|Turned up to eleven: Fair and Balanced|
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
I have been interested in the "vaccine as cause of disease" notion for some time, the most immediately relevant ones being thimerosal/autism and MMR/autism. Without getting to deep into those ones, I will say that there is valid cause for concern about the level of thimerosal that was in childhood vaccines (it was removed in 1997, IIRC), but the jury is still out. If it turns out that autism rates fall dramatically over the next 5-10 years, then that would be solid potential evidence (with proper epidemiological analysis, of course). However, one of the more outlandish but persistent theories was the HIV in polio vaccine hypothesis. A recent issue of The Scientist cites a report in Nature putting the final nail in the coffin of this theory. An excerpt;
By the way, while I am glad to find that this theory has been discredited, I in no way mean to imply that anything wrt thimerosal/autism has similarly been discredited. However, it is worth noting that vaccination is the single most effective public health tool in existence, and has been responsible for a tremendous improvement in the quality of life over the last century or so. It is nice to see that good science is winning out in the search for answers in this arena.