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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.



9 Responses

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  1. Tanners Dad said, on December 14, 2008 at 1:28 PM

    Defending Vaccines or Ignoring the Autism Epidemic. Are our Children Collateral Damage?
    By my calculations we have had more than 13,140 cases of Autism diagnosed in the first half of this year. Approximately every 20 minutes a new case is diagnosed. Between drownings, car accidents, suicide/murders, poisonings, SIDS, and other things related to Vaccine Poisoning/Autism I know more than 10 people have died. So tell me which is the epidemic? Demanding safe vaccines, proof of herd protection, and informed consent now. Too Many Too Soon. Stop exporting Thimerosal laden vaccines and green our vaccines.

  2. Ant Bethany said, on December 16, 2008 at 12:19 AM

    I am a proud ‘parasite’.

    The Theory of Herd Immunity makes me chuckle.. and shake my head at the masses who swallow it without ever questioning ‘who really profits from the ever expanding Vaccine Schedule”..

    Amanda Peet has not only made a dangerous decision for her own child, but has insulted every mother in America who has an Autisic child or a vaccine disabled child. Perhaps Amanda should heed the advice of her friends who seem to have her best interests at heart and stop peddling vaccines for Paul prOffit.

  3. hera said, on December 16, 2008 at 4:03 PM

    Hannah Poling: recieved government ocmpensation for her autism symptoms caused by vaccines. Most flu shotys given to pregnant women and babies still contain 25 mcg of mercury.Mackerel King is considered high mercury at 1.67 ppm. Wow! And thimerosal was taken out of cat and dog shots in the 80’s because of the side effects.Gotta love that. Other contents such as aluminium have been shoeb to cause damage to brain cells. And the adjuctant in the vaccine is designed to induce an inflammatory response. Autistics kids brains show inflammation. Originally wiht the 1980’s shot schedule, autism was rare.Now, at 36 shots before age 5, instead of around 10 for most of us who are adults now, the rates are1in 150 ,or more.ANd with more flu shots added to the schedule, the rate is going up again 1 in 83,some people suggest.How many more kids do we brain damage before we say enough?
    Dr Offit has the disticntion of having been a vaccine patent holder( some allege to the tune of a million dollars or more) and has the other destinction, it has been alleged, of having written a book about autism while never having treated an autistic child.
    Perhaps physicians who work with autistic children, and have no financial conflict, would be a better choice for information?

  4. Skepdude said, on December 17, 2008 at 3:47 PM

    3 comments so far, and not one single bit of evidence to back any claims? Is that all you people can come up with to resist the same science that ensures you can live long enough to see yourself wear diapers again? If you’re going to go against the scientific consent you should have better stuff than conspiracy theories and arguments from ignorance and incredulity!

    Who profits from vaccines financially? Who cares? What does that have to say about the efficacy of vaccines? What does that have to say about the truth, or not, of Herd Immunity? Isn’t anything you spend money on going to profit someone? Does that mean that something shady is going on with iPhones because Apple is making tons of money out of them? What kind of argument is that?

    And when will you folks get of the thimerosal/mercury train? It has been discredited over and over. Study after study has failed to show any connection between thimerosal and rates of autism. Just do a Google Scholar search for thimerosal or autism. and read the study abstracts, that is if you are interested in what the facts show!

    And why has Amanda Peet offended every mother of an autistic child? Because she’s saying that doctors know more than Jenny McCarthy? Because she’s urging people to believe scientists instead of B-list celebrities, when it comes to science issues? That is common sense, and only ideologically brainwashed morons would be offended by that? Go to the expert, yeah right that’s so fucking offensive! Give me a break! Amanda Peet is a hero and a smart woman!

    Hannah Poling? Seriously? Never heard of settlements before? Go do some research on that case before you start throwing it around as some sort of smoking gun evidence! Are you really going to tell me that every settlement implies fault on the side of the one who settled? If yes, than you know nothing about how a capitalist society works!

    How many kids do we brain damage before we say enough? You seriously think that? Tell me this, how many kids dying of a preventable disease such as flu will it take for you spoiled folks to understand that there are benefits to this vaccine stuff?

    By the way physicians of every kind have an opinion and it’s all the same across the board: Vaccine-autism hypothesis is bunk and you folks better spend your time in some real issues rather than waste time here.

    Dr. Offit did infact invent one vaccine or two. He did infact write a book on autism. But tell me one thing, even assuming your assertion that he never treated an autistic child is true (I don’t know if it is or not so I will give you the benefit of the doubt) does that mean he is unqualified to review the scientific literature, weigh the claims on both sides based on evidence and come up with a conclusion? Should we prevent historians from writing about the Civil War because they were not alive during that time period? That is preposterous.

