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Letter to the Editor in the Dispatch

CORI’s letter to the editor in response to Dr. Phillip DeMio appears in today’s Dispatch.

The article was edited, which I expected, and the three references I sited were left out. Here is the original version:

Dr. Phillip DeMio wrote an editorial for the Dispatch on October 27, 2009, entitled “Better Think Before Getting H1N1 Vaccine.” In his editorial, Dr. DeMio gave no evidence to support his claim that the H1N1 vaccine is dangerous.

Judging from the links provided on Dr. DeMio’s website (, it appears that his concern is with thimerosal and squalene. Thimerosal (ethyl mercury) is used in multi-dose vials as a preservative but is not used in the single-dose vials or the FluMist nasal spray. Numerous scientific studies have shown there is no link between thimerosal and autism, but if you still have concerns, you can specify your preference for the FluMist if appropriate for your child. Squalene is a naturally occurring substance found in plants, animals, and humans. It has been used in vaccines as an adjuvant for years without adverse side effects; however, there is no squalene in the 2009 H1N1 vaccine.

The H1N1 vaccine will not cause autism, brain damage, or immune dysfunction. All H1N1 vaccines used in the United States are licensed by the FDA and are made in the same way as seasonal influenza vaccines. Vaccines save lives. It is irresponsible for a medical doctor to advise the public not to get vaccinated. This advice puts the entire community at risk.

If you still have concerns regarding the safety and efficacy of the H1N1 vaccine, please talk to your family physician and/or

Central Ohioans for Rational Inquiry

Miller L, Reynolds J., “Autism and vaccination-the current evidence,” J Spec Pediatr Nurs. 2009 Jul;14(3):166-72.
Scahill L, Bearss K., “The rise in autism and the mercury myth,” J Child Adolesc Psychiatr Nurs. 2009 Feb;22(1):51-3.
DeStefano F., “Vaccines and autism: evidence does not support a causal association,” Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Dec;82(6):756-9. Epub 2007 Oct 10.

Thank you to all the CORI members who gave me input on the letter. I very much appreciate it.


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