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News of the Day ... in Perspective


CDC splits vaccine promotion and safety monitoring functions

Responding to pressure from lawmakers and parents of autistic children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it would separate its national immunization program, which advocates vaccines, from its vaccine safety branch.

Critics have argued that “the agency’s dual role in promoting vaccines and overseeing their safety is a serious conflict of interest” (NY Times 2/25/05)

Dr. Paul Offit, member of a federal advisory panel on immunization practices, called concerns “absurd.”

Rep. Dave Weldon, M.D., (R-FL) said that documents released under the Freedom of Information Act suggested that findings of a potential link between thimerosal exposure and developmental delays were deliberately watered down.

Access to data in the Vaccine Safety Datalink has been severely restricted.

Additional information:

Excerpts from the documents obtained through FOIA

Other information on thimerosal in childhood vaccines

Mercury burden in children with autistic spectrum disorders

Autism in the United States: a perspective

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