From the mid-1990s, the safety of vaccines has received an increasing number of challenges that has gained attention from various settings. The US House of Representative’ s Committee on Government Reform held seven hearings on the safety of vaccines between 1999 and 2000. The media also made news out of the story, with news programs such as 60mins and Nightline giving the issue an extensive coverage. There have also been related scientific symposia and conferences sponsored by consumers and professional organizations. The internet has also continued to play a crucial in passing information about vaccine-safety to various parts of the world. The growing concerns about the safety of vaccinations led the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to see the need for an independent group that would address the various safety concerns that were being raised in a timely manner.
It is from this that Immunization Safety Review Committee was formed, bringing together a team of 15 people with expertise in various medical fields such as immunology, neurology, pediatrics, epidemiology, ethics, and much more.
committee was charged with the task of assessing the scientific link between vaccinations and the various diseases, as well as discussing the significance of the issue in a broader context. Autism is a developmental disorder that is complex, severe, and often characterized by impairments of social interactions, verbal and non-verbal communication, as well as repetitive or restricted and stereotyped patterns of behaviors and interests (Mayor 642). Research has shown that the etiology of autism has a strong genetic component and that other factors such as neurologic, infectious, immunologic, metabolic, and insults, also play significant roles.
According to Schopler et al (7), most cases of autism seem to result from prenatal or early prenatal insults. The diagnosis of the cases at the early-onset, however, remains unnoticed until the second birthday.
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