Expert Commentary

Welcome to the expert commentary section where our content experts review current issues for you.

Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

Joel A Harrison, PhD, MPH. Dr. Harrison has been closely following what he deems “the so-called vaccine controversy,” and is eager to volunteer his time to provide expert analysis of a variety of articles, research papers and books in order to systematically debunk the false claims made about the safety of vaccines. We hope you find Dr. Harrison's articles enlightening and we urge you to share them with your friends and colleagues.

Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law, UC Hastings College of Law
Dorit Reiss photo

Dorit Reiss is a Professor of Law at UC Hastings and writes blog posts and articles about legal issues related to vaccines. She is also a member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines.

Andrew Wakefield Has Never Been Exonerated: Justice Mitting’s Decision in the John Walker-Smith Case

In his latest paper, Dr. Harrison will show that Justice Mitting’s decision in no way exonerated Wakefield, that even with regard to John Walker-Smith, the decision was based on a procedural error, not factual innocence and that, despite what antivaccinationists have written, Justice Mitting’s decision also made clear that he considered the research showing no relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism to be established science. More...

Ignoring Context & Lack of Common Sense:  Misusing “infant theoretical 10,000 vaccines at a time”

In his latest paper, Dr. Harrison points out that he believes, "...that there is not a single book or paper that I couldn’t find one or two sentences that I could take out of context in order to prove any point I wish to." In this paper Dr. Harrison once again explains how our immune systems work, how vaccinations fit in the picture, and to show just how flawed antivaccinationist thinking is. More...

Debunking Antivaccinationist John Stone & the CDC “Whistleblower”: Review of “DeStefano Rides Again”

In his review of the article “DeStefano Rides Again: Study Loses Cases & Deaths " written by John Stone, the UK editor for the online blog, Age of Autism, Dr. Harrison critiques Stone's methods, his claims and his understanding of epidemiology, biostatistics, immunology, microbiology, and the history and current status of infectious diseases, that is, many are only a plane flight away from the US. More...

Deficient Science, Hypocrisy & Bogus Arguments: Two Articles by Age of Autism’s Anne Dachel

Anne Dachel is a regular contributor and Media Editor for Age of Autism. In two recent articles, Dachel criticizes several articles by Emily Willingham, a science writer at Forbes. Read Dr. Harrison's review as he reveals the deficient science, the hypocrisy and the bogus arguments in these articles. More...

“A Dose of Reality” Does Not Support Abolishing VICP

In a recent article published in the Pennsylvania Law Review, Professor Nora Freeman Engstrom suggested that the arguments for moving medical malpractice from the regular tort system to health courts are flawed, because we have reason to doubt whether health courts will fulfill the expectations of their proponents. She drew on the experience of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) to demonstrate the point, suggesting the program has “stumbled” and did not meet expectations. In her review of Professor Engstrom article, Professor Reiss presents that while the article is thorough, thoughtful, and informative there are some limitations and problems in Engstrom’s discussion of VICP and suggests that the claim that the program "stumbled" is problematic. She examines the problems Engstrom raises, examines her explanations for them, and then in closing, explains why VICP is still a better option for those claiming vaccine injuries than the courts of justice. More...

Dorit Rubinstein Reiss’ Bio

Professor Reiss’ research examined accountability of agencies at the state, national and international level, with agencies studied including the CPUC, the FAA, and other agencies in the United States and Europe. Increasingly, however, her research and activities are focused on legal issues related to vaccines, including exemption laws and tort liability related to non-vaccination. More...

Wrong About Measles, Cancer & Autism: Dan Olmsted’s “Measles, Cancer, Autoimmunity, Autism”

In his review of the article “Weekly Wrap: Measles, Cancer, Autoimmunity, Autism on Age of Autism" written by founder, owner and chief editor of Age of Autism Dan Olmsted, Dr. Harrison critiques his claims that measles vaccination is tied to a higher incidence of cancer. Olmstead claims that a recent study used a measles vaccine to treat multiple myeloma. He then speculates that measles may have had a preventative effect on cancer and that vaccinations led to increasing rates of cancer. Olmstead goes so far as to claim “wild-type measles . . . performs some unsuspected function in preventing the occurrence of cancer.” Dr. Harrison exposes the many deficiencies in Olmsted’s article, which appears to have been based on two newspaper accounts of the research, and is quick to clarify that a measles vaccine was not used in the stated study. Dr. Harrison shows that Olmsted fails to recognize that the measles virus had been modified and not the measles vaccine, which raises question as to whether he read and/or understood the study in the first place. What’s unsettling is that both the newspaper articles that Olmsted references in his article are clear on that detail. This article is longer than past articles that Dr. Harrison has written. He intentionally did this so that he could clearly make certain points and to allow people to use sections as stand-alone pieces for refuting claims made by antivaccinationists. More...

Don’t Sacrifice The Good For The Perfect: Cathy Jameson’s “A Strong Message About Vaccines”

In his review of Cathy Jameson's post on Age of Autism, "A Strong Message About Vaccines", Dr. Harrison raises a number of concerns, among them that she finds fault with the measles vaccine because it isn't 100% effective; that she implies that the vaccine industry can’t be trusted because they benefit from profits of their products; and that she displays a prime example of the Nirvana fallacy of comparing actual things with unrealistic, idealized alternatives, creating a false dichotomy. More...

Wrong About Genetic Research & Autism: Teresa Conrick’s “Dear America, You Are Being Bamboozled”

A review of Teresa Conrick’s post on Age of Autism, “Dear America, You Are Being Bamboozled Again About Autism and Genes,”. Dr. Harrison’s review of Conrick’s posts raises a number of red flags regarding her scholarship, basic understanding of science, common sense, and, perhaps, even her ethics. Conrick’s article claims that a recent study, looking at genetics and autism, published in the journal Nature Genetics, by Gaugler et al. titled “Most Genetic Risk for Autism Resides Within Common Variation,” reflects an “onslaught of studies and articles to try and persuade [people] that AUTISM is a genetic ONLY disorder,” and that the study denies the role of any environmental or toxic exposure. Dr. Harrison reviews the Conrick article in great depth, explaining the many deficiencies in her review of the Gaugler et al. study while adeptly explaining how Conrick's contradictory statements illustrate her lack of understanding of the science of genetics. More...

Wrong About Genetic Research & Autism: Lyn Redwood’s “Science as a Means of Social Control”

A number of organizations as well as bloggers have arisen over the past several decades claiming that vaccines and/or their ingredients cause a number of disorders. The results of their efforts have been a decline in vaccine coverage and a rise in previously rare childhood diseases, resulting in unnecessary suffering, hospitalizations, long term disabilities, and even death. This paper will demonstrate, using one article by Lyn Redwood, co-founder of SafeMinds and a leading figure among anti-vaccinationists, the poor scholarship and science displayed by many anti-vaccinationists. More...

Wrong About Vaccine Safety: A Review of Andrew Wakefield’s “Callous Disregard”

After reading Callous Disregard, Dr. Harrison felt compelled to refute each and every point that Andrew Wakefield attempted to make about vaccine safety and his article was ultimately published in a peer-reviewed online open-source medical journal. More...

Dr. Harrison’s Biography and Mission Statement

In his own words a short biography as well as why Dr. Harrison feels compelled to express his opinion on various immunization topics. More...

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