The following paragraph is taken directly from the IACC, the United States Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee , web site as of February 15 2011. The only change is the bold highlighting of the last two sentences which I added for emphasis and which clearly contradicts the aggressively promoted opinion that science has conclusively ruled out a link between vaccines and autism disorders.
"Progress in identifying environmental factors which increase autism risk has been made recently (Eskenazi et al., 2007; Palmer et al., 2006; Palmer, Blanchard, & Wood, 2009; Rauh et al., 2006; Roberts et al., 2007; Windham et al., 2006), although this area of research has received less scientific attention and far fewer research dollars than genetic risk factors. Environmental factors may be pertinent not only to brain development but also to chronic systemic features of at least some subgroups of ASD. An Institute of Medicine (IOM) workshop held in 2007 summarized what is known and what is needed in this field (Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders, Institute of Medicine, 2008). Numerous epidemiological studies have found no relationship between ASD and vaccines containing the mercury based preservative, thimerosal (Immunization Safety Review Committee, 2004). These data, as well as subsequent research, indicate that the link between autism and vaccines is unsupported by the epidemiological research literature. However, the IOM report acknowledged that the existing population-based studies were limited in their ability to detect small susceptible subpopulations that could be more genetically vulnerable to environmental exposures."
Of course the smallest susceptible subpopulation is always an individual. And apart from any person with a specific genetic predisposition children before and shortly after birth are always vulnerable. They are always susceptible to the impact of environmental factors. The IACC acknowledgement, as I read it, does not mean that possible vaccine autism links are "debunked" for all time or that the "science" is closed on the matter. Former CDC Directors Dr. Bernadine Healy and Dr. Julie Gerberding (now with Merck) have both previously stated that a comparative study of autism rates in existing vaccinated and non vaccinated populations could and should be done. Has a vaccine autism link been proven? Not as far as I am aware reading materials such as that on the IACC web site. Is the science closed on possible vaccine autism links? Not as far as I can tell when reading IACC information which states that the studies which did not find links were "LIMITED".
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR THE BILL GATES POSSE: I am a father of two sons both of whom are fully vaccinated and I have received vaccines myself including the H1N1 Swine Flu shot. I have never attributed my younger son's Autistic Disorder to vaccine injury. I believe that vaccines are very important, but not perfect, public health tools which are strengthened as public health tools by continuing to ask questions about their safety and by treating parents and professionals who ask such questions with respect. I believe that your current attacks on parents and professionals who ask questions about vaccine safety and autism and your wild eyed allegations of lies and homicide will be counterproductive in any effort to restore public confidence in vaccines.