Where did it all begin? This rabid anti-vax movement?

By Wiiliam Beier

I grew up when parents in this country were terrified of their children contracting polio, and Jonas Salk became almost a saint for having developed a vaccine to prevent the crippling disease.

Smallpox, TB, and other previously devastating diseases were significantly reduced because intelligent, brave, educated, socially conscientious medical and scientific professionals labored exhaustively to develop medicines to protect people and their children from childhood diseases such as mumps, measles, chicken pox, and many others. Uncounted pregnant women and their fetuses were shielded nation-wide because of the government mandate to vaccinate children entering school, and thus reduce the spread of contagion.

And the Lord smiled.

Fast-forward to 1998 and what has become justifiably reviled in the annals of medical research as the “Lancet MMR Autism Fraud” and the sad consequences of one man’s greed and dishonesty.

Enter Andrew Wakefield, the director and star of the 2016 anti-vaccination film Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe, a sacred movie among those deriding vaccines in general and the COVID vaccines in particular. As a reviewer in The Wall Street Journal, said: “If Vaxxed had been submitted as science fiction, it would merit attention for its story line, character development and dialogue. But as a documentary it misrepresents what science knows about autism, undermines public confidence in the safety and efficacy of vaccines, and attacks the integrity of legitimate scientists and public-health officials.”

So who is Andrew Wakefield, and why are people saying awful things about him?

Well, for those interested, ex-Dr. Wakefield authored, and convinced 12 others to co-sign as authors with him, an article published in the well-respected British medical journal Lancet that falsely claimed to link the MMR vaccine to colitis and autism. However, after a well-documented expose in The Times, coupled with thorough investigations, the British General Medical Council (GMC) in 2010 found that Wakefield had been dishonest in his research, had acted against his patients’ best interests and mistreated developmentally delayed children, and had “failed in his duties as a responsible consultant”. The Lancet fully retracted Wakefield’s 1998 publication on the basis of the GMC’s findings, noting that elements of the manuscript had been falsified and that the journal had been “deceived” by Wakefield. Wakefield was booted off the UK medical register and was barred from practicing medicine in the UK. Most of his co-authors then formally withdrew their authorship once Wakefield’s deception was revealed.

Aside from the fact other researchers were unable to replicate Wakefield’s findings, raising obvious suspicion in the medical/scientific community, The Sunday Times reported that Wakefield had “fixed” results and “manipulated” patient data in his 1998 paper, creating the appearance of a link with autism. In addition, Wakefield’s financial incentive for fabricating the hoax was revealed with previously undisclosed financial conflicts of interest on Wakefield’s part, disclosing his patent for a single measles vaccine where he reportedly stood to earn up to $43 million per year selling test kits. (For those interested in more information about Wakefield’s financial rewards, unethical behavior, and loss of medical and scientific respectability from the whole sordid episode, check Wikipedia under “Andrew Wakefield” and “Lancet MMR autism fraud”, to which this article is heavily indebted.)

Wakefield’s Lancet paper has been described as “perhaps the most damaging medical hoax of the 20th Century,” resulting in a sharp drop in vaccination rates in Britain, Ireland, and America. And, despite being refuted, has led to an increase in the incidence of measles and mumps, resulting in deaths and serious permanent injuries.

One man’s greed, a political party’s cynical exploitation of fear, and a President’s callous disregard for public safety have all converged to create the healthcare mess that had been avoided by previous Presidents threatened with similar pandemics. With people like Tucker Carlson and others pushing the anti-vax anti-mask agenda (despite, in all likelihood, having been vaccinated himself), a better educated populace should be more interested in facts and the safety of their loved ones than the false rhetoric tooting so-called personal “freedom.”

When you witness the sick and bury the dead, remember the individual who started us on the road to our present national tragedy.

The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Natchitoches Parish Journal.  If you have an article or story of interest for publishing consideration by the NPJ, please send it to NPJNatLa@gmail.com.


