On Friday afternoon, I spoke with a representative from the communications office at the AAP about the remarks by AAP President Dr. Renee Jenkins, who was quoted on Good Morning America as saying: “97-plus percent of children don’t have these kinds of defects, and so when you look at what the risk is to children, and then what the benefits are, the benefits far outweigh the risks that occur.”
Obviously, this quote was edited in mid-sentence, making it impossible to know exactly what Dr. Jenkins was referring to.
I was told that Dr. Jenkins misspoke when she referred to children with “defects.” What she was talking about is the subset of children who have adverse vaccine reactions such as localized pain and swelling, and/or fever.
Slightly fewer than 3% of children will have one or more of these reactions, I was told. So Dr. Jenkins was talking about susceptibility to relatively mild side effects, not genetic “defects” that can lead to long term neurological damage.
I realize that some people may not accept this explanation, but I do.
David Kirby is a journalist, the author of Evidence of Harm and contributor to Age of Autism.