Study Casts Doubt On Vaccine-Autism Link

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(HealthDay News) Adding to a growing body of evidence that rejects the idea that immunizations boost autism rates, a new study finds no proof that incidences of the disorder dropped after makers of most childhood vaccines stopped using a mercury-based preservative in their products.

Researchers found that autism rates in California continued to rise over the past several years, even though the preservative — known as thimerosal — had vanished from almost all vaccines by 2001.

The study makes clear that “thimerosal cannot be the major cause of autism in California,” said its lead author, Dr. Robert Schechter, medical officer with the Immunization Branch of the California Department of Public Health.

Another expert called the study limited and said it did not prove that vaccines have no connection to autism.

Still, the new research “adds to the body of existing evidence in which there is no causal connection that demonstrates thimerosal is a primary cause” of autism, said Andy Shih, vice president of scientific affairs for Autism Speaks, an advocacy organization.

Thimerosal, a preservative once used in contact lens solutions, was frequently a component of childhood vaccines until around 2000. Today, it’s still used in flu vaccines recommended for infants, but researchers think children are still exposed to much less thimerosal than in the past.

In recent years, some parents have blamed their children’s autism on the preservative, which is derived from mercury; others have accused the parents of creating public panic and threatening the health of children by casting a bad light on routine immunizations.

One government study released in 2007 claimed that thimerosal exposure in the first seven months of life didn’t appear to affect the brain function of children aged 7 to 10, although there was some evidence — perhaps the result of chance — that connected thimerosal to later development of physical tics. Even earlier, an Institute of Medicine report released in 2004 found no evidence supporting a link between thimerosal and autism.

In the new study, published in the January issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, researchers from the California Department of Public Health examined statistics about children in the state from 1995 through March 2007.

The prevalence of autism among kids aged 3 to 12 grew each year, the researchers discovered after looking at numbers compiled by a state agency that provides services to children with the disorder.

For example, the prevalence among kids born in 1993 was three in 10,000 when they were checked in 1996, compared to 13 per 10,000 among those born in 2003 and checked in 2006.

The highest rate — 4.5 cases per 1,000 births — came among 6-year-olds in 2006 who were born in 2000.

The study authors pointed out that autism rates among kids aged 3 to 5 continued to grow for each birth year after 1999, even though thimerosal use dropped.

Shih said the study methods are “robust,” adding that the authors appeared to address limitations of earlier studies. However, he said, the research “doesn’t address the possibility that there might be a subpopulation who might be particularly vulnerable to a vaccine with thimerosal.”

If just 1 percent to 2 percent of children were especially sensitive to the effect of thimerosal, the study wouldn’t be able to pick it up, he said.

Schechter agreed, saying it was true that the research didn’t address whether thimerosal might cause problems in a small number of cases.

As for a possible link between vaccines and autism, Shih said, “the jury is still out,” especially considering that children are exposed to a large number of vaccines before age 2.

And he added, “Some people in the community feel that they might lead to immune problems that could either exacerbate or lead to autism. All this is purely hypothetical, but this is an area where we need to continue to do more research.”

(Source: National Health Information Center)


32 COMMENTS

  1. I’m sorry, but I think way too many people have been sold by the alternative, new-age medicine propaganda that has no basis whatsoever in Torah and no basis in science. To all of you kooks who oppose vaccines, did you know that a significant number of haredi children in Eretz Yisroel, R”L, have recently been stricken with measels because their parents purposely refused to vaccinate their children? Did you know that before vaccines were invented, it was quite commonplace for children to die from the ilnesses that these vaccines are meant to prevent? How often do we hear stories of our ancestors in the Heim losing their young children to diseases that are now virtually wiped out. Wake up people! What are you doing to your children? There is no proof that vaccines cause autism, which is not even a deadly illness (but of course a major tarnish to your family’s image in the community), but there is OVERWHELMING proof that your kids can G-d forbid die or be maimed for life if they get horrible diseases such as measels, diptheria, or whooping cough. I’m sorry, but this irrational opposition antipathy to vaccines is nothing but HYSTERIA and it must stop. Perhaps we should organize something with rabbonim and community physicians to put an end to this dangerous trend once and for all.

