Pseudoscience Dictionary: Autism Vaccine Link
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Pseudoscience: Consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that are claimed to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method (unproven, not testable, or opposed to the consensus of traditional science).
Autism Vaccine Link
Definition:Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. Some people have had concerns that ASD might be linked to the vaccines children receive. One vaccine ingredient that has been studied specifically is thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative used to prevent contamination of multidose vials of vaccines.
Reasoning: Some people have had concerns that ASD might be linked to the vaccines children receive, but studies have shown that there is no link between receiving vaccines and developing ASD. In 2011, an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on eight vaccines given to children and adults found that with rare exceptions, these vaccines are very safe.
A 2013 CDC study added to the research showing that vaccines do not cause ASD. The study looked at the number of antigens (substances in vaccines that cause the body’s immune system to produce disease-fighting antibodies) from vaccines during the first two years of life. The results showed that the total amount of antigen from vaccines received was the same between children with ASD and those that did not have ASD.
Finally, research shows that thimerosal does not cause ASD. Here is a list of 25 separate studies indicating Vaccine safety.
Conclusion: Twenty epidemiologic studies have shown that neither thimerosal nor MMR vaccine causes autism. These studies have been performed in several countries by many different investigators who have employed a multitude of epidemiologic and statistical methods. The large size of the studied populations has afforded a level of statistical power sufficient to detect even rare associations. These studies, in concert with the biological implausibility that vaccines overwhelm a child’s immune system, have effectively dismissed the notion that vaccines cause autism.