The science proving this point has been quite clear for a number of years.
There is nothing new in Picard's decree. He relies on the recent vaccine court decisions and resorts to the usual demeaning dismissals of parents and professionals who express concerns about vaccines:
That's because a whole industry of hucksters has sprung up to promote alternatives to vaccines, and the vocal (and Web-savvy) minority of conspiracy theorists will see these thorough, thoughtful rulings as, well, just another part of the conspiracy by Big Pharma to poison kids for profit.
I submitted a comment about Picard's opinion piece to the Globe and Mail but it was not accepted as a comment on the moderated opinion section. I did not insult Mr. Picard or use any inappropriate language. What I did do was:
1) point out that there have in fact been thousands of settlements of vaccine lawsuits where brain injuries and neurological damage including autistic like symptoms have been claimed and that the US government has paid to settle those claims and that there have been many reports in learned journals informing of serious vaccine reactions;
2) point out that in the Poling case which the government settled the government (former CDC head Dr. Julie Gerberding ) acknowledged that the vaccine could result in autism like symptoms);
3) point out that Dr. Bernadine Healy has stated that the studies which did not find a vaccine-autism connection were epidemiological studies which were not able to examine possible vaccine-autism results amongst vulnerable population subsets;
4) point out as Dr. Healy stated in 2008, as researcher Teresa Binstock did in 1999 and as shown at p. 152 of the IOM Vaccine Safety Report (2004) and in the recent cancellation of vaccine-autism studies by the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (2009) that government health authorities have actively discouraged and suppressed the type of research which might show a vaccine-autism connection amongst some population subsets;
5) point out that Dr. Julie Gerberding has stated that studies of unvaccinated children have never been done but could and should be done;
6) point out that contrary to Andre Picard's claim, and the frequently stated claim that thimerosal has been removed from all children's vaccines the FDA web site says otherwise:
I also put on the record for the Globe and Mail, in my rejected comment submission, that I am the parent of a 13 year old autistic boy who has never attributed his autism to vaccines. I have changed my mind from the belief that a vaccine-autism connection has been disproved to being undecided.
I am undecided because of the facts set out above. If Andre Picard and the Globe and Mail wish to dismiss me as a conspiracy theorist fine but they should rebut the facts that I have set out in this comment or show that my reasoning in relation to those facts is flawed.
Of course they can use their bully pulpit to issue Picardian decrees about vaccine safety and simply ignore facts and reason.
And they can still continue to pretend to be journalists while they are at it.