Danielle Romaguera
    April 29, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I also watched the episode ad agree that it was a great job and very informative. I just wish that the parents who do not vaccinate that were featured on the program could see the other side of the story. One mother said that she does not think about what is best for the overall of the community when she makes her decisions. She says that she will just isolate her child if they come down with a preventable disease. It sounds good, but that is not the reality. With most of these diseases by the time you realize you or your child has it it is too late, you have already started spreading it. My daughter died of pertussis in 2003. She was too young to get vaccinated, so I had to rely in other people being vaccinated so that she was protected. Unfortunately it did not work. She only went 2 places while she was home with us, the doctors and her grandmothers and she still got sick. I think what parents don’t realize is how contagious these diseases are. I also saw Jenny McCarthy when she stated that she would rather her son catch the measles than be vaccinated. Our generation has not seen these diseases and outbreaks and I think many people do not realize how horrible these diseases are. My daughter was one month old when she was admitted into the hospital. She was admitted because she was coughing so bad that she could not breath and would turn blue and pass out. When she was in the hospital she had seizures, organ failure, fluid in her tissues so she was about 10 times her normal size. She eventually ended up on life support. Parents need to realize these diseases are not just a few bumps or a little cold. They make the person who has them suffer and sometimes even kill them.
    I was happy to see the job that PBS and Frontline did on this story and hope that many more parents will see the importance of vaccinations by listening to the science and not to the celebrity.

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  2. Thanks
    May 13, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    I’m so sorrry to hear about your baby. Your message to the public is very important. I hope a lot of vaccine naysayers will read your story and learn from it.

    And thank you Alison for your commentary; it would have been so good if you had been on the Frontline program too. You set a good example for how to consider a hypothesis and then realize when it’s time to move on. That’s what the greatest scientists do.

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