Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thimerosal, Vaccines, and Autism

The tenth scientific study showing that autism spectrum disorders in children are not linked to thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative once used in vaccines, has just been published in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, adding one more to the nine others already published. In addition, the initial report that there is a link have been largely discredited. According to an article in the LA Times earlier this year, the doctor who first alleged that there was a link between autism and thimerosal has been rebuked by the British General Medical Council for the way his research was conducted, and the journal in which published his work declared that it should not have published the report.

And yet, one in four parents still persist in believing that vaccinations increase the likelihood of a child developing autism. Is there anything that could convince them otherwise?

Perhaps not. Resistance based on emotion (fear), may not be able to be overcome by scientific evidence, no matter how clear and convincing the evidence is. It’s too bad, really. It would be a shame if diseases like measles, mumps, or even polio made a comeback because not enough children had been vaccinated against them.

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