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News Story Source: https://www.theadvocate.com
A sitting Louisiana legislator linked vaccines to autism on the floor of the State Senate Monday, perpetuating a long-debunked theory on which officials have blamed a recent resurgence of measles.
State Sen. John Milkovich, a Shreveport Democrat, used a bill that would expand a voluntary statewide immunization database as an opportunity to launch into a diatribe about vaccines, which he suggested are dangerous and cause autism.
Vaccines, which do not cause autism, are "incredibly well studied" because of the "myths" surrounding their links with autism, said Dr. Joe Kanter, assistant state health officer with the Louisiana Department of Health.
"We're trying really hard to counter that with outreach and education," Kanter said.
Milkovich claimed "autism did not exist" when he was growing up, and that "tissue from aborted babies is now used in vaccines." He also suggested aluminum and mercury in vaccines are dangerous.