The Autism Science Foundation team is proud to announce that ASF Board Member Dr. Paul Offit of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia received the Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal from the Sabin Vaccine Institute. Every year, the Sabin Vaccine Institute recognizes a distinguished member of the public health community who has made extraordinary contributions in vaccinology or a complementary field. The Sabin Gold Medal commemorates the legacy of Dr. Albert B. Sabin, the developer of the oral polio vaccine that has helped bring poliovirus to the brink of eradication. The Sabin Vaccine Institute honored Dr. Offit for his contributions as co-inventor of an oral rotavirus vaccine and his leadership as one of the United States’ most vocal and dedicated advocates for immunization.
John Oliver took aim at vaccine skeptics on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, blaming the misinformation and confusion on everything from the rising popularity of memes to Donald Trump’s statements on the campaign trail. You can see the whole video, which featured Alison Singer, President and Co-Founder of ASF, here.
An op-ed by Dr. Alycia Halladay, Chief Science Officer of the Autism Science Foundation, was published today in Stat News:
The publication of Andrew Wakefield’s notorious and now discredited research on autism and vaccines in 1998 triggered a surge of worry about vaccine safety. Since then, questions about a purported connection between autism and vaccines have been asked and definitively answered: There is no link. But there are other factors linked to the development of autism that have solid scientific support.
Today, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. – who has continued to publicly promote the discredited theory that vaccines cause autism — met with President-Elect Donald Trump in New York City and afterward stated that Mr. Trump has asked him to lead a new commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity. Autism Science Foundation President Alison Singer released the following statement in reaction to Mr. Kennedy’s comments:
STATEMENT FROM ALISON SINGER, PRESIDENT, AUTISM SCIENCE FOUNDATION:
“The scientific research has been done and the results are clear – vaccines do not cause autism. Some people may choose not to believe the facts, but perpetuating a myth from the very highest levels poses a dangerous threat to public health. Creating a commission makes it look like scientists have not already studied this issue for many years, and it may lead people to think this is still an open question. It is not.
It’s imperative that parents make health decisions for their children based on scientific evidence, in consultation with their pediatrician. I fear that parents will think we don’t have the data that we do – from dozens of studies — and will withhold lifesaving vaccines from their children. Withholding vaccines will do nothing to reduce the chance that a child is diagnosed with autism, but will absolutely increase the chance that a child could contract and die from a vaccine-preventable disease. Vaccines save lives, period.”