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Anti-vaxxer group confused after their own study debunks vaccine-autism link

The anti-vaccine group Safe Minds got their underoos all in a twist because they spent money on a study, only to once again have science debunk their claims that vaccinating your children puts them at risk for autism.

The study, which took place over the course of about 6 years, focused on behavioral changes in baby monkeys when they were given vaccines. The study’s findings appeared in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and say what many studies have found before it: vaccines are not linked to autism in any way.

From Jezebel:

The study…involved 79 infant monkeys in six groups. Two groups were given thimerosal-containing vaccines. Thimerosal is an antiseptic and antifungal agent that was frequently used in vaccinations until it was removed in the U.S from vaccines given to children in the 90s, and is frequently cited by anti-vaxxers as a cause for autism. The next two groups were given the MMR vaccine (also claimed to cause autism) without thimerosal, and the final two were given saline injections as a control.

They also report its findings thusly:

No behavioral changes were observed in the vaccinated animals, nor were there neuropathological changes in the cerebellum, hippocampus, or amygdala. This study does not support the hypothesis that thimerosal-containing vaccines and/or the MMR vaccine play a role in the etiology of autism.

Simply put, choosing not to vaccinate one’s children puts not only the unvaccinated children at risk, but it also threatens those around them and jeopardizes the safety of those who are legitimately unable to be vaccinated.

Safe Minds released the following nonsense after the study’s results were published, claiming bias and all sorts of other reasons their desired results were not achieved:

“The epidemic of autism is expected to cost the country $1 trillion by 2025 if prevalence trends continue,” Safe Minds said in their statement.

“In a recent study, over 40 percent of parents agree or strongly agree that vaccines played a part in the development of their children’s autism. The vaccine primate study in question consisted of multiple phases,” the statement continued. “The initial phase found a series of negative effects in infant reflexes and brain growth among those exposed to vaccines. The second, recent phase purported to find no effect. SafeMinds has concerns about changes in the study design protocol and analysis that may have led to these contradictory results. We are in the process of collecting and reviewing additional information regarding this study.”

In other words, they don’t care what the science says.

Using the anti-vaxxer logic, it would be better for a child to have a crippling or even deadly disease, than to expose that child to a vaccine that allegedly could trigger autism.

If I were inclined toward having children, I’d definitely choose the latter, and the fact that these people would rather their children and other children suffer from preventable diseases than have autism (a risk that isn’t even remotely real) is really offensive to those on the spectrum as well.

[This post has been updated]

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