LA State Senator Milkovich claims vaccines cause Autism during legislative session

Local News
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(4/30/19) BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL) — During a vote in the Louisiana legislative session, State Senator John Milkovich made some alarming comments that do not line up with scientific evidence regarding vaccines and Autism.

Before voting against a bill by State Senator Regina Barrow that would allow adults to have the option to be on an immunization database that only applies to children currently, Senator John Milkovich made this comment.

“There is a very contentious scientific debate that’s going on in America and has been for decades and the features of which are becoming more and more public everyday. In which many are saying these vaccinations pose danger. For example when Senator Lambert and I were growing up Autism did not exist. Many of you may know, some of the leading researchers in America say that Autism is a result of vaccination,” said State Senator John Milkovich, La (D) District 38.

Autism was first described by psychiatrist Leo Kanner in 1944.

Local health care experts said Autism has always existed in human populations. It’s just better identified and diagnosed now. 

“It is not that vaccines are causing Autism. We just gone from a very small criteria of what is Autism to a larger spectrum,” said Lindsey Fortenberry, nurse practitioner Health Care Express.

Senator Milkovich went on to make further comments which have long been scientifically studied and refuted.

“Did you know that the childhood vaccinations that we now require are multiple, many times the vaccinations that were required 40 years ago? Did you know that tissue from aborted babies is now used in vaccines? Did you know that vaccines use aluminium which is shown to be a neurotoxin? Did you know that vaccines in America are preserved often with mercury? Which is beyond neurotoxic,” Milkovich said.

Addressing one of those misconceptions of mercury being in vaccinations, Fortenberry said Milkovich was refering to a perservative ingredient used in making vaccines called Thimerosal that allows for larger quantities to be shipped. However, Thimerosal was removed from all vaccines in 2001. Except for the multi-vial dose of the flu vaccine. 

“In the year 2000, one in 150 children were diagnosed with Autism. As of this year, about one and 68 children are diagnosed with Autism. Now if you related that to my comment that Thimerosal was removed from all vaccines in 2001 and we’ve seen an almost double fold in the amount of cases of Autism. That doesn’t really correlate well. I would ask the Senator not only show where that research came from to show that the Thimerosal causing these problems when there’s been no Thimerosal in these vaccines since 2001. I think that’s the most important thing, if you ever speak out about something just to know what you’re talking about and to make sure your source is reliable and be very educated on what you’re speaking about before you speak about it,” Fortenberry said.

Fortenberry said the anti-vax movement has led to an increase in measles cases. Which was declared eradicated in 2000 but last year saw 700 cases across the country. 

The CDC encourages all parents to vaccinate their children and speak with your doctor if you have concerns. 

According to the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, several vaccines, including the one for chickenpox, are produced by growing the virus inside of human cells. However, those human cells come from two cell lines from that were obtained legally in the 1960s. Since then, the cells grow independently and do not require further cell lines. They were descendent cells, not the cells of aborted fetuses. 

We reached out to Senator Milkovich for further comment but have not heard back yet. 

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