David Kirby has a thought proviking post at HuffPO, Part 1 is up today, read and comment at HuffPo on The Autism-Vaccine Debate: Why It Won't Go Away.
...The temporal association might be coincidental, but for many autism parents, now tens of thousands in number (but certainly not all parents), there is nothing to dissuade them: they are certain that vaccines harmed their kids. I have spoken with thousands of them personally. Their stories of regression are hauntingly similar, describing a childhood catastrophe that was virtually unheard of when I was growing up.
These parents, and grandparents, naturally share their stories with brothers, sisters, friends, coworkers and the media, and before long half the population is questioning authorities who insist that there is zero chance of any association whatsoever.
Every year, thousands of new parents go through the same ordeal, which is why belief in a link is probably going up, not down. Sadly, this will continue for years to come as more and more parents join the ranks of the devastated but convinced. There is nothing that anyone can do or say -- not you, not me, not any scientist on earth -- until definitive proof of all the true causes of autism is found. But that appears to be years, or decades away.
Parents who say the vaccine-autism link has not been debunked are, like me, hardly "anti-vaccine." Why on earth would anyone not want to protect children from dangerous diseases? That is the epithet hurled upon most of them anyway. And it's what people will say about me as well, even though, as I said, I think parents should vaccinate their kids.
What's curious is the selective use of the "anti-vaccine" accusation. Few people call Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of the NIH, "anti-vaccine" for not ruling out a possible link, and calling for the study of the children who actually got sick.
I have never heard it used against Temple Grandin, who said there should be "a closer evaluation" of vaccines and autism and echoed Dr. Healy by adding that, "These children should be carefully studied to determine when and why they lost language, and if factors such as vaccines and genetic predisposition may be causes."...