For Immediate Release:
October 31, 2006
Wendy Fournier, NAA (Portsmouth, RI) 401-632-7523
Lori McIlwain (Cary, NC) 919-468-6455
National Autism Association Cites Serious Shortcoming in CDC Flu Shot Safety Study
Six-week follow-up called “ridiculously inadequate” by autism advocacy group
Nixa, MO – A study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicating that the influenza vaccine is safe for infants and toddlers is being criticized for the brief six-week follow-up of subjects involved in the study. Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nine of the 19 authors admit ties with vaccine makers including Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline, and others.
“Following-up with these children for a mere six weeks is ridiculously inadequate,” according to National Autism Association (NAA) executive director Rita Shreffler. “The neurological injuries that result in diagnoses such as autism do not typically occur immediately after getting shots. Exposures to vaccine toxins such as mercury are cumulative and symptoms of injury may not be apparent for months or even years. Apparently, this is yet another CDC-drug company collaboration to whitewash thimerosal and ensure that flu shots are as profitable as possible, regardless of their long term adverse effects.”
Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative used in most flu shots, including those often received by pregnant women and young children. While some mercury-free flu shots are manufactured each year, the majority contain 25 micrograms of mercury, an amount considered safe by the Environmental Protection Agency for an adult weighing 550 pounds. A growing number of scientific studies link mercury exposure in susceptible individuals to the development of neurological injuries such as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The CDC now recommends the flu vaccine for pregnant women, and annually for children six months through five years of age.
At a meeting of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) last week, thimerosal was not placed on the agenda despite a request from 15 national organizations that the ACIP follow the 2001 Institute of Medicine recommendations that pregnant women, infants, and children receive thimerosal-free vaccines. CDC officials also refused to vote on stating a preference for thimerosal-free vaccines for pregnant women and children.
“Pregnant women and young children shouldn’t be exposed to mercury in any form because of the potential for serious neurological injury,” commented Laura Bono, NAA board member and mother of a vaccine-injured son. “In my opinion, failure to follow-up appropriately with the kids in this study, then based on the incomplete data, promote flu vaccines as ‘safe,’ is irresponsible, giving parents a false sense of security. Predictably, this latest from the CDC does nothing to address the long-term dangers of injecting children with mercury.”
For more information on autism, visit www.nationalautism.org