Division of Genetics and Metabolism
Vaccinations and Autism

For many years there has been debate as to whether there is any associated risk between infant vaccinations and the increasing prevalence of autism spectrum disorder.  The scientific review thus far has not found support for any association.  In spite of this there continues to be concern by some that trace metal components (such as mercury contained in thimerosal) or the immunological response associated with vaccinations might contribute to autism onset. 

Because of this concern, there has been continued review at the national and state level to answer questions about the safety of vaccinations.  Fortunately, these evaluations also support the safety of vaccines compared to the risks on non-vaccination.  As of this time, I conclude that there is no proven association between vaccine administration and the increasing prevalence of autism spectrum disorder.  This conclusion has been reaffirmed by the recently promulgated document from the Florida Department of Health to the Governor’s Task Force on Autism Spectrum Disorders.  This is a valuable resource document for anyone interested in the risks and benefits of vaccinations, the vaccination schedules for Florida's children, the vaccines that have had mercury removed, and other important aspects about the autism and vaccination question.  On page 7 of the document, I have highlighted the conclusions of the Department of Health regarding scientific evidence on the vaccine-autism question.

Charlie Williams, MD
September, 2008

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