The group gained a key supporter in actress Jenny McCarthy, who believed that vaccines had caused her own son’s autism. McCarthy, who had already gained a great deal of publicity for the vaccine theory by discussing it on the Oprah Winfrey show, became the group’s president. (It briefly called itself “Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey’s autism organization,” but the celebrity couple split in 2010.[i])
Jim Carrey left his 14 million Twitter followers in no doubt about his feelings on California's tough new vaccination law on Tuesday.
The actor believes there is a link between vaccines and autism. He branded California Gov. Jerry Brown a "corporate fascist" after he signed into law one of the strictest immunization programs in the country earlier in the day.
In a series of more than half a dozen tweets that ended in a flurry of capital letters, the Golden Globe winner insisted he was "pro-vaccine." He was only "anti-neutrotoxin," he said, repeating his claim that ingredients such as thimerosal and mercury carry a risk to children.
Thimerosal has been removed from or reduced to trace amounts in all vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age and younger, with the exception of inactivated influenza vaccine (see Table 1). A preservative-free version of the inactivated influenza vaccine (contains trace amounts of thimerosal) is available in limited supply at this time for use in infants, children and pregnant women. Some vaccines such as Td, which is indicated for older children (≥ 7 years of age) and adults, are also now available in formulations that are free of thimerosal or contain only trace amounts. Vaccines with trace amounts of thimerosal contain 1 microgram or less of mercury per dose.