    You folks don’t know what you’re talking about.

  5. Tanners Dad said, on December 18, 2008 at 12:05 AM

    Skepdude…you were doing great until you said “By the way physicians of every kind have an opinion and it’s all the same across the board: Vaccine-autism hypothesis is bunk and you folks better spend your time in some real issues rather than waste time here.”

    The number of people in the medical arena voicing concerns is growing. My son is treated by a mainstream Doc. That has been around before the invention of the Polio Vaccine and administered it to the entire county on his own dime. He has gone on to be a Defeat Autism Now Doctor and told me in the exam room that he believes environment and vaccines are involved. It is not “all the same”

    Here are a few more pretty influential people… Look some are Doctors…

    n 2008, the following groups and individuals have advocated, or at least considered, further study of a possible vaccine-autism connection:

    1) Presidenti-Elect Barack Obama,
    2) Sen. Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State Designee
    3) Sen. John McCain, Senior Senator from Arizona and pivotal minority vote
    4) Dr. Julie Gerberding, Director of the CDC
    5) Dr. Bernadine Healy, Former Director of the NIH and President of the American Red Cross
    6) Rep. Brad Miller, (D-NC), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of the House Committee on Science and Technology
    7) Members of the HHS Vaccine Safety Working Group
    8) Officials at the CDC’s Immunization Safety Office who drafted the federal vaccine safety research agenda, the National Vaccine Plan
    9) Medical personnel at the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program of HHS, who ordered federal compensation to Hannah Poling for her vaccine-associated autism.
    10) Members of the CDC’s Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Network (CISA)
    11) America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the national association representing nearly 1,300 companies covering more than 200 million Americans
    12) Research grant making officials at Autism Speaks
    13) Dr. Douglas Wallace, Professor of Molecular Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, Director of the UCI Center for Molecular and Mitochondrial Medicine in Genetics, and member of the Scientific & Medical Advisory Board of the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation
    14) Dr. Peter Fletcher, former Chief Scientific Officer at the UK Department of Health
    15) Dr. Jon Poling, prominent neurologist and father to Hannah Poling
    16) Dr. Isaac Pessah, Professor and Chair, VM: Molecular Biosciences,
    Director, Center for Children’s Environmental Health, University of California, Davis, and member of the Strategic Planning Workgroup for Autism Spectrum Disorders of the federal Inter-Agency Autism Committee (IACC).
    17) Dr. Martha Herbert, Assistant Professor, Pediatric Neurology Director, Transcend Research Program, Harvard Medical School, and member of the Strategic Planning Workgroup for Autism Spectrum Disorders of the federal Inter-Agency Autism Committee (IACC).
    18) Dr. Geraldine Dawson, Chief Science Officer, Autism Speaks, and member of the Strategic Planning Workgroup for Autism Spectrum Disorders of the federal Inter-Agency Autism Committee (IACC).
    19) Dr. Jacqueline R. Weissman, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
    20) Dr. Richard I. Kelley, Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University Medical Center and Division of Metabolism, Kennedy Krieger Institute
    21) Dr. Margaret L. Bauman, Department of Pediatrics and Learning and Developmental Disabilities Evaluation and Rehabilitation Services (LADDERS), Massachusetts General Hospital
    22) Dr. Bruce H. Cohen, Neurological Institute and Pediatrics Institute, Cleveland Clinic
    23) Dr. Katherine F. Murray, Genomic Department of Pediatrics and Learning and Developmental Disabilities Evaluation and Rehabilitation Services (LADDERS), Massachusetts General Hospital
    24) Dr. Rebecca L. Mitchell, Genomic Medicine Institute, Cleveland Clinic
    25) Dr. Rebecca L. Kern, Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University Medical Center and Division of Metabolism, Kennedy Krieger Institute
    26) Dr. Marvin R. Natowicz, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine


    HHS Secretary Designee Tom Daschel, who said in November of 2002: “Mercury-based vaccine preservatives actually have caused autism in children.”

    David Kirby is author of Evidence of Harm, a contributor to Age of Autism and blogs for Huffington Post.

  6. Skepdude said, on December 18, 2008 at 4:50 PM

    Tanners Dad,

    I was referring to the scientific consensus. The scientific consensus is that there is no evidence of a link. I did not mean to imply that EVERY SINGLE doctor agrees with that. Andrew Wakefield was a doctor and he started this whole debacle.