  2. I would like to hope that objective evidence like this will help convince all those who dont vaccinate their children, to start vaccinating, but i highly doubt that will happen. if they cant blame it on the mercury, theyll blame it on the metal needle piercing the skin, who knows, theyll find something…

  3. The Autism Vaccine link was first proposed due to immunologic concerns as opposed to concerns over additives such as Themerisol. That possible link has not been ruled out nor has the proposal that an increase in learning disabilities may be due to vaccination. The famous (or infamous depending on your perspective) Lancet article details how Measeles DNA was found in samples of tissue taken from 9 Autistic children suffering from inflamatory bowel disease. The researcher proposed a linkage between the MMR vaccine and the autism. We still have a lot to learn about the immune system and the bottom line is, no long terms studies have ever been done to prove the long term safety of altering the immune system with the vaccine regimen we now use. There are a small number of Medical Doctors who do not vaccinate their own children as a result of concerns.
    Also for all those pro vaccine advocates praising the mumchim, Would you also recommend that frum girls and boys be given the newly developed HPV vaccine or the HEPB vaccine? These are examples of various vaccines that are given to young children in an attempt to prevent them from contracting something in adulthood that is only transmitted through risky personal behaviour.
    It is not clear that many of the various vaccines given today are more benficial than the potential risks the pose.

  4. #7 (MM) – Who are the “small number of Medical Doctors who do not vaccinate their own children as a result of concerns”? I challenge you to name them, but I doubt you will be able to. I love how people make blanket statements such as this to make themselves sound more important, but have no way of backing them up.

  5. I don’t know about drs who don’t vaccinate their own children but do know of drs who do so on a different schedule, without overloading a child’s still developing immune system with as many as 5 different vaccines in one day.

  6. Response to #10. The MDs that I refer to are a few that I know personally. I will not name names because the authorities will harrass an MD that follows this path.
    Response to #11 – Hep B and HPV are mainly spread through risky behaviour be it intravenous drug use or other behaviour that I do not feel it is proper to enunciate on this site.
    In effect children who are not at risk are being innoculated at a young age for something that they may be at risk for later in life. This is a public health policy decision taken by the government, not a halachically mandated one, and not a medically mandated one.
    I am not saying one should not get vaccinated. I am saying that the decision to vaccinate should be one of free choice of the parents and not one of coercion by the government or medical establishment. The true risks versus benefits need to be accurately and truthfully disclosed as well, and in most cases they are not.
    It should also be noted that vaccines do not provide 100% immunity to all individuals. If a vaccine is succesful in creating a 70% – 80% immune response rate it is considered good enough to create a herd immunity which would protect the overall population. That is why we also hear about measels outbreaks in previously vaccinated children – their vaccination did not work. I wonder if indeed the recent outbreak in Jerusalem was in unvaccinated children or vaccinated children.
    There are very serious scientifically valid reasons to be concerned about possible potential detrimental side effects from vaccinations.For example there are studies positing a link between vaccinations and increased rates of Diabetes and Asthma.
    The Medical establishment tends to poo poo these concerns out of what they consider to be good public health policy.
    We ought to repect those people who question accepted dogma whether we agree with them or not.
    One final note. I am surprised that many people will readilly accept, accepted medical dogma as absolute truth to the extent that they will say it is halachicaly mandated to follow and obligatory to vaccinate your children. Will you also accept as truth some of the other other conclusions of scientific inquiry in other areas of science such as the age of the universe or the theory of evolution?

