Vaccines Save Lives, Period
For crying out loud, it’s bloody 2016! We should have ZERO DEATHS from preventable diseases like mumps, measles, diphtheria, rubella, etc. But more children are now being hospitalised, with some dying from preventable diseases that have not claimed lives for umpteen years!
Who is responsible for this disaster? EVERYONE who keeps LYING about the link between vaccines and autism. If you want to be doctors, GO STUDY MEDICINE! Otherwise, please STFU and leave vaccines to the professionals. On behalf of your children and mine, thank you very much!
What The Heck Is Going On?
This morning, I woke up to a shocking report on immunisations and their purported link to autism in The Star newspaper. The “guru” of anti-vaccination parents, Andrew Wakefield, figured prominently. It shocked me enough to immediately pen a correction to the newspaper. First, take a look at what The Star posted on 24 October 2016 :
[su_spoiler title=”Read more…”]PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry has directed all health clinics to avoid giving babies two types of immunisation jabs on the same day.
Health Ministry deputy director-general Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman said immunisation shots were supposed to be given one at a time at intervals outlined in the National Immunisation Schedule.
“Giving two jabs at the same time happens when the immunisation schedule is breached,” he said, calling on parents to strictly abide by the national immunisation schedule.
However, in cases where they may have missed the schedule, parents could discuss with healthcare personnel to re-schedule the immunisation date to ensure only one jab was given per session, he said.
“We have informed healthcare personnel in clinics of this,” he said.
Dr Lokman said this in response to pleas by parents who claimed that their children became autistic after being administered with two types of vaccine on the same day when they were 18 months old.
He pointed out that there were no scientific evidence linking autism to MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine.
According to the current immunisation schedule in Malaysia, children at the age of 18 months were given a single shot of five-in-one vaccine DTaP-Hib/IPV (difteria, tetanus, pertusis, hemophillus influenza B and Polio).
“It is given in a single jab. This is the same vaccine given at the age of two months, three months and five months.
“Therefore, there is no association between the vaccine given at the age of 18 months and autism,” he said.[/su_spoiler]
Dr Lokman said attempts to link MMR immunisation to autism were made based on evidence reported by Dr Andrew Wakefield in a 1998 study published in the Lancet medical journal.
However, the Lancet had in 2004 retracted the interpretation of the Wakefield report, and subsequently retracted the entire report in 2010 on grounds of insufficient data, as the study was based only on 12 children.
[su_spoiler title=”Read more…”]Dr Lokman noted that a study conducted between 1988 and 1996 in Yokohama, Japan, on 31,426 children showed that the number of autism cases did not drop despite a drop in MMR immunisation rate.
“The study also showed a significant increase in autism cases, especially after 1993.
“In Malaysia, a study conducted in five districts between 2005 and 2006 showed there were two cases of autism for every 1,000 children aged between 18 months and three years.
“This is within the global range of one to six cases among every 1,000 children,” he said.
The Health Ministry had started collecting specific data on autism since 2004, he said.
“Within 12 years from between 2004 and 2015, we have identified 1,808 autism cases involving children below the age of seven,” Dr Lokman said.[/su_spoiler]
Meanwhile, Persama (Pertubuhan Sayang Malaysia) Together For Autism founder Thila Laxshman said many parents in the group had similar experience whereby their children became autistic after getting two injections of vaccines on the same day.
After the injections, the children had fever and subsequently stopped talking, lost eye contact, had difficulty sleeping at night and threw tantrums to the point of meltdown.
“Our children were born normal but developed brain development disorders after the injections,” she said.
Thila, who is a singer, called on the authorities to seriously look into the possible link between autism and double vaccination.
A couple, Felix Edward Wilson and his wife Agnes Nathan, said their son Kevin became autistic after receiving two jabs of different types of vaccines at the age of two.
“Our son was born normal. He was able to string words into sentences at the age of eight months. He could sing nursery rhymes.
“Even before the age of one, he could tell the difference between a purse and a wallet.
“After the double vaccine shots, he lost his ability to talk. There was no more eye contact,” said Felix of his son, who is now 19.
Another parent, who wants to be known only as Fatima, forks out RM8,000 a month to give her five-year-old autistic son the best early intervention programmes available.
“He goes to an international school, undergoes private therapy sessions at home, and I put him on a routine detoxification regime using natural products.
“I have also engaged someone to follow him to school, and to attend to his needs,” said the former flight attendant.
Another parent who wants to be known only as Sasha said she had to quit her clerical job to take care of her eight-year-old autistic son.
Sasha said her son, who was born normal, was diagnosed as autistic after he was immunised with fortified MMR vaccine.
“A couple of days after the injection, he suffered from a very high fever and became motionless for an hour.
“He opened his eyes after being administered with suppository medication. He was never the same since then,” she said.
Correcting The Record On Andrew Wakefield And His Role In The MMR-Autism Link
I immediately wrote an email to The Star, to correct the record on Andrew Wakefield and his role in the MMR-autism link :
As a parent of an autistic child, I would like to offer a correction of your article.
