Childhood vaccines have become as common and routine as regular checkups for our childrenbut what about concerns they may do more harm than good in some cases? Are all the serums safe? Its an issue our chief investigative reporter Steve Wilson has been following closely for months.
Many in so-called mainstream medicine are upset that Action News is even reporting this controversy. As we have shown, some of the most respected health care professionals have decided there is no problem with any vaccines, even though theyve never read studies which strongly suggest there is.
Those studies are aimed at determining whether children like 7- year-old Kit and thousands of others like him have been neurologically damaged by the mercury in vaccines.
Although its recently been reduced or eliminated in some vaccines, Thimerosal was used for years as a preservative or sterilizing agent in all kinds of immunization serums repeatedly shot into youngsters. Now some of the newest research by Dr. Richard Deth at Northeastern University and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins, Tufts and the University of Nebraska supports what many parents have been saying.
"There are children out there already, no doubt, in my opinion, have been affected and there will be children in the future who will be affected by these levels in these vaccines and its a question of numbers," Dr. Deth reports.
Kits mom Amy Carson says he is one. A child who contracted autism following a series of vaccinations that injected toxic mercury far in excess of levels the government says is safe.
"I am 100% convinced that my son was vaccine damaged by the mercury in his vaccines," Carson says.
"You know, calling it autism enables and empowers the people that cause this atrocity to happen to shift the blame and call it something else. Lets call it what it is. These children arent autistic, theyre mercury poisoned,"she adds.
Its that passion that drove her to Washington this week from her home in North Carolina in what she calls her "vaccine mobile". The family car carries her message wherever she goes, spreading the word that mercury remains in vaccines today in more than just trace amounts despite what the government and health officials are saying.
Angela Medlin of Moms Against Mercury agrees. "But all you need to do is look at the package insert and you can see that Thimerosal is still in vaccines," she says.
Angelas boy, 9-year old Will, is also autistic, a situation that led her to forge a friendship with Amy. Together theyve founded a group called Moms Against Mercury, erecting billboards across the state to blow the whistle. Like so many other parents of neurologically damaged children, these two dug deep into their pockets to attend this weeks meeting of the National Institute of Medicine.
Florida congressman Dave Weldon told the IOM panel hes concerned that government officials who approved and have long promoted vaccines now have a vested interest in discouraging the discovery of any evidence they may have done harm to a generation of young Americans.
"I received numerous complaints that this event is not a further attempt to get at the facts but rather a desire to sweep these issues under the rug," Weldon told the meeting crowd.
"And if the government, through its mandatory vaccine requirements, is responsible for making these kids autistic, then the government should shoulder a portion of the responsibility for taking care of these kids and whats really what were trying to get out here," he concluded.
Although it is true that a link between vaccines and autism and other neurological disorders has not been established to a scientific certainty, some scientists this week presented the IOM with evidence that suggests there is such a connection.
Researchers Mark and David Geier have studied the governments own database.
"That database supports all the other databases that Thimerosal is a major contributor to the current autism epidemic," Dr. Mark Geier announced at the meeting. "This is about as proven an issue as youre ever gonna see and whats occurring here is a coverup under the guise of protecting the vaccine program."
The work of Dr. Deth and his colleagues provides important new evidence of how such a link is entirely plausible.
"I personally have reached the point where I believe the relationship is causal and is a direct linkage between the vaccine exposure and the rise in autism that has been documented in the past 15 years," he has told Action News.
As for evidence to the contrary, a study by a Denmark research firm concluded no possible link. Critics say not only were there problems with his methodology, but also that he works for the Danish government institute that makes and sells the serums. Is that a conflict that might have influenced his findings?
Danish researcher Anders Peter Hviid did not have any comment when questioned at the Washington meeting.
As for the study by researchers including a fellow who has gone on to work for a major vaccine maker, their early findings of neurological problems in young vaccinated children did not show up clearly in the final study. Why not?
"Well, the main issue is that the group of people got older," Dr. Robert Davis, M.D. of the University of Washington told us.
Before they got older, some exhibited neurological damage following their vaccinations, something that was discussed privately among scientists including Dr. Richard Johnston at the University of Colorado. He had previously said that hed seen enough that he wouldnt want his grandson injected with any vaccine that contains mercury. Has he changed his mind about that?
"Im not convinced one way or another," he now says.
If youre a parent and youre concerned, what can you do?
First, heres a quick checklist to consider when planning vaccinations for your child:
- Not all vaccines contain mercury but many do, including some adult vaccines like the Flu shot they want you to get. You can avoid any possible risk by selecting mercury free vaccine where you canbut you might want to read the package insert to make sure you or your children are actually getting what you think youre getting.
- In some cases, vials that contain multi-doses of vaccine contain the mercury while the single-dose vials do not. In those cases, you can ask your doctor to get and use the single-dose vials
- And finally, no matter what anybody may tell you, the truth is the science about the safety of mercury in vaccines is not yet settled. You can learn about both sides of the controversy by visiting the links weve included in our report.