  7. this debate, i have no answers

    but we must be very careful regarding the immense arrogance of the medical establishment

    it wasnt so long ago that xrays were used for treating tonsils and acne. okay it was a BIG mistake, no one’s perfect. but did they ever say, well we dont really know all the possible effects of such powerful radiation, lets be cautious?

    NO!!

    instead the attitude was “we KNOW it’s safe.

    TODAY we have a very powerful force, very high intensity, high frequency sound waves. we are subjecting many millions of extremely delicate fetuses, in all stages of growth, to this powerful force, often for no better reason than to give the parents a picture of the fetus to put on the refrigerator, or to find out the gender, for fun.
    They KNOW it’s safe, of course. no need for caution. they know.

    this arrogant foolhardy dangerous attitude has been exercised over and over, the lesson never being learned, always backed up by “studies”

    when i worked at the ob-gyn dept at a large county hospital 30 years ago, every woman was given Bendectin whether she was nauseous or not. was it safe? of course we said, totally harmless, we know this, NO question.
    you know the end of the story, it caused birth defects

    the examples are nearly endless

  8. I agree with Feivel. Since we cannot say for sure what is causing the rise in autism, let us use our common sense and stop doing things (or at least cut down on things )that MAY end up being the cause (or part of the cause): constant ultrasound pictures of fetuses at every doctor visit, hundreds of digital photos taken of babies, constant use of wireless devices, etc.

  9. To all those experts without degrees or basic medical education!
    The concern with the MMR vaccine is not only the mercury in the preservative. The big issue is that you are injecting a young child with three separate insults to the immune system all at the same time. This alone can harm some people, especially if they are weak and at a young and developing age. Parts of these vaccines were derived from monkeys and there are discussions of monkey virus involvement.

    Another question is why some vaccines need a preservative. The answer is shocking, it was put in to save money. Originally, most vaccines came in single dose packs. In an effort to save money they started packing some of the MMR in a 25 dose bottle with the Dr sticking a clean? needle thru the rubber at the top 25 times. The preservative was added to prevent problems. When you go to a Dentist each and every dose is packed separately. Adults would never stand for what kids were injected with.
    I do not know what causes autism but I am amazed by all the experts that are sure they know what does not cause it.

  10. #13–Regarding the vaccination of young children for HBV, this virus can live on surfaces for up to 1 week. That means that anytime a person or even a child travels on a bus, if someone with HBV contaminated a handhold or seat within the last week, a person could be exposed, even as a young child.

    #16–As far as the risk of exposing a young child to 3 viruses at once, how about the hundreds of viruses that kids are exposed to every time they put their hands in their mouths? Should we stop that, too?

    It is true that preservatives were added to facilitate multidose packaging and save money. Everyone complains today about the cost of healthcare, but when someone tries to decrease that cost that gets attacked, too. Doctors just can’t win.

    Why is it that people are so willing to accept whatever the guy behind the counter at the healthfood store or the “shaklee lady” says, without regard to what training and experience they have, but will fight tooth and nail when a scientist or doctor with experience and training and objective evidence says something.

    It is interesting to note that if a researcher makes any money off of a study (aside from his salary) he is required to disclose it fully, but the health food store owner and “vitamin ladies” are making a fortune off of whatever it is they are selling and promoting to you.

  11. As far as doctors who do not immunize their own kids, there may not be many, but I know one fine pediatrician who does not. She is a friend of my daughter’s. She has practiced now, very successfully for over 20 years, and does not vaccinate her own kids. But she will not tell any but her closest friends, as the others sharing her practice disagree.

    I personally do believe in vaccinations, and still keep up my boosters, but I believe that under all that smoke there MAY be a tiny bit of fire.

    The bottom line is that it is not 100% proved one way or the other. And, though most of us disagree, and want everyone immunized, it is not fair to criticize the parents who chose the other path.

    They are not rotten parents. They have on whom to rely, and are doing what they believe is best for their kids.

    Everyone here has contributed intelligently to the debate, but the most important thing we can contribute is tolerance for other parents’ decisions.

