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Friday, October 21, 2005

A Battle Over the Link Between Vaccines and Autism

by Bill Wilson

Scientists and consumer organizations disagree whether vaccinating children is a factor with autism.

The condition known as autism has caused a heavyweight fight in children's healthcare. In one corner, are scientists and pharmaceutical companies, claiming vaccines don't cause autism. In the other corner, consumer organizations are saying there is irrefutable evidence that some vaccinations do. Peter Hotez is a vaccine researcher at George Washington University.

"I conclude there is no relationship between vaccines and autism. There is no relationship between Thymerasol and autism. And I don't even believe that there is a relationship between mercury and autism."

Barbara Loe Fisher, of the National Vaccine Information Center, says that after a quarter century of vaccinations, evidence suggests otherwise.

"We have witnessed the nearly doubling of the number of doses of vaccines our children receive. At the same time our nation has experienced a doubling of the numbers of children suffering with learning disabilities, ADHD and asthma, a tripling of diabetes, and a 200 to 7,000 percent increase in autism in every state."

Cindy Hill from Maryland says doctors have confirmed her autistic son Luke is evidence of vaccinations gone awry.

"Luke's pediatrician indicated that his immune system was not functioning properly which would make him hypersensitive to infections and vaccines. We have since learned that autism is triggered by environmental factors, including vaccines. What's really upsetting is that nobody warned us of these risks before we vaccinated our son."

Dan Olmsted, a UPI reporter, says he researched a group of Amish people whose kids were never vaccinated and found only one autism case in two states. After further review, the autistic child was the only one who had received his childhood vaccinations.

As usual, money's in the mix. Researchers and scientists don't receive new federal grants for work already done. But, studying new theories of genetic ties to autism, for example, can be financially rewarding to everyone-- except kids like Luke.

Posted by Becca

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