You may recall Sam Wang, the Princeton neuroscientist whose statistical analyses I referred to frequently during the 2012 election. He now has an article in the New York Times where he analyzes the actual risks for causing autism versus the frequency of news coverage. As he says, “by far the largest risk is genetic. In comparison, the measured impact of environmental risks ranges from nonexistent to small, unless you work directly with chemicals in a factory.”
The results are strikingly presented in this graph and shows how the fear of vaccines causing it tends to dominate the coverage even though there is no statistically significant case to be made for it.
The vaccine fear-mongering of a few continues to cause trouble, with new reports of mumps outbreaks in Ohio and elsewhere.