Judge: Autism, vaccines not linked
This just in: A judge in Washington, D.C., ruled today that there is no link between autism and vaccines.
For years, scientists have been unable to connect the two. So doctors and the American Academy of Pediatrics continue to recommend that infants adhere to standard vaccine schedules. This infuriates many parents of autistic children around the country who are waging a fierce information campaign against traditional vaccination schedules. Many parents, like actress Jenny McCarthy, say they noticed a difference in their children after they were vaccinated.
Today’s court ruling is unlikely to change the minds of die-hard parents who blame vaccines for their children’s health concerns. For one thing, a judge in an earlier case came to an entirely different, if complicated, conclusion that energized the autism advocacy community.
There are few winners in this debate. Nobody, whether one supports traditional vaccination schedules or not, wants to see disease spread. If today’s ruling lifts the mental shackles about vaccinations from some parents’ minds and prevents the outbreak of disease, that’s a good thing.
But for the parents who had hoped this case would lend credibility to their beliefs that vaccinations, and in this case the MMR vaccine in particular, cause autism, there is little reason for joy. They still don’t know what causes the disorder. I’d imagine that remains the biggest frustration of all.
-- Sherri Day
[Photo: Jenny McCarthy by the Associated Press]