I’ve been following this story with interest and concern. A little birdie told me that Katie Couric has prepared a special report about the potential link between vaccines and autism for the CBS news tonight (May 12th). Sharyl Attkisson will be interviewing Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of the National Institutes of Health, about her perspective. The CBS website has a 5 minute video clip now available on their site.
While I certainly agree with Dr. Healy that science must not be stifled, and that it’s fair game to research any environmental factor that could plausbily be related to autism, I am deeply concerned that the potential harm induced by vaccines (on kids with rare genetic disorders) will be generalized inappropriately and parents will refrain from vaccinating their children. We are already beginning to see Measles make a comeback (a disease with that can be fatal or cause irreversible brain damage) due to lower vaccination rates, and this trend may continue. Unvaccinated kids are not just a threat to themselves (because they’re at much higher risk for developing preventable diseases) but a threat to vaccinated kids as well, since vaccines are not 100% effective.
What do you think about the CBS segment? Watch it with me and we can discuss it here on my blog. Robin Morris, mother of a child with autism and a patient advocate at Revolution Health, will weigh in as well.