Assignment 2 – Science, the Media and Public Perceptions.Task 1 P2- https://www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/opinion/comment/mmr-and-the-effect-of-the-media-on-the-public-a-pharmacists-perspective/11122558.articleThe media has influenced the uptake of MMR by investigatingand publishing reports made by a Doctor Andrew Wakefield who proposed a linkbetween measles, mumps and rubella vaccination and autism.
Also the mediainfluenced the uptake of the MMR by spreading Wakefield’s evidence and reportin which it received widespread high-profile media coverage. Wakefield made every parent to believe thatthe MMR vaccine caused problems, which parents never thought to have seen as anissue before, but now had concerns and ‘doubts about its safety’ say The RoyalPharmaceutical Society publication. Due to the media’s influence from publicationsfrom papers to radios and even newspapers led more parents to question the usesof the vaccination. https://www.texaschildrens.org/blog/2011/03/making-sense-dr-andrew-wakefield-nowhttp://news.bbc.co.
uk/1/hi/health/6289166.stmDr Andrew Wakefield, a scientists known for his work in the field of Gastrointestinaldisorders based in America said to have found a possible link between MMR andlong term autism where he became a public figure publishing a paper in themedical journal ‘Lancet’ in ‘1998’ about his findings. Dr Andrew Wakefield had12 other participants collaborated with him but insisted he provided the datathat he presented himself.
One of the evidence he provided in his report was astudy he did to 12 children by giving them the MMR vaccine in which 9 out ofthe 12 were said to have autism caused by the effects of having the vaccination. He had said to havealso done several biopsies on the children in which he proposed that ‘receivingroutine MMR vaccination “maybe related” to a new syndrome’ most predominantlyautism. Reports made by the BBC news had said to have found ‘allegationsagainst the doctors’ who also helped Dr Wakefield with this study on 12children where they performed a series of tests including blood and urine testsas well as MRI scans. This study was set of to be very well handled however DrWakefield was not alleged to do any of the tests because of his poor levels of’paediatric qualifications’ and not having the correct approval for the tests.
This also included Wakefield and his correspondence Professor Walker-Smith ofbeing accused of being deceitful about not revealing the tests and the way theyemployed the children in their ‘Lancet’ report which caused serious suspicion. https://www.nhs.uk/news/medical-practice/ruling-on-doctor-in-mmr-scare/It was found that Wakefield was irresponsible for carryingout the tests on the children although there were 12 other correspondentsinvolved and he felt he wasn’t to be blamed for all this research but seen asmost responsible for conducting unnecessary tests the General Medical councilhad said. He mistreated his position as a doctor when proposing a link betweenMMR vaccination and autism. Carrying out the tests unethically without the’appropriate qualifications’ led the General Medical council –Brian Deer (aninvestigative journalist for The Sun) five years to rule out Wakefield’s work.
Itwas work and providing evidence against the facts made by Wakefield andinvestigations that it was found he falsifies all the medical evidence he gavein the report including about the study as well and about all the links hefound between the MMR vaccination and autism. It took this long to undertakeWakefield’s study and link between MMR and autism because of him promoting thetopic so much as such that it led him to have many televised press conferenceswhich made many people believe it without thinking because of the amount ofresearch he provided in the report but this worked because of him not revealinghe was a ‘paid adviser’ says the NHS. Thereby, this article influenced the parentsof autistic children in believing that MMR triggered their child’s conditionand this further strengthened the public concern despite of some other linksdismissed by medical authorities and governments. As per the evidenced in thedecline in vaccination coverage from 92 per cent in 1995 to less than 80 percent in 2003 (a figure closer to 60 per cent in some parts of London). As such NHS have revealed that MMR has sideeffects such as pain, swelling, rash, headache, fever, dizziness, joint musclepain and even vomiting but causes no harm or link to autism whatsoever as 31studied evidence has found. It’s the best vaccination to prevent seriousconditions such as being blind, brain damage and also death.
Parents may notwant their child vaccinated because of the dangers of side effects which couldcause problems and put of parents from taking the MMR. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4980764/Why-won-t-let-doctors-son-flu-vaccine.htmlCelebrities including Katie Hopkins who believed it’s notbest for her children to get vaccinated because she believes that if there’snothing wrong with her child then what’s the point of filling him up with somefluid.
She also believes that her children are more than fit and healthy toreceive a jab. She thinks staying away from hospitals prevents more illnesses.The only reason why Katie Hopkins became so populated about her not givingvaccinations to her children was because she posted all her opinions andcomments though social media, a populated media coverage which was Daily Mail.But it is impossible to believe such news because Katie Hopkins is a singer soshe’s no professional in vaccines. Second of all Katie Hopkins is not a doctorand cannot prove that children who are fit all the time won’t ever become illand won’t ever need the MMR vaccination.
