On vaccines, immune to reason

It’s rare that one sees an editorial this spot on, but it happened a couple of days ago in The Washington Post:

The debate over vaccine litigation has thus shifted from a presumption of innocence to a presumption of guilt. While the number of major studies that have failed to find any substantive link between vaccines and developmental disorders or autism is now in the double-digits (including a September 27th CDC study in the New England Journal), critics are effectively demanding that scientists prove that thimerosal does not cause illness — an impossible standard.

The very success of vaccines has become their downfall. As Dr. Offit writes in Vaccinated, “When [vaccines] work, absolutely nothing happens¿Parents go on with their lives, not once thinking that their child was saved.”

It is time to rescue vaccines from the witch hunts that go on when science fails to provide easy answers for complex diseases like autism.