Zero Autism

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I honestly am not quite sure what to think about the contention that there is a link between autism and vaccinations. This UPI article finds a population of 30,000 Illinois non-vaccinated, mostly home-schooled children who have zero cases of autism:

It’s a far piece from the horse-and-buggies of Lancaster County, Pa., to the cars and freeways of Cook County, Ill.

But thousands of children cared for by Homefirst Health Services in metropolitan Chicago have at least two things in common with thousands of Amish children in rural Lancaster: They have never been vaccinated. And they don’t have autism.

The average for Illinois children in public schools (most of which are vaccinated) would suggest there should be 114 cases of autism in these 30,000 children, (the national average is rather higher).

The authorities say there is no such link:

Federal health authorities and mainstream medical groups emphatically dismiss any link between autism and vaccines, including the mercury-based preservative thimerosal. Last year a panel of the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academies, said there is no evidence of such a link, and funding should henceforth go to “promising” research.

Yet UPI still wonders:

But where is the simple, straightforward study of autism in never-vaccinated U.S. children? Based on our admittedly anecdotal and limited reporting among the Amish, the home-schooled and now Chicago’s Homefirst, that may prove to be a significant omission.

5:33 pm on December 12, 2005