Katie Hopkins can’t say without proofthat her son will never ever catch a cold because viruses spread quicker thanever a no such study even by a doctor has been conducted because there’s noproof or evidence to show that vaccines cause autism. This idea of KatieHopkins allowing herself to share what she thinks about vaccinations has madeevery parent to believe this without any evidence or professionalism in thiscertain field. This idea of her posting on a biased politically source forcertain shows how this news spread due to the heavy involvement of the mediawhich has made it seem that she is correct which places pressures on everyparent to question the vaccination. Withoutthe influence of the media placed on the parents Katie Hopkins would have neverbeen allowed to question vaccinations and their links to autism because she isnot a professor of any medical research or creator of any vaccination. Thisidea of parents not wanting their child to get vaccinated was all due to mediacoverage on Katie Hopkins and what she believed the jab caused and how itwasn’t useful at all for children who are perfectly well. Other reasons to whyparents have decided not to get their child vaccinated is they believe itcreates even more risks for certain symptoms of autism and this assumption iscreated by media which brings out people’s opinions rather than true facts. https://www.nhs.
uk/news/pregnancy-and-child/mmr-vaccine-does-not-cause-autism/NHS a much more reliable source has given statistics showingVaccines have no link to autism which is a much more reliable source than DailyMail which is politically biased and does not provide any evidence whatsoeverabout any links but only shows people’s opinions. Research conducted by NHShave shown there is no link whatsoever with the MMR vaccination and autism.However people’s concerns when having the MMR vaccinations have led to manychildren getting autism but this is not valid whatsoever because the tests donebased on the vaccination have shown that every method taken to see if there wasany links were all inadequate and wasn’t a true representation of the populationsand showed no links whatsoever from any biased blood samples. Some parents getthe vaccination however because it is much more adequate, safer and useful forthe child’s life and keeps them protected from harmful illnessTask 2 http://www.dailymail.
co.uk/health/article-3181406/Mobile-phones-linked-cancer-scientist-claims-Long-term-use-causes-disease-headaches-skin-irritation.htmlMobile phones cause cancer:Many newspaper articles have shown that mobile phones causecancer where newspapers like Daily Mail have said radiation from the phones cancreate it.
The article has also used references and evidence from Doctors suchDr Igor Yakymenko who is from The National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine andcommented on this particular issue indicating that due to the ‘oxidative stressof the radiofrequency exposure’ there could be a link between the mobile phonesand cancer. His argument was based on the chemical reactivity which he saidcreated the most impact towards the phone and creates internal conditions suchas high temperatures which increases oxygen species level which can create a hugeimpact on the body and cause cancer. However research conducted by the NHS haverevealed figures and statistics which demonstrates they have found nosignificant research of mobile phones causing link to cancer. An ecologicalstudy research done in Australia in 1980 tried to establish the fact thatmobile phones were definitely a causation of cancer. Due to the media heavilyportraying mobile phones causing cancer many people have started believing thatmobile phones are a causation and that is because scientists have claimed innews reports that the device could possibly cause cancer and this researchbeing highly reported by scientists makes people believe the facts rather thanthe knowledge of the whole topic.
But in the same report it says that mobile phonesdon’t have high levels of radiation but has non-ionising which means itcontains less energy to cause fatal cancer than any other variable. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/can-your-phone-give-you-cancer-new-study-says-it-could-a7051516.html However some reportsfrom the Independent news who are a very reliable source, say that mobilephones don’t cause cancer at all as there isn’t enough evidence created byscientists to prove this statement. Many previous studies don’t by thetoxicology labs in the US and scientists in the UK have been criticised for nothaving enough links between cancer and mobile phones because every researchthey did in the 1990s have had methodology problems to test whether mobilephones cause to spread high levels of radiation and have had too small samplesizes.
According to Cancer research who are more reliable say that it is veryunlikely that mobile phones cause cancer or any particular type of brain tumouras it doesn’t conceive enough energy to release radiation leading to cancer.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-13988882BBC news have also shown evidence in the article whichsuggests it is very rare to see mobile phones causing cancer.
People alsobelieve the Environmental health perspectives who identified flaws in thestudies created to find a link between cancer and mobile phones. A study wasdone to prove this point where 2,708 patients with brain tumour and people withoutbrain tumour. This research concluded that mobile phones users were less likelyto get cancer than heavy users of mobile phones. Which shows there is a linkbut not as much as studies found by Doctors in the US.
Professor AnthonySwerdlow who is from the institute of Cancer Research and also Professor DavidCoggon from the University of Southampton said the case about mobile phones havebeen considered a lot by scientists however now much evidence or conclusionsabout it causing cancer has been justified as yet which shows its misleading peoplein many ways. Some science researchers say mobile phones causes cancer wherepublic are concerned as medias are portraying the same story but in differentperceptions. The public views these cases are very confusing.
The public showthey understand very little of why mobile phones cause cancer because therejust isn’t enough evidence to say it does so. It is important to know thepublic perception of science as It allows the public to understand whether or notmobile phones cause cancer and why it’s so important if it causes risk or not. This shows that after all, science does change publicperception but this is influenced by media with their different reporting ofnews. Age is a varied factor that alternates public perception as an adult mayhave different opinions as compared to younger audiences. Different sources areused to change public views, as this depend on how accurate information isreported on different sources; scientific journals are more accurate thannewspaper articles. Again, all people think differently and may be personalexperience to enforce their thinking and thereby their opinions on science.