30 October 2008

Vaccines Autism and Presidential Candidates

I recieved an email from the Autism Research Institute (ARI) about the danger of vaccines and Obama and McCain's positions on vaccine safety. I thought the candidates responses were telling.

ARI is one of the groups that believes mercury (Thimerosal) in vaccines causes Autism. They are advocates of Biomedical Treatments of Autism such as: Gluten Free Diets, High doses of vitamin B6, Gut Cleaning, Protobiotics and Chelation Therapy. None of these therapies have any proven success. Similarly, several peer-reviewed studies have shown that vaccines are not a contributing cause of autism.

Here is how ARI sees the candidates regarding vaccines:
...Organizations representing many thousands of voters are calling for Senator McCain to state his policy position on vaccine safety, and for Senator Obama to clarify his comments made earlier this fall, by noon October 30, 2008, in order that voters can make an informed choice of candidate.

... McCain endorsed parental vaccination choice stating, "The key to health care reform is to restore control to the patients themselves."

...Senator Obama ... "He looked right at me and said, 'I am not for selective vaccination. I believe it will bring back deadly diseases, like polio.'"

ARI is forwarding this message on behalf of Autism Action Network, Autism United, Generation Rescue, Moms Against Mercury, No Mercury, Schafer Autism Report, Talk About Curing Autism, Unlocking Autism and U. S. Autism and Asperger's Association.

I have read a lot about this issue, and I have consulted medical experts in this field, and I am quite certain that Obama is taking the proper stance here. Mandatory vaccinations are a proven success, and studies have proven that vaccinations do not cause autism. The causes of autism are not known. It is believed to be partially genetic, possibly triggered by environmental agents. People who advocate selective vaccination and who advocate diet changes to cure autism are just plain wrong. Parents who follow their advice and try unproven biomedical cures are less likely to spend the time and money that Behavioral Treatments require. Behavioral treatments are currently the only mthod that has a scientifically proven track record.

If I must, I will do a follow up post with links to studies etc, but you can google it yourself. But, more importantly, if you suspect autism in your child, get an evalution at the nearest Children's Hospital ASAP and follow your doctor's advice.


Unknown said...

Public health is a more complicated issue than an individual's decision about vaccines. There in fact have been towns with large incidences of "childhood" diseases transferring to adults that have culminated in mortalities. If families choose not to vaccinate what are their responsiblities to protect the general public from the diseases they may set loose? Is there any middle step before throwing the baby out with the bath water?

CityKin said...

Well I think the flu vaccine is the only one that still uses Thimerasol, and I really don't think all children should get the flu vaccine. But when we are talking about the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine, it should be universally administered IMO>

Mark Miller said...

Whatever happened to "keep your laws off my body"? Isn't this all about the patient's right to choose whether or not to undergo a medical procedure?

Obama is all for patient privacy when it involves abortion, but he's awfully quick to trample those same rights to further his nanny-government agenda. These are tough moral dilemmas, so we have to step lightly.

McCain has the right idea. When in doubt, choose life over death, and freedom over government force. There's no kiddie disease that justifies running roughshod over basic human rights.

CityKin said...

I may have misused the word mandatory. I used that word, not Obama, and I am not sure if they really are mandatory, because I know people opt out. I believe most states have exemptions for religious or medical reasons. Regardless, it would definitely be in the public's interest to convince as many people as possible to vaccinate.

bsherm said...

I think this is one of the issues that is a struggle because of the personal freedom issue. I am not totally unsympathetic to the worries of parents, being one and all, but the fact is if you decide not to vaccinate your child your impact goes beyond your child and family.

It would be interesting to see an analysis of the risk of autism versus the risk of polio or some of the other vaccinated diseases.

I also struggle with it because it does appear the overwhelming evidence is there is no link.

CityKin said...

I really didn't want to concentrate on the "mandatory" aspect, rather I want to convince other parents voluntarily that vaccines are safe and they should get them. There is a growing number of parents who are witholding their children from the MMR vaccine and that is a very bad decision IMO. I thought I would have some comments from strong anti vaccine people, but I suppose they havn't found this post.

Anonymous said...

The only organization that requires vaccinations is the school. You are free to not vacinnate your child if you choose but you cannot send them to public school or many private schools for that matter. No one is suggesting that vaccines are mandatory, they never have been. I think the question is are we going to base policy decisions on ancedotal or scientific evidence. McCain has jumped in with the psuedo-science bunch where Obama is erring on the side of the preponderance of actual evidence.

Anonymous said...

The issue with vaccines is what the scientists use as ingredients. Do you have any knowledge of what is actually in our vaccines? Vaccines are full of toxins such as mercury, fermaldehyde (a known cancer causing agent), Phenol (a common disinfectant, dye, and a ddeadly poison), aluminum phosphate (toxic), acetone (a solvent used in FINGERNAIL POLISH), dead animal cells and proteins, Mercury, the list goes on. Vaccine research is outdated and there has been direct evidence that 1 in 150 children vaccinated with the MMR and Measles vaccine have an adverse reaction AND 1 in 150 children are Autistic!!! So who is the one putting our children at risk by their ignorance? It is not about to vaccinate or not to vaccinate but more along the lines of Forcing a Safer Vaccination and are they currently worth the risk?