The link between childhood vaccines and autism is suddenly revived

Vicious riddle

When you get a vaccine, close your eyes and don’t ask questions.

Does that sound ridiculous? To me, too! But there are many who would tell you to do just that.

A couple of years ago I told you about a group of self-described “skeptics.” They were angry at movie theaters that were showing a brief PSA that made this suggestion… “Ask for mercury-free flu shots.”

That was just way too radical for the “pro-vax” skeptics. So they called for a boycott of theaters. They actually wanted as few people as possible to see this health safety tip.

That’s not skeptical thinking, it’s backwards thinking. And that’s exactly what we don’t need if we’re ever going to solve the vicious riddle of autism.

Strangely quiet

The fact that I just used the word “autism” within 10 paragraphs of the word “vaccine” probably caused a few pro-vax heads to explode.

When they get the pieces back together, they’ll brand me “anti-vax.” But I’m not too worried about that.

As I’ve said before, I recognize some vaccines are helpful and necessary. And I fully support the use of those.

But I’m certainly not convinced that there isn’t a link between vaccines and autism.

Now, you might be wondering why I’m even still considering the autism link to childhood vaccines. As you probably recall, the U.S. mainstream media dismissed it. They declared it dead. Done. End of discussion.

Well… No. It’s back. Apparently, someone in Italy didn’t get the memo.

Last month, an Italian court granted a substantial award to a family who said the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine caused their son’s autism.

The family of Valentino Bocca says the boy’s adverse reactions began just a few hours after he received the vaccine. His doctor made the autism diagnosis a few months later. Italian Health Ministry officials investigate. They say the link is genuine.

Dozens of additional cases are still under IHM investigation.

Now, normally the pro-vaxers would be up on their hind legs, howling about junk science and threatening to boycott something somewhere. Italian shoes? Italian cars? Whatever.

But this time the pro-vaxers are oddly silent. And the reason is obvious. The media have also been silent.

Two UK newspapers reported the Italian decision. Beyond that, I can’t find a single mainstream outlet that covered it. Reuters, Associated Press, UPI, U.S. television networks, U.S. newspapers, cable TV — all silent.

Really? It’s not even worth a mention? I guess reporters were too busy covering urgent news about TomKat’s break up or some Kardashian.

But the UK media didn’t shy away. And UK health officials stepped right up to point out that the Italian cases linking MMR with autism are coincidental. You see, it JUST SO HAPPENS that children receive the MMR vaccine around the same time children develop autism.

See! Problem solved!

Well… It’s “solved” if all you want to do is discredit, dismiss, and declare this controversy dead again.

To solve the autism problem, we first need some honesty from the media. We need serious reporting that doesn’t just embrace the radical fringes.

We also need for a lot of people to move away from deeply entrenched pro-vax and anti-vax positions. Research can only move forward when more people get on board with a pro-solution position.

We owe that to every infant and unborn child who is vulnerable to autism.

Boycotts of Fellini films and Sambuca are completely unnecessary.

“Italian court reignites MMR vaccine debate after award over child with autism” Paul Bignell, The Independent, 6/17/12,

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