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McCain Joins Vaccines Cause Autism Fray

John McCain has jumped into the vaccines-cause-autism fray on the side of those who blame vaccines for the “epidemic” of autism. It would be interesting to know who fed him the Kool-aid on this issue, since McCain isn’t known to have any familiarity with vaccine safety issues. I somehow doubt that he’s reviewed the epidemiology and other studies. I guess you can’t go wrong bashing the guhment and the pharmaceutical industry, even if, in this case, the evidence clearly vindicates them. For the record: experts in autism and epidemiology doubt there has been an epidemic increase in autism. No one can rule out a small increase, but most of the change in the numbers is clearly due to different definitions of autism spectrum disorders and better medical, educational and counseling services for autistics.

The vaccine court is considering the cases of about 5,000 children whose parents blame vaccines for autism. The outlook isn’t good for these cases. That isn’t to say that some tiny number of autistic kids may not have suffered a vaccine reaction. In a recent rant on Huffpo, David Kirby noted that the vaccine court has conceded the case of a kid with autistic symptoms apparently related to her mitochondrial disorder. The underlying condition was apparently exacerbated by a feverish reaction to a chickenpox vaccine. Read Steve Novella’s blog to understand why the judgement is much less significant than Kirby paints it. Still, the judgement has evidently sent many parents rushing to their doctors to diagnose whether their children have a mitochondrial disorder that could be linked to vaccination.

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