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Elle Macpherson, “anti-vaxx” nonsense, and the opportunity to engage

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k3255 (Published 31 July 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3255

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Re: Elle Macpherson, “anti-vaxx” nonsense, and the opportunity to engage

One would have though this is both trivial and no one's business [1].

As a serious medical journal reporting current affairs I look forward to an article from BMJ engaging with the steepling and unexplained rates of autism emerging from public data, not being addressed (with or without Wakefield) [ 2,3,4,5,6]. With great government neglect and for whatever the reasons rates of autism in schools are more than ten times the level they were when Wakefield was questioned at the famous Royal Free news conference in 1998 (notably a reported rate of 4.7% in Belfast) and we need to know why.

I also look forward to a report of the paper by Jørgensen, Gøtzsche and Jefferson in BMJ Evidenced-Based Medicine [7] on the Cochrane review of HPV vaccines [8], in which three senior and Cochrane affiliated scientists attack the foundations of the review's methodology and raise a host of red flags over product safety. The original paper was regarded as a news event by BMJ [9] and the profession should really be informed about this matter, which cannot be dismissed as "anti-vaxx" nonsense.

These are matters of substance and they should not be hidden under froth.

[1] Timothy Caulfield, 'Elle Macpherson, “anti-vaxx” nonsense, and the opportunity to engage', BMJ 2018; 362 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k3255 (Published 31 July 2018)

[2] John Stone, 'Re: Autism spectrum disorder: advances in diagnosis and evaluation', 21 May 2018, https://www.bmj.com/content/361/bmj.k1674/rr

[3] John Stone, 'Re: Autism spectrum disorder: advances in diagnosis and evaluation: Nothing to see here folks!" 26 July 2018, https://www.bmj.com/content/361/bmj.k1674/rr-8

[4] JK Anand, , 'Re: Autism spectrum disorder: advances in diagnosis and evaluation. Mr John Stone's response', 27 July 2018, https://www.bmj.com/content/361/bmj.k1674/rr-9

[5] John Stone, 'Re: Autism spectrum disorder: advances in diagnosis and evaluation' 27 July 2018, https://www.bmj.com/content/361/bmj.k1674/rr-10

[6] John Stone, 'The rise in autism - this is how the Department of Health replied in 2000. What about now?' , 28 July 2018, https://www.bmj.com/content/361/bmj.k1674/rr-11

[7] Lars Jørgensen , Peter C Gøtzsche , Tom Jefferson, 'The Cochrane HPV vaccine review was incomplete and ignored important evidence of bias' , https://ebm.bmj.com/content/early/2018/07/27/bmjebm-2018-111012

[8] Marc Arbyn, Lan Xu,Cindy Simoens,Pierre PL Martin-Hirsch, 'Prophylactic vaccination against human papillomaviruses to prevent cervical cancer and its precursors', 9 May 2018, http://cochranelibrary-wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD009069.pub3/full

[9] Nigel Hawkes, 'HPV vaccines are effective and safe and work best in young women, review finds',
BMJ 2018; 361 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k2059 (Published 09 May 2018)

Competing interests: I am author of a complaint to IPSO against a similar article in the Daily Telegraph in which I appear.

31 July 2018
John Stone
UK Editor
AgeofAutism.com
London N22