  12. Flatbush Bubby — Let’s NOT worry about mercury levels in tuna, as there is exactly zero evidence to suggest that mercury at the levels found in canned tuna is harmful to either mother or baby. In fact, the Japanese have long life spans, no particular issues with birth defects, and yet have far greater mercury consumption levels than Americans.

    Feivel — Bendectin did NOT cause birth defects. Everyone with morning sickness that is basically untreatable can thank the tort lawyers for their situation. Here’s the wikipedia entry for Bendectin:

    Bendectin, (known as Debendox® in the UK) is a mixture of pyridoxine (Vitamin B-6), and doxylamine, is a drug prescribed to treat nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness. It was voluntarily removed from the market in 1983 by its manufacturer, Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, following numerous lawsuits alleging that it caused birth defects. These lawsuits were largely unfounded, however, as the rate of birth defects in the general population did not increase prior to drug release or decrease following its removal. In the general population about 3% of babies are born with congenital defects. There was an overwhelming body of evidence at the time and which continues accumulating to this day that Bendectin does not cause birth defects. The most famous case involving the drug is Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals (1993), which left lasting implications for the way science is used in the courtroom. The Supreme Court ruled that judges had the responsibility to keep junk science out of the courtroom. The drug has recently resurfaced and is currently marketed under the same name.

  13. To # 18, some rebuttals
    Yes, there are millions of viri viruses on a kids hands when he/she puts them in his/her mouth. That is not the equivalent of injecting something into the body where you lose the protection of the saliva and stomache ph offering some protection.
    The little money saved on multipacks of MMR was never passed along in most cases. judging by the total coat of dental injectables the savings should have been minimal. I am not against a system that saves the consumer money but this is an absurd savings. After all can one imagine an MD being less than careful? Most of us remember a recent story in the news about an MD that repeatedly stuck the same needle into the bottle to give larger doses. he did not stick the needle into another person but did inject the contaminated products into other people.

  14. #19 – well said. Contributing intelligently to the debate and not knocking one side or the other is the only way.

    I myself did vaccinate my first few kids, “religiously” – feeling very guilty if I missed doing the vaccine “on schedule”.

    Somewhere in between then and now, I learned alot about the potential risks as compared to the benefits and opted to give vaccines on a delayed schedule, and skipping some completely. (Including HepB – which my middle child had a severe reaction to – and in my opinion risks are so small for our lifestyle and outweigh the potential benefits), and chicken pox.

  15. Question to my fellow YW readers who believe that we MUST follow “mumchim” and doctors unquestioningly, specifically on the vaccine issue:

    If it will come to a point that HIV vaccines are mandated, deemed completely safe (but you’d hear some chatter about the small but possible risks of being infected with HIV) – would you or would you not hesitate to inject that into yourself or your child?

  16. YW moderators: I do think you should balance your reporting of both sides of the issue.

    The National Vaccine Information Center is one place to start. (They’re “pro-choice” – not “anti-vaccine”.)

  17. To #18. You are probably mixing up with the common cold whose various viruses can live on door knobs and such for a while and later infect people. HBV however needs to be transmitted via body fluids such as blood or saliva directly into the blood stream. So for example if a cop punched an HBV infected drug addict in the mouth with his bare hand, he would run a serious risk of infection. You will not however contract HBV from casual contact with a door knob or telephone.
    Generally speaking, the rule of thumb is that the more lethal a virus is the more difficult it is to spread. It is not always the case such as with the 1918 flu but it is the case with most serious viral illneses.

  18. 18, I can’t talk for everyone else, but I am extremely cautious about supplements. I read labels carefully, research and never take the word of the health food guy or vitamin lady on its own.

    I hope that there will always be opportunities to make an education decision to opt out. After consulting with a dr., I opted not to have the children who didn’t yet have chicken pox vaccinated; if they didn’t get it by age 10, I would. (And my heart goes out to anyone who suffered tragic losses to chicken pox, yes I know it happens.) And my children ended up catching full-blown chicken pox before age 10, from children who got mild cases after the vaccine.

