Donald Trump met with Robert F. Kennedy, a stern anti-vaccine activist, to ask him to become the leader of a commission assigned to tackle topics on vaccine safety.

Robert, John F. Kennedy’s nephew, revealed to have met the President-elect and received his insight about the current vaccine policies regarding their “safety and scientific integrity,” and accepting his proposal to lead the commission. During his campaign, Trump assured that he was for vaccines overall, although he believes that the dosage should be revised, due to autism being a potential side effect.

Robert F. Kennedy speech Sacramento at The Capitol on April 8, 2015. Image Credit: YouTube

Both Kennedy and Trump have spoken against vaccines, labeling them as potentially harmful. The President-elect posted a tweet suggesting that children get many vaccines at the same time and end up developing autism. Kennedy has published material recommending to remove state mandatory requirements that force parents to vaccinate their children.

“His opinion doesn’t matter, but the science does matter and we ought to be reading the science and we ought to be debating the science. And that everybody ought to be able to be assured that the vaccines that we have — he’s very pro-vaccine, as am I — but they’re as safe as they possibly can be,” stated Robert F. Kennedy.

Do vaccines cause autism?

Researchers are still not sure about the cause of autism, but there are several cases both in the U.S. and the U.K. that note a change in behavior and communicative skills after the child has undergone a vaccination procedure. Vaccine activists believe that there may be a link between some forms of autism and the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, characterized by a rapid regression in the normal development of a child.

The CDC, among many other health institutes in the U.S. and the U.K., dismissed any link between the MMR vaccine and autism, although studies are being performed to find any feasible link between the practice of vaccination and autism. The cases where parents assure that their children developed autism after being vaccinated are believed to be specific instances of immunological and neurological deficiencies.

One of the main elements of the controversy is thimerosal, a substance based in mercury that helps avoid contamination from multiple vials containing the vaccine. Robert F. Kennedy has tackled the issue on thimerosal in his publications, but the Institute of Medicine concluded:”The evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal–containing vaccines and autism.”

At least nine other studies have refuted the link between thimerosal and autism, including studies that have also tried to find any connection between MMR vaccines and autism.

There are also concerns about other vaccine additives and autism, which include suspending fluid, preservatives and stabilizers, and adjuvants or enhancers to help the vaccine be more efficient. The CDC recognizes that conventional vaccine additives include aluminum, formaldehyde, monosodium glutamate, thimerosal, antibiotics, and egg protein.

The CDC states that “no links have been found between any vaccine ingredients and autism spectrum disorder.”

Source: CNN