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Swine Flu Vaccine and Autism Debate: CANWEST & Fitzpatrick Publish 3rd Version of Same Article

Posted Sep 22 2009 10:10pm
CANWEST News and Meagan Fitzpatrick have published yet another, a third, version of the article firs published yesterday on the Swine Flu vaccine refueling the autism debate. This 3rd version is expanded to reinsert information about Jenny McCarthy but does not include my comments or more importantly those of UWO researcher Dr. Derrick MacFabe.

The article does not mention that Dr. MacFabe, Dr. Bernadine Healy (a former NIH and American Red Cross head), Dr. Julie Gerberding ( a recent CDC head) and Dr. Jon Poling (a neurologist, professor and father of an autistic child who successfully established a claim in the US vaccine court on behalf of his daughter whose autism was caused by vaccine insult to her pre-existing mitochondrial disorder). All of these people have called for more research on vaccine autism issues. Dr. Derrick MacFabe was mentioned in the 1st of the 3 "autism debate" articles published yesterday but not in the 2 redrafts published today.

The effect of the latest draft is to cast the dispute as one led by actress Jenny McCarthy on the side of those concerned with vaccine autism issues, without any mention of the professional calls for more research on the vaccine autism issue.

H1N1 vaccine arrival refuels autism debate

BY MEAGAN FITZPATRICK, CANWEST NEWS SERVICESEPTEMBER 22, 2009

The much-anticipated H1N1 vaccine has given new life to an ongoing debate about whether vaccinations in children can cause autism, a discussion that will likely heat up as Canada and other countries move closer to releasing the new vaccine.

From one side of the debate come assurances that vaccines are safe and there is no conclusive link to autism; from the other, warnings that there is a relationship and parents should think twice about giving shots to their children.

Canada's chief public health officer, Dr. David Butler-Jones, has repeatedly said that vaccines have a long history of being safe and effective.

Weighing in on the autism debate, he noted that vaccines are given to children at around the same age as when neurological disorders can surface.

"You can have a close time frame," he said.

"Just because something's associated in time does not mean it's causal."

Butler-Jones said he recognizes that parents are searching for answers about autism's cause, but added claims that vaccines are the culprit have not been proven.

"The studies have been pretty clear and consistent that vaccination is not the cause of many of the things that have been claimed around the vaccine,"he said.

The benefits of immunization far outweigh the risks, said Butler-Jones, but he understands people need to think carefully about it.

"It's important that they get the facts -- not the theory, not the conjecture, not the claims -- but the actual facts about what we know about the vaccine and the disease and I think . . . virtually everybody would choose the vaccine," he said.

The theory that childhood vaccines are behind an upsurge of autism cases emerged in the 1990s and in recent years has gained high-profile advocates such as Hollywood star Jenny McCarthy, whose son was diagnosed with autism.

McCarthy is among those who believe children receive too many vaccines, too close together, and that a mercury-based preservative called thimerosal used in some vaccines is harmful. She is passionate about her cause, but she has her critics who are equally fervent on the pro-vaccination side of the debate.

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