By Dom Giordano
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Dom Giordano talked to Dr. Paul Offit today on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT about his book, Deadly Choices, and the damage being done to children by the anti-vaccine movement.
To begin with, Offit said the science is clear that vaccines do not cause autism, as many groups and some celebrities insist.
“Parents could reasonably ask the question as follows, ‘my child was fine, they got a vaccine. Now they’re not fine, could the vaccine have done it?’ That’s an answerable question. That’s a scientific question. It can be answered in a scientific venue, and it has been answered over and over again. There are now 20 studies that clearly show vaccines do not cause autism. The part I don’t understand is why it is at least some members of the public don’t believe it.”
He also suggested that even when confronted with the facts, anti-vaccine proponents continue to fall back on far-out theories or dubious motivations.
“When the science isn’t on your side, you resort to ad hominem attacks, or in this case conspiracy theory that there is there is big conspiracy among pharmaceutical companies, the federal government and the medical establishment to hurt children basically.”
Offit says that parents need to be careful in assessing the beliefs of groups attempting to link themselves to autism awareness because some still push the myth the disease is caused by vaccines.
“Many autism associations actually are like that. The one that actually stands out as clearly supporting the science is a group called the Autism Science Foundation in New York, where they have made it very clear that all the data do not support the notion that vaccines cause autism.”
He also affirmed that parents should maintain the vaccination schedule recommended by doctors.
“You want to make sure that you are protected against diseases that can cause you to suffer, be hospitalized, or die before you’re most likely to get them. This is a very well tested schedule. When people make up their own schedule and delay things or separate things or space them out, they’re only increasing the risk of getting these diseases without, in any sense, providing a benefit.”