For those of you watching developments in the autism-vaccination connection, another study was released this week to support the growing body of evidence that vaccines do not contribute to autism. This time the publication is of an Italian study of the whooping cough vaccine published by Tozzi et al. and funded by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The data indicate that the mercury-based preservative thimerosal, used in vaccines, doesn't pose a risk to children. Although the conclusions of the paper were that the few links appear to be due to chance, it was admitted that they may warrant further investigation, in the interest, I suppose, of applying the precautionary principle, despite the growing mountain of data that seems to fall terribly short of conclusively supporting a relationship, according to some.
Apparently there is enough evidence to convince even those with a vested interest in the topic. Disability News online reported two weeks ago that the, now former, president of Autism Speaks, Alison Singer, has stepped down because she doesn't support the way funding is allocated to vaccine research over research into other potential causes of autism (environmental) or better treatments for the disorder.
Tozzi, A. et al. 2009. Neurophychological performance 10 years after immunization in infancy with Thimerosal-containing vaccines. Pediatrics 123(2):475-482. doi: 10.1542/peds.2008-0795.