Vaccines and Autism.

I saw Robert Kennedy Jr. (I think) on the Daily Show claiming that Vaccines once contained an ingredient which caused a large number of children to be born with autism. I was under the impression that this claim had been debunked. Has it, in fact been debunked or is it still a valid theory?

If it has been debunked I’m a little angry with Jon Stewart for letting misinformation get through on his show. If not, not. I turn to the dope for answers.

Debunked. Check out . Do a search of recent threads for recent discussions here.

Thanks. Of course the guy on the show would say–in fact practically did say–that the reason the CDC would say this is because they’re part of the conspiracy too!

I am astonished that Stewart let such crackpot conspiracy theorizing get past him. My respect for him has gone down a notch. (It’s still pretty high.) I just sent him an angry email, something I’ve almost never done before.

The “conspiracy” (including the article that started it) has been also debunked in the Skeptic’s Dictionnary

Indeed, probably Jon Stewart’s weakest interview ever. I wonder if the quack’s name was something other than “Robert F. Kennedy Jr.” if he would have even be allowed on screen, let alone get no probing questions from Jon.

(Is it just me, or does RFKJr’s voice sound like Katharine Hepburn?)

It is not debunked. In fact, in Texas all you have to say to your pedi (if you want to refuse the vaccination), is “I have a philosophical objection.” End of story.

Most parents, contrary to alarmists, are simply requesting the pedi provide Thimerosal-free vaccinations and/or splitting the shots with couple months spacing between.

I don’t think interview can even describe it. A more accurate description would be guest lecturer and Stewart was his attentive student.

No it’s not the end of the story. In fact it’s a total non-sequitur. How does the right of a parent to refuse vaccination on philosophical grounds establish that the autism-vaccination link hasn’t been thoroughly debunked.

How is it even relevant to whether the link is pure bunkum?

In short, WTF are you on about?

I was yelling ‘CITE?’ more than I have in three years of Daily Shows. An explosion of autism in China–not something I had heard a word of. And where was the evidence? Why wasn’t Jon asking the basic questions?

I have heard there have been some allergic reactions with Thimerosal, which is why it is now off the market, and I doubt you could get a vaccination with Thimerosal if you tried (in the USA at least).

However- there is** NO LINK WHATSOEVER** between Vaccines and/or Thimerosal and Autism. That’s a myth.

To echo DrDeth and Blake, (Thus proving they are not ducks), neither of these statements have anything to do with the alleged link between Thimerosal and autism.

Many flu vaccines and also some tetanus-diptheria vaccines (those given to older children, according to the CDC) still contain thimerosal. Some adult vaccines also do. It is definitely not “off the market”, but it has been otherwise removed from routine childhood vaccines as a preservative. It is sometimes used in the manufacturing process and can remain at the end in trace amounts. I can’t find the cite now, but I remember reading an anti-vaccine screed calling these vaccines poisoned with thimerosal at quantities up to the detection limit of the analysis method, decrying that a detection limit exists. :dubious:

One recent discussion here on the non-existent connection between vaccination and autism, with several good links (including a well-researched New York Times story).

In New York, your kid can’t get into daycare or school without a complete vaccination record.

My neighbor the pediatrics nurse tells me the same is true in New Jersey. She told me this after a long shift watching an eight week old baby struggle with a bout of whooping cough that was orginally mistakenly diagnosed as RSV. :frowning:

I’ve heard you can get exemptions in both states but they’re very hard to come by. Given the potential for outbreaks of serious illness this policy makes perfect sense.

Pace do ever you plan to back up anything you’ve said about vaccines in this thread?

Just as an aside: Staff Report: Are vaccinations worth it?

Can’t speak for NY as a whole, but all you need in NYC is a letter from your pastor stating that you object to vaccinations based upon your religious beliefs. This letter is then attached to the child’s medical card in his/her permanant file.

Just saying you object to the vaccinations due to “moral grounds” won’t cut it. Your child will be excluded from school until you come back with a completed vaccination form.


An eight week old wouldn’t have been protected against whooping cough anyway - the vaccines aren’t begun until 2 months.

While that’s true, I was informed that the baby in question caught it from an unvaccinated elder sibling.

Which illustrates even more the need to vaccinate. What may be a minor illness in an older child can easily become a serious problem for a baby.