Until and unless we compare the vaccinated to the never vaccinated, we will never know if vaccines, whether in general or specifically, result in better health outcomes for those who are administered them.

And forget the argument that people who don’t vaccinate might be different and that might affect the results: If the never-vaccinated are healthier than the vaccinated, wouldn’t we want to know it? We could then go about trying to understand why.

The failure to do such studies speaks volumes.

As far as using the excuse that there are limitations and difficulties with conducting such studies, fine. Don’t do them. But stop pretending you know that the benefits of vaccines (far) outweigh the risks.

Finally, the hue and cry over the Wakefield paper is so out of proportion to the alleged wrongdoings, one has to wonder who’s behind it and why it is happening.

If those who are claiming such egregious flaws really cared whether or not the Wakefield paper was fatally in err, they would do a properly designed and conducted retrospective study comparing those who have only gotten the MMR to those who have never been vaccinated at all. Only then might we get closer to the truth.

But that isn’t going to happen, because there is no official interest in really knowing it.

So instead we get a smoke-screen designed to quell further debate and put the fear of God (or something) in anyone contemplating challenging the status quo.

Competing interests: I am President of the only website on the Internet that goes to great effort to publish all sides of the vaccination controversy.

Source: BMJ Rapid Response, Sandy Gottstein

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