Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy are very critical of vaccines. They assert that vaccines cause autism.
Criticising vaccines is a dangerous business. Vaccines are arguably one of the greatest, if not the greatest, medical advances in history. Anyone whose causes people to stop vaccinating their children runs the risk of being blamed for illness, permanent injury and death if/when the diseases return.
Mr. Carrey seems aware of this. In his recent blog piece he made a point of noting:
We have never argued that people shouldn’t be immunized for the most serious threats including measles and polio
This statement bothered me enough that I discussed it in two pieces ( here and here ) about measles outbreaks in Wales and the US.
I wanted to highlight the fact that the website for Mr. Carrey’s organization (Generation Rescue) includes language specifically telling people to avoid the measles vaccine.
Even after blogging that, somehow Mr. Carrey’s statement statement still bothered me. Then I remembered why.
A year ago, Mr. Carrey’s movie, “Horton Hears a Who”, was in theaters. One group in New Mexico decided to offer a screening of Horton with an added benefit: free vaccinations for children who came.
This didn’t sit well with Mr. Carrey, who decided to put a stop to the free vaccination program. According to Lisa Akerman of TACA (Talk About Curing Autism, another group that has had Jenny McCarthy as a spokes-person):
Once word from the autism community (Who-ville in this case) got to the Carrey & McCarthy super team about this story of a New Mexico vaccination plot things got a brewing. After his morning coffee, Jim made a few calls this morning on behalf of the autism community.
Following a long discussion with his representatives at Fox Entertainment – Who-ville – once again through Horton – was heard. The New Mexico test market of drive thru vaccines while at the movies with your children was stopped. Halted by Horton himself…
So, Mr. Carrey doesn’t “argue” that people shouldn’t be immunized. He just stops them from being immunized.