The Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, says there’s no published proof either way on the debate on vaccine safety. This isn’t what you may be hearing from your doctor, by the way!
The IOM has conducted a comprehensive review of the published research on vaccine safety. Here’s how the National Vaccine Information Center, an advocacy group for vaccine opponents, summarized the findings on Aug. 25:
The Institute of Medicine Committee to Review Adverse Effects of Vaccines has published a comprehensive review of existing medical literature addressing the biological plausibility of risk associated with eight different vaccines routinely given to children and adults. While there is room for disagreement about some of their causation conclusions, the process they used to come to their conclusions is well defined and clearly stated.
The Committee was hampered by the same gaps in knowledge regarding vaccine adverse effects that hampered IOM Committees undertaking the same task in 1991 and 1994. For the majority of potential vaccine adverse effects reported to be associated with vaccines, this IOM Committee like those before, came to the conclusion that the biological mechanism and epidemiological evidence published in the medical literature is simply inadequate to accept or reject a causation finding.
I’ve talked about this before: how the vaccine proponents say it’s all been proven, vaccines are safe. But that’s the opposite of the truth. The studies done “proved” that the measles virus in the MMR vaccine does not by itself cause autism, and that the mercury component of vaccines does not cause vaccines. Mercury has been removed from most vaccines now. But these two “proofs” (I’m putting this in quotes because the science in the studies is disputed) do not prove by a long shot the general case that vaccines are safe. (It’s a logical fallacy to generalize from the particular like that.)
Perhaps subjecting tiny children to too many vaccines too soon (the too-many, too-soon argument) is what’s causing autism. Or perhaps autism’s cause is something else about vaccines. Or perhaps autism’s cause has nothing to do with vaccines, but something else that changed radically in about 1990, such as the ingredients in plastics, allowing plastics to come into much more general use.
What’s needed is a simple study comparing vaccinated children with unvaccinated. The powers that be who control the purse strings apparently are afraid to authorize such a study. Meanwhile, they keep authorizing more and more vaccines, which are for less and less deadly diseases, and the autism rate keeps going up. Coincidence?