The Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS) supports universal vaccination of children according to evidence-based policies as outlined by leading public health agencies and professional societies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), and many other reputable organizations.

PIDS stands behind the overwhelming scientific evidence showing that vaccines do not cause autism. It is dangerous to perpetuate this myth and doing so is likely to result in harm to our children from vaccine-preventable diseases. Statements by those claiming a connection between vaccines and autism with no scientific basis should be recognized as fraudulent and misleading. The false link between autism and vaccines was first popularized by Dr. Andrew Wakefield, a British physician who falsified data and later profited from his false theory. Dr. Wakefield’s work was proven to be fraudulent, his medical license was revoked, and he has been discredited by leading medical societies and medical journals.

Vaccines provide tremendous health benefits to individuals and to society. PIDS calls on our government leaders to recognize the overwhelming evidence showing the outstanding safety of childhood vaccines and to avoid the temptation to equate anecdotes with scientific evidence. We further call on our government leaders to avoid providing a hint of legitimacy to myths such as this one for which there is no scientific evidence. To do so will unnecessarily endanger the lives of American children.

###

The Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS) is the world’s largest professional organization of experts in the care and prevention of infectious diseases in children. PIDS membership includes leaders in clinical care, public health, academia, government, and industry who advocate for the improved health of children nationally and globally. The Society fulfills its mission through research, advocacy, guideline development, fellowship training, continuing medical education, its support of immunization practices in children, and The Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, its quarterly peer-reviewed publication. To learn more about PIDS, visit www.pids.org and follow PIDS on Facebook and Twitter.