Congressional priorities are frequently a mystery, for example, the Flu Vaccine Act, in Congress right now, proposes to spend more money developing a "universal flu shot" during the next five years than was spent on autism research since 2013. Senate Bill S. 2438, introduced by Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) and House bill H. R. 5092 introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, (D-CT 3) would commit $1 billion over the next five years to develop a universal flu shot, which would be a shot against all 900 plus flu shots strains and could be used from year-to-year. That’s about $60 million more than was spent on autism research between 2013 and the present.
Flu shots are notorious for being ineffective, which may account for why more than half the US population never get them. Thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative still found in 20% of US flu shots, was linked in an internal CDC study from the late 1990s (google Simpsonwood) to 7 times more autism among children who received it in shots given to them as infants. And a recent study linked pre-natal flu shots given in the first trimester to a significant increase in autism.
We believe that finding the causes, treatments and potential cures for autism is far more pressing public health priority than developing a speculative flu shot, and providing further public subsidies to an already heavily subsidized industry.
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Please click on the Take Action link to send messages to your members of Congress asking them to oppose S 2438 and H.R. 5092, and redirect those funds to autism research.
Congress loves to give the flu shot industry tax dollars. In the early 2000s Sanofi got $170 million to build a flu shot manufacturing plant in Pennsylvania, and Novartis got $486 million to build a plant in North Carolina. And much of the production of flu shots is paid for with tax dollars between the Vaccines for Children program, Medicaid, Medicare, Affordable Care Act subsidies, Tricare and federal employee health insurance.
At least 3% of American children are now diagnosed with autism. Half of those children will also have intellectual disabilities, 40% will have seizures, 40% will have no speech, and about 90% will be unemployed when they reach adulthood. Officially we don't know the causes of autism, there are no officially approved treatments, there is no cure. We also officially don't know if the autism rate has gone up. Yet some in Congress think speculative research into a universal flu shot is a more important priority.
Oppose S 2438 and H.R 5092.