There’s no need for more research into a possible link between vaccines and autism. But there is a continuing need for support of ongoing research into the true etiology of autism and its treatment. And physicians should continue to take a lead role in extolling the benefits of vaccines to health policymakers and the public.
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Those were among the messages recently sent by the AMA House of Delegates, which met June 13-17 in Chicago.
A resolution submitted by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law initially proposed that
* the AMA reaffirm its support for universal vaccination,
* asked the AMA Council on Science and Public Health to review the most recent research on vaccines and autism, and
* urged the association to continue to support research into the etiology and treatment of autism.
Although delegates at the meeting overwhelmingly supported the first and third resolves, they steadfastly opposed the request for a council review of vaccine research.
California delegate and internist Melvyn Sterling, M.D., testified during a June 14 reference committee hearing that sufficient research on vaccines and autism already exists and clearly demonstrates the two are not linked.
“The science is compelling,” said Sterling, who is a past chair of the AMA Council on Scientific Affairs, the precursor to the Council on Science and Public Health. “There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel.”
The reference committee agreed, concluding in its report that, “the relationship between vaccines and autism has been extensively studied by many scientific organizations, including the Institute of Medicine, and that further study by the AMA on this issue was not necessary.”
Thanks, AMA. This decision is long overdue!
Filed under: Vaccines |