Vaccines and Autism. For too long now, those two words have been put together in one sentence—despite the overwhelming evidence that speaks against a connection. And, understandably, it's made new parents a little hesitant about signing off on their baby's shots. But today, a U.S. Federal Court came to the same conclusion that doctors around the world already know: the theory that the combination MMR vaccine causes autism is ...bunk.
After reviewing petitioners' medical records and listening to numerous hours of testimony, the special masters who conducted the proceedings released a 183 page document today. It explained, in great depth, their decision to deny government funded financial compensation to families who felt their child developed autism after receiving the MMR vaccine.
" After studying the extensive evidence in this case for many months, I am convinced that the reports and advice given to the Cedillos by Dr. Krigsman and some other physicians, advising the Cedillos that there is a causal connection between Michelle’s MMR vaccination and her chronic conditions, have been very wrong. Unfortunately, the Cedillos have been misled by physicians who are guilty, in my view, of gross medical misjudgment."
And here is the Cliff's Notes version of the verdict:
"Considering all of the evidence, I found that the petitioners have failed to demonstrate that thimerosal-containing vaccines can contribute to causing immune dysfunction, or that the MMR vaccine can contribute to causing either autism or gastrointestinal dysfunction. I further conclude that while Michelle Cedillo has tragically suffered from autism and other severe conditions, the petitioners have also failed to demonstrate that her vaccinations played any role at all in causing those problems."
So, while the drama will likely continue as appeals and civil courts hear these cases, and bloggers continue to blog, I think it's time to separate these two words in our minds and maybe put a few new ones together.
Vaccines: Safe and Effective...which translates into better immunization rates and protection for all our kids
Autism: Support and Hope....which translates into insurance coverage for treatment, access to services, and research dollars for promising causes and treatments
By closing this chapter and starting a new one, all kids will benefit.