PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Dr. Paul Offit, of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, is a renowned vaccine expert. He says pulling the film “Vaxxed” from the Tribeca Film Festival is the right and honorable thing to do.
“It’s built on a false premise, which is to say that vaccines cause autism, which isn’t true. And would only have the chance of scaring the American public and causing some parents to make a bad decision based on bad information,” he says.
Dr. Offit has only seen the trailer for the film by a disproved researcher.
“This particular researcher who directs the movie believes he’s right,” he says. “He’s claiming the CDC misrepresented data, which wasn’t true.”
Some critics say removal of the film is censorship.
“If it’s censorship, then every other film that’s submitted to Tribeca that didn’t get accepted is censored, which is not the way one should look at film festivals,” he explains. “You either get accepted or you don’t. It should have never been accepted to begin with.”
He says 15 studies have shown that autism is not caused by vaccines. He says the current understanding is that multiple genes are involved, and these genes are active during fetal development.
“Unfortunately, it doesn’t allow anyone to have any sense of control,” he points out. “That’s hard, I think, for people to live with.”
Some people find it easier to blame something environmental, like vaccines.
“By not vaccinating your child, you’re not avoiding autism, all you’re doing is increasing the risk of getting vaccine preventable diseases with no benefit,” he adds.
Dr. Offit is speaking at the Pitt Graduate School of Public Health about the history of vaccine exemptions. He says there should be no exemptions, just as there are no exemptions for car seats. It’s a matter of safety for everyone.