Saturday, July 4, 2009

The thimerosal debate

Well, I've been on my personal life for a while now....time for me to get back to discussing decisions that I've made and why. I've already talked about vaccines in general. Now it's time to talk about the preservative "thimerosal".

In 1999, after studies had begun to determine that the MMR vaccine was not causing autism in children, people began to look for other ways that the vaccines could be contributing to the apparent rise in autism. Following a federal mandate, it was learned that many vaccines contained a mercury-containing antiseptic known as "thimerosal". At the time, it was believed by many that this may be the link between vaccines and autism that everyone had been looking for.

Consequently, in 2002, thimerosal had been removed from all vaccines administered to young infants in the United States.

By June 2005, five epidemiological studies had been published (in peer reviewed journals) indicating that thimerosal does not cause autism, as had been believed. Additionally, in January 2008, 6 years after thimerosal had been removed from vaccines, health officials from California revealed that the number of children between 3 and 5 years of age diagnosed with autism had increased. This, in conjunction with the epidemiological studies, shows that thimerosal is NOT to blame for autism.

So, once again, vaccine theories have been shut down by both scientific and empirical results.

I will never tell another parent how they should raise their children or what decisions are "right". Immunizing your child will protect them from horrible diseases that can have terrible consequences. I know there are many parents out there who have or will choose to not vaccinate their children. Please do not make this decision because of a fear of your child developing autism. No link between vaccines and autism has been found (despite numerous attempts).

All right, enough preaching for now.....

Reference (for both this post and for my vaccine post): Offit, Paul A.; Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure; 2008.

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