Once again, a panel of scientists has found no evidence that the M.M.R. vaccine causes autism.
The gist of the report? “The M.M.R. vaccine doesn’t cause autism, and the evidence is overwhelming that it doesn’t,” Dr. Ellen Wright Clayton, the chairwoman of the panel, assembled by the Institute of Medicine, said in an interview. Dr. Clayton added, “We looked at more than a thousand peer-reviewed articles, and we didn’t see many adverse effects caused by vaccines.”
The report did note, however, that many children injured by other vaccinations already have an immune or metabolic problem that is simply made evident by vaccines. To quote: “In some metabolically vulnerable children, receiving vaccines may be the largely nonspecific ‘last straw’ that leads these children to reveal their underlying”. For example, the chickenpox vaccine can lead to shingles in some adults.
The Institute of Medicine is one of the nation’s most highly respected and authoritative advisers on issues of health and medicine. Their reports can change medical thinking around the world. The government has asked the institute to evaluate the safety of vaccines a dozen times in the past 25 years, hoping the institute’s reputation would put to rest the concerns of some parents and organizations that vaccines cause a host of problems, including autism. As expected, it hasn’t worked.
Sallie Bernard, president of SafeMinds, a group that believes there is a link between vaccines and autism, said the latest report from the Institute of Medicine excluded important research and found in many cases that not enough research had been done to answer important questions. How much research will be enough?
“I think this report says that the science is inadequate, and yet we’re giving more and more vaccines to our kids, and we really don’t know what their safety profile is,” Ms. Bernard said. “I think that’s alarming.” However, the report doesn’t say that the science is inadequate – it says that the M.M.R. vaccine does not cause autism. There’s a big difference.
It goes to show that no matter how much research is done, it will never be enough for the anti-vax movement – and those are precious research dollars that could be used towards finding the true source(s) of autism.
For the full report, read the original New York Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/26/health/26vaccine.html