  19. B”H

    #28–Waiting until they have chicken pox is not the best way. If you have had chicken pox, you can get Shingles later, as the virus NEVER leaves your system.

    I’ve had Shingles, and it is no picnic.

    I vaccinated ALL MY CHILDREN AGAINST CHICKEN POX.

  20. #29 (Yael): I’m not sure if what you’re saying makes sense.

    You can get shingles once the chicken pox virus is already in your body… and do you know what the vaccine IS?? As we all know, it is a mild/weak form of chicken pox.

    Based on that, it stands to reason that shingles can strike if
    A. you’ve had chicken pox
    B. you’ve been vaccinated against it.

    P.S. Sorry to hear you had shingles – I had it, too, and it’s TORTURE 🙁

  21. I JUST LOVE to read the comments from people who believe that the Government is staffed with wonderful people, who want only what is good for the poor ordinary citizen.–It ain’t true!

    How many of you poor shlubs gave 10,000 dollars or more to Bill clinton’s campaign for President? How about Hillary? I bet the answer is zero!

    So, who gave Hillary the 100 million dollars that she has amassed so far, and why did they give her such an enormous amount of money

    The answer is big corporations, who need the Government to help them market their products and protect their businesses from lawsuits. Government protection is worth billions of dollars to them.

    The top administrators of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), who develop the mandated vaccination schedules for children, are political appointees of Bill Clinton and Hillary (if she becomes President). Their job is to protect those who gave generously to the campaign–even when that conflicts with the public safety.

    These administrators are often recruited from the very industries that they are supposed to regulate, and they return there after they complete their term of office in the Federal Goverment. How honest and objective do you think these administrators are?

    At the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the scientists petitioned the administrators to stop allowing fluoridation of America’s water supplies, because the latest research showed that flyuoride was causing brain defects in children and all kinds of degenerative diseases in adults. They were overruled by the politically-appointed administrators.

    It is completely insane to give a newborn baby a hepatitis chot, when hepatitis is transmitted only by intimate contact. It is crazy to give children multiple vaccinations in one day, which can overwhelm their immune system.

    As to this latest “scientific study,” it is typical for indistry to commission a “loaded” study to avoid resposibilty for the damage that they do. Remember, VIOXX, CELEBREX, DES, and all other now-defunct medicines all presented “studies” that “proved” that they were “safe.”

  22. #32 — Okay, maybe “it ain’t true that government is staffed with wonderful people, who want only what is good for the poor ordinary citizen,” but you sound like a conspiracy theorist when you suggest that government is entirely in the pockets of one corporation or another that’s sole goal in life is to pick your pocket and kill you in the process. Life is way more complicated than that. Politicians worry about money, not only from corporations, but also from competing organizations like majory environmental groups and other non-profits whose goals are often at odds with each other and commercial interests. Politicians also worry about votes which, after all, is what they hope to be able to buy with the contributions they receive. The U.S. government is very far from perfect but it works better than just about any other.

  23. Polio has not been eradicated. The vaccine was implicated in causing a rare form of cancer because they used monkey/apes to produce the vaccine. In India polio was going around, not because they weren’t vaccinating, in fact kids got the oral vaccine many times. One girl got it 9 yes, 9 times but still got polio. You know why, because they have open sewers and the oral polio is excreted by the body and anybody who has contact with it can catch it. The reason why we use the injectable version here is because a senator caught polio after changing his grandchild’s diapers after she had the oral polio and he got the policy changed. I think it was a great idea but this tells you policy is dictated by politicians, not doctors. Pharmaceutical companies pay money to a politician’s campaign and promise more jobs in their state and get their newest vaccine mandated. The rule in life is…follow the money!

