Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fomer NIH Head Says Question of Whether Vaccines Cause Autism Has Not Been Answered

Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of the US National Institutes of Health, has claimed in an interview with CBS News that the question of whether there is a causal connection between vaccines and autism has not yet been answered. There is not yet enough evidence to say that there is no causal connection.

Dr . Healy notes that there have been no major studies of autistic children who developed autistic symptoms shortly after vaccination to see if there is such a connection. Animal Lab tests on mice and primates showing concerns about mercury and vaccine preservatives have been disregarded. Population studies do not test causation the indicate associations. Controlled lab studies are required. Dr. Healy also indicates that an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report in 2004 discouraged investigation of a possible link between susceptibility groups, autism and vaccines. Dr. Healy claims that the IOM report expressed a concern that pursuing the vaccine autism hypothesis would scare the public.

"I think that the public health officials have been too quick to dismiss the hypothesis as irrational," Healy said.

"But public health officials have been saying they know, they've been implying to the public there's enough evidence and they know it's not causal," Attkisson said.

"I think you can't say that," Healy said. "You can't say 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.

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