Dr. Offit has never been shy about coming out with his opinions about vaccines and their lack of association to autism. Good. I genuinely thank him for doing so. He has been willing to put himself in the line of fire for what he believes is the right thing to do. In the course of doing this he – and his children – have been subjected to threats and abuse.
He knows that this can be the price you pay for becoming entangled with anti-vaccinationists. But he also knows that this is a subject that must be tackled.
He knows that this is not just a local issue. It is international. Non-vaccinators in Europe cause unvaccinated kids in the US to catch a disease that can kill. Hundreds of thousands still die of Measles throughout the developing world.
Some of the Science Bloggers regularly stand up and discuss this subject too. Respectful Insolence, Denialism, Pharyngula, GoodMath, BadMath and Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted) are Science Blogs I know of that have covered the issue at least once.
Those of us in the autism community owe them a massive vote of thanks too.
Yesterday another blogger followed the standard set by Dr Offit and stepped up to lend the weight of his considerable expertise to the issue. John Lawrence Kiely, better known to many of you as Epi Wonk published a fantastic piece in the AJC which if you haven’t already, should go and read right now.
Towards the end of his piece he says:
It’s time for them to speak, run public service ads, alert reporters and aggressively rebut the spurious idea about MMR.
This is nothing but right.Two communities need you. Public health (and international public health at that) and autism. Please follow the examples set by Dr Offit and now Dr Kiely. Comment, blog, write op-eds.