  24. So if one of several probable carcinogens were removed from cigarettes would that make smoking safe? That is the problem with the way this study is being interpreted. Thimiserol is toxic in and of itself but in the context of this study, it may have been an indicator of the overall toxicity load given at vaccination visits at 2, 4, and 6 months.

    Understand there are no good long term data on vaccine safety. To get a vaccine approved one needs to inject a study group of children, have parents keep a log of adverse reactions which they turn in 42 days later and a titer is drawn. If 80- 90% of those vaccinated have adequate titers for immunity voila vaccine approval. Read UPI editor Dan Olmsteads series on vaccines at the ageofautism.com, website and Pox part 5 May 15,2006. 2 children in Olympia Washington had regressive autism following trials for Quad pro (MMR plus chickenpox) reported to their physician and the governments vaccine adverse event reporting system in 2001. Merck did not report the events until questioned by the reporter in March of 2006.

    The current vaccine schedule was tested in this manner. 4 shots, 7 vaccinations at 2,4, 6 months are the recommendations. This schedule is designed for convenience compliance and point of contact. Remember the government staffs and funds all those public health clinics,a more complicated schedule would decrease compliance and possibly herd immunity. Starting in 1980 vaccines were added to an existing schedule without adding visits, and several years later coincidentally the autism rate started to climb. The government has painted itself into a corner, if they look at changing the schedule and find long term sequelae from the current schedule then they have a huge liability issue. One should read Evidence of Harm by David Kirby, to understand the thimiserol story. For those of you who want a quick synopsis go to Safeminds.org, and read the Simpsonwood minutes or extracts from a closed door CDC meeting on Thimiserol. Also check out Dr Thomas Verstraeten’s emails on his original analyis of the Vaccine Safety datalink, data and Mark Blaxhill’s powerpoint generation zero presentation.

    Food for thought for every severe autistic child there are 5 on the spectrum, I postulate for every child on the spectrum there are 5 with learning disabilities. Could the explosion in learning disabilities be also be due to vaccines? Are your taxes going up because people are not spreading the shots out?

    I highly recommend The Vaccine Book by Dr Robert Sears and give it as a baby gift to pregnant women, to educate them so they can make an informed decision.

    I have 4 children, my first 2 who are a boy and a girl, were vaccinated in Deal by an old time pediatrician who believed in spreading out the vaccines, we did not have more than 2 shots per month. Both children made all developmental milestones. We mved to Lakewood for a short period of time and my 2 younger children received 4 shots at once 7 vaccinations at 2,4 and 6 months. The 3 year old is on the spectrum the 2 year old did not get the MMR has a speech delay. I started looking at the data regarding vaccines this past year and could not belive the schedule was not changed.

    For every 100 people who smoke 6 will be diagnosed with lung cancer. Almost no one with lung cancer did not smoke. If one has an autistic child the chance of having another is 10% but can that be decreased for those people by not vaccinating? Can it be that for every 100 children vaccinated, according to the present schedule 1 will be on the spectrum and 5 will have learning disabilities? These questions should be answered with good trials. Maybe the chareidim are not so crazy.

  25. So if one of several probable carcinogens were removed from cigarettes would that make smoking safe? That is the problem with the way this study is being interpreted. Thimiserol is toxic in and of itself but in the context of this study, it may have been an indicator of the overall toxicity load given at vaccination visits at 2, 4, and 6 months.

    Understand there are no good long term data on vaccine safety. To get a vaccine approved one needs to inject a study group of children, have parents keep a log of adverse reactions which they turn in 42 days later and a titer is drawn. If 80- 90% of those vaccinated have adequate titers for immunity voila vaccine approval. Read UPI editor Dan Olmsteads series on vaccines at the ageofautism.com, website and Pox part 5 May 15,2006. 2 children in Olympia Washington had regressive autism following trials for Quad pro (MMR plus chickenpox) reported to their physician and the governments vaccine adverse event reporting system in 2001. Merck did not report the events until questioned by the reporter in March of 2006.

