Photo Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty ImagesActor Jim Carrey jumped into the blogosphere to write about the link between vaccines and autism. Or rather, how the media is covering recent news about autism and vaccines.
Carrey took CNN reporter, Campbell Brown, to task for her reporting on a February ruling by a "special vaccine court"--the Office of Special Masters of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims--that the measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine didn't cause autism in three cases.
According to Carrey, Brown "and others in the media began making assertions that the judgment was in, and vaccines had been proven safe." He asserts this is far from the truth.
Carrey doesn't recommend that parents not vaccine their kids. He wants more the vaccines to be spaced out over longer periods of time, and that more research be conducted to determine which vaccines are ruly necessary.
"We have never argued that people shouldn't be immunized for the most serious threats including measles and polio, but surely there's a limit as to how many viruses and toxins can be introduced into the body of a small child."
Carrey, who has been dating actress Jenny McCarthy for several years, has become very vocal in discussions about vaccinations as a potential cause of autism. McCarthy's six-year-old son, Evan, was diagnosed with autism as a toddler and she believes that vaccines were the cause. (Earlier this month, Carrey and McCarthy appeared on CNN's "Larry King Live" show to debate the causes of autism. He and McCarthy believe that autism "is preventable and treatable." (She asserts that her son recovered from autism through biomedical treatment.)
The link between autism and vaccines continues to be a controversial and very emotional topic. Some important details, for reference:
- Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability among young children. In 2007, the CDC reported that 1 in 150 8-year-old children in multiple areas of the United States had austism spectrum disorders.
- The main vaccine in question is MMR after a study, published more than 10 years ago in The Lancet, focused on several children who developed autism shortly after getting the shot.
- Many researchers and top medical organizations--the American Association of Pediatrics, the National Institute of Health and the Center for Disease Control (CDC)--continue to say that the there is no link between the MMR vaccine and autism.
- Other vaccines in question were those that contained the chemical Thimerosal, which contains mercury. In 2001, vaccines manufacturers removed Thimerosal from "routinely recommended children's vaccines," save for the influenza shot. The CDC said this was a "precautionary measure."