Link to CDC article/website: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/autism.html
In class last week we talked about how science and society communicate with each other, or really the lack of communication and understanding between the two. Specifically, we discussed the “deficit model” which is the most dominant model of understanding between scientists and society. Basically, it is science/scientists saying “I cannot believe the public is stupid enough to believe X”, X being whatever the scientific topic/issue is. In class we mentioned the idea that it is crazy how society still believes that vaccines cause autism when there have been numerous studies to prove this wrong.
I decided to do more research on autisms and vaccines. I went on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website (CDC) and found several studies to debunk this myth. For example, in 2011 an Institute of Medicine (IOM) did a report on eight vaccines given to children and adults and found that with rare exceptions, vaccines are very safe and show no direct correlation to autism. Also, in another 2013 study by the CDC they looked at the number of antigens, or, the substances in vaccines that cause the body’s immune system to produce disease-fighting antibodies, from vaccines during the first two years of life. Results concluded that the total amount of antigens from vaccines received was the same between children with autism and those that did not have autism, therefore shows no direct correlation.
Even with all this research and case studies done, people still believe vaccines can cause autism. Personally, I do not understand why the general public still has that mindset. These case studies, reports, and research are coming from a highly reputable, scientific source, the CDC. I think that people do not believe this because they are stubborn and already have preconceived notions about what they believe scientifically. Also, I think the general public is confused and does not understand scientific research and the language they use. If only scientists could put their findings into layman’s terms, then maybe society would understand and comprehend what they are trying to prove to the general public.