In an interview with Katie Couric Secretary Sebelius says thimerosol is safe and parents need not worry:
"study after study, scientist after scientist, has determined that there really is no safety risk with thimerosol. There is concern about parents of why autism rates are rising. And, as you know, we've got some special NIH studies, thanks to the president, focused on just what is going on.
But thimerosol has been proven to be safe. It's used in seasonal vaccine-- seasonal flu vaccine. And, again, we want to assure people that that-- the scientists, again, have confirmed-- that there is really a safe factor with using thimerosol. It's an effective preservative and one that we think actually adds to the likelihood that we'll have a safe vaccine for a while to come.
based on the science. And the science, again, continues to indicate that the ingredients we're anticipating using in this vaccine are safe to use."
The article Web Exclusive: Sebelius on Vaccine Fears does not indicate what studies Secretary Sebelius relies upon to assert that the science shows that thimerosoal is safe and does not cause autism. Given that pregnant women will be targeted it appears that the swine flu vaccine program will essentially be an experiment which could result, or not, in a new wave of autism diagnoses in the children of women receiving the swine flu vaccine. I hope that Secretary Sebelius is right in the result but I believe she has overstated the "science" supporting the safety of thimerosol and the alleged lack of any link to autism disorders.
Hopefully accurate records will be kept. In a feature last year, also on CBS, Dr. Bernadine Healy expressed concerns about vaccines and indicated that research of a vaccine autism connection had been expressly discouraged by health authorities. CBS also reported that:
"CBS News has learned the government has paid more than 1,300 brain injury claims in vaccine court since 1988, but is not studying those cases or tracking how many of them resulted in autism.
The branch of the government that handles vaccine court told CBS News: “Some children who have been compensated for vaccine injuries…may ultimately end up with autism or autistic symptoms, but we do not track cases on this basis.”"
See no autism, hear no autism, speak no autism.