Friday, January 16, 2009

IACC Deals Serious Blow To Public Confidence In Vaccine Programs

Autism Speaks has issued a new release indicating that the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) has voted :

"to reverse a previously voted-on decision to approve objectives relating to vaccine safety research as part of its deliberations for the Strategic Plan for Autism Research. The decision to debate removing these objectives was not posted on the meeting's agenda, nor were the public members given any forewarning that this section of the plan – which was resolved at the previous IACC meeting in December -- would be revisited. "

The IACC decision was made despite serious public concerns about a possible vaccine-autism link. The Poling case increased the spread and intensity of those concerns. Dr. Bernadine Healy, a former NIH head, has twice in the past 9 months expressly stated concerns about the inadequacy of existing research on possible vaccine-autism connections (Fighting the Vaccine-Autism War, Leading Dr.: Vaccines-Autism Worth Study).

The IACC has chosen to disregard public concerns about possible vaccine-autism connections. In doing so it will have aggravated those concerns. Reasonable people,especially given the surrepititous manner in which the decision was made, will ask what the IACC is trying to hide.

The vaccine programs are critically important to modern public health. Public confidence in the safety of those programs is essential to their proper functioning. With this decision public concern over vaccine safety will grow. Let me repeat that for the benefit of the very intelligent people on the IACC - with the decision to abandon research of possible vaccine autism connections public concern over vaccine safety will grow.

The IACC should do the smart thing. It should reverse itself, again. It should, openly and publicly admit it messed up and reinstate its previous decision to research possible vaccine-autism connections. It should do so for the good of the vaccine programs and public health.

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1 comment:

Marni Wachs said...

A big hurray to Autism Speaks for (finally) acting with integrity on this issue.

I have some renewed hope that things might be changing, now that the backroom deals are being EXPOSED and OPPOSED.