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Vaccines and Autism Linked?

Vaccines and Autism Linked?

Is there a link between vaccines and autism? A number of government agencies and medical institutions have found there is not enough evidence to support an association between autism and the MMR vaccine, but many autism patient advocates argue there is a causal link.

In the news today, a federal court denied federal compensation to three families who alleged their children’s autism cases were caused in part by a Merck & Co. vaccine. The families had applied to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) which was created in the 1980s to ensure an adequate supply of vaccines, stabilize vaccine costs, and establish and maintain an accessible and efficient forum for individuals found to be injured by certain vaccines. The VICP is a no-fault alternative to the traditional tort system for resolving vaccine injury claims that provides compensation to people found to be injured by certain vaccines.

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington had been hearing these test cases representing specific theories of how vaccines allegedly cause autism. The decisions released today were based on the first theory, that MMR vaccine and vaccines containing a component called thimerosal (a mercury-containing preservative) can combine to cause autism.

Special masters of the court issued rulings on three of the test cases, saying none could prove the MMR vaccine or other vaccines caused the autism cases.

Read the U.S. Court of Federal Claims decision.

The mass media attention about mercury levels in vaccines and their possible connection to autism has prompted the removal of thimerosal from almost all vaccines. Whether or not thimerosal causes autism may still be up for debate–and today’s ruling is a big blow to parents who believe that it does. But one excellent outcome about the debate has been that our children are no longer having mercury introduced to their young bloodstreams. It’s mind-boggling that the powers that be in big pharmaceuticals thought that was acceptable for so long.

I would love to hear your ideas about the link between vaccines and autism–leave your thoughts in the comment field.

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

143 comments

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2:36PM PDT on Apr 23, 2013

As for Autistic disorders being "newer" and just have not been recognized as much before: NO.
Asperger's Syndrome was recognized back in about 1944. However, it was poorly recognized. In the general population, it was not very prevalent at all.
NOW, it is entirely prevalent in populations as a whole, and growing, world-wide, as something we MUST deal with more effectively, either to prevent it, or to prevent the severity, or to incorporate necessary accommodations in our society and workplaces to allow persons affected, to hold jobs they can support themselves doing.
Those with high-functioning ASD are often quite capable, or better, of holding jobs like most anyone else--IF employers accommodate their needs.
They can be brilliant in their focus fields, and have much to offer society, if allowed to do so--our societies as a whole have failed to allow accommodation, to date, for the most part.

8:50AM PDT on Apr 23, 2013

The finger is pointed at the mercury-containing preservative thimerasol.

Mercury is one of the most toxic substances known to man, but more than that 3% of people are directly mercury sensitive.
A healthy immune system can tackle most things, but for someone with a direct mercury sensitivity, especially if their immune system was below par, exposure to mercury in any guise could be damaging.



6:19PM PST on Dec 5, 2012

ALSO to consider:
Since the 1990's recommendations to increase how often vaccines are repeated over a lifespan have also increased.
Yet, manufacturers STILL do not remove mercury from them.
It is not the vaccines, it is the preservatives.
Also, dietary.
Please see that House Committee meeting on Cspan.

6:18PM PST on Dec 5, 2012

ALSO to consider:
Since the 1990's recommendations to increase how often vaccines are repeated over a lifespan have also increased.
Yet, manufacturers STILL do not remove mercury from them.
It is not the vaccines, it is the preservatives.

6:15PM PST on Dec 5, 2012

Sorry--wrote more on this, but lost post. Please just view that video--it is very revealing. ASD IS related, and those in charge are avoiding the subject like the plague.
Mercury damaged brain cells permanently, far worse than even lead, cadmium, etc..
Giving "Bundled" vaccines for 6 or more diseases, to babies, who normally have immature immune responses, is a recipe for disaster.

They are bundled as they are, because CDC figured that was best way to get Patient compliance.

This is a world-wide problem, EVERYWHERE vaccines have been bundled and given, but NOT where vaccines have been given in small numbers, or one at a time, or given to older toddlers instead of infants.

Please go to the Cspan page, and view that committee meeting session.
http://www.c-span.org/Events/Lawmakers-Look-into-Federal-Response-to-Rising-Rates-of-Autism/10737436113/
It is extremely revealing: industries have protected themselves from paying damages on class action suits from vaccines-- got legislation passed to protect themselves years ago, when they first realized, in the 1990's, that this was a huge problem...but never took steps to stop doing the damage.

6:07PM PST on Dec 5, 2012

In case you missed it:
"Lawmakers Look into Federal Response to Rising Rates of Autism"
This was on CSpan recently, and can be seen online.
It was VERY specific, and well documented data included. http://www.c-span.org/Events/Lawmakers-Look-into-Federal-Response-to-Rising-Rates-of-Autism/10737436113/

I highly recommend this video.

House Committee meeting about huge increases in ASD, included how Thimerosal, a preservative in vaccinations, is toxic to brain cells in ways no other heavy metal is--not even lead.
The Committee "held the feet to the fire" of CDC & other regulatory agents who couldn't or wouldn't answer direct, specific questions.
It became clearer in what ways BigPharma & Industries have blocked awareness of the toxicity, as well as maneuvering to get legislation passed to block lawsuits from those harmed by vaccinations & other treatments, back in the 1990's, when Industries saw that train coming down the tracks, and took steps to block losses.

===TAKE-AWAY nuggets from this meeting:
---Batching so many disease vaccinations all together--6 or more--to infants, who normally have immature immune systems incapable of responding to vaccines the way adult immune systems do, can cause infants & toddlers to have increased adverse effects that last a lifetime.
----The reason vaccines have been "bundled" as they have, is that CDC agents believed that was the best way to get patient compliance.
----Givin

10:18AM PST on Dec 5, 2012

I really doubt that MMR vaccine (or any other) would cause Autism. This is not a new disorder, it's just that it wasn't recognized as one before people started to look into it (like Baron-Cohen for example). Before Baron-Cohen's research most of the people thought that people with Autism/Asperger's Syndrome are just retarded. Vaccine has nothing to do with it, it's just a matter of how the brain develops. I believe that there were many people with autism before the vaccine was developed (1960s) but not many cases were diganosed. Only after 1990s there was an increase in people diagnoes with autism because doctors knew more about symptoms etc.

2:21AM PST on Dec 1, 2012

thanks for the information

4:12PM PDT on Sep 13, 2012

Thank you for article.

4:11PM PDT on Sep 13, 2012

Thank you for article.

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