In The Politics of Autism, I analyze the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism. This bogus idea can hurt people by allowing diseases to spread. Examples include measles, COVID, flu, and polio.
A Dec. 31, 2023, Instagram post (direct link, archive link) shows a video of a woman crossing out the word "don't" in the phrase "vaccines don't cause autism" so the message reads "vaccines cause autism."
In support of this claim, the post's caption makes a calculation based on a package insert listing the possible amount of aluminum in a hepatitis B vaccine and the average weight of a newborn.
...There is a large body of research supporting the safety of the way aluminum is used in vaccines. A 2011 paper showed that infants following the recommended vaccination schedule have “significantly less" aluminum exposure than limits deemed safe by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A 2015 paper endorsed identifying and developing new adjuvants beyond aluminum salts, while still recognizing they have been demonstrated safe. And a 2018 paper showed that aluminum levels in children’s hair, a measure of how much is in the body, are not affected by whether they are vaccinated.
The post also revisits the oft-debunked claim that mercury in vaccines causes autism. Multiple studies show no link between autism and the mercury in vaccines, said Cherie Duvall-Jones, an FDA spokesperson. In fact, the post accurately notes that mercury is no longer found in routine childhood immunizations.