[Source: Time Magazine]
If there’s one great truth of political debate, it’s this: when noise trumps knowledge, someone’s going to get hurt. That’s been proven anew with Wednesday’s report that vaccination rates for children with health insurance have been falling — due mostly to fears about the widely disproven link between vaccines and autism. If there was a glimmer of good — and surprising — news in the report it’s that vaccination rates for kids on Medicaid are on the rise.
The evidence for a vaccine-autism link has always been more observational than scientific. A child gets vaccinated and soon after, autism symptoms emerge. The apparent cause-and-effect is understandable but erroneous — more a coincidence of the calendar and childhood developmental stages than anything else, as repeated and exhaustive studies have shown. But the fear has stuck and it’s the kids themselves who are paying the price. (More on Time.com: How Safe Are Vaccines?)