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18 thoughts on “Where did it all begin? This rabid anti-vax movement?

  1. DC
    I don’t know of a single instance of when this was not true concerning natural immunity.

    Thanks for sharing,

  2. Keep drinking the kool-aid. Biggest bunch of false analogies and specious logical connections to false narratives postulated in one commentary I’ve read in awhile. I’m sure you are in favor of a total shut down to the disease laden Covid infected third world migrants flooding into America As I am all so sure you were also more than outraged at the irresponsible behavior of those that spread the totally behaviorally driven AIDS epidemic all over the world and the privacy rights that protected those infected with AIDS from being held responsible for spreading aids arond the world. Funny how nobody is calling out the fools here in America and China that are really at fault for us being in this situation to begin with.

    • And where did it all begin…..with corruption and incompetence by those in government here in America and the Chinese Communist that facilitated whether intentional or not the spread of this virus all over the planet

  3. Fairly often I see tv commercials for class action lawsuits for drugs that were FDA approved, developed by science, and may even have worked for what it was developed for.
    But then people start getting cancer, or dying of some other disease that winds up being linked to this drug that was developed by science and fully FDA approved.
    Now we find ourselves in a pandemic. People are scared. So now these same drug companies come out with these vaccines but they are only emergency approved by the FDA and guess what, if your heart swells up and you die, your family can’t sue.
    There are more than one side to this issue. It’s not as simple as “take the vaccine and covid goes away” Many new cases are in people who have been vaccinated.
    If you want to get the shit, that’s your choice, but if you don’t want to, you shouldn’t be forced or bullied into it.

  4. Why was a disease politicized? It’s beyond dumb. I grew up when vaccinations were given at schools. I was vaccinated for small pox and polio with my second-grade class in the cafeteria in 1962. Why? Because those were devastating diseases that destroyed lives. I had friends who had had polio because they were not vaccinated in time. I am vaccinated against Covid. My 13 year old son is vaccinated. My grown children are vaccinated. If I could get my 11-year old daughter vaccinated, she would be. If you don’t want to believe in science, throw away all of your electronics, don’t get in a car, get off the internet, don’t brush your teeth, dump all of your kitchen appliances, never fly in a airplane, and never take any medications or go to a doctor. All of these came to us through the scientific method and people of science. Not one was the product of politics or a politicians. Science produces things that work. Politicians produce things that get them re-elected and keep them in power. They will only say and do things that make their support base happy.

    • The science says if you already had it you dont need a vaccine, science says if you are healthy you have less then .05% of dying from , science says kids rarely have problems if they even get it, science says their are thousands of people kids included having heart problems after the vaccine. Science says the new strand is not very deadly but more contagious deaths are waaay down. The problem it seems you only want to listen to the science that that lies and changes their mind weekly

      • DC
        Go to the LDH (Louisiana Department of Health) Coronavirus.

        Your science is rapidly becoming out of date since the new and different delta variant is here. LOOK at the statistics and at all the graphs.

        Look at what is happening to our hospitals in Shreveport/Bossier. They are running our of beds for covid, ICU and anything else. Look at the information on daily updated graphs on this subject as well. (Nothing new posted on this site over the weekends.)

        When anyone is hospitalized, they are seriously ill or you are sent home.
        Suffering with this is severe. When you are in ICU and on a ventilator, you are dead or almost dead. You can no longer supply your own oxygen to your body. The ventilator keeps you alive. If you “pull the plug” on all ventilator patients the greatest majority would die. The long term effects can be anywhere from: months of recuperation, gangrene and amputation of extremities, kidney failure, brain damage – because with life failing covid, the entire body in one way or another is affected. How affected- depends on many variables. You don’t want to be there and neither do any of the people you would spread it to.

