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Defending Vaccines: Actress Dispels Link To Autism

Posted in News by Skepdude on December 14, 2008

A movie star and a prominent scientist have teamed up to reassure the public that childhood vaccines are safe and do not cause autism.

Amanda Peet, who starred in films including The X-Files: I Want To Believe and Syriana, is working with Paul Offit, the chief of infectious diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Their goal is to counter the assault on vaccines led by celebrities including Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey and Holly Robinson Peete.

These stars, along with several advocacy groups, contend that “toxins” in vaccines can cause children to develop immune-system problems and autism. More than a dozen large scientific studies, however, have found no connection between vaccines and autism.

Peet says she began to investigate the safety of vaccines a couple of years ago, when she was pregnant. She says friends were urging her not to get her child vaccinated.

But her sister, who is a doctor, helped her get in touch with Offit, who had very different advice.

Peet says she was bewildered and frustrated by “the disparity between what I was hearing from other moms here in Hollywood and what I was hearing from the doctors.”

After her baby was born in early 2007, she decided to speak out publicly. Since then, she’s been advocating vaccination through interviews, talk show appearances, and public service announcements.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT “NPR”

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