No link between vaccines and autism

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies, Development/Milestones: Babies, In The News, Going Green

At least as far back as 2005, studies have shown clearly that there is no link between the thimerosal in vaccines and autism. First, there was a study in Japan, then there was one in Canada, but the anti-vaccine folks dismissed them, perhaps because those aren't, like, real countries or anything. Well, now there's a US-based study that confirms pretty conclusively that thimerosal is not the cause of the increase of autism.

In California, autism continues to become more common despite the removal of thimerosal from vaccines twelve years ago. The study covered the past twelve years and found that rates increased even after the preservative was eliminated. "Whatever the explanation for this increase in children with autism, exposure to mercury in vaccines is not it," said Robert Schechter, who lead the study. "Vaccines with thimerosal and without have been safe and appropriate to give to our children."

Some parents still blame the vaccines for autism, however, saying that the kids who have been diagnosed in recent years may have gotten vaccinated outside the United States or that their mothers may have gotten flu shots with thimerosal while they were still in utero. So, these parents are even going so far as to lie to avoid the vaccines.

Personally, I'll go with scientific studies rather than hysterical finger-pointing. Like Bryna Siegel, director of the Autism Clinic at UCSF, I am saddened that "so much money and attention has gone into disproving the mercury hypothesis, when it could have been going toward treatment and research." How about you? If you were anti-vaccine, does this latest study convince you? If not, why not?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.