Why you (hopefully) won’t hear claims that the MMR vaccine protects against autism

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Matt Carey made the following point in a comment in this post about the CDC’s recent report on national vaccination rates; I thought it was worth highlighting:

Despite being the state with the second lowest MMR vaccine uptake rate in the country, New Jersey has among the highest reported incidences of autism. As Matt wrote, “I expect that if there were a high MMR uptake in New Jersey, we’d be hearing about it loud and clear from those promoting vaccine-causation.”

I’ll go a step further. If pro-science vaccine advocates adopted the same approach that many vaccine opponents do — i.e., if they refused to acknowledge the difference between correlation and causation or if they cherry-picked irrelevant data in an attempt to prove preconceived notions of reality– these figures would undoubtedly be used to try to prove that the MMR vaccine actually prevents autism.

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