A Sample Annotated Bibliography: Vaccine Annotated Bibliography

Long Quote sample

“The quality of The Lancet paper [the paper that started the connection with autism and vaccines], and other output from the research group, has been widely criticized, being described by the Chief Medical Officer of the UK as poor science. The reported associations have not been confirmed by anyone, anywhere in the world” (Taylor 513).

Taylor, Brent. “Vaccines and the changing epidemiology of autism.” Journal compilation 32.5 (2006): 511-519. Web.

This  paper outlines the fact that  it is most likely that  incidences  of  autism have not  actually increased, rather  our diagnostic  capabilities have improve  and  our  definitions of the disease have expanded so that  previously  undetected cases are now being detected. The very discussion of prevalence versus incidence often overlooks that prevalence is a measure of the number of individuals in a population that have a defined disease and is subject to problems like poor response rates.   Studies over the same area repeatedly over the same area indicate that incidence, the number of new cases of a condition has remained stable.  In other words, there has not been an uptick in the number of new cases of autism.  Brent quotes Jonathon Swift in saying “Falsehood flies and the truth comes limping after; so when men come to be undeceived, it is too late: the jest is over and the tale has had its effect to describe the public sentiment that vaccines cause   autism (p.517).  The first study that was then widely cited was eventually disproved after other studies.   Systematic reviews have found no link and the author suggest that this panic is partially the fault of the media for cultivating hysteria.

Kirkland, Anna. “The Legitimacy of Vaccine Critics:What Is Left after the Autism Hypothesis?” Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 37.1 (2012): 69-97. Web.

This article examines the reactions that vaccine doubters are having now that it has been established in the scientific community that vaccines do not cause autism. An enormous amount of money and  effort has been  spent  on research  and litigation on this issue  as  in the  early days following the  1998   Lancet article, there was  a significant amount of  controversy and  actual  legitimate  concern.  However this article was found to be scientifically inadequate, other scientists disproved and the conclusion has been already set.  By examining the  discourse between the  anti-vaccine community and the  external  community, the  author comes to the conclusion that by  relying  on  sources that have been  discredited  in the  mainstream, the  anti-vaccine  movement strengthens its  own internal legitimacy at the  cost of external  legitimacy, however by  mimicking the mainstream  position they have  continued to be given a space in the political  process. According to Kirkland, “Vaccine critics have built an alternative world of internal legitimacy that mimics all the features of the mainstream research world — the journals, the conferences, the publications, the letters after the names — and some leaders have gained access to policy-making positions.  The research methodology that  the  author follows takes  into account the  fact that there are  different actors witching  and external to the  anti-vaccine  movement that each shape the  movement  in its own way.

Haertlein, L. “Immunizing against bad science:The vaccine court and the Autism Test Cases.” Law and Contemporary Problems 75.211 (2012): 211-232. Web.

This article identifies that the more serious issue involved in the legal cases that are being   brought to the court is the loss of trust in vaccines.  There is  a tension  between what the public  views as  adequate  proof  to  bring before the court and what the  court   consider meeting the  burden  of proof. The vaccine court is unique and specifically geared to hearing cases related to vaccine law. The center of the dispute when it comes to vaccine cases is the fact that causation in off table suits i.e. those that have not been already recognized as cased vaccines is that the law only requires that “the petitioner’s theory of causation needed only to be “‘logical’ and legally probable, not medically or scientifically certain” (p.215).  This is actually quite a low bar and the recent spate of vaccine cases is testing these limits and demonstrating that there is a need for stronger requirements, especially since the   federal circuit have already chastised the court for raising restrictions without permission. The test cases  put  in front of the court have  criticized the courts decisions  and accused them  of  enforcing  a higher standard of  proof  in autism  suits. In reality, what is needed is a more scientific consideration in the law itself

Jarrett, Christian. “Autism –myth and reality.” Psychologist 27.10 (2014): 746-749. Web

This article tackles some of the myths that surround autism. He states that that “Not everyone with autism is a genius… People with autism can be friendly and caring” additionally he affirms that the   “  The MMR vaccine does not cause autism”    Like other  papers considered  for the  article,  it cites the  Lancet article and reminds audiences that this  paper was  actually  redacted from the   journal and that this  doctor  lost his  medical  license because of his  poor  behavior.  Unfortunately  this  myth is very  pervasive and is causing a fall  in vaccination rates that  in turn Is  costing lives as  children become ill will diseases that  could have  prevented by  getting the vaccine.

This  article is  short of  information  specifically about the  vaccine  issues  but it does  call also call into  questions the validity of the idea that there is an  increasing  outbreak of  autism, related to vaccines or otherwise.  If there has been no increase in the number of children with autism, then it’s unlikely that vaccines are at fault

Miller, Lisa and Joni Reynolds. “Autism and Vaccination—The Current Evidence.” Journal Compilation 14.3 (2009): 166-172. Web.

The focus of this article is to clearly outline what the scientific research on autism is.  Nurses and health practitioners want to know what they should tell their patients.  The article beings with an explanation of the history of vaccines in the United States and how vaccines are monitored to ensure that there are not issues with them. The  success of vaccines  has led to a situation where  parents  are not  concerned about the disease because they  don’t  know  anything about how  terrible it  is for  their children As the authors point  out “parents[are] not experiencing firsthand…these diseases…are now more concerned about the risks, real and theoretical, of recommended childhood vaccines.  Ultimately however these fears are unfounded because there is no scientific evidence for a connection between   vaccines and autism and vaccination rates are again starting to rise (p.167).