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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Debunking a Claim About Vaccines

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  And among those diseases could be COVID-19.

Antivaxxers are sometimes violent, often abusive, and always wrong

At USA Today, Chris Mueller debunks a social media claim that vaccines are responsible for a "277-fold" increase in autism prevalence
The post attempts to blame the autism increase on legislation that reduced liability for vaccine manufacturers, but that line of reasoning falls short since an array of studies have found no proof vaccines have any link to autism.

USA TODAY has repeatedly debunked the claim that vaccines are somehow linked to autism. Multiple studies have found no link between receiving vaccines and developing autism, according to the CDC.

The agency cites its own study that looked at the number of antigens given to children during their first two years of life. It found the number of antigens – the "substances in vaccines that cause the body’s immune system to produce disease-fighting antibodies" – was the same in children with or without autism.

In 2014, a meta-analysis of multiple studies determined that "vaccinations are not associated with the development of autism."

The post offers no proof of a connection, and the user who made it didn't respond to a request for comment from USA TODAY. It presents data on autism cases back to 1970 in making its claim of a 277-fold increase, but the CDC says there was little awareness or tracking before the 1980s, when the term autism "was used primarily to refer to autistic disorder and was thought to be rare, affecting approximately one in every 2,000 (0.5%) children." The CDC's autism monitoring program didn't start until 2000.