    The current vaccine schedule was tested in this manner. 4 shots, 7 vaccinations at 2,4, 6 months are the recommendations. This schedule is designed for convenience compliance and point of contact. Remember the government staffs and funds all those public health clinics,a more complicated schedule would decrease compliance and possibly herd immunity. Starting in 1980 vaccines were added to an existing schedule without adding visits, and several years later coincidentally the autism rate started to climb. The government has painted itself into a corner, if they look at changing the schedule and find long term sequelae from the current schedule then they have a huge liability issue. One should read Evidence of Harm by David Kirby, to understand the thimiserol story. For those of you who want a quick synopsis go to Safeminds.org, and read the Simpsonwood minutes or extracts from a closed door CDC meeting on Thimiserol. Also check out Dr Thomas Verstraeten’s emails on his original analyis of the Vaccine Safety datalink, data and Mark Blaxhill’s powerpoint generation zero presentation.

    Food for thought for every severe autistic child there are 5 on the spectrum, I postulate for every child on the spectrum there are 5 with learning disabilities. Could the explosion in learning disabilities be also be due to vaccines? Are your taxes going up because people are not spreading the shots out?

    I highly recommend The Vaccine Book by Dr Robert Sears and give it as a baby gift to pregnant women, to educate them so they can make an informed decision.

    I have 4 children, my first 2 who are a boy and a girl, were vaccinated in Deal by an old time pediatrician who believed in spreading out the vaccines, we did not have more than 2 shots per month. Both children made all developmental milestones. We mved to Lakewood for a short period of time and my 2 younger children received 4 shots at once 7 vaccinations at 2,4 and 6 months. The 3 year old is on the spectrum the 2 year old did not get the MMR has a speech delay. I started looking at the data regarding vaccines this past year and could not belive the schedule was not changed.

    For every 100 people who smoke 6 will be diagnosed with lung cancer. Almost no one with lung cancer did not smoke. If one has an autistic child the chance of having another is 10% but can that be decreased for those people by not vaccinating? Can it be that for every 100 children vaccinated, according to the present schedule 1 will be on the spectrum and 5 will have learning disabilities? These questions should be answered with good trials. Maybe the chareidim are not so crazy.

    Nelly Huppert MD

  26. Feivel, it’s funny that you should mention Bendectin. Yes, Bendectin was 100% safe, but greedy lawyers and vicious plaintiffs dragged the manufacturer through the courts and cost them hundreds of millions of dollars, so even though they were vindicated they stopped selling it in the USA. Now women who need it and know about it can get it in Canada, but most women who could benefit from it don’t even know it exists, because no doctor in the USA dares tell them about it. There has never been a single birth defect caused by Bendectin, and there never will be one, but there are plenty of women who suffer needlessly from morning sickness because they can’t get Bendectin.

    If you want a story of evil conspirators who inflict misery on the public for the sake of a profit, there are you villains. The people who make up scares like this vaccine thing and the Bendectin scare, and the lawyers like Erin Brockovich who sue companies just because they have deep pockets, even though they have no reason to believe there’s anything wrong with the products. They are evil and should go to gehenom for all the useful and beneficial drugs that they have deprived the public of, and all the billions of dollars that they have stolen or thrown down the toilet.

  27. Nelly – thank you for the informative post.

    The funny thing is – I do not know ANY other “chareidi” personally who has a similar philosophy to me re: questioning vaccines. (Not anti-vaccines, but questioning. Suspicious of.)

    All the parents I’ve met with similar concerns and experiences with adverse reaction to vaccines (similar to Nelly a few posts above)were online, from various walks of life, various religions, different communities… so I cannot for the life of me understand why this has turned into a “charedi-bashing” issue – when almost everyone I know who is charedi DOES vaccinate, no questions asked. There are very few who stop, research and weigh the pros and cons.