From the "I f-ing told you so" department.
Infants exposed to the highest levels of thimerosal, a mercury-laden preservative that used to be found in many vaccines, were no more likely to develop autism than infants exposed to only a little thimerosal, new research finds.
The study offers more reassurance to parents who worry that vaccination raises their children's risk for autism, the researchers said.
"Prenatal and early life exposure to ethylmercury from thimerosal in vaccines or immunoglobulin products does not increase a child's risk of developing autism," concluded senior study author Dr. Frank DeStefano, director of the immunization safety office at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study was released online Sept. 13 in advance of publication in the October print issue of Pediatrics.
Obviously, you're wondering about the methodology:
In the new study, researchers examined medical records and conducted interviews with the mothers of 256 children with an autism spectrum disorder and 752 children matched by birth year who did not have autism. The children were all members of three health care management organizations in California and Massachusetts.
Researchers also gathered information about the manufacture and lot number of the vaccines that the children received, to determine how much thimerosal they were likely exposed to.
Children in the highest 10 percent of thimerosal exposure, either prenatally or between infancy and 20 months, were no more likely to have autism, an autism spectrum disorder or autism spectrum disorder with regression than children in the lowest 10 percent of exposure.
So can we all stop freaking out about non-existent dangers and get our vaccination rates back up to snuff? Please?