For a segment of society, facts don’t matter. A 1997 study linked vaccines to autism, but when the study was investigated, scientists found that it was bunk. There is no connection between vaccines and autism.
Still, there’s a massive movement of parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. One group, called SafeMinds, decided to sponsor their own study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The title is:
Administration of thimerosal-containing vaccines to infant rhesus macaques does not result in autism-like behavior or neuropathology
Of course, the anti-vaxxers are now claiming that their own study was flawed.
The epidemic of autism is expected to cost the country $1 trillion by 2025 if prevalence trends continue. In a recent study, over 40 percent of parents agree or strongly agree that vaccines played a part in the development of their children’s autism. The vaccine primate study in question consisted of multiple phases. The initial phase found a series of negative effects in infant reflexes and brain growth among those exposed to vaccines. The second, recent phase purported to find no effect. SafeMinds has concerns about changes in the study design protocol and analysis that may have led to these contradictory results. We are in the process of collecting and reviewing additional information regarding this study.
In the study, they used six groups of infant monkeys and two of the groups were given vaccines with thimerosal –which contains a form of mercury. It is also an antiseptic and anti-fungal agent. Altough, it’s no longer even in vaccines, anti-vaxxers seem to just brush right over that fact.
The next two groups were given today’s standard MMR vaccine, which does not contain thimerosal; while, the fifth and sixth group were given saline as a control.
The scientists found no differences between the six groups.
Still, the anti-vaxxer funded study will likely do nothing to change the minds of people who refuse to face facts. Maybe they’ll say Big Pharma somehow manipulated the data? I’d better stop giving them ideas.
Featured image via Flickr.