Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Measles scare based on fraud

    In 1998, medical researcher Andrew Wakefield published a paper that linked vaccines to autism; specifically, the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella. 
    Other scientists tried and failed to replicate Wakefield’s results and later found that he had intentionally fabricated the paper’s findings. Undisclosed financial conflicts of interest and evidence of medical misconduct were discovered. 
    Wakefield was discredited and barred from ever practicing medicine again, but that didn’t stop an entire movement from trying to spread that inaccurate research, leading to a disease that had been eradicated in 2000 making a major comeback this year. 
    It started in December at Disneyland when an unknown person with measles visited the park. It spread through California and seven other states. As of Feb. 10 there are more than 120 confirmed cases, five of which are in Alameda County. That’s doesn’t even include the many children and Disneyland employees under quarantine. 
    One family in Oakland had to put their 6-month-old daughter into quarantine for 28 days after she came in contact with a child who was later diagnosed with measles. State health officials said that of those affected, for whom they have vaccination records, “The majority are unvaccinated.”
    There is no scientific evidence that vaccines cause autism. Autism is often diagnosed around the same age that children usually receive vaccines, but these two events are not connected. The only research that has ever shown a connection between vaccinations and autism was thrown out because it was proven inaccurate. 
    The ingredients and additives in vaccines are not toxic. The amount of mercury in a vaccine is less than the mercury content in an average plate of seafood. The levels of any of the preservatives in vaccines are negligible and completely harmless.
    What isn’t harmless is measles. In fact, measles can lead to encephalitis and death. Smallpox and polio are also far from harmless, but we don’t really worry about those diseases anymore. We don’t worry about them because the widespread use of vaccines has eliminated them. Just like it had eliminated measles in 2000. 
    Not vaccinating your children isn’t protecting them; it is putting them directly into harm’s way, and putting all the infants and immuno-compromised right there with them. It’s not just a choice you make as a parent; it’s a choice you make as a part of society.

    Kit Berry is a Tower staff writer. Email her at [email protected].

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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