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Date of last update: 9/9/2017.

Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: Immunizations-Autsim Link

 Acacia80 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:45 pm

A good friend of mine has a 16 month old son. She found out today that her pediatrician lost his license due to giving immunizations that were either expired or watered down. Some of these immunizations could have been good. There is no way of knowing. She was advised by the Dept of Health to have her son re-vaccinated with every immunization that he has ever had within a 2 year time period. Is that safe? I know that it is just a "theory" that some of these shots cause autism. She is very concerned. Is it necessary for him to get all of the shots? Please help!! If some of the shots he already had were not defective couldn't these high levels effect him?
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sat Feb 16, 2008 4:06 pm

User avatar Hello Acacia80,

This is a very understandable concern. Really, there are two different issues here. First is the autism-vaccine issue. There was a large study recently showing that certain vaccines were linked to increased risk of autism. The untold story about this study was that it was paid for by they lawyers suing the vaccine company. This makes it very risky to trust the outcomes because there was a vested interest in finding a link to support the lawsuit. Several other very well done studies have looked at this link and have not found it to be true. Additionally, the concern was about a mercury compound in the vaccines called thimerosol. As a precaution, thimerosol has been removed from almost every vaccine at this point. So, when comparing the risk of getting one of these diseases versus the risk of autism, the benefit of protection very strongly outweighs the risk.

The second issue is, is it safe to be revaccinated? Receiving extra doses of the vaccines is not dangerous. If there is not enough immunity, the extra vaccine will help boost immunity. If there is enough immunity, the vaccine will only serve to strengthen the immunity.

If there is concern that the vaccine this child received I would strongly agree with revaccinating him.

Best wishes.
 Alexandra C, RN - Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:26 pm

I wanted to add that a recent study published in January further refutes the thimerosal/autism link. Despite that thimerosal has not been used in childhood vaccines since 2001, the autism rate has continued to rise steadily. No one has been able to ascertain the cause(s) of autism, but the evidence strongly suggests that vaccines do not cause autism.

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