Sunday, July 03, 2005

Vaccines and Autism

Here is another hoax being inflicted on the naive and uninformed Mothers in the U.S. Because of the fact that children get their vaccinations at a time which is shortly before children are commonly diagnosed with autism, the spurious corellation has been made that the two must be related and lawyers focused in on thimerosal. This is a preservative once used in vaccines and even though there was never any evidence that it caused autism, greedy lawyers set about suing vaccine manufacturers for damages and now the mercury-based preservative is no longer used in vaccines. The Institute of Medicine issued a 214 page report which concluded, "The evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism." A similar clean bill of health was given by the European Medicines Agency and the World Health Organization. To those of us who have looked into the biology and chemistry of the relationship, this should be the end of the concern, but it isn't. Idiots like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. write error-ridden books and make hysterical claims which fuel the controversy. A big part of the fallacy surrounds his ignorance of ethyl- and methyl-mercury. The former, which comes from thimerosal is metabolized much faster than methyl-mercury and is known to be orders of magnitude less harmful. Ignorance on this subject is made especially clear by the vigor with which fearmongers rail against the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine which never contained thimerosal. Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that autism rates have increased after thimerosal use ended and childhood infections should not be allowed to threaten our younger population by withholding needed and effective vaccinations.

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