1. The Lancet did not retract the “interpretation of the Wakefield report”.
It was TEN of Wakefield’s co-authors who retracted the interpretation (conclusion) of the Wakefield study. A follow-up study then found that the gastrointestinal symptoms and the onset of autism were UNRELATED in time to the administration of the MMR vaccine.
2. The Lancet did not retract the entire report in 2010 “on grounds of insufficient data”.
The Lancet retracted the entire study because it had been “PROVEN TO BE FALSE” :
a) a reporter Brian Deer discovered that Andrew Wakefield was paid £55,000 to seek “evidence to use against vaccine manufacturers”.
b) the same reporter also discovered that Andrew Wakefield created a rival vaccine (to MMR) and applied for a patent, hoping that if the MMR vaccine is discredited, his vaccine would replace the MMR vaccine.
c) the same reporter also discovered that Andrew Wakefield FALSIFIED the patient data in his paper to create the appearance of a link to autism.
– 3 of the 9 children he reported to have autism DID NOT HAVE AUTISM AT ALL.
– only 1 child in that study had regressive autism.
– in children that were reported to exhibit symptoms within days of MMR vaccination, the records show that they started MONTHS AFTER VACCINATION.
– in 9 cases, their NORMAL histopathological results were changed to state “non-specific colitis”.
– he REMOVED 3 of the claims from his study because the parents were reporting that the symptoms started MONTHS after vaccination, which would have made it difficult for him to claim the 14-day link between the MMR vaccine and autism
d) the same reporter also discovered that Andrew Wakefield was in partnership with one of the fathers involved in the study to launch a venture to make diagnostic kits for the new (and fake) autistic enterocolitis condition they “discovered”. Andrew Wakefield was said to have estimated that he could “make more than $43 million a year from diagnostic kits”.
You should also have mentioned that Andrew Wakefield was STRUCK OFF the medical register, after a GMC (General Medical Council) investigation into his study. He should NOT be called Dr. Andrew Wakefield, just Andrew Wakefield.
You should also mention that until today, autistic enterocolitis, the disease that Andrew Wakefield claimed to have discovered is NOT A REAL DISEASE. It has never been seen by anyone else.
You should also mention that THOUSANDS of studies have been conducted on the MMR vaccine by independent researchers. NOT ONE have found any correlation, much less causation, between the MMR vaccine and autism.
It is also interesting to note that autism can now be diagnosed in toddlers as young as SIX MONTHS OLD. Since the MMR vaccine is only given at around the age of 1, it would be IMPOSSIBLE for the MMR vaccine to cause autism unless it has a time machine.
I hope you will publish a correction of Andrew Wakefield’s sordid record. It is important to clarify the TRUTH for the parents.
I am frankly APPALLED at how much space you allowed anti-vaccination parents to vent their ignorance. This is false equivalence. They do not have the knowledge to debate vaccines, much less attempt to change policy.
Vaccines save lives. Many of us are alive today because of vaccines. Including those anti-vaccination parents. It would be a shame for their children if they have to suffer because of their parents’ ignorant fears.
The Health Ministry Refutes Claim
In a surprising twist, the Malaysian Health Ministry’s Deputy Director-General Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman issued a press release today, refuting The Star’s article. Specifically, he stated that the Ministry of Health did not direct government clinics to avoid giving two immunisation injections on the same day. Here is his press release (in Malay), followed by our English translation :
Deputy Director-General of Health (Public Health)
Ministry of Health, Malaysia
The Ministry of Health refers to the report in the English newspaper The Star on 24 October 2016 titled “One Shot Too Many” (printed version) and “Don’t Give Two Jabs On The Same Day” (online version), that stated that the concern about the risk of multiple immunisation injections causing autism in children had caused the Ministry of Health to order clinics to avoid giving two injections on the same day. I would like to stress that both the Ministry of Health and I never made a statement to that effect and my answer to several questions on this issue has been misunderstood and can confuse (the reader).
The question about two different vaccines given simultaneously that some parents claim had damaged the brain of their children and caused autism specifically referred to the vaccination at 18 months of age. I had explained in my answer than the vaccination at 18 months of age is a pentavalent vaccine that is given in one injection, and it is the same vaccine given at 2, 3 and 5 months of age. It was explained that this vaccine is not related to autism and the statement was backed with evidence that was reported.
I have also explained (in the context of the claim that the multivalent vaccine at 18 months of age causes autism), that according to the National Immunisation Schedule, the vaccine has always been given separately, except where there is a missed vaccination and it is being given as a replacement injection. The separate dose schedule has nothing to do with the concerns of parents about autism, and really about the comfort / convenience of the children and their parents. In fact, in some situations and some countries, the administration of multiple vaccine injections in the same day is the standard practice and has no ill effects.
As such, the Ministry of Health hopes that the media will be more careful in their reporting and is requesting for an urgent correction so that it will not confuse the public as this issue has great implications to society.
Sincerely, thank you.
Datuk Dr. Lokman Hakim bin Sulaiman
Deputy Director-General (Public Health)
24 October 2016
Many thanks to Dr. Chan Jian-Huei and Ivan Ng for directing me to the press statement!
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