Anthony Mundine's Anti-Vax Tweet Is His Worst Brain Explosion Yet
Man oh man, The Man has really put his foot in it this time.
Anthony Mundine believes vaccines are bad, and he is wrong. He has of course been wrong on countless issues before.
He was wrong when he said he was the best ever Australian sportsman, he was wrong when he said America brought the 9/11 attacks upon itself, and he was wrong when he said he'd beat Jeff Horn's arse in his final fight, which lasted just 90 seconds.
But today, he was wrong in a much more dangerous way, when he tweeted anti-vax gobbledygook.
How can we be so sure he was wrong?
Because the anti-vax movement is largely predicated on a thoroughly discredited minor article that appeared in peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet in 1998.
In the study, which involved just 12 children (a number far too small to be a reliable sample size), the authors claimed a link between the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, and autism.
The study was quickly debunked, and the article was totally discredited. Indeed it was retracted by The Lancet and one of its authors, Andrew Wakefield, was subsequently struck off the medical register.
The documentary Mundine urged people to watch today was written and directed by -- wait for it -- Andrew Wakefield.
Yes, the same Andrew Wakefield who was stripped of his license by Britain's General Medical Council because of his "callous disregard for the distress and pain the [un-vaccinated] children might suffer".
For those interested, the Australian Medical Association aims to have a 95 percent national vaccination rate in Australia. Nationally the rate is currently more like 93.5 percent.
A common misconception among anti-vaxxers is that unvaccinated children do others no harm, so who do people like Mundine hurt when they spout anti-vax opinions?
The answer is all of us, because they compromise our herd immunity. As the AMA says:
"Vaccination rates of 95 percent are needed to protect vulnerable members of the community -- infants, the elderly, and those with suppressed immune systems -- from these highly transmissible, infectious diseases. Children who are not fully protected are susceptible in an outbreak of infectious disease.”
Or to put it really simply, vaccines work. And without them we're all at risk.
Meanwhile, authorities in New York City have just declared a public health emergency over a measles outbreak. Closer to home, and there have been 35 confirmed cases of measles in NSW since Christmas.
If Anthony Mundine were to say that this is an attack which America brought on itself due to anti-vax scaremongering, he might finally have a point worth making.