I've been slowly absorbing this whole autism and vaccine controversy through osmosis, mostly by poking fun of the people I'm told to at the science blogs I frequent. One of those blogs just roped me into joining a book discussion on the subject, since I was one of the fifty first lemmings to sign up and win a free copy of the book. We're going to be reading Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure, and I have to post a minimum three comments, or somesuch. It feels like homework, but on the up side, I'll also get to post here about what I learn.
Feel free to join the book club discussion here. I will be posting as douchashov.
To start, let me say that although I am biased towards the anti-vaccine movement, I am also floored by the non-chalant attitude towards vaccination in the medical establishment.
I just had to take my daughter to get medical clearance for pre-school and they wanted to give her six vaccines! What? I said no way, and so they called a doctor to negotiate. "Well the Hep-A booster isn't really needed right away", etc. etc. Turns out, two of the six vaccines she had already been given on previous visits but they are apparently too lax about updating their records to keep track of this. Luckily I was a hard-ass and made them look over everything twice. As it is, she got four vaccines and I had to hold her down while two personnel worked her arms (one on each side.)
I don't think this is a unique phenomenon since I got a notice through school administration that my account was on hold since I wasn't up to date on my shots. I went in and they didn't have a record that I'd gotten my second MMR. (One of the shots my daughter got was also the MMR--Mumps, Measles, Rubella--and this appears to be one of the main vaccines of contention in the anti-vaccine movement). I made them order my charts from medical records, a process that took TWO WEEKS, and yup, I'd already had it. They just hadn't marked the appropriate check-box on their computers. How sweet and fleeting those moral victories.