Expert Q+A: Is There a Link Between Vaccines and Autism?

Q. Did the mercury in vaccines cause autism?

No. Here is the scientific evidence:

  • The Institute of Medicine spent four years studying this issue. Their conclusion, issued in 2004: mercury preservatives in vaccines did NOT cause autism, and the Institute said it was time to move on to look at other possible causes. Several other leading medical organizations (both nationally and internationally) agree with this conclusion.
  • Mercury preservative (thimerosal) was removed from vaccines in the U.S. in 2001, but the rates of children being diagnosed with autism are still skyrocketing. A survey of autism rates in California in 2008 confirms that mercury is out and autism rates are still going up13. If thimerosal was the cause of autism, and it was taken out SEVEN years ago, autism rates should be going down by now. That's because autism spectrum disorders are usually diagnosed by three years of age.
  • Mercury preservatives were removed from vaccines in Denmark in 1992. Canada and the European Union have followed suit. Their autism diagnosis rates are still going up, too.
  • Mad Hatter's Disease (mercury poisoning) and autism are very different disorders, as discussed above.
  • A study of 100,000 kids in England compared those receiving mercury-containing vaccines to those who did not. The ones who had the mercury-free shots had HIGHER rates of autism.
  • A study in 2007 showed that children between seven and 10 years of age who got those mercury containing vaccines (before 2001) had no significant differences in tests of attention and processing information.16 Although the study did not look specifically at autism, it showed that mercury preservatives did not make much of an impact on brain functions in general.

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