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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Myth That Will Not Die: Vaccines and Autism

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the discredited theory that vaccines cause autism.

The controversial documentary Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe is getting a booster shot from the Middle Kingdom. Distributor Cinema Libre Studio has partnered with China’s Gaia Studio to significantly expand the U.S. release. The Chinese group also is planning to release the film in Taiwan and Hong Kong and has designs on a Chinese run. They are teaming with Cinema Libre to create a joint venture in the PROC, the new partners say.
Tony Leys writes at The Des Moines Register:
The number of Iowa parents seeking religious exemptions to vaccination requirements continues to climb, despite efforts to dispel worries the shots cause health problems.
A new state report shows 6,737 Iowa school children obtained religious exemptions to vaccinations this school year, up 13 percent from the year before and more than four times the number 15 years ago.
After Polk County reported its large rise in religious exemptions, Des Moines mom Tamara Bridgeman explained her thinking on why she feels such exemptions are justified for her two children. She said vaccine manufacturers aren't disclosing everything that's in the shots. “My belief is, I don’t trust the pharmaceutical companies,” she said. “I feel like I shouldn’t have to have a religion to believe in something.”

Linn County Health Director Pramod Dwivedi said he believes many of the families who seek religious exemptions are afraid vaccinations cause autism, even though multiple studies have shown the fears are unfounded. Autism Speaks, a leading national organization for families of people with autism, agrees that there is no apparent link.