Rob Schneider thinks vaccinations cause autism; medical science says he’s wrong. (Anti-vaccination celebrities, Part 1)

September 24, 2014

Vaccination

Rob Schneider

State Farm Insurance recently dropped Rob Schneider from their advertising. Why? Rob Schneider says vaccines cause autism.

Here’s a screenshot:

Rob Schneider Anti Vaccination Video

“Yes, vaccines and autism are linked.” – Rob Schneider

Rob Schneider is not a doctor, and he is not supported by any legitimate medical research.

This requires a point-by-point debunking.

1. “in the last 30 years, the childhood vaccine schedule has tripled, while the US autism rate has skyrocketed from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 50.”

There are multiple things wrong with this statement.

A. Correlation does not equal causation

We all know this statement by now, right? I don’t need to explain this.

The penguin population has been declining, and autism diagnosis has been increasing. Would saving penguins fight autism? No, since there is no causal relationship. (If you have any studies suggestion otherwise, please let me know.)

B. Autism diagnoses, not rates, have been increasing

According to National Geographic: “Nationwide, it’s likely that the increase is due to heightened disease awareness, more screening within schools, and a willingness to label the condition, says the CDC. State-by-state numbers can be explained similarly.”

2. “The 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act shields companies from liability for injuries and deaths caused by vaccines”

Now we’re getting into, “I’m not a legal scholar, but…” territory.

This is also misleading. This act actually created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which is designed to do several things: (Source)

  • Ensure adequate supply of vaccines
  • stabilize vaccine costs
  • Provide a forum for individuals found to be injured by vaccines

The act created a system so that individuals can bring up their injury claims!

3. “Vaccine induced autism”

The reason pharmaceutical companies can’t be held liable for Eric’s “vaccine induced autism” is because there is no legally or medically recognized proof that vaccines cause autism, not because pharmaceutical companies are shielded by legislation.

Individuals can of course sue these companies for medically and legally recognized adverse effects of vaccines, which are extremely rare.

We can look to history to find why the vaccine legislation was passed.

In the early 1980s, there was a flood of lawsuits over the DTP vaccine, which contained the whole cell pertussis vaccine. A 1982 report called Vaccine Roulette claimed that the DTP vaccine caused permanent brain injury.

However, decades of research have shown that the MMR and DPT vaccines are safe, as evidenced by a study by the New England Journal of Medicine that is titled, “Strong Evidence for the Safety of MMR and DPT Vaccines.” (Source)

There was a legitimate need to find a way to handle lawsuits caused by unfounded public fear. They created a no-fault system to quickly compensate sufferers of legitimate vaccine injuries.

An excessive number of legitimate and frivolous lawsuits leveled against vaccine producers could cause destabilization of the vaccine supplies, leading to a very real public health threat. This is why we needed better legal mechanisms to handle these cases.

I know there are more vaccine myths to be dealt with, so please see Part 2, coming soon.

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About jslachman381

I'm a Yale graduate who majored in History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health.

View all posts by jslachman381

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4 Comments on “Rob Schneider thinks vaccinations cause autism; medical science says he’s wrong. (Anti-vaccination celebrities, Part 1)”

  1. crestwind24 Says:

    Reblogged this on CauseScience and commented:
    This is a terrific piece looking at vaccines and the complete lack of evidence tying them to autism…. really Rob Shneider???? You were Deuce Bigalow…

    Like

    Reply

  2. tnwjackson Says:

    Indeed, vaccine myths remind one of the many heads of the Hydra! Here’s another: http://tnwjackson.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/sids-and-the-tripedia-vaccine-an-opinion-piece/

    Like

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Turning an anti-vaccine argument on its head: How the Rubella vaccine helps prevent autism | "I'm not a scientist, but…" - November 4, 2014

    […] to correct misleading or incorrect statements by celebrities and politicians, such as Jim Carrey, Rob Schneider, and Michelle Bachmann. However, one argument that has not been widely considered is how vaccines […]

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