        The most important trend to watch now (today and each day)is the the number of new hospitalizations here in Louisiana. Death increases should follow because so many of these patients are on life support for a month or more. The out of control rise in hospitalizations has only begun about a month ago. So lets wait and see- about deaths (since that seems to be the major concern) and what this is going to do to children once school starts. Predictions are, kids will be getting more gravely affected. And young adults are leading in hospitalizations and ICU. It is not old people anymore. Let’s wait and see, right?

        • So well put. I wouldn’t want anyone I love, or anyone at all, suffering in the ways you describe. Thank you for painting such a vivid picture, Old RN.

  5. Well researched information. I happen to have a 27 year old autistic daughter, and that brings a different opinion to some of the information. But that is a personal opinion. I appreciate the the information though. You really ruined the whole article when you went political. I understand that is your opinion though. Next time, maybe keep the politics out of the information. Some may take it more seriously.
    (Oh, I got the “hokey pokey”. Sickest I’ve been through the whole pandemic.)

  6. Great article.
    I hope it educates some people who have become deaf to this covid vaccine.
    I have certainly tried, but there are people who will not listen to a retired professional, after 6 years of formal education and 40 years of applied and tested clinical information.
    I have always dedicated myself to helping cure people, provide comfort and teach individual patients, families, the public to prevent the nightmares that I saw and hoped would never see again.

    Once I was listened to. But today, people search for what they want to believe, and think that their untested knowledge is better than real life experiences.
    I love sick people. I love those who are in danger of becoming sick. All of them even those who are spitting in my face (so to speak) in disagreeing.
    I have learned from this. It is almost impossible to change thinking patterns like what you described here in your article.

    Against all odds, I pray you will.

    • Seems like you only believe in what you want to believe. I just listened to a REAL doctor who studies these viriuses for a living. And he explains so everyone can understand if you already had the virus of any variance your immunity is overwelming better then this vaccine. You see the vaccine only disrupts and stops one of the many protiens of the covid and this is why even if you get vaccine you can still get it. but with you already having the covid your immunity system fights all variants of the covid that means all the reported 1,000 different variants around the world. So it is PROVEN with many studies in which he listed some studies and stated where to get the studies that if you already had covid you need no vaccine.

  7. Dr Wakefield was a fraud and should have been tried an incarcerated for what he did. That was a fraud and has nothing to do with the Covid -19 vaccine. I believe the Covid -19 vaccine should be available for any individual that wants it, but to force it on someone is wrong. Especially since the vaccine has not gained full approval from the FDA. I remember the Anthrax vaccine that was given to the US Military during the Gulf war. Many former service members are suffering the effects of that vaccine, some of the long term effects are:
    Autoimmune arthritis, Multiple sclerosis, Lupus, Infertility, Allergic neuritis (nerve inflammation that can lead to paralysis)
    Allergic uveitis (eye muscle inflammation that can compress the optic nerve and lead to blindness)
    Congenital disabilities in children

    I’m not against the vaccine, I just think that it’s an individual choice. The vaccine has shown to be effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths in those that have been vaccinated.

    • I would agree with you, except viruses do not infect only one individual, they spread across populations without impunity- they will infect as many individuals as they can. It is not an individual decision, it is a civic decision, a decision based on doing onto others as you would have them do onto you. We are all in this COVID pandemic together.

  8. Thank you for bringing this information to our attention. This morning I have independently verified this information in the medical register in the U.K. and in an article by the Texas Children’s Hospital. Everyone who is eligible should be vaccinated against Covid. It is the only way out of this nightmare. I have personally seen the effects of an unvaccinated person’s Covid illness on my family and my baby granddaughter.

    • Thank you Lady Blue Dog!!!!
      So very sorry about your family and your baby granddaughter.

      Another example of real life experience vs google.

      All I want is to never hear another story like what you just posted. Never hear of the horrible suffering that covid ahs caused.

      People can’t you say enough of this suffering? Quit denying the stories of witnesses- get into the real world.

      Please people!

    • This nightmare will never be over until we have a new president that cares about america and doesnt lie to the citizens about it.

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