    And your list, while it may look impressive, it still does not show anything but a tendency towards political correctness, so I am not surprised that numbers 1-3 are politicians, who know nothing about medicine so obviously they’d ask for “more studies”. And what you’re making there is a bit of an argument from authority, look at all the famous, powerful people that think we should do something, so clearly there must be something to this! Not so! You’re putting your trust on the wrong authority. Barack Obama is not a reliable source of information when it comes to medicine, it’s simply out of his area of expertise. And I voted for him and have nothing against him, I just wouldn’t take his advice on medical matters.

    You say “In 2008, the following groups and individuals have advocated, or at least considered, further study of a possible vaccine-autism connection”. How does considering or advocating something affect the existing evidence that the something is not there? Even if everyone on that list sincerely believed there is a connection, at the end of the day will you go with actual studies and evidence, or a VIP’s belief?

    Sure everyone will say, let’s do one more study to make sure there is no link (especially politicians and heads of departments such as the CDC which must not come across as dismissive) . But guess what, one more study will be done, and what happens if it comes back negative? The Jenny McCarthys will continue asking for safer vaccines regardless of the new evidence. They’ll never stop asking for more studies because they are not interested in facts, they are interested in finding something that fits their beliefs, not following evidence to where it leads.

    Now please believe me when I say that I understand why parents of autistic children do feel there is need for more and more studies on vaccines. I never blame the parents. What I blame is the people that exploit the parent’s pain and suffering to advance an ideology and even these people are mostly misguided rather than malicious, Jenny McCarthy is a perfect example, I think. But malicour or misguided they should still be criticized as much as possible because their sincere desire to help, can result in much more needless suffering.

    I have a 1 year old myself and I have vaccinated her as prescribed by the pediatrician and I have made sure the pediatrician was following the recommended vaccine schedule, so I am not just some uninterested third party, I have an interest in this issue as well. I have looked at the evidence, and have reached a conclusion based on reason not emotions.

  7. John Fryer said, on January 16, 2009 at 4:30 PM

    Not one bit of science?

    250 000 people have complained publicly on VAERS about what happens from vaccines.

    Can you show me 250 000 recommendations for vaccines?

    Dr Andrew Wakefield showed that vaccinated people who were ill had inflamed bowels and you don’t need to be a doctor to see the difference.

    Dr Fritz Lorscheider shows the destruction of brain cells at the level of just one 2009 flu vaccine diluted evenly through the body. This vaccine is given to the foetus by way of mum.

    Pichichero has most of those 12 articles that show vaccines are just fine. He turns out papers at 2 per month, many his own work. How do you test several times mercury in 300 subjects and publish at this rate? It’s IMPOSSIBLE.

    Verstraeten is another publisher of safe vaccines and in his peer reviewed paper we see mercury increasing the IQ of infants before they can talk even. Privately he admits its a killer.

    I studied mercury compounds decades ago at university – in those days and at Calgary and at every university, mercury has been shown to be neurotoxic, brain damaging, compromising every enzyme, protein, DNA or RNA in our bodies but there are you claim a dozen or so papers to show these effects do not exist?

    I don’t think, I know any paper that says mercury is safe is FRAUD.

    You can’t change science just because you inject every foetus and infant with the world’s most toxic substance.

    You can’t pay, so you OBFUSCATE.

    John Fryer MSc BSc Chemist

  8. John Fryer said, on January 16, 2009 at 7:43 PM


    Both sides must have some belief in what they say but while we argue about brownie points the numbers of autism cases rises.

    Vaccines do work but they do have adverse effects; The problem is assessing the risk against the benefit and looking at meningitis vaccines it is clearly a close call with current rates at 1 per 100 000 and serious adverse events at considerably higher levels.

    If we get rid of illnesses the cost may be worthwhile but to try to hold down nearly 70 infectious illnesses is too much for researchers and too much for the poor infant that has to endure them all.

    If people can’t see this then there is no hope to cure autism.

    Side effects or adverse effects of meningitis vaccine is damage brains.

    Just one more factor that can blow a child’s head up and leave him or her permanently harmed.

  9. Skepdude said, on January 16, 2009 at 9:19 PM

    I can’t believe you’re still going on about autism! Do I really have to find the studies that have consistently shown no relation whatsoever between vaccines and autism rates? Why do you choose to ignore the evidence and continue believing? If you are not willing to be persuaded by facts, then why are we even engaging in a discussion? If you read the news there is no way you have missed all the reporting on this stuff.

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