Cheri Jacobus, Capitol Strategies, 202 547-7358,
Sallie Bernard, Safe Minds, 970 429-1460,
Washington, DC. November 3, 2003 - A paper written by the CDC's National Immunization Program staff and published in the uses the Vaccine Safety Datalink to investigate associations between thimerosal in vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and speech/language delay. Examination of this paper as well as earlier versions of the study and related documents has raised concerns among the autism and speech/language delay communities over the use of the VSD by those involved in childhood immunization programs. Rules established by the CDC have made access to the VSD by independent researchers virtually impossible. In response to these events, the organizations listed below, representing families with members who have autism or a speech/language disorder, have issued the following statement:
Vaccine Safety is an important public health issue. The Vaccine Safety Datalink database must be made available to all qualified research scientists in a timely manner. The current practice of restricting access to the database to a limited group of possibly biased individuals is not acceptable.
The statement and background information can be accessed by following this link.
The supporting organizations are:
Autism Research Institute (www.autism.com/ari)
Autism Society of America (www.autism-society.org)
Cherab Foundation (www.cherab.org)
Cure Autism Now (www.cureautismnow.org)
Safe Minds (www.safeminds.org)
Speechville Express (www.speech-express.com)
Unlocking Autism (